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The ignorance of pet store employees

Kiyisha

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First off let me say not *all* pet store employee's are bad, in my recent time I have met at least a couple nice ladys who knew what they were talking about, genuinely cared about the animals. But of course, the morons stick out more than the saints, so here was my weekend.

Upon being THAT customer with smallpetselect (you know the one who needs the schedule and save every 9 weeks instead of every 8 or 10, I figured we'd just stretch to 10 and run out of pellets, suppliment with some pet store ones until the new order comes in, as they'd only really have to suffer a couple days without the good ones. So we made the trip to the pet store, the second I walked in I saw guinea pigs, rabbits, hampsters, all on a table seeking adoption, full grown babies in need of a good home, so naturally I wander my way over there, I'm a sucker for rescue babies.

As I'm looking over this adorable little piggy with long black hair and talking to this cute little boy of the parent talking to a employee about guinea pigs, I turn my attention the employee and kind of hone in on the advice he's giving her. My hackles were instantly raised. The conversation went something like this.

Unknowledgable Mother of 5 small children (all huddled at her legs) : Do they need a cage mate?
Employee: Nah just give him lots of attention, he'd be great with children
Mom: Oh ok, well how big of a cage should I get?
Employee: (Looking over the 2sq foot cage he's in now, a tiny pet store cage) I wouldn't go smaller than that
Mom: *nods* and looks over the piggy then her kids
Me: Um.... Actually, you can't cage them alone, unless it's a special case...because most guinea pigs get depressed and lonely alone, some even stop eating and... (I trail off - getting a very irritated look that I ignore from the employee)
Me: (ignoring the look I continue) And each pig needs 7.5 sq feet of run space, add - (Was getting ready to say add 2sq feet per pig)
Annoyed Employee: (Throws his hand up at me and in a menacing tone) I got this.

I turn around and give him a seething glare, because not only is he giving this mother the completely wrong advice about this guinea pig who has already been homed AT LEAST ONCE - and is looking for another forever home, the completely wrong advice. Guinea pigs are not good children pets, they are high maintenance, we all know this. I bust my butt taking care of my boys in excruciating pain weekly because of the deterioration in my back, but they're not the kind of pet you can *put off* until you feel better. I'm getting mad.

Me: Wow, way to put the health of the animals first. (Shaking and seething with anger I turn and march quickly over to the guinea pig pellets where my husband is, and try to calm down.

On my way to the pellets I bump into a very sweet employee who see's immediately how pissed off I am, she pulls me aside and we talk about it, she talks about her 2 boys at home, and her pets she adores and obviously takes well care of. She shares her anger with me that he is putting these animals in another potential situation to be abandoned because he's not giving them good advice at all.

So, on my way out, pleased and calmed down from talking to the sweet employee, I asked her for his name, and a number to call to have this employee fired, reamed, SOMETHING. Oh and I willlll be calling back to make sure something is done about this guy. First - the lying about the animals was bad enough, but to be rude to a customer who jumps in and is 100% trying to help the ANIMALS (what it's ALL about) ...uh uh, nope. Not gonna be ok, so I'm waiting for my phone to be turned back on today, and I'm super eagerly awaiting the chance to speak with someone up on the foodchain about this person.

I know that jumping in and dealing with one person won't make a huge difference about pet stores, but god da**it, I'm not going to sit by and do nothing. So why not take that chance right? If I can get ONE employee taken care of for not doing his job right, then heck, maybe one at a time we can change something here and there. If nothing else, maybe they'll get someone who cares about the abandoned animals to get them GOOD new homes, and not just stick them in anywhere you can just to get rid of them. There's rehoming, then there's rehoming with the intent that they never be rehomed again.

End rant : I just felt this worthy of sharing
 

Lilpiggies

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

It's sad that people are misled by people working at a petstore.

I just wanted to say I have 3 kids and I think the piggies make great pets with adult supervision and adults care.
 

Kiyisha

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

I agree wholeheartedly with you, if I wasn't eager for the task of my boys when I got them from the pet store last jan, then I would have been one of those people to give up on their pet and find them a new home... Because indeed these pets are a LOT of work, and as a pet store employee they should be finding them a good home...not setting them up under false pretenses!
 

CharScoobJoey

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

How frustrating. :--( Unfortunately, that story seems to apply to my local pet stores as well. Sometimes I wish that I could just chunk all of the tiny guinea pig cages out the window.
 

LoveMyHerd

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

I know how you feel, @Kiyisha. It makes me so angry...

The last time I went to a pet store, I saw a young guinea pig, no bigger than my piggy Twilla. The poor thing was terrified. And no wonder. It was housed next to a 19 ft. long python. Are you serious, people? A python! Next to the guinea pig. What could possibly go wrong there? On top of that, the poor animal was in a "My first home" cage with no place to run or hide.
And let's not even get started on the poor python. Let's just say that the creature couldn't even move in the horrible "habitat" he/she was in.

How can people think this is alright? How? Haven't any of them ever put themselves in the animal's shoes? Taken from three weeks old or less, shipped in a horribly filthy crate with dozens of other, possibly dying or dead, animals. Then put into a glass box with others of a different gender, and (if you're a female), having a 99% chance of impregnation, because of missexing. Then, being picked from the bunch by a little child (not that I have anything against little children, but their parents should know MUCH better) and being taken to another small cage where you'll live out your days in depression, never seeing your own kind, never eating the right kind of food, or having enough exercise. What a sad, pitiful existence. And all this because somebody "wanted to make a little money," or "thought it'd be an educational experience," or "aww, but babies are so cute!" Please. This has to stop.
 
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Kiyisha

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

[MENTION=33116]LoveMyHerd[/MENTION] Oh my gosh..................wtf.........next to a PYTHON!? Good grief, I would have raised hell!

*sighs* it's ...disgusting to say the least, and it genuinely hurts me to see this happening, I want to do so much, but there's so little I can do. On another note, the phones have been turned back on, Hubby just went to work, I'm now free to make my phone call about that employee, and I'm going to get right to it! I'll let you guys know what they say
 

Kiyisha

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

I just got off the phone with petsmart headquarters, I gave them all of the information, including all of my contact info. I should hear something back in 3-5 days. Never in my life have I EVER called and reported someone because they made me mad or gave me bad customer service. Not until today, but I can't find myself feeling even the slightest bit of guilt for reporting him, he should be doing a better job.

I assured them when I gave them the story of what happened that if nothing was done about this person I would happily take it to media. I'll bomb local news stations and everything if I have to, idk if its big enough to make an important story, but I will sure as heck try. I wanted to make sure they knew I meant business.

I'm very eagerly awaiting the call, I don't particularly care to hear what is done about him, I just want to hear that something was done, preferably something more than a slap on the wrist.

Where do pet stores go so wrong? It's a place you're supposed to buy pets and give them a good and happy home, it makes me sad that this business is so much more about the money than it is about the animals. They suffer, physically, emotionally, they SUFFER, for MONEY.

I'm so disgusted right now, I'm going to go distract myself with something til I cool down. I'm just so MAD that they treat animals like this! WHY!? What good is it!? How does it help ANYONE!? You can STILL get the money out of the animals while keeping their best interest at mind right? SURELY it can be done......

*sighs* so sorry about the rant I'm just so frustrated :(
 

aqh88

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

I would point out that groups like the aspca has even raised their cage size from 4sq ft to 8sq ft for guinea pigs. Then threaten to report them. I'm sure they get plenty of calls from people who want far more done for the animals than the people who run the company think is necessary. I doubt they listen to them all. Probably write most off as those crazy people who treat pets like children. If it looks like more than just one person's opinion though they are more likely to take things seriously. I got a store here in a lot of trouble once by getting organizations to complain instead of my individual opinion.
 

lunarminx

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

I highly doubt the sale guy will lose his job from your complaint. As far as they are concerned, he did fine. He will be selling a single pig and all the goodies that go with it, including a small over priced cage they make a large profit on.
 

CCandPud

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

I got into an argument with one of my fellow employees once because she knew nothing about the animals she was casually selling people :/ I took a job at my local petstore because I really care about animals and what kinda of homes there going to. I love working with the people who come in that are actually really curious and love learning about the animals there interested in. And if I don't know something I look it up.. It's not that hard to hope on a computer >-< but this girl made me so mad! She'd sell wheels and balls with the guinea pigs and when I explained to her that they really shouldn't have that stuff it's horrid for there backs and can really hurt them her response was "why do you care. It's not your pet and I just sold two more items then you would have. You're welcome"

There are some people who really care about the animals that they work with and then there are some who don't even think about them as living :/ I wish employers made it mandatory to know about the animals. You can't work at a car shop without knowing how to fix a car :/ why can you work at a petstore without knowing at least basic know how about the animals.
 

animalmadlover

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

Gosh, that guy sounds like he only cares about getting money from selling a guinea pig rather then the care of the actual guinea pig!
I wonder whether the woman and children brought the guinea pig after all???
 

Pinny Gig

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

For this reason alone I cannot go into pet stores that sell any animals. I have to work a little harder sometimes to get things I need (especially when my large bins of hay disappear) but supporting any stores like this/their employees is what keeps them from disappearing.


On the other hand I commend you for speaking out and trying to educate people about guinea pigs. Every little bit helps and sometimes the truth does cut through the ignorance.
 

ClemmyOddieIndy

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

Okay, I hate to be the downer... but they're not going to care. PetSmart has such a high turnover rate unless the employee violated a law they won't fire him. I worked at PetSmart for 3 years, and I saw many people given horrible advice. It's not because the employees are malicious, it's because they get minimal training. Unless they have the animals and have done their own research, they're going to give some bad advice. I have to admit, I have given bad advice too.

Just to tell you how unlikely it is for him to get fired, I once had a female coworker shout at me across the store in front of customers about how one of my other male coworkers made his girlfriend get an abortion. The male co-worker kept saying "I don't even have a girlfriend!". This same coworker told people they could house male bettas together in a 1g tank as long as they had a female in the tank too. She started stories about coworkers saying they were having an affair. She told customers and coworkers intimate details about her life. She swore, yelled at customers and talked smack about managers to their face. She worked there for 4 years, and was never threatened with firing. She quit when she moved. The ONLY time I've seen people get fired is for drugs or sexual harassment.

ETA: So, if you're a female if you say, "he was staring at my 'girls' while giving bad advice" then he might get fired.
 

Kiyisha

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

Well... That's disheartening... *sighs* I had hoped I had done some good today but I guess nothing will come of it.

And I can't actually call ASPCA on them about the guinea pigs because they're not in perminate housing....so it looks like there's nothing I can do here. The good news though? That lady did NOT get the guinea pig, she did walk away, I think she realized he was being a moron after the way he acted towards me.
 

Kiyisha

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

My hubby is always praising what a awesome animal guinea pigs are, but we in no way shape or form let it be known that they are "easy" as this guy did. I'm glad that mother walked away because there is no way that piggy would have been happy in his 2ft cage with children bothering him 24/7 and no cagemate for companionship :(
 

ClemmyOddieIndy

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

Well... That's disheartening... *sighs* I had hoped I had done some good today but I guess nothing will come of it.

Not on that end, nothing will come of it... BUT you did help education someone (the woman customer) and that is some good.
 

Kiyisha

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

[MENTION=27350]ClemmyOddieIndy[/MENTION] :) thank you, never thought of it that way!

Now if only I could get my boys to stop fighting all of a sudden, that'd be great
 

Lizzieball12

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

Okay, I hate to be the downer... but they're not going to care. PetSmart has such a high turnover rate unless the employee violated a law they won't fire him. I worked at PetSmart for 3 years, and I saw many people given horrible advice. It's not because the employees are malicious, it's because they get minimal training. Unless they have the animals and have done their own research, they're going to give some bad advice. I have to admit, I have given bad advice too.

Just to tell you how unlikely it is for him to get fired, I once had a female coworker shout at me across the store in front of customers about how one of my other male coworkers made his girlfriend get an abortion. The male co-worker kept saying "I don't even have a girlfriend!". This same coworker told people they could house male bettas together in a 1g tank as long as they had a female in the tank too. She started stories about coworkers saying they were having an affair. She told customers and coworkers intimate details about her life. She swore, yelled at customers and talked smack about managers to their face. She worked there for 4 years, and was never threatened with firing. She quit when she moved. The ONLY time I've seen people get fired is for drugs or sexual harassment.

ETA: So, if you're a female if you say, "he was staring at my 'girls' while giving bad advice" then he might get fired.

I can vouch for this. I currently work at PetSmart. What's really sad is that the good employees dislike their fellow "bad" employees. Not only because we get to hear about it from the customers, but because we get lumped in with them. I've had many upset customers because someone told them something that was wrong and then they think I'm stupid because I'm telling them something different now. I've gotten in trouble because the "closers" were sucking around our store. I was doing fine, but I got lumped into the closing category because I normally had closing shifts, and got punished too. I'm sure it's not just pet stores that have this issue, but I feel like it's where it sticks out most.
 

BaconAndEggs

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

This infuriates me.
I'm not really surprised, just infuriated. What is wrong with people? My family never gets pets from pet stores anymore, especially because the one hamster I got was pregnant. One day, I went in, and I had nine baby hamsters! The poor girl died a year later from cancer (I had no idea that hamsters could get cancer).

Anyway, even if you complain, pet stores don't care. They just want the money. Why else would there be so many breeding mills? It seems like about 15% of the world's population actually cares. Whenever I go into pet stores, I go into the guinea pig isle and turn around all of the "Guinea Pig Cages; Perfect for 1-2 guinea pigs!" I know it won't help, but if I could give just one person the correct advice on how to care for a guinea pig... I'd be the happiest person in the world. Sadly, it seems like humans are going down the path to complete animal cruelity.
 

Kiyisha

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Re: The ignorance of pet store employees - may cost him his job

[MENTION=33364]BaconAndEggs[/MENTION] I couldn't agree more, but don't give up hope quite yet. There's a lot still to be seen, I admit I go to the pet store quite often, it's easy and convenient for my hampster and gerbil items. We often go look for treats or something special for them to play in or something along those lines, to be frank it's just more fun to see that kind of stuff irl than it is to shop on amazon I guess. Point is, I see a lot of employee's, I talk to a lot of different people at my local stores, very rarely if ever do I see the same employee and you know what? Most of the ones I have met and actually talked to are in it for the animals, they are knowledgeable and give the proper advice (which I found when I went home and started researching myself)

There are the few, for example, the one I explained in this thread, and of course the other employee who gave me 100% wrong information about my piggies, convinced us to buy a $50 or so cage which was MAYBE 2 1/2 square feet. Only slightly bigger than the cage the person I spoke to at petsmart was telling the mom she could have for her pig.

So yeah, there are some bad apples in the bunch...the mills disgust me, I am literally sick to my stomach even thinking of them because I was stupid enough to click on a video someone posted here and actually SAW them, now I have nightmares. The worst part is I'm a disabled housewife with no ability to really make a difference, no money to offer to support, no way to work or go protest. I can only speak up online really...It sucks because I wish I could make some sort of difference, but the only difference I can make is the small ones by trying to offer my boys the best life possible.

There are a lot of us animal lovers out there, and a lot of them are workers at petsmart for the very purpose of protecting the animals, I'm disgusted by pet stores, but there's hope for us yet. It seems based on the ratio of knowledgeable people I've talked to vs the idiots I encounter at pet stores, the ones that are truly there for the animals tend to out number

@Lizzeball12 Well when I called and reported this guy I made sure that they knew that everyone else that I talked to while I was there was FANTASTIC with customer service, I also let them know it was the first time in my life I had ever called to report someone, and that's how serious this was to me. I know he probably won't listen, but i'm still going to follow up, you never know unless you try! I just wanted to make sure that I didn't bring down any other employees with him, cause it wasn't the store or anyone else I had a problem with.
 
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