The company released a new line of products, including dog bikinis, butterfly cat leashes, and costumes for reptiles with capes, all with an LGBTQ theme.
Some social media users posted photographs of the products, sparking a backlash. However, others noted that PetSmart had carried similar products since at least 2019.
In its announcement for Pride Month, PetSmart stated that it was also making a $200,000 donation to GLSEN, an LGBTQ advocacy group. GLSEN has faced criticism from many on the right for its extremist advocacy for radicalizing public school teachers and forcing sexualization into public school curricula. It has also been the source of many drag queen events at public school student clubs.
The current wave of boycotts appears to have started with Bud Light's celebration of a transgender TikTok influencer's transitioning from a man to a woman. This led to a significant drop in sales in the U.S. and eroded billions from the company's stock valuation. The Los Angeles Dodgers also faced criticism for awarding their "Community Heroes" honor to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. This group performs blasphemous events meant to mock and deride Christians and Catholics.
A KTLA-TV anchor made fun of the boycott on Wednesday while laughing at products "for your gender-fluid fish" at the store. However, the controversy surrounding PetSmart's marketing strategy has sparked a debate about the appropriateness of companies aligning themselves with political and social agendas.