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“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.