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Indelible Message Hidden in Brick Reminds Fans of Company’s Cruelty

For Immediate Release:
April 13, 2004

Dan Shannon 757-622-7382   

San Diego — When the chance arose to purchase one of the 8-inch-by-8-inch bricks that the San Diego Ballpark Brick Program is offering to the public for sale, inscription, and permanent display as part of the ballpark, PETA jumped at it. After its first idea for an inscription, a message commemorating all the animals who have suffered and died in PETCO stores nationwide, was turned down, PETA submitted and won approval for the seemingly innocuous message, "Break Open Your Cold Ones! Toast The Padres! Enjoy This Championship Organization!"—the initial letters of which spell out "BOYCOTT PETCO." The action is the latest salvo in PETA’s national campaign against PETCO, which was launched in order to inform consumers of the pet-shop chain’s bad habit of leaving animals sick and dying in its stores, pending lawsuits, and angry customers. The brick is located in PETCO Park, Palm Court Plaza, Ducks-on-the-Pond area, 100 Park Blvd.

PETA is sending monthly casualty reports to PETCO officials, citing dozens of eyewitness accounts of sick and dying animals at PETCO stores across the country. During March alone, PETA received 59 complaints from 55 PETCO stores in 21 states. The reports can be read at

PETA has also filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging that PETCO failed to disclose animal deaths, customer complaints, and legal actions filed against the company (including lawsuits over cruelty to animals in San Francisco and Utah) to its stockholders. And PETA has filed a shareholder resolution calling on PETCO to end its sales of animals.

"PETCO’s paying to name a ballpark after itself shouldn’t distract people from the fact that PETCO officials have ignored the suffering of animals in their stores for years," says PETA Director Daphna Nachminovitch. "The fans can cheer for the Padres, but we also want them to boo PETCO for its cruelty to birds, hamsters, and fish."

PETA’s campaign against PETCO has garnered high-profile support from celebrities such as P!nk, Denise Richards, Tippi Hedren, and Kim Basinger, who sent a personal e-mail message on PETA’s behalf to all PETCO employees.

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