December 16, 2021

For Immediate Release:
December 16, 2021

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Des Moines, Iowa – Motorists passing by the Petco store on S.E. 14th Street are in for an eyeful, courtesy of PETA, which has placed an important message spitting distance from the store: “Life in a Cage Is No Life at All. Never Buy Birds.” The appeal comes ahead of the holidays, when people might be tempted to give others live animals as presents, and in a state where birds are a top household “pet.”

“There are no happy holidays for caged birds, who scream, tear out their feathers, and go insane under the stress of captivity,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on shoppers to steer clear of Petco, which will be on the ‘naughty’ list as long as it sells any animals as though they were home decor.”

In nature, birds perch in treetops, splash in lakes, soar high above the ground, woo mates, feed their babies, and communicate with the other members of their often large flock—none of which they can do in captivity. The pet industry breeds birds in filthy mills, steals chicks away from their mothers, clips their wings so that they can’t fly away, and sells them to buyers who are often unprepared to provide them with the decades of specialized care that they need, causing many to languish and even die of neglect.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

The billboard is located at 6401 S.E. 14th St., Des Moines. PETA is also posting the message near Petco stores in Arizona, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Texas.