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how do i report pet store neglect?

Kieri

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Dec 6, 2011
Messages
272
(i wasn't sure which forum to post this in, but i really need some advice.)

today, a friend and i went into petsmart. after looking at the birds, we wandered over to the guinea pigs. of course the living conditions are appalling: 7-8 guinea pigs in a small aquarium.

as i was looking at the different pigs, i noticed one of the pigs appeared sick or injured. its eyes were both hardly open and watery. one eye was crusted. the guinea pig appeared to be extremely lethargic.
[GuineaPigCages.com] how do i report pet store neglect?

i alerted an employee that i think one of the guinea pigs was sick or had something lodged in its eye(s). he thanked me for letting him know and he told me he would get soandso (i can't remember the woman's name).

so the woman comes up to me and asks what the problem is. i pointed to the obviously unfortunate guinea pig and i tell her it appears to be sick or has something in its eye. immediately, the woman grows defensive, "well i cleaned the cage this morning and he was fine." i looked at her and i responded, "..obviously something is wrong with his eye. if he is sick then the other pigs are at risk."

she then came up with another excuse, "well they were rough housing earlier and he probably got bumped in the eye." i am sorry, but guinea pigs do NOT rough house like puppies and kittens, chances are the pig was in a fight and the woman is too dull to realize its eyes could be seriously injured.

she refused to listen to me, so i tried reasoning with her once again, "well, maybe he isn't sick. maybe he scratched his eye against some hay, or perhaps some hay broke off into his eye-" before i could finish my sentence, she started yelling at me, "GUINEA PIGS NEED HAY, HAY IS A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THEIR DIET. IT IS A REQUIREMENT WE GIVE THEM HAY EVERY DAY!"

i honestly have no clue where she got the idea that i was telling her to get rid of the hay. i simply suggested the guinea pig could've hurt itself on the hay, i NEVER recommended removing the hay.

i was taken back and confused. i managed to say, "yes... i know this, i have two of my own."

i should have asked the woman, "since you are obviously an expert on guinea pigs, tell me why there are no veggies in the cage- as a matter of fact, tell me why there are 7-8 guinea pigs being kept in a cramped, filthy aquarium?" of course i was too frazzled to say anything to her.

anyway, the woman finally gave in, "i will look at his eye later, i'll rub it with a wet washcloth." i walked away, because there was no reasoning with this stubborn woman. i wanted to tell her rubbing the eye wasn't a good idea, but she wasn't listening to anything else i had to say.

after returning home, calming down, and reevaluating the situation, i decided i need to contact the manager of the store... however, i believe SHE is the manager. i asked my friend if she knew who the manager of petsmart was and she described the woman who yelled at me. so just with my luck, the woman who treated me like dirt is the woman i need to complain to.

is there anyone i can complain to regarding the health risks and living conditions of the guinea pigs and the fact that i was disregarded and scolded by an employee/manager?
 
You can report it to the humane society, or local animal control. But, they have shelter, food and water, so there's not much they can really do, most likely.

I'd get the name and number of the regional manager and complain to them - although you might consider giving a call back to that manager to discuss the situation now that you've both had the chance to cool down and think it over. She might be more receptive to what you have to say if she doesn't feel she's under fire.
 
what i don't understand is i wasn't rude at all to her. i didn't cop an attitude and i was very calm the entire time, even after she snapped at me. i would attempt to talk to this woman again, but she came off as a very hardheaded woman and i don't think she'll speak with me.

i was more confused than anything. i don't understand what made her so angry with me. i was simply letting her know something was wrong with the guinea pig. if i was working at a pet store and someone let me know they thought an animal was sick or injured, i would feel gratitude towards the person and i would thank them, then i would immediately take care of the animal.

i will contact the regional manager. i'm sure animal control won't do anything. i have a couple of photos of the guinea pig in case she denies any eye problems.
 
  • Post hidden due to user being banned.
what i don't understand is i wasn't rude at all to her. i didn't cop an attitude and i was very calm the entire time, even after she snapped at me. i would attempt to talk to this woman again, but she came off as a very hardheaded woman and i don't think she'll speak with me.

i was more confused than anything. i don't understand what made her so angry with me. i was simply letting her know something was wrong with the guinea pig. if i was working at a pet store and someone let me know they thought an animal was sick or injured, i would feel gratitude towards the person and i would thank them, then i would immediately take care of the animal.

i will contact the regional manager. i'm sure animal control won't do anything. i have a couple of photos of the guinea pig in case she denies any eye problems.
Yeah, I realize you didn't feel you had an attitude - but we don't always know how we come across to other people. If you feel compelled to do something more, definitely do so, but making it a battle of you versus her isn't going to accomplish anything - for you or the pig. I wouldn't make any assumptions about what she will or won't do and I'd at least attempt to contact her once more, and mention to her that you'll be contacting her superior and will do so consistently until the animal gets the medical attention it needs.
 
that is a good idea. thank you. ♥
 
A very long time ago (like 20yrs) I worked in a few different pet stores...Unfortunately, as an employee of these stores EVERYONE thinks there is something wrong with a pet almost every day. Most of the time it's by people who know very little about the pet they're concerned about. I am in no way defending this woman, or inferring you don't know what you're talking about, or stating that I don't think something is wrong with that little pig. I am merely saying that no matter how nice you were, they are on the automatic defense and annoyed based, not on your experience, but with a similar situation that plays out ALL day long. Maybe over the phone she will feel less defensive...? Unfortunately I believe that pet store staff in general are not out to save the animals (if they were, they wouldn't be able to work there) but rather, see them as another thing to sell, so I have a feeling that even the higher up people will be little to no help. Although they might say they'll do something...

That does sound like a terrible living situation for those piggies, I wish there was a way for us to help the pet stores take better care of their animals :(
 
ahh, yeah, i didn't think about that. i can't imagine people constantly complaining about animals all day long. i didn't want to annoy her, so i tried to be as polite as possible. maybe she was having a bad day, but that doesn't mean she can take it out on a potential customer.

this is the first time i told an employee about a situation like this, because the guinea pig legitimately looked ill or seriously injured. its eyes looked to be in some serious pain and i didn't want to just leave without saying something. it wasn't very alert and when other guinea pigs ran in and out of the igloo, it hardly responded and didn't move much.

hopefully she did something about it. i felt guilty leaving the pig there knowing it was in poor condition.

the pet store conditions are TERRIBLE. the cages are small aquariums made for small fish or reptiles. typically i see several pigs housed together at once. another petsmart i went to had cages that seemed to be forgotten; urine and feces was caked into the bedding.

i've only been to one pet store that had a very large and open cage for their guinea pigs. the downside? they kept boars and sows together. there were babies in the cage, a pregnant sow, and the boars were trying to mate with the other females. no doubt those poor sows are dealing with back to back pregnancies.

i'll never understand why pet stores can't house animals properly. it doesn't take much research to learn the dos and don'ts of animals.
 
I would talk to local authorities or try to find out who the regional manager is. The fact that she was so rude to you is enough to get her in trouble, but also you can tell them you think the animal is sick.
 
Same thing happened to me. I went into a Super Petz store (it closed down thank the Lord) and there were guinea pigs;mixed genders and everything in their small aquariums! I was appauled. One of the guinea pigs was VERY lathargic and it was not running and 'wheak wheaking' like the others were. I looked to get a closer veiw at the pig, and its feet were extremely inflamed. Its nails were curled under, and it looked as though they had been that way for a good long time. I went to tell the one cashier and she got the manager. I pointed the pig out to the manager, and she grabbed it by the fur on its neck to pick it up. I could not beleive not even the MANAGER knew how to hold one of the animals she was SELLING IN HER store!!! I showed her the pigs feet, and she said "Oh no, no, he's fine! Their feet are supposed to be that way!" I tried explaining to her that, NO their feet are NOT supposed to be that way, but of course she was not interested in the health of these animal companions. I also tried explaining to her the PROPER way to pick up a pig, but she said "No, no this is how we are required to hold them and pick them up." Uh-huh. I kept trying to explain to her, but, unfortunatly I was ESCORTED out of the store by her. People really need to learn to listen to others.
 
Wish I had the guts to report like you. Cases like these are common here, I really do want to help the pigs and the rest of the animals in bad pet shops, but I can't because the people there know me already and they're my only source of hay. Then again, I could report them to police anonymously, but still... :p
 
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