Despite long-standing opposition from animal rights activists over the use of electronic ‘shock’ collars, pet retail corporation Petco has continued to sell them all these years. But that’s set to change after Petco announced on Tuesday that it will no longer sell electronic collars, making it the first major pet products chain to pull the items from its stores.
Shock collars, which account for roughly $10 million of Petco’s 2019 sales, deliver electrical pulses of varying intensity and duration to dogs in order to curb behaviors such as excessive barking or to act as an invisible fence to keep pets from running away. Some trainers believe they can be a useful training tool when used correctly, but these collars have the potential to be abused and cause a significant amount of pain to a pet. Animal rights groups have long argued that these collars cause unnecessary distress to pets.
Petco made the decision as part of a broader corporate transformation; the company wants to establish itself as a health and wellness brand for pets. Along with pulling the plug on shock collars, the company has also started a petition to have the collars regulated and used only by certified training professionals.