LONDON (AFP) – Electro-pop pioneers Pet Shop Boys turned down a request from animal rights group PETA Europe to adopt a more creature-friendly name, the band revealed on their website Thursday.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals suggested Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe rename themselves Rescue Shelter Boys to draw attention to the plight of animals raised in pet shops.
"Dear Neil and Chris, You have many loyal fans of the Pet Shop Boys here at PETA. Will you please consider changing your name from the Pet Shop Boys to the Rescue Shelter Boys?" pleaded a letter to the group from Yvonne Taylor, PETA's special projects manager.
"Most dogs and cats sold in pet shops are sourced from profit-hungry breeders who may have bred them in cramped, filthy conditions.
"For every bird who reaches a pet shop, three others have died during capture, confinement and transportation.
"Hamsters, mice and other rodents are often bred by the pet shops themselves, leading to inbreeding, genetic weaknesses, physical deformities and behavioral disorders.
"By agreeing to change your name to the Rescue Shelter Boys, you would help raise awareness about the cruelty involved in the pet trade and encourage your millions of fans to consider giving a home to an abandoned or unwanted animal from an animal shelter. So, what do you say?"
The pair, whose hits include "West End Girls", It's a Sin" and "Suburbia" declined the request, claiming they were "unable to agree," but said it "raises an issue worth thinking about."