Require Pet Stores to Provide Owner’s Manuals with Pet Purchase

Target: David K. Lenhardt, Chief Executive Officer of PetSmart

Goal: Provide owner’s care manuals to customers who adopt pets at pet stores in order to ensure they are informed on how to properly care for their new pets

Though it is better to adopt an animal from a shelter, pet stores are often the only locations at which an animal lover can adopt a small pet like a hamster, bird, or fish. Though it is encouraging that stores like PetSmart require a customer to be over the age of 18 in order to adopt a pet from the store, pet stores should also provide a complete owner’s manual with the purchase of a pet. Just because a pet owner is over the age of 18 does not mean they are knowledgeable about a particular animal’s specific needs or their proper care. Demand that PetSmart, and other pet stores, provide an owner’s manual with every pet that is adopted, in order to do everything they can to ensure their animals receive the best care possible.

Pet stores carry books about caring for the small pets that are sold at their stores, but they simply recommend that you purchase a copy when you purchase a small pet. (There are bound to be employees who do not even do this.) They often only have one or two copies of each manual on hand at any given time – not nearly enough for every pet purchaser to go home with a copy. Without being properly informed on the often complex needs of these small creatures, animals are in serious danger of becoming ill or dying prematurely.

Pet stores should provide a basic manual with each pet purchase, or should raise the price of small pets to cover the cost of a comprehensive manual. Just because an animal is small enough to be sold in a store does not mean his life is any less valuable than an animal of a larger size. Every living creature deserves to have a loving home, every needed provision, and a happy life. By providing and requiring a manual with every pet purchase, pet stores are carrying out their responsibility to the animals they foster to provide loving homes, to the best of their ability. Demand that PetSmart, and other pet stores, provide owner’s manuals for every animal that is adopted at their stores.


Dear David K. Lenhardt,

Please provide owner’s care manuals with every pet that is purchased at PetSmart, equipping new pet owners with the information they need to provide a safe and loving home for their new pet. It is your responsibility, as one who fosters these small animals and sells them to permanent owners, to ensure they are receiving the best care possible in their new home. Small animals can be quite complex, and it is important that owners are informed.

Provide a basic care manual that your stores can print themselves, or include a published guide in the cost of the pet, so that owners are equipped with the information they need to best care for their new pet. It is a simple policy to enact that will potentially make a big difference in the lives of the animals you service.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Sandos via Wikimedia

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