• Report: #339422
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Wed, June 11, 2008
  • Updated: Tue, July 10, 2012

  • Reported By:AllCities Georgia
North Georgia Market Atlanta, Douglasville, Snellville, Duluth, Buford, Acworth, , Georgia U.S.A.

Petco I agree! Petco does exploit their employees and does not give them time to care for living creatures! Atlanta, Douglasville, Snellville, Duluth, Buford, Acworth, Marietta Georgia

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: former employee

*UPDATE Employee: It is not a bottle of poison.

*Consumer Suggestion: more truth in the OP

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Okay.

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I completely agree with the post on 6-5-08 - "Where Animals Come First" - what a crock.

As a former manager I realized during training that Petco could give a crap in regards to the health and welfare of the birds, small animals, reptiles, and fish that are carried in the store.

My training consisted of 8 weeks of doing stock and planograms in a rat infested store. We were not taught the fundamentals of how to care for anything at anytime, and their concept of "the wellness room" is but a cruel joke. The "wellness" room is basically an out of the way area not available to customers where they put every living creature that is sick, oftentimes never taking them to the vet as it is "too expensive".

I was then sent to a store, where thank God, I had a staff that could train me on the basics of caring for everything in the store. And such a dedicated staff that would go above and beyond fighting a losing battle against the overly high mortality rate due to the fact that the majority of the animals, fish, birds and reptiles were poorly bred and sick to begin with.

Many, many times we received hamsters with wet tail and respiratory infections, fish that were already so stressed from sitting on a dock for 80 hours that they had a variety of conditions that most times led to euthanasia.

Didn't know that did you? Locked in the safe of every Petco there is a bottle of deadly poison used for Euthanasia. Then in the "wellness" room there is a standing freezer where all of the bodies of every thing that dies gets tossed.

I made it an entire 6 months with the company. You haven't lived as a retail manager till you talk to one of your associates who held a sun conyer baby in her hand while it died as it was sent to us sick and there was nothing we could do. And trust me, everyone cried because, bless all of THEM, no matter how few hours they were given, those associates did the best they could to save lives.

The store I managed was one of the few that could take our sick animals, birds and reptiles to the vet. Depending on the cost, if it was "worth" saving we would be given the medication and whatever was sick and sent on our way.

Unfortunately, not everyone that works at Petco is vet-trained to administer shots, or use a syringe to inject medication into their mouths.

If the treatment was going to be too expensive, EUTHANISIA. There is actually a PETCO approved vet that all the stores use that the managers and staff nicknamed "DR. DEATH". This is primarily where we took reptiles and birds, never to see them again.

IT IS TRUE - the Petco stores are given no hours at all to cover their stores. The primary concern for the business is to get the freight out and keep the store stocked. After all, the exhorbitant markup on food is where the money is, not at all in the living, breathing creatures that Petco loves to brag "Always Come First".

They only come first IF:

You have payroll, otherwise, skip it.
You have people, which you can't schedule as there is no payroll, so skip it.
The freight is done, which is a never ending flow that is so ill shipped you never get caught up, so skip it.

I am so sick of corporate America being able to put up this squeaky clean image of helping animals thru "Adoptions" and "The Petco Foundation". They can throw out numbers all day, and yes, it's great that cats and dogs find homes every weekend, but what about everyone and everything else that lives short, tortured lives so that PETCO can build a ballpark in San Diego.

Even in California, where Petco's corporate office resides, there have been so many complaints against their locations that massive fines have been imposed as well as strict charters created against Petco to ensure the health and welfare of their living creatures.

I guess I finally realized what a bullshit job I had when I got fired, and being an idiot, agreed to work two weeks to get the store ready for a new manager. Each time someone from corporate visits your store, you are evaluated on a numbers system 1-100 on the quality of the live care in your store. The Division person in charge of the health and welfare for all the Petco locations in the southeast gave the store a rating of 80. Then the division manager came in behind him and changed it to a 98 so the new manager checking in would look good his first week. So much for accountability!


AllCities, Georgia

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/11/2008 06:16 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/petco/atlanta-douglasville-snellville-duluth-buford-acworth-georgia-30121/petco-i-agree-petco-does-exploit-their-employees-and-does-not-give-them-time-to-care-for-339422. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

former employee

AUTHOR: fishyreef - (United States of America)

I used to be the aquatics specialist at a PETCO.  The animals in that store were given very good care.  If an animal got sick, it was taken to the vet for treatment then held until someone took it into foster care - the store did not sell animals that were sick and did not kill them.  I got my first ferret that way - he was taken to the vet, treated, and went to adoption (happened to be me).  The bird specialist was a true lover of birds and took excellent care of those birds, and any that got sick were treated then adopted out.  The reptile specialist too was a lover of the type of animals in his care, therefore took very good care of them.  If you have staff who love the animals in their care, the animals will be well cared for - it's all a matter of who is doing the hiring.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

It is not a bottle of poison.

AUTHOR: Jcrown - (U.S.A.)

First of all, I would like to point out that most of the story is not supported by any sort of facts or proof. I normally would just skip over such an inflammatory and unsupported article, but I had to correct ONE of the facts.

That "Bottle of Deadly Poison" locked in the safe is not poison, but a sedative. It is not used for ANY animal except for fish, and then only in EXTREME cases. For example, as the aquatics specialist I made the decision recently to request euthanasia for a bala shark who had lost an eye and a fin during transport, and was being chewed on by tank mates, alive. So, rather than watching an injured animal die slowly from cannibalism, I asked that it be put to sleep. The store manager (and ONLY the store manager) agreed with my request and put the fish to sleep, peacefully.

The reason that the bottle is locked in the safe is specifically so that regular employees cannot get to it and misuse it. It is a sad fact that animals suffer sometimes for reasons beyond our control, but it is a relief to me that we have resources available to relieve that suffering.

Before you throw out labels and inflammatory remarks, make sure you have your facts straight.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

more truth in the OP

AUTHOR: Cat - (U.S.A.)

Sadly I have spoken to enough people at these petstores, not limiting it to Petmart or Petco to see that these animals are !. usually sick when they arrive and 2. rarely recieve vet care. Yes there usually is a out of the way place the too sick animals get dumped. I have a close friend who actually took an animal home nursed this sick animal back to health , paid all vet bills and the store took the animal back once it was well and sold it for over $800 and never reimbursed her for her time or money she spent. They had wanted this animal to die and she refused to let that occur. So YES these things happen at most pet stores. Which is why I have never bought an animal at a pet store. I refused to even go into a Petco after checking out how much more expensive they are on their productos over Petsmart. The one time I took my dogs for grooming they took 3 times as long to groom and came back with fleas, so I will never step back into a Petco as long as I live even though they built one close by me.

Yes corporate looks the other way and it is all about the money. The more people speak out the more it will change. To say it rarely happens or these are lies or exgaerations only keeps these problems in the dark. It is time to open the door and see the light!
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds


AUTHOR: Falconfree - (U.S.A.)

"Didn't know that did you? Locked in the safe of every Petco there is a bottle of deadly poison used for Euthanasia. Then in the 'wellness' room there is a standing freezer where all of the bodies of every thing that dies gets tossed."

What? Yes, there is an air-tight freezer where the bodies of dead creatures are put, awaiting the truck that picks them up. Would you prefer that we toss the hamsters that died from the wet tail they shipped in with in the trash? Petco's solution is about as sanitary as you can get without having the truck come by every time an animal dies.

The 'bottle of deadly poison' stuff is a crock. I've heard occasionally of Petcos and Petsmarts that have employees or managers who euthanise (sometimes inhumanely) animals on the premises. It does happen, and maybe that was the way it was at your store. But don't try to pretend that every store does this, or that it is even corporate policy. Corporate policy is that if an employee is found to have euthanised an animal theirselves, they are fired ON THE SPOT. Only vets are okay'ed to do this by corporate. I would think as a manager you would know this, but I guess your trainer was awful.

There are times when I even wished that we were allowed to do it ourselves. Such as the time when we had a bird returned by a father and son two days after they bought it... because it had a broken neck. The young son had apparently decided that the bird should be cuddled and played with, even though the manager who sold it to them stressed to the dad that he should very carefully supervise any interaction between the two. Or, preferably, don't let the 5ish year old touch it at all. Obviously, Daddy didn't pay attention, and wanted us to sell him a new bird. Hell no. Anyway, the poor thing could drink from a dropper, but could not move at all or eat (IIRC). It was obviously dying, but our vet/emergency vet was out of town for the weekend and it was late enough in the day that the other bird vet was closed. The manager ended up taking the poor thing home with her that night, against policy, so that it would at least be slightly more comfortable if it died during the night (it did).

Did I mention that my old Petco took every sick animal to the vet? The Petsmart here does too. No, they don't take them the moment they look sick, and that is a failing. About once a week an employee is sent with all the sick animals to the vet to have them all checked at once. A 99 cent mouse costs 99 dollars just for the office visit at our vet, by the way. Ask me how I know. :P
Sometimes one of the managers will call me in with a mousey health question, even though I haven't worked at Petco for almost a year. If they have a mouse that is looking "off" but not really sick, for example, they call me in to see they need to take him to the vet. That is a special circumstance though, because I have a lot of mouse experience and the exotics vet is shockingly ignorant (he is my mouse vet too, only one in the area).

Yes, Petco has some problems. Every chain store does, and having live animals exacerbates the problem. But nobody can make the claim that EVERY chain store does things a certain way. Every store bends corporate policy. This does not mean that every or even most Petcos treat their animals poorly. I would not have worked at a store that did, and neither would most of the other employees/managers with me.
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