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PETCO To Stop Selling Stress, Pain Causing Shock Collars

Petco is going to bat for its collared friends. (Getty Images/Ksenia Raykova)

by Jenn Gidman for Newser

A pet product that’s been labeled “controversial” by the Humane Society will no longer be sold by one major chain. Petco announced Tuesday that consumers won’t find human- and bark-activated “shock” collars—devices that administer electronic pulses of varying intensity and duration to help train animals not to bark so much, or to run away—in its stores anymore, becoming the first major pet-supplies chain to cease selling it.

“Electricity may be critical to powering your microwave, but it has no role for the average pet parent training their dog,” Petco CEO Ron Coughlin says in a release cited by USA Today. Selling the product also doesn’t align with the company’s move to reboot itself as a health and wellness brand, notes CNN Business. “Shock collars are not consistent with our mission of improving lives,” Coughlin says.

Although some trainers say animals don’t have to be hurt by the collars if they’re used correctly, Coughlin notes they can cause stress, anxiety, and fear in pets, and that they can, indeed, cause pain, as evidenced by online “shock collar challenges,” in which people try to complete tasks while wearing one. “They’re funny, but sad because pets don’t know what’s coming their way, and they didn’t ask for it to happen,” he says.

The company is also circulating a petition, along with the #StopTheShock hashtag, that pushes for regulations and restrictions so that only professional, certified trainers can buy the collars. “Studies have shown that dogs respond effectively to positive, voluntary, and rewards-based training,” the petition says. “We also believe the opportunity for human error and misuse of certain shock collars—even by well-meaning pet parents—is simply too high.”

Edited via Newser.

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Posted by on October 7, 2020. Filed under CRITTER TALK. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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3 Responses to PETCO To Stop Selling Stress, Pain Causing Shock Collars

  1. Michael John Scott Reply

    October 7, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    I use a corrections collar that uses vibration to help correct behavioral issues. It works like a charm and is not painful. It does have an ‘electric’ collar function, but I’ve yet to use it. All-in-all this ban by PETCO is probably a good idea as most people have no clue as to how to use a corrections collar.

  2. Bill Formby Reply

    October 10, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    I used a radioactivated shock collar on Rascal for 16 years because I live on a street that is a virtual death trap for pets. But, as Mike said, used correctly it does not harm the pet. One first uses small mapping flags to outline where the boundaries are. Then one needs to take the dog on a leash around the boundary so that s/he gets a sense of where he can go without the “Shock”. The device emits a high pitched sound to warn the pet before it gets shocked. In the 16 years, Rascal only actually got shocked one time. He started chasing a cat and as soon as he went past his boundary line. As soon as he did he literally sat down and started wailing. Fortunately, I was outside and immediately call him to me and running like a bat out of hell he came. Of course, as soon as he crossed the boundary line the collar stop shocking him and he was OK. It was a good investment since it is still working.

  3. jess Reply

    October 10, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Good, that is all.

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