My name is Tori. When I turned 18 on September 18th, I started working for Debby's Pet Land on September 19th. I was REALLY excited because I love dogs. It seemed like an easy job and paid A LOT! I was REALLY good at my job. I sold more dogs than anyone and made the most in commissions. I thought this was fantastic at first..then I started to realize what was going on there.
There is a quarantine room in the back for sick dogs, and a quarantine room for dogs that have been returned for what ever reason. In the front of the store there are 25 cages for the dogs. Yes cages, metal cages. The puppies look like they are in jail. Most of the dogs were WAY too big for them too. Dogs such as Bull Mastiffs, Saint Bernards, Akitas & etc. were locked up with barely enough room to turn around..and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
In the back quarantine room for sick dogs there were 8 cages and usually 2 dogs to a cage. YEA! Great idea. Lets put 2 sick dogs together that have two different illnesses so they can continue to pass them back and forth to eachother. Idiots. That was the first mistake. BIGGEST mistake was enforced by the owner, a complete a*****e, Chris. He wanted the store to look immaculate, there for everyone busted a*s out front. Because we were under staffed the back with the sick dogs got neglected. There was a time where the kennels back there didn't get cleaned for literally 48 f***ing hours. I had to do it myself and that wasn't even my job, it was a kennel workers job. What a quality idea huh? Let sick dogs that already feel like s**t lay around IN THEIR s**t!
When cleaning the back room the other week, I found dead mice and crickets behind the nebulizer. The nebulizer is what pumps the 'clean' air into the quarantine room. NO WONDER THESE DOG REMAIN SICK! It is revolting.
Many people blame the dogs illness's on Dr. Mark Verbin. Honestly, they really shouldn't. It is TOTALLY and completely the employees fault. A majority of that is because Chris, the owner, gives us a s**t space to work with and inadiquate supplies that we NEED!
As a matter of fact an article on NoPuppyMills.com about Dr. Verbin has a quote from the former president of the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association Wendy Emerson who was investigating the sick dogs in pet shops. She says "I know there are bad veterinarians out there, but I don't think this is the veterinary profession's fault." Here is the rest of the article..
"Offered meager pay, no exam area or equipment and plenty of pressure from the store's owner to pass animals, Emerson says she was left to improvise on many occasions. 'I brought my own stethoscope, thermometer, and set up an exam table on a box,' she says. "It's not like you do blood work or take x-rays. You don't even have a microscope to do a fecal on these animals. Basically you examine these animals for frank signs of ill health. Even when I would find something, the owners would get angry with me if I wouldn't pass a puppy on hold. The pet store ties your hands."
Emerson adds, "Even if I would find something and then prescribe an appropriate treatment, these animals were kept at the pet store; any quarantine was woefully inadequate."
--DMV Magazine, February 1, 2005, article by Jennifer Fiala.
No one likes to give shots or try and shove pills down the dogs throats..so they just initial the med books and say they did. It really is a pain in the a*s to shove a horse pill down a Pomeranians throat, or give a Bull Mastiff 10 cc of Panacur using 1 cc syringes. No one wants to do it. BUT IT'S THEIR JOB! It's not like working at a clothing department where you can slack off. These dogs lives depend on us the employees.
Dr. Verbin is a great guy. A lot of people dislike him, but I love 'em and think he is under appreciated. I think others dislike him because he 'yells' at people when they @#$% up with the dogs. Every Monday when he comes in to do a vet check I learn more and more from him. He trained me to give shots & IV's. Which I had to do a few times in the 6 weeks I worked there. The day before I got fired I had to give a Japanese Chin that was puking up coffee ground looking blood 150 ML Sub Q fluids and two shots.
Dr. Verbin checks all the dogs thoroughly. He fails a couple dogs a week. If a dog is sick, he writes out what actions should be taken and what antibiotics to put the dog on. What happens from there is up to the employees. An American Eskimo failed but was never moved into quarantine and was sold sick. When the Sales Associate was going over the paper work and was showing the buyer the medical records he should have noticed that, but he didn't. The dog went home really sick, and was returned and exchanged for another dog that night.
I unlike other employees didn't wait until every Monday for him to check the dogs if they looked sick. On a Wednesday if I saw a bulldog with a runny nose or a Pekingese sneezing, I would call him. I was directed on what to do, and I did it. Since he is the Vet for a number of stores, it is impossible for him to come in and look at EVERY dog that might be sick but he came in on random days when we were really worried about certain dogs.
I am very proud of myself as a matter of fact for how well I helped those dogs. I now because of him know what '50mg Doxy POBID #14 7 days' means, how to give MLs of Sub Q fluids and how to administer shots.
On down time I would go through every dog and cut their nails, clean their ears & eyes, groom them and bathe them every few days. No one else wanted to do it. Puppies get sick really easily, so if no one takes care of them, how are they supposed to remain healthy?!
So, you're probably wondering if I seemed to be such a great employee, why did I get fired? When a customer put a dog on hold, if there was a dog whose health was in question, I would tell them. I am not a Vet so I can't say for sure if the dog is sick. So I would give the option of putting the dog on hold until Dr. Verbin could get in to seeing the puppy. I REFUSE to sell someone a sick dog. Other people are there for the commissions, it's all about the money for most of them. I'd rather not sell a dog, see it quarantined and get better and sold a week later, to the same person, or someone else. I would tell people that were afraid to buy a pet shop puppy to go to a shelter and adopt one for $100. That turns away business. SO WHAT? As long as the family is happy with their animal, who cares where it comes from? I myself would never buy a pet shop puppy, especially after witnessing this bullshit. I will all through life adopt dogs from shelters. I honestly don't care for the 2 1/2 mo old little cute things. I want all my dogs to weigh more than me when full grown, so adopting a 1-2 yr old dog is not an issue, they have better immune systems then anyways.
Today I visited the store to see my former manager, someone I got along great with. Later after the manager left someone who bought a Lab there a year ago and spent over $3,000 in medical bills came and purchased an English Bulldog. Who went over the warranty with them and did all the paper work for the dog? ME! I DON'T EVEN WORK THERE ANYMORE!..but there was no one on shift that knew fully how to sell a dog. Legit the woman that 'sold' the dog didn't know how to fill out or file paperwork. Oh yea, also, no one told them that English Bulldogs are prone to get hip dysphasia. If you are going to buy a $3,500 dog you should be informed of that!
Although I miss the puppies, Dr. Verbin, my manager and the great pay..I am glad I no longer work there. I have applied to a few animal hospitals and pet stores that don't sell animals as high maintenance as puppies.
In conclusion, New England Pet Center - AKA - Debby's Pet Land sucks. I highly recommend NOT buying a dog from there..[ESPECIALLY the one in Kingston MA] and fully encourage taking legal action against NE Pet Center if you have been taken advantage of and lied to by them.
One of the biggest rules there was 'NEVER GIVE OUT CHRIS'S PERSONAL CELL PHONE NUMBER TO CUSTOMERS'. You know what, @#$% THAT GUY! Anyone that has beef with him and is sick of trying to get to him through the head quarters, call him directly. Tell him I gave you his number if you'd like. I honestly don't care. In return for that, I ask that no one blame Dr. Verbin for the sick dogs, as a former employee, I know who's fault it was for the ridiculous amounts of sick puppies, and that would be the employees.
[Chris's Personal Cell Number - 508-320-9853]