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My pet store experience

Feather_n_Coca

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I know many of you will have a fit, but, we are all entitled to our own oponions. I have read several of your posts about the evils of pet stores. I posted this in another forum however, I want you to see my side too. NO I DO NOT WORK FOR A PET STORE ( I work in a bank).


I am not sure where most of you live, but I live in San Antonio. We have several PetSmart, Petco and Petland here. I have been to all of them at least once. Not once have I seen the animals in bad conditions. There is usually someone with a wheeled cart full of fruit, veigs, pellets and hay that distubutes to each aniaml. All PetSmart store in SA are male only. The GP's are kept one or 2 to an aquarium w/ a igloo, water botter, food dish and toys. The mice are more to an aquarium and the hamsters are solitary. They all have adoption days, every Sat and reduced cost vaccination programs. I always see someone working in the pet section and they are always helpful and knowledgeable about the pets they are responsible. When my daughter (pregnant at the time) wanted a turtle, the PetSmart employee advised us against it, due to Saminila(sp).

I know not all pet store are created equal and I probably have the best of the best, but I also know that I have seen the worst.

In Hinesville, GA. Stewart Pets was the worst. I went there to buy Ferret Food (Marshall) and I would cry each time I was there. The puppies were puppy mill supplied (by the owner no less), I found this out the hard way. I bought a Golden Retriever puppy. McKenzie was the sweetest boy and the dumbest! I thought I was getting him from a reputable breeder. I only buy from one who only breeds one breed of dog. Anyways, I found that the breeder (owner of the pet store) breed multiple breeds and that sometimes they were crossed bred on accident.

When we got my ferrets I bought them in Savannah & Augusta, GA from a store that took great care of thier pets and would only purchase Marshall raised Ferrets. Stewart Pets didnt care. They kept 4-5 Ferrets in the same small cage and the poop woiuld pile up for days. The wouldnt refill the water bottles and they would knock over the food bowls and eat the food off the floor of the cage.

They kept the puppies in small cages and you could tell they were unhappy and need health care. The cats were cats that people brought in and gave away, not pure breed animals and they would sell them for $30-$75 a peice. The cats had it the best I think. Their cages were something a ferret would need. But the ferrets were in typical GP cages.

I called the local humane soceity more times then I can count. They would go out visit and make them make some changes but they stayed open. I got to the point that I would drive the 45 miles to Savannah to buy the Ferrets food just so I did not have to go to Stewart Pets.

My daughter moved back to GA recently and I guess they finally closed it down. Maybe for good. Now they need to work on closing the puppy mill and put them out of business for good.

So, you see I have seen the worst a petstore can be and I have seen what I have here in SA and I think I will take that over Stewart Pets any day of the week.
 

DaisyGP

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Regardless of how nice the stores are kept or how knowledgable the employees are, all pet stores have to buy low and sell high. If they don't, they will go out of buisness. If some of their merchandise happens to be animals than you know they bought them from breeders who do not invest the time and money into their breeding program. If they were able to sell their animals for that low of a price than they must not be providing medical care for their animals. Vet bills alone hack out the cash in breeding. If they can aford to sell them for low prices to chain stores, who turn around and sell them for high prices, than they are cutting corners. There is no money to be made in animal breeding. The only way you can is by cutting corners and that disregards the value of the pet's life.
 

Ly&Pigs

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It really doesn't matter how glamerous the petstore looks or how well they seem to keep the animals. What most people have to remember is the larger picture behind the petstores. Most of the big chain petstores get their animals from mills where the females are backbred over and over until they die, the sick animals don't get treatment, mites and illness run rampant, female animals are often sold pregnant because people can't or don't know how to sex them correctly.
 

Res Judicata

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I am not sure where most of you live, but I live in San Antonio. We have several PetSmart, Petco and Petland here. I have been to all of them at least once. Not once have I seen the animals in bad conditions. There is usually someone with a wheeled cart full of fruit, veigs, pellets and hay that distubutes to each aniaml. All PetSmart store in SA are male only. The GP's are kept one or 2 to an aquarium w/ a igloo, water botter, food dish and toys. The mice are more to an aquarium and the hamsters are solitary. They all have adoption days, every Sat and reduced cost vaccination programs. I always see someone working in the pet section and they are always helpful and knowledgeable about the pets they are responsible. When my daughter (pregnant at the time) wanted a turtle, the PetSmart employee advised us against it, due to Saminila(sp).

Showing off a cart full of veggies doesn't mean the animals are getting what they nutritionally require. It just looks good to the customers.

If they cared about the animals they would keep the animals in better cages than aquariums. As for the pigloos, is there enough room for the two pigs in them? How do the pigs feel about having to share a hidey space? Mine won't share at all. I have to have one for each or my submissive pig would never have a hiding place.

Having small animals of all one gender is simply a ploy to make customers think the petstore cares about overpopulation. Yet, as many people in many petstore threads have pointed out, these stores still buy from mills.

Adoption day is another ploy to get people in. Get someone to come in and adopt a dog and suddenly they're buying collars, bowls, toys, etc. from you. They're not doing it out of the kindness of their hearts.

As for employees, anyone can appear knowledgeable about any subject as long as they appear confident about what they're saying. Plus I'm sure any potentially dangerous things pet store employees are warned about, like reptiles and diseases. They don't want to set themselves up for a potential lawsuit if they sell a pet that makes a pregnant woman or child seriously ill.
 

Susan9608

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If they cared about animals, they wouldn't sell them - period.

Again, I have to say I'm astonished when people are so impressed with pet stores that treat their stock well. Doesn't it occur to anyone that these pet stores, if they are going to persist in selling living, sentient beings, SHOULD treat their animals well? Shouldn't proper caging, nutriton, and socialization be the bare MINIMUM we should expect from a store that *sells* a living being? Why should anyone be impressed by adequate treatment from a pet store? I know I'm not.

Good treatment is not good enough, no matter how impressive you might find it.
 

PiggieMamaKelly

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To me, bragging about the impressive cage set-up in petstores is like eating cheeseburgers every day for three months and then shouting on the rooftops how healthy you are because you ate one salad.

The horrors these petstore animals face prior to their being showcased in the store is in no way made up for by shoving a few veggies at them and providing fresh water. This sort of myopia is precisely what petstores count on us to have in order to keep up their mistreatment of animals.
 

Feather_n_Coca

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I am learning about the whole pet store thing. I just wanted you to see that there are really bad pet stores and not so bad pet stores. I wish they wouldnt purchase the animals either. Until there is a law that prohibits the sale of live animals purchased from a reproduction mill, this will continue. Has anyone thought of contacting your local congressmen, state senators? Why cant a bill be introduced regulating the sale or prohibiting the mills from profiting. The ASPCA will shut down puppy mills if the animals are not taken care of or are in need of health care. Is there an organization that does the same for small creatures?

I can apreciate every ones comment. And I do see your point. However, until someone stands up and puts a stop to it, all we can do is talk about it here.

I was in PetSmart today to get some more grass (my feed store closed early due to bad weather), and I talked to the live pet manager. I noticed that there were 3 pigges in one encloseure. I told her that I felt that was about 2 too many. And she told me that they allowed 4, however she did remove one of them. She was nice and so was I. Maybe some education would be beneficial. Has anyone thought to set up a booth at the pet stores on the weekends to educate potentionl owners of the hazards of buying a pet store pet? I would be willing to donate my time to do so. I am new at this but I feel strongly that without proper education, the ignorance will continue. People will continue to purchase pets bought from a pet store becasue its cheaper and convient. I detest puppy mills.

When I bought my Yorkie (in Germany) I visited the breeder ahead of time. He breed only Yorkies. They are regualted in Germany. Maybe the US should take a look at how the Germans do it and learn from them.
 

catzeye21138

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I agree, not ALL petstores are bad. Well, in all areas in the least. Like my pet store for example hasn't had guinea pigs in over 4 months and if they ever get a sick pig it gets medical attention pronto. I actually asked the guy that worked there and he told me that they only time they ever get gerbils/hamsters/guineapigs/chinchillas is when someone brings them in. I also found out they don't buy the small animals people bring in so that helps with people making profits. I know that the hamsters and mice have their own wheels and the guineas have hides and hay every time I saw them there. But unfortunatly they don't get the proper feeding they need. Just hay and pellets. But hey! At least they don't buy their animals!

I personally won't buy puppies guinea pigs or cats from anywhere. Breeder or mill. There is still an overpopulation. I'd really like to get a pit/rot mix because I find them adorable!! The last cat we got was nearly a year old and we found her at the WAIF pound. She is the sweetest little thing and SO CUTE. She is 7 now and as lively as ever.

I forgot to add: Their guinea pig enclosure (or very rarely rabbit) is nearly a 3x3 size, very large for pet store! It is always set up with wood bedding pellets so no dust. :] And I've never seen any two different animals housed together or hamsters now that I think about it...
 

envisionary333

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It really doesn't matter how glamerous the petstore looks or how well they seem to keep the animals. What most people have to remember is the larger picture behind the petstores. Most of the big chain petstores get their animals from mills where the females are backbred over and over until they die, the sick animals don't get treatment, mites and illness run rampant, female animals are often sold pregnant because people can't or don't know how to sex them correctly.

Thank you, Ly&Pigs! Feather_n_Coca- you posted about your pet store experience in another thread and I told you the exact same thing! (https://www.guineapigcages.com/foru...ol-i-shut-down-another-pet-store-today-2.html) What you see in the pet store is a fancy stage show, while behind the scenes there are animals suffering and mistreated and kept in the worst conditions you can imagine.

Also, I think the one of the main objectives of this site is to spread information about these problems, so there are obviously other people who have thought of trying to make some change. I really don't think a pet store is going to let you set up a booth in front of their store explaining why they are evil and shouldn't be supported. And I personally don't think it's cheaper or easier at all to buy from a pet store. They cost twice as much as a guinea pig up for adoption, at least in my area, not to mention the fact that they are actually healthy and have seen a vet! So guinea pigs at pet stores cost more, and usually have all kinds of health problems to boot. I know you want to make the effort to spread the word about this, and I'm glad that you do! I just hope you realize that you are not the first person to think of doing so, and that collaborative effort with everyone on this site would be most effective if approached in a more reasonable way. We are all fighting for the same thing.
 

mommyoffive

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Honestly, you have no idea what really goes on in petstores!!! It may look all sparkly and clean on the outside, but if only you could see the "off limits to customers" back rooms. Then you will learn about the truth of petstore. Animals are "delieved" to petstores in little rubbermaid boxes. The handler will throw the innocent little creatures into other little plastic bins were they will stay in "quaritine" for three days. What kind of quaritine is that?!?!

Animals may look in good condition, but be honest with yourself, any animal that comes from a backyard breeder is bound to have some type of medical problem. That is due to the poor conditions that sows live in to have their pups.

Being that I have worked in the petcare department (at petsmart) for over a year and a half now I am pretty knowledgeable with our animals. You may have all the luck with your petsmart where their petcare associates have worked at there store for a while, so they DO know a lot of information on animals, but truth to the matter, petsmart will put brand new associates out on the sales floor their first day and expect them to sell a hamster. And thats why most "pet parents" will be sent home with a cage to small, pine bedding, some random hamster food that cost 2.99 with their pet perks card!!!

Do you get were i'm coming from? I'm currently looking for another job because I KNOW petsmart will not stop selling animals. The only way that animal abuse, over crowded shelters, and accidently pregnancies will stop is if petstores stop selling animals...end of story.
 

Susan9608

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However, until someone stands up and puts a stop to it, all we can do is talk about it here.

Your assumption that no one here is doing anything besides talking about this issue is erroneous. Many, many members of this forum participate in large-scale activisim in order to create laws and positive change for all animals.

Making posts on this forum about the abuses and problems of pet stores that sell animals is merely ONE avenue for getting the word out.

Until there is a law that prohibits the sale of live animals purchased from a reproduction mill, this will continue

Again, I feel your thinking about this issue is erroneous. Public opinion is often much more powerful than legal remedies. If people stop purchasing animals from pet stores, then pet stores will stop selling them. If pet stores stop selling animals and thus stop buying animals from breeders (mills) then breeders/mills won't have any incentive to continue breeding animals. While laws that protected animals and prevented breeding mills would be nice and an added bonus, it's not totally necessary to create change.

When I bought my Yorkie (in Germany) I visited the breeder ahead of time. He breed only Yorkies. They are regualted in Germany. Maybe the US should take a look at how the Germans do it and learn from them.

Learn about what? How to create the perfect yorkie puppy? The best thing would be a halt to the breeding of all dogs until the millions that are euthanized every year find homes.
 

Feather_n_Coca

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I seemed to have ruffled quite alot of feathers. I want you to know that was not my intention. My only thought was to tell you that not all petstores are evil. There are 2 sides to every cause. I can see yours. But you dont seem to want to see mine. Thats fine. I can respect your views. Please respect mine.

I chose a Yorkie, cause all my life that is the dog I wanted. I saved up the money, found a breeder and bought my dog. He has been the most spoiled dog on the face of the earth. This dog as more air-miles then most people. When I travel, he goes to. I stay in pet friendly hotels or I dont go. He is chipped and gets medical treatment and shots when he needs them. He goes to the groomer to be groomed. I think I made a good decison when I got Wickett.

And no, I dont think that Germans can teach us how to breed the "perfect Yorkie". And that was not the point I was trying to make. The point I was trying to make was---that they have a system set aside that prevents puppy mills. They are able to regualate how many puppies are produced. They visit the breeders and ensure that the dogs are kept in sanitary conditons. The breeder I chose was a vet. He kept his dogs in a house that I would have considered living in! They had all the comforts of home, including a tv! This house was only for his dogs. Germans are very protective of thier dogs and will allow a dog where they will not allow a child. I learned alot living over there. And sometimes it doesnt hurt to see how others do things and maybe learn from them.

I did not mean to imply that what you do on this forum is nothing. I just wondered if there was more that could be done. I am the type of person that when I belive so strongly in a cause that I do something about it. I stand up. I educate people. I show them that my cause is worth believing in.

I checked here in SA and we do not have GP's at the shelter. They only accept dogs and cats. Exotics are usually listed on Craigslist or they are turned over to a vet who will try to place them.

I am sorry that most of you have had to experience first hand the problems with over population. Most people do not know that there are litterly thousands of GP's out there that no one wants and they go to the petstore and buy one. I made some suggetions as to possible solutions and they were all shot down. Some with with valid points. Some with out. We need to be part of a solution to find a way to prevent unwanted GP's.

Again, I am sorry if I upset a few of you. That was never my intention.
 

salana

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I seemed to have ruffled quite alot of feathers. I want you to know that was not my intention. My only thought was to tell you that not all petstores are evil. There are 2 sides to every cause. I can see yours. But you dont seem to want to see mine. Thats fine. I can respect your views. Please respect mine.

Are yours based on facts, like ours? How do your views accomodate pet mills, overpopulation, and the enormous number of almost every kind of animal dumped at shelters and rescues every day?

I chose a Yorkie, cause all my life that is the dog I wanted. I saved up the money, found a breeder and bought my dog. He has been the most spoiled dog on the face of the earth. This dog as more air-miles then most people. When I travel, he goes to. I stay in pet friendly hotels or I dont go. He is chipped and gets medical treatment and shots when he needs them. He goes to the groomer to be groomed. I think I made a good decison when I got Wickett.

What does supporting a breeder have to do with that? Are you saying that you couldn't treat a rescue or shelter dog well? There are plenty of Yorkies needing homes. There are plenty of rescues that have nothing but Yorkies.
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And no, I dont think that Germans can teach us how to breed the "perfect Yorkie". And that was not the point I was trying to make. The point I was trying to make was---that they have a system set aside that prevents puppy mills. They are able to regualate how many puppies are produced. They visit the breeders and ensure that the dogs are kept in sanitary conditons. The breeder I chose was a vet. He kept his dogs in a house that I would have considered living in! They had all the comforts of home, including a tv! This house was only for his dogs. Germans are very protective of thier dogs and will allow a dog where they will not allow a child. I learned alot living over there. And sometimes it doesnt hurt to see how others do things and maybe learn from them.

That's nice. I'm not in Germany and you're not either. The animal rights laws they have in Germany (which I agree are much better than in the US) don't affect the situation here. It's still irresponsible to support breeders in the face of US overpopulation and pet mills.

I did not mean to imply that what you do on this forum is nothing. I just wondered if there was more that could be done. I am the type of person that when I belive so strongly in a cause that I do something about it. I stand up. I educate people. I show them that my cause is worth believing in.

Good. Try volunteering for a rescue or shelter. Try educating people around you.

I checked here in SA and we do not have GP's at the shelter. They only accept dogs and cats. Exotics are usually listed on Craigslist or they are turned over to a vet who will try to place them.

So there IS an overpopulation--they just wind up on Craigslist and the vets' offices. Plus, there's some in Austin.
http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/TX727.html

I am sorry that most of you have had to experience first hand the problems with over population. Most people do not know that there are litterly thousands of GP's out there that no one wants and they go to the petstore and buy one.

This is where you come in. Think of some great ways to educate people!

I made some suggetions as to possible solutions and they were all shot down. Some with with valid points. Some with out. We need to be part of a solution to find a way to prevent unwanted GP's.

That's what we're all trying to do. And part of that solution is not supporting pet stores that sell them.
 

seagirl96

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Salana's right, this is where you step up to the plate. Salana does a lot of work to educate people and she's done wonders with lethals. I believe that all of our moderators are involved in rescue work of different types and they have given us an incredible resource in the form of this forum which has educated who knows how many people, including myself.

I haven't done as much but I have made a pest of myself at Petsmart, Petco and Animal City, checking on their piggies and reporting problems to the Humane Society & ASPCA. I have six rescued piggies and I have found a pet store that sells only supplies so I can spend my money there. I am teaching my daughter & her friends about pet store pets vs. adoptions and the proper way to care for pets. I have spoken to strangers in pet stores about how & where to adopt. I also(hee hee) go on a cavies for sale web group and keep telling people to look on petfinder.com. I just did that again tonight. So far they haven't kicked me off!

Now ask yourself what you have done and what else you can do. You obviously care and I'm sure you'll have some good ideas for ways to help.
 

rabbitsncavyluv

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You do know that Marshall's is a big bad ferret mill, right? They also operate a rabbit mill now. Why are puppy mills bad but small animals supplied by pet mills to Petno, Petstupid and other pet stores are okay??? I don't get it.
 

rabbitsncavyluv

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The shelters near you probably turn away all small animals or euthanize them upon entry. There are homeless guinea pigs near you if you would look.

By the way, just because the guinea pigs are labelled as males, doesn't mean they are. They frequently missex them, which is why so many people end up with breeding or pregnant pigs.
 

Res Judicata

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We seem to think "smarter" and longer-lived animals deserve better treatment than those who don't live as long or are labled "stupid." The attitude I see exhibited around my little part of the country is that it's ok to not care as well for a caged pet as a dog or cat because they only live for a couple of years. It's ok that we have small, muddy feedlots full of cattle who would be much more happy in a large field of grass because they're just a bunch of dumb cows. Whether a pet has a lifespan of lives 2 years or 20, it still deserves the best life possible. And while I don't know that much about a cow's brain power, even if it is a dumb as a box of rocks it deserves a happy, healthy life, too.
 

mommyoffive

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People come into petsmart to buy their children hamsters for their birthday and they ask for the one who wont live the longest because they simple dont care. They ask why they cant get pine bedding because its only 3.99. They look at browns tropical mix and say hey thats cheap "it" will eat anything right? It makes me so sickened when I have to sell an animal to people like that but I have to because "we cannot reserve the right to deny anyone of MECHANDISE." And just like Res Judicata said people do not care about animals with either the short attention spans or short lifes. Its just sad how animals can get into the hands of people like that.
 

mommyoffive

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You do know that Marshall's is a big bad ferret mill, right? They also operate a rabbit mill now. Why are puppy mills bad but small animals supplied by pet mills to Petno, Petstupid and other pet stores are okay??? I don't get it.

Wow I was just reading on Marshalls website and they say that they "ship" ferretts every weeks. Its so stupid and irritating how animals are treated as a peice of cargo.
 

Sopher7132

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I may be a bit off topic from what you all are talking about NOW in the thread but I did not want to start a new one.
I was inside Petco today to purchase some bedding for my pigs. As I was looking at the guinea pigs, they had their hay and veggies and what not, I was actually thinking oh well thats a start, then of coarse an employee had to ruin it. I went in there a while ago to see if somebody could sex my guinea pig because I got worried because she was starting to try and mount my girls. NOBODY knew how to do it even though the district manager had told me before that everybody who works at petco are considered "animal experts." Well this employee asked me if I got her sexed and I said yes I took her to my vet the next day, and he said how he brought a guinea pig home (form his store) and he was told it was a girl. What do you know, it wasn't. The male pig got his female pig pregnant and she died.

I told him that that seems to happen frequently with pet stores especially since HE didnt know how to sex a guinea pig. I told him that guinea pigs no matter their age can die from a pregnancy. I told him that the pelvic bones on the females fuse together as they age and can cause serious problems. He did not even know what I was talking about. He had never heard that guinea pigs can die from a pregnancy.

I was unbelievably shocked. I got so angry that I just did not want to even buy anything from them and give them any sort of profit. From now on, I'm buying my supplies for the pigs online than from any store that sells animals. I don't even want to think about how they treat the animals there behind closed doors since they do know even know basic things about guinea pigs.

Also, Feather N Coco, there is a huge guinea pig rescue in Texas, which i believe is where you live. Here is the website
Texas Rustlers Guinea Pig Rescue As of right now there are 200 guinea pigs waiting for a home there. So check them out!
 
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