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Home > News & Events > Press Releases > PetSmart Bird Adoption-Only Program Takes Flight in Minneapolis Store: Twin Cities-based bird rescue organization to facilitate groundbreaking in-store adoption program

PetSmart / PetSmart Charities



August 23, 2007

PetSmart Bird Adoption-Only Program Takes Flight in Minneapolis Store

Twin Cities-based bird rescue organization to facilitate groundbreaking in-store adoption program

Phoenix, AZ — August 23, 2007 — Rainbow, a Bronze-winged Pionus, and many of his feathered, homeless friends at Minnesota's largest shelter for homeless birds have a lot more to sing about with the opening of PetSmart's first in-store adoption-only center for companion birds.

PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETM), North America's largest pet specialty retailer, and Stillwater-based Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services (MAARS), Minnesota's largest bird shelter, adoption and education organization, have launched a groundbreaking bird adoption partnership in the St. Louis Park store. Instead of selling companion birds, the store will only provide birds for adoption in what is considered to be the first arrangement of this kind in the pet specialty retail industry.

Funded by PetSmart Charities with a $54,000 grant and occupying about 90 square feet of donated retail space, MAARS will operate a fully-staffed adoption center within the PetSmart store during regular business hours to find permanent loving homes for homeless companion birds. Prospective pet parents will be screened and educated by agency representatives on proper bird care to prevent unnecessary abandonment, neglect, abuse and surrender.

PetSmart and MAARS will host an Adoption Information Celebration Saturday, Aug. 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the St. Louis Park PetSmart. MAARS staff and PetSmart associates will be available to answer questions, counsel prospective adopters and assist customers with appropriate choices from the wide selection of bird-related products. The store is located at 5640 Cedar Lake Road on the Southwest corner of Highway 100 & Interstate 394.

Birds of many sizes and species have been individually selected for adoption through the partnership program including Finches, Lovebirds, Cockatiels, Budgerigars (Parakeets), Doves, Quaker (Monk) Parrots (Parakeets) and other small parrot species. Consistent with PetSmart's Vet Assured program, birds available for adoption through MAARS undergo a precautionary 30-day quarantine, have been thoroughly examined by an attending veterinarian and are tested for infectious disease. Pet Parents also will find a supply of bird cages, food and accessories in the store.

"We are pleased PetSmart is taking a leadership role in addressing the needs of displaced captive birds who have been relinquished or abandoned and deserve loving homes capable of the commitment that living with a bird requires," said Eileen McCarthy, CEO of MAARS. "We are honored to be part of this groundbreaking test program." MAARS will continue to have adoptable birds available at its St. Louis Park shelter.

"We are extremely proud to be partnering with MAARS, which is one of the premiere bird shelter and adoption organizations in the country. MAARS has a great capability to provide healthy, adoptable pets and serve as an educational resource for prospective pet parents. With them, we will make great strides in our efforts to save lives of homeless pets," said Julie Schmaltz, PetSmart adoption operations manager.

All adoption agencies that partner with PetSmart receive 100 percent of the adoption proceeds and PetSmart Charities pays an additional $5, $10, or $15 grant to each partner agency for every animal adopted in a PetSmart store. In partnership with PetSmart Charities and adoption agencies nationwide, PetSmart earlier this year adopted out its 3 millionth pet.

More information about bird adoptions and fees can be found at For information about the PetSmart adoption program, visit

More Information:

PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. The company operates more than 928 pet stores in the United States and Canada, a growing number of in-store PetsHotel cat and dog boarding facilities, and is a leading online provider of pet supplies and pet care information ( PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products; and offers complete pet training, pet grooming, pet boarding, doggie day camp and pet adoption services. Since 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit animal welfare organization, has donated more than $52 million to animal welfare programs and, through its in-store pet adoption programs, has saved the lives of more than 3 million pets.

Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services (MAARS) promotes the welfare and protection of captive parrots and other birds through quality captive bird care, placement, advocacy and public education. Based in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MAARS was founded in July 1999 to assist displaced captive birds by providing shelter, veterinary medical care, behavioral rehabilitation and placement. As a pioneer and leader in its field, MAARS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and the busiest parrot welfare organization in the country. Since opening its doors, MAARS has improved the lives of countless captive birds because of its professional, internationally recognized public education, outreach and advocacy programs.

Media Contacts:

Jessica Douglas, PetSmart

(623) 587-2995

Media Line: (623) 587-2177

Eileen McCarthy, MAARS

(612) 850-6797


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