This month, we let you know about a form of animal abuse going on right in our vicinity. Dade City’s Wild Things acquired a white tiger cub from G.W. Exotics, a notorious Oklahoma breeder, that they are marketing to the hilt in order to make money off her as quickly as possible – before she’s over the legal weight limit for public interaction.
Unfortunately, PetSmart fell “prey” to their scam. Dade City’s Wild Things set up a photo op by bringing Diamond, the white tiger cub, to PetSmart to pose with the staff and public, bottle feed her in the store, fit her for a new collar and leash, and do a photo op with a “beauty queen” from a pageant Dade City Wild Thing’s created just for press opportunities like this. It worked and they made the local news.
Almost 900 advocates responded to our alert and wrote to PetSmart demanding an end to displays of exotics like this, knowing the bad message it sends. We’re very pleased to share that PetSmart listened and immediately responded positively.
According to corporate spokesperson Margie Wojciechowski at the Phoenix, AZ headquarters, she confirmed she had just come from a meeting and the company has “reinforced with our managers that no exotic pets are allowed on store premises. There will be no live display of exotic animals for events.”
With more than 1,160 pet stores in the US and Canada, all partnering with animal rescue organizations to help end homeless pet overpopulation, they immediately understood the mistaken message people might get by seeing baby tigers on display and possibly thinking this might be something to try as a pet. Since their mission is to promote healthy relationships between people and pets and they are the largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North American, promoting an endangered animal this way just wasn’t right. Their in-store adoption programs have saved the lives of over 4 million pets. Displaying this cub would only encourage breeding, which they are against.
We thank everyone who has written so far about this issue. If you have not yet, please do so today since the situation’s gotten worse. Dade City’s Wild Things is now selling off 30 minute swimming pool sessions with this tiger cub for $250 and they’ve acquired 2 more tiger cubs from Vernon Yates so that the abuse can continue once Diamond is too big and is discarded.
Please use the link below to write the Florida Wildlife Commission demanding they put an end to enterprises like this who breed, cruelly rip the babies from their mothers, market them for play times and photo ops and swimming sessions – or anything else they can dream up – just to make money off them as quickly as they can until they can breed more. What happens to them for the next 20 years of their lives?? That’s the very sad, cruel truth few think about.
Contact Florida Wildlife Commissioners at:
Please take a moment to thank PetSmart for standing up and doing the right thing, something rare in today’s corporate world!
You can reach them at:
PetSmart Public Relations
24-Hour News Media Line