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What do people have against pet shops?


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Nov 10, 2011
I would like to no everyone's views on why they hate pet shops....so please do tell!!!
There's many reasons why I hate pet shops.

1. My experience has been that most of the staff is not knowledgable on the animals that the store carries. They know the bare minimum to get by, but could not give me sound advice if I really needed it.
2. How the animals are kept. We all know how big of a cage a guinea pig needs to thrive, and I know that space is an issue in pet stores, but they keep them in these cramped tanks and it's bad for their health.
3. Yes, I've purchased guinea pigs from pet stores. Both pigs I got had mites and I had to take them to the vet to get shots.
4. The place that they get the pets from. I doubt they get their pets from places where they take super nice care of them and then offer them to the pet store so that they can adopt them. Money is the name of the game, and the stores buy from mills, where animals are made to go through really bad conditions.
5. The brands they carry. I have to go all the way across town to a store that carries Oxbow hay. It irritates me that they carry all the junk and treats that guinea pigs really don't need. They carry tons of different kinds of pellets with different kinds of dried fruit fillers aka "treats" which just make your guinea pig fat. Unless you're buying Oxbow from the store, my experience with hay has been that it's not green and doesn't smell as fresh as it should. My guinea pigs let me know what they do and don't want to eat.
Hey avengedsoph! I actually got my first GP at the Pet Store close to 3 years. But a couple of months ago I found this website and got alot of knowledge about various pet shops! I mean the reason is when people buy piggies there they are practically supporting the operation mills and such. There are just so much of a selection of adopting GP who are abandoned Actually around the other day I was getting my dog some toys and treats when I saw the guinea pig section.. I looked close at them there were two males! When you have two males together in a small cage they get dominate and very aggressive so one was biting the other I then called a worker over and I explained what I saw.. She goes oh its fine they do it all the time like really!? another major thing is alot of these Petshop workers have no knowledge in animals and in my area sometimes I think they honestly don't care as long as they get their pay check there fine which is totally wrong.. Also the products are all just sugar and not close to healthy! There are just ALOT in the article actually on this site! Give it a try! :) Everything i would say is on that article lol!

Pet Stores and Guinea Pigs
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also why do people not go on the chat? ive seen loads of people online yet no one on chat...it makes me laugh xD
That's a good question also! Never noticed it till you mentioned it! lol!
yeah i go on there every other hour...not one person lol
Hey :3

I've actually worked at two petstores when I was younger, so I have some insight into what goes on behind closed doors. First off, some petstores ARE better than others (they provide more care, train their staff properly etc...), but even then, they are not the best places for an animal to live.

I started working at Petstore #1 (not sure if I am allowed to use names) when I was 15 years old, and neither I, nor the other "livestock" employees were trained. We were told to read the same pamphlets we were supposed to hand out to customers, and then (get this) GUESS or MAKE-UP the answers that would best facilitate the sale of an animal. Luckily my best friend and I were not ok with that, so we did a lot of research on our spare time. I ended up training 3 different managers in the year and a half I was there, because they were given the job without even a cursory knowledge of the animals/their needs. An example of how poorly trained (and lazy) the staff were at this place: one guy sold $80 worth of tropical fish and said they could live without a heater, and with goldfish. No. No they cannot. Needless to say, when half of the fish were brought back dead (the other half had been eaten), I had a few choice words with him.

The worst part of working at Petstore #1 was how the animals were treated. Animals were crammed in small cages by themselves, or worse, with dozens of others. You go to any petstore and you will see multiple hamsters in a single cage....hamsters (apart from those russian mini hamsters) are solitary animals and cannot live with other hamsters. Every morning we'd find dead hamsters, who had been attacked and eaten by the other animals (in large part because they were starving). The worst part (and the final straw when I quit the first time) was when I was instructed to beat a hamster to death because it had wet-tail. I refused, and told them I would quit if they made me do it. Unfortunately, my manager put the hamster in a plastic bag, beat it against the wall, and finally had to jump on it 6-7 times before it actually died. I was only 16, and looking back, I should have reported him to the police for that.

I than went to Petstore #2, and they treated their animals a lot better. Their cages were still WAY too small, and the other employees weren't at all knowledgeable, but compared to Petstore #1 they had it a lot better (which isn't saying much, to be fair).

I decided, when I was 18, to go back to Petstore #1 as a manager (taking a year off before university) and I quit after 2 weeks because I refused to engage in, and indulge the company's policy of animal abuse and neglect. When I first started working there (hoping to fix all the problems I saw when I first started working there), I realized none of the cages had been cleaned for at least 2 months (they should be cleaned daily). I spent 10 hours cleaning 8 cages, because the amount of urine soaked bedding that had been piled on top of the other urine soaked bedding had literally become like a mound of cement. Animals had URI, eye infections, raw skin etc.. because they were forced to live in there. I found mummified animals, animals that had turned to leather etc...in the layers of filth. None of the animals had toys, and most didn't even have little hidey-homes. I finally quit because (among other reasons) the manager for the entire district came in and decided we had to many russian mini hamsters, scooped a bunch of them up into a bag, and then placed them in the freezer to die. On my last day there, I gave away a bunch of animals (which is a crime, but I know it was the right thing) and filed their paperwork as "deceased" so the company wouldn't know.

I'm happy I was able to help out, at least for a bit, some of the animals there. I'm also glad I was able to educate owners and some of the staff. That being said though, the things I witnessed on a daily basis is inexcusable, and should be reported more often than I know they are. Animals are placed in back rooms and left to die, Petstore #1 never took their animals to a vet (and I watched a lot of animals die slow, painful deaths because of it, and I don't doubt many more than what I witnessed were murdered so they stopped being an inconvenience). I think everyone should think twice before buying anything at large chain petstores. Unfortunately though, it's always a loose-loose situation for the animals--you don't buy them, they sometimes "disappear" or "get sick" or are forced to live their whole lives being shipped from one store to another until someone purchases them. If you DO buy them, you leave an empty space for another animal to endure the misery of petstore life. Always tough.
Go on petsmartcruelty.com
watch the video, it's so sad):
My pigs are both from a pet store however they are both thankfully healthy and happy. The store they were purchased from was knowledgeable and clean (they even pointed out they had more GPs in the back but couldn't display them because the cage was too small for a bunch or piggies). They also recommended a vet and also will accept any animal back at any time to have it adopted out, and do have an in store adoption program.

However another local store I was at had about 8 piggies huddled together in one pigloo. I asked the sex of their piggies hoping I could save at least one. Their small animal "specialist" told me they couldn't determine or guarantee gender. I said nevermind and walked straight out of the store.
Lanolin: Dis your manager do that in front of you?? I can't even imagine someone killing a little helpless hamster, much less being that physically violent about it!

I am glad someone posted and asked, I've been wondering why everyone on here hates pet stores too. I got my guinea pig on Craigslist, but I want a second one (of course) and I'm still waiting for a female one to show up on craigslist. All the rescues are far away and the guinea pigs are more expensive.

So whenever I walk in petsmart I'm like aw, soo cute, RESIST THE CUTENESS! I have been :D. But it's difficult lol.
because they treat animals like objects instead of living things and will sell it to ANYONE. Most don't even have good knowledge of the animals they're selling.
I kept searching on google and couldn't find any picture proof or videos, then I searched YouTube and found this:
If you have read anything on this site you would understand why.
Read PetSmart Cruelty.

Both Petco and Petsmart have been sued by PETA for the abominable way they treat their animals.

If you'd been active on any exotic animal forum a couple of years ago, you'd have known about the raids at Rainbow World Exotics, one of Petsmart's major suppliers. Here's what the PETA website says:
PETA's investigation of a massive breeding mill and one of PetSmart's main animal suppliers, Rainbow World Exotics in Hamilton, Texas, also revealed that live animals were thrown into the trash, were deprived of desperately needed veterinary care, were suffering and dying alone in their cages, and were cannibalizing each other; that rabbits underwent crude neuter surgeries at the hands of a layperson in a filthy, dark room; and more.

Here's their comment about guinea pigs:
Many animals were denied veterinary care, including ferrets with rectal prolapses, a guinea pig with a broken hip, hamsters with potentially deadly wet tail, and animals injured in fights with cagemates. In fact, in her more than two months of employment, PETA's investigator never saw a veterinarian visit the facility!

If you want to see the pictures, look here: PetSmart Cruelty // Photo Gallery.
ArabianMagicat: Yes, the managers mentioned did all of this in front of me. I was really mad at my best friend about the hamster thing. She was off-duty that day, but was in there visiting me when the manager told me to murder the hamster. I refused and my best friend said she'd do it (I know she wanted to put it out of its misery, because it was suffering horribly at that point) and she was the one who hit him against the brick wall. I think she thought it would die the first smack, but it didn't. She freaked out and kept doing it, but the little guy still didn't die. My manager finally took it and jumped on it. It was horrible. I left my shift early that day, and didn't go back for a week. I was only 16 at the time, and even though I knew it was animal cruelty at its worst, I didn't realize I had the ability to do anything, since animals were treated like that all the time. The manager who killed the hamster actually went a jail a few months later for sexually assaulting someone :S Shows how high the standard for employment at that place was!
I feel so sorry for all those animals Lanolin. Hopefully they have a good manager now and are in better conditions. I cannot even imagine feezing them to death. I would rip them out of that freezer and take them to some animals shelter. :( I used to love petsmart...it looked so good but now I know. What is wet tail?
My very first guinea pig I purchased at a pet store. It lived long enough for me to get completely attached to it, and then died of a URI. Even after vet care. I watched it fall apart in my arms. Altogether it was less than two weeks that she survived. The sad thing was the pet store made me bring it back if I wanted a refund....and it broke my heart because I knew they would just be tossing this animal that I loved in the dump like some old meat.
Like it has been mentioned before, pet stores have NO knowledge of the pets they are selling. When I asked an associate about the guinea pig's health, demeanor, etc. she said that she didn't know bc the animals sold so fast. So if the animals have any existing issues they really don't take the time to diagnosis it or care for it because they sell them about as soon as they arrive.
Furthermore, the stores are not trying to sell animals. They make their money selling SUPPLIES. So they don't really care about the animals, they are just products and a means to make future dollars. And the products they sell are often not recommended for the pets anyways! For example, PetSmart sells yogurt drops, treats with seeds and nuts, and Cedar Bedding as guinea pig supplies!!! Even though everywhere you look for information these things are highly UNrecommended and considered dangerous.
Not to mention the treatment of the animals.....
There is just so much wrong with the pet store mentality.
Wet tail comes from when they get diarrhea. I have hamsters and it's a big concern with them bc it can get deadly quickly.
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