Open Letter to PetSmart
From social media outrage to recent articles, many people have recently become aware of PetSmart's anti-pit bull policies. If you take a look here on their website, you can see their rules: pit bulls, bull dogs, mixed breeds with any of this heritage in them, and dogs who resemble these breeds are not allowed in their Doggie Day Camp play groups.
If you have read our book Smile, Chewie!, you know how passionate the Furever Home Friends is about ending discrimination against dogs based on breed. Chewie's story directly deals with problems that arise from pit bull prejudice, including increased homelessness and abuse for these dogs.
After reading PetSmart's policy on their website, my first thought was, "They need to read Smile, Chewie!" My second thought was, "I should send it to them for free!" Our entire mission at the Furever Home Friends is about sharing stories and using those stories to make positive changes in the world. What better way to do that than by sharing Chewie's story with a major pet corporation, and hoping that it makes a difference for pit bulls everywhere?
This past Friday, I mailed a copy of Smile, Chewie! along with a letter to PetSmart Corporate in Phoenix, AZ. When I hear back from them, I will be sure to update everyone. I really hope they read Chewie's story. Even if one dog's story doesn't completely change their mind, I'm hoping that it at least serves as another story that ultimately helps make a difference to their policy.
Below is a photo of the letter we sent to PetSmart Corporate:
This letter was sent to Gregg Scanlon, PetSmart's VP of Store Operations. I decided to handwrite the letter because I feel that handwritten letters often carry more emotion and are more likely to resonate with their recipients. However, in case you would prefer to read the letter typed out, here is the text of it:
Dear Mr. Scanlon,
I am the author of the Furever Home Friends books, a series that teaches kids about pet adoption, how to treat animals, and social justice issues. My dog, Chewie, and I were very sad to learn about PetSmart's policy that doesn't allow pit bulls and similar breeds to participate in Doggie Day Camps and other store events. Chewie's story deals with the ramifications of pit bull discrimination--often, it is this stereotyping of their breed that increases homelessness and abuse among these dogs, and we are sad to see PetSmart perpetuating that stereotype. Beyond that, imagine if a kid sees one of your stores turning away a pit bull--essentially, this policy is teaching people that it is okay to judge others based on their appearance, and to discriminate based on circumstances as assigned at birth, such as breed. I have enclosed a free copy of Chewie's story. I hope you read it, and if it resonates with you, that PetSmart considers changing this policy.
Savy Leiser & Chewie
That's all for today! I hope to get a response and update you all soon!
Savy & Chewie