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Commitment to Animals

Commitment to Animals

At Petco, Animals Always Come First!

Since our first store opened in 1965, we have endeavored to be the community leader in promoting the welfare of companion animals, as well as the importance of the human-animal bond.

Providing quality animal care

environment for companion animals in our stores, thereby setting a standard for future pet parents to follow. Our mission of promoting the welfare of companion animals and enhancing our customers' lives begins with the selection and retention of dedicated animal lovers to be Petco store partners. To ensure that our partners are highly knowledgeable about proper animal care, we have made a significant investment in the development of enhanced levels of training and education. Upon hire, store partners are trained in proper animal care and handling via an extensive series of veterinarian-reviewed and -approved award-winning materials. This training includes both self-paced guides and online training that reinforces our promise that At Petco, Animals Always Come First!

Petco store partners are required to adhere to stringent animal care policies, procedures and veterinary-approved guidelines. Among those requirements are:

  • Fresh food and water must always be available for all animals.
  • Any animal that is sick or injured must be isolated from other animals for treatment by the store's veterinarian as soon as possible. Each store General Manager or manager on duty has the responsibility to ensure any animal requiring care receives it. Every Petco store has an independent veterinarian that provides animal care for that store. Petco's policy requires that a veterinarian treat all sick and injured companion animals.
  • It is Petco's policy that only licensed veterinarians may perform euthanasia on animals other than fish. It is Petco's belief that all animals have intrinsic value and euthanasia will only be pursued on the recommendation of the veterinarian overseeing the care of the animal. It is also Petco's policy that euthanasia only be performed to alleviate pain and suffering due to a medical condition, not due to the cost of a medical procedure or the monetary value of an animal.
  • Veterinarians have reviewed and approved all animal habitats and specified the number of animals that can be in each enclosure.
  • While animals are in our care, our store partners constantly monitor their health and well-being, beginning with hourly checks every day, conducted according to guidelines and check sheets prepared by animal experts. These checks are augmented by further inspection and regular detailed audits by our managerial personnel.

Above all, animals must be treated humanely and with compassion at all times. Failure to comply with Petco's humane animal care policies will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. To help us ensure that all stores are following our strict requirements for proper animal care, store partners are encouraged to use Petco's confidential Animal Care Hotline to report any potential non-compliance with our animal care policies.

Setting the industry standard in animal care

We believe that the mission of quality animal care should be a never-ending process of continually advancing industry standards. Therefore, we constantly review our policies and procedures to promote the best possible care for the animals in our stores. We have also developed and implemented a Vendor Certification Program that requires our animal vendors to adhere to the highest standards in the pet industry. In addition, as a further industry-leading measure, Petco has formed an independent Animal Care Advisory Council comprised of world-renowned experts in veterinary medicine, animal behavior, animal welfare and animal ethics. This council reviews and provides outside expert input on products, habitats and animal care policies.

  • Educating responsible pet parents
    We are a responsible retailer, and therefore seek to ensure that companion animals find homes where quality, life-long pet parenthood is a reality and the humananimal bond can reach its fullest potential. In addition to helping individuals select companion animals that are appropriate for their lifestyles, we aim to support pet parents throughout the lives of their companion animals.
  • Educating prospective pet parents is a primary responsibility of Petco store partners.
    We provide Care Sheets for all animals that help identify the type of habitat needed throughout their life span, as well as their physical, mental, social and emotional needs.
  • Sustaining community animal welfare initiatives
    In addition to our commitment to the training and education of companion animal pet parents, Petco supports a broad range of programs, activities and organizations dedicated to animal welfare, responsible pet parenting and the humananimal bond. The Petco Foundation, our non-profit animal welfare charity, has raised and donated millions of dollars to thousands of animal welfare organizations since its inception in 1999. To date, this funding has been used to support:
    • Nationwide and local companion animal adoption campaigns
    • Numerous spay and neuter organizations and efforts locally and across the country
    • Pet-assisted therapy and a wide range of humane education programs

Think Adoption First

Reflecting our love of animals above all else, we are committed to the philosophy of "Think Adoption First." We encourage potential pet parents to consider the adoption of homeless companion animals before purchasing an animal. We partner with, an online organization that directs people to local shelters and features thousands of animals that are ready to go to new homes. Petco is committed to the principle that if any person purchases an animal at Petco and finds they are unable to care for that animal, they may give the animal back to Petco with the assurance that the animal will be re-homed and given all necessary care.

No human endeavor can succeed without a strong and firm ethical basis. At Petco, Animals Always Come First, and we are committed to constant and unrelenting self-examination in the area of animal welfare, and to further strengthening of the human-animal bond for the mutual benefit of people and animals.