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Other Pets Debate Debate general pet topics here - PLEASE KEEP IT CIVIL!

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Old 12-13-2013, 01:00 PM United States
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PpunkTheHedgehog PpunkTheHedgehog is offline
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: St. Louis
Age: 26
Posts: 33
Hedgehogs: 1

I used to work for Petsmart, and while all Petsmarts operate differently, (it largely depends on the managers of the store, but who hires the managers?) I don't support the chain as a whole anymore. I desperately wish there was a store closer than an hour away that sold products for small animals and was locally owned. There were many things about Petsmart that I didn't like. The "factories" (as I like to call them) where many of them get their fish and small animals from are very horrific, and they often come in bad conditions. There are laws against puppy mills, there are no laws against the same conditions for fish, rodents, ext. Betta fish for example, come in a very small bag that has enough water in it for the fish to barely survive. We regularly got animals coming in that were dead, near dead, or sick, and all that was the protocol was to just send it back like the poor thing was just a bad piece of merchandise.

The employees, while many having their own pets, are not required to pass any sort of test. There is a sort of screening process, but it is VERY basic, and many of the people that worked there did not actually know much past making sure an animal has food and water. They don't really know what kind of fish go together, or what kind of cage animals need. They were very, very ignorant to the needs of hedgehogs there when I told them I had one, and the chinchillas there were always kept in a cage far too small. (they should have been in the large cage at the end of the isle, but were regularly kept in a smaller one) I tried to do my best research, and tried to interact with the customers as well as I could. I did tell a customer on multiple occasions that I didn't think they were ready for a pet yet, especially when they walked out with an animal and all their supplies needed, and still didn't have everything they needed. Or with a fish when their tank wasn't set up and ready to go yet, properly cycled, ext.

I once knew a guy that worked for Petco as a groomer. They did no background check or drug test, because then they would have found his incidents in jail and his marijuana, acid, and even cocaine use. This is someone that actively handles people's dogs and cats, with sharp clippers no less.

I eventually quit Petsmart when I disagreed with the handling of someone's bird when they brought it to the banfield vet that was attached. I am not an expert, but I have owned multiple birds in the past, I even fostered an Umbrella Cockatoo and rehabilitated him to go to a new, better home. I thought the little cockatiel had a fighting chance when the lady and her very young daughter came up to me asking what to do. I directed them to the vet attached, and sadly the bird was put down. Stress can be very detrimental to a bird's life, they are very fragile. But as I said, I thought he had a fighting chance.

The ONLY good thing about Petsmart in my opinion is that at least their puppies and kittens come from shelters. The cats are always there, and rotated either bi weekly or once a month I believe. The dogs come from different shelters every weekend. I highly believe in adopting dogs and cats especially, and will adopt from these events because Petsmart doesn't get any of that money

I'm sorry for the minirant guys. :c these large animal industries really bother me, but I don't get a chance to vent about it often. I hope I didn't outright offend anyone, these are just my personal experiences.
Rest In Peace Ppunk. We will always miss you, sweet, grumpy boy.

Welcome little Natalia! We look forward a long, happy life with you.

Last edited by PpunkTheHedgehog; 12-13-2013 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:24 PM United States
akane akane is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: North Liberty, IA
Posts: 516
Chinchillas: 9
Hedgehogs: 16

Like 10 years ago I reported our petland to a local group for their treatment of small animals. I've had no issue with them since. I like the open top cages. I haven't seen any harm come to the animals in them and they have cameras over some cages with signs about it to help prevent harmful handling or attempts to steal an animal. We play with the ferrets, capture a guinea pig, pet the rabbits, work with the birds on stepping up.... I had a huge macaw on my arm one time. Everyone walking by was kind of shocked because I am not very big and this bird was wrapping his feet all the way around my arm, towering over my head, and I was playing with him. He nicely stepped off when I was done. The conures are the ones you have to watch. They loooove attention and you will end up with 4 or 5 on you if you stand too close to the bird pens. They also like to chew on things so managing 4 or 5 biting birds is difficult and they won't get down. They do crowd their budgies a bit but I rarely see an injured one. They don't carry any birds that can't have their wings clipped so no finches. The few times we've bought a small animal from them it was healthy enough given it's unknown genetic background. They try to use local breeders for everything. Their kittens are rehabilitated strays and ferals with full testing, vaccinations, and veterinary care. Most of their puppies are in clean cages and happy, energetic, healthy looking things if insanely overpriced. They wanted to pay my friend $400, less than half her usual asking price, for her akita puppies and then sell them for $2000. Their fish are healthy looking aside from some of the feeder tanks and I've rarely had one die. I was selling congo tetra and paradise fish to them a few years ago when I had my big tanks set up.

Their products aren't bad either. The bird cages are spacious, the guinea pig cages are 4' long, they only have a few cages that I wouldn't put a hamster in, and they've upgraded their dog and cat food quite a bit from what it was. There are a few caging and tank options I disagree with but their controversial anyway. Such as I would never keep a betta in less than 5gallons after seeing how active mine could be in 30-55gallon community tanks. Tons of people have no problem with the ~2g tanks for bettas.

Now petco and petsmart are pathetic. They have crappy overpriced food, mill breeder animals shipped in from down south where they can raise them outside, and lots of tiny cage options. We gave in and bought a really cute little guinea pig from them to find it had a uri. I should have taken it to my exotics vet and eaten the cost but we went ahead giving it to petco for their vet to treat and it died. A uri with barely visible symptoms should have easily been treatable. The fish info is often wrong or they don't make sure you have a proper tank set up for them. We go there for carefresh when we have a hedgehog litter coming and that's it. We now buy all our supplies and food from the new feed store and the dog/cat bakery.

There is only one store that carries chins and hedgehogs around here and it's a mom and pop store. They have their own breeding pair of chins that they put in the back when the female is close to having a litter until the kits are a couple weeks old and then move them back to the display cage. They get 1 hedgehog at a time from local sources but I can't say I agree with their care of them so I'm glad they don't get them often. It was in a little tank with a tiny amount of shavings and an igloo with no cover so it got sunlight all day and saw all the people walking by. I feel sorry for hedgehogs that only have an uncovered igloo to sleep in instead of a proper dark place. They also had no heat on the tank. Overall though their animals are healthy and they have a ton of fish tanks It takes us a good hour to get through the store.. It's also the only place to get healthy gerbils. With no breeders around I tried a couple petsmart gerbils and they kept dying.

I've debated working at petland a few times but I don't think I could deal with all the idiots. I get frustrated enough with people who come to me as a breeder. My friend used to work at petland and I have to say everything was much tamer than it is now. Especially the birds. They quit getting in big birds because they had no one to work with them, most of their conures have been moved from the open top pens to large wire cages where people have to ask to hold one, and the cockatiels are all unfriendly now. I have to drive to the mom and pop store to play with birds now.
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