Petco to stop selling electronic ‘shock’ collars

Petco announced it will no longer sell specific electronic "shock" collars, like the one pictured above, on Tuesday, launching a petition encouraging other retailers to do the same or restrict their sale to certified trainers. Photo by Polymath38/Wikimedia Commons

Oct. 7 (UPI) — Petco on Tuesday announced it will no longer sell specific electronic “shock” collars and launched a campaign to curb wider use of the devices.

The pet store chain issued a statement saying it will halt the sale of “all human- and bark-activated electronic pet collars,” removing them from the company’s in-store and online selection.

“Shock collars have been shown to increase fear, anxiety and stress in dogs and we believe there is a better way — positive reinforcement training,” Petco CEO Ron Coughlin said.

Petco said pet owners who visit the stores will instead be encouraged to seek products and services “rooted in positive reinforcement training methods backed by experts” including a series of online and in-home training classes from trainers certified by the company.

The company added it will offer a free introductory class to customers.

Additionally, Petco launched an online petition calling on other retailers to stop selling the collars or regulate them to only be available for purchase by certified training professionals.

Tuesday’s announcement was accompanied by Petco seeking to rebrand as “Petco, The Health + Wellness Co.”

“As a health and wellness company, our mission is focused on improving pets lives, and we think selling shock collars does the opposite,” Coughlin said. “It’s our responsibility to ensure that we, and others, aren’t putting potentially harmful products in the wrong hands.”


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