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I am a former Petco manager, and I've witnessed enough atrocities against animals there to last a lifetime. This company has really gone downhill- in the past few years they went from a company that actually cared somewhat about the animals to only caring about the almightly dollar.

1. I was not allowed by my general manager to take animals to the vet when they were sick unless they were SEVERELY ill- and by that I mean almost dead. Even then I got yelled at for "driving up expenses"- because the higher the expenses, the lower her yearly bonus would be (she actually told me that!). Instead I was supposed to treat the animals the best I could in our "wellness room" with whatever medications we had on hand- and the room was filthy and at least 80 degrees. When I complained to corporate, they backed up my manager and reprimanded me, saying she'd been there for 16 years and she knew what she was doing (!).

2. Animals routinely come in from the vendors overcrowded, sick, and dead. The fish come from Apet Inc. covered with ich and dead. Gentry for the goldfish is even worse. The tanks are so disgusting and old- the filtration systems don't work properly anymore, even Marineland who came to fix them told us they are beyond repair. But corporate insists there's no funding to fix them- so disease circulates and breeds and fish die by the hundreds each day. We'd have at least 150 dead fish a day, sometimes more. I'd open shipments of mice and find 45-60 in a box, covered with *** wounds, at least half suffering from respiratory infections, and usually a few dead ones. Reptiles came in underweight and sick, and many died in our inadequate habitats (which had broken heating systems and lights- but of course, there was no "budget" to fix them)

3. We are supposed to take in any unwanted animals and adopt them out to "loving homes". My manager would make us sell them if they could pass as store animals. For mice and rats, we would have to sell them as feeders. So I'd have to tell Little Billy or whoever that we'd find his pet rat a good home, and 2 days later someone would buy it to feed to their snake.

4. Birds would breed in our store and we were forced to destroy the fertilized eggs, because "breeding isn't allowed"- well when you mix females and males, what do you think happens! Eventually they moved to TINY cages that are far too small for the birds they house- a conure needs more than a cage 1 foot wide by 2 feet high!

5. Everything is about money and expenses. We are supposed to give the animals fresh veggies and fruits- well my manager would force us to buy cabbage (which was actually approved by store guidelines!) and frozen vegetables to save money. It was embarassing for customers to see tortoises and guinea pigs with bowls full of cabbage (anyone who knows anything about animals knows this will cause diarrhea and nutritional deficiencies).

6. GROOMERS ARE THERE TO RIP YOU OFF!!! They are forced by corporate to suggest additional services at high marked up prices that you don't really need. You think your dog really needs a "spa treatment" for 19.00 extra? And that 7.00 scissoring charge- a rip off. Don't blame the groomers though, blame corporate- the actual groomer only sees 45-60 percent of what you pay. And they work solely off commission. It's a double edged sword- I saw some groomers working their butts off making only 200-300 dollars a week, and others suggesting tons of extra services people didn't need and making 800-1000 a week. And yes, I was a manager- I processed payroll!

7. The stores are drastically cutting hours every time you turn around. So yeah, you've been waiting twenty minutes for help getting a diseased fish- I know. But there's someone needing help buying dog food, someone wanting to buy a ferret, an angry customer in grooming who wants to talk to a manager, a line of 4 people at the register, and I'm trying to run the store on 3 people (on a good night)- a sales person, a cashier, and me, the manager. Where is there time to clean cages and care for the animals? There isn't! Animals get pushed to the end, sadly, to make way for ad sets and "showtime" where we weren't allowed to do ANY work other than approach customers and ask if they need help. So many nights I stayed late counting the drawers and trying to make the store look halfway decent- and then I'd get in trouble for going "over hours".

8. And last but not least, Petco is SO overpriced! I can buy identical items at Petsmart, Mills Fleet Farm, or even Target for up to half the price. Petco also tends to raise prices on items, then drop them to the original price and call it "New low price". Example: Science diet dog food is say, $39.99. They change the price to $42.99. Then two weeks later they drop the price back to $39.99 with a "new low price" sticker on the shelf. I saw this countless times! How *** do they think we are!?! (Not to mention that identical dog food would usually be 35.99 regular price somewhere else...)

This is a horrible company and all my complaints to corporate have been ignored. And no, I'm not just a "disgruntled" employee as I'm sure some Petco-philes will accuse me of being. I loved my job before corporate began the great "selling-culture" push and put money before people and animals. For anyone who is trying to defend Petco from this post- I would LOVE to come into your store and really see what it's like! There might be some good ones out there, but corporate itself is rotten to the core.

Petco- where the DOLLAR comes first!!

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This makes me sad!!!


Thank you for standing up and giving PETCO. notice that a decent caring employee is not even regarded as the most important and a valuable part of any business model.

Seems like PETCO has taken the dive into a corporate environment that is so prevalent in the anything for money and nothing for their employees or customers.

I am appalled that this business is gone to a big nothing and I do hope this review you did is passed on for millions to view. Thanks Cheryl


Wow, you sound very bitter. It’s unfortunate you had that experience at your Petco.

But that does not speak for all stores nationwide. My store, animals truly come first. I’ve been in several others where they feel the same way.

Just because you had a bad experience, doesn’t mean all Petco’s are like that. I absolutely love Petco, our animals and our partners


Thanks for the Christmas bonus Petco! We work our ***'s off for you and you can't do ANYTHING for us??

What a bunch of ***. God forbid you take care of the people that make you money.

I'm so done with this job. Life it too short to break you back for shitheads.


THANK YOU for speaking the TRUTH !!! I worked at PETCO for over 20 years (making a whopping $11 per hour!!) & I agree with EVERYTHING you have said & more ........don't forget the constant badgering for donations (ATTN: PETCO KEEPS 50% of ALL DONATION $ !!!).

P.S. If you have NEVER worked retail, PLEASE be understanding & DON'T take out your frustration on the few grossly underpaid & underappreciated employees who are working understaffed in a S##T environment, where corporate NEVER listens to suggestions or complaints !!!


My son purchased a snake from pet smart,,,,the snake will not eat at all,,,,can he return for refund? He used his credit card now long will it take for him to get his money back?


It all depends on who you work for. A lot of what you said is against policy.

I currently work for Petco and have for 4 years. We take out animals to the vet as soon as they show signs of being sick. They go to an amazing vet who I wish I could bring my dog to but it's just too at for me.

Theres a lot more but it doesn't really matter.

No one reads the comments. Retail is retail.

But I really enjoy my job. Petco's that are well run are not like this.

Idaho Falls, Idaho, United States #1235871

I had recently received a jeneday and a greencheek from Petco. The jeneday is two years and was previously owned by someone who (they had recived her from a petco),abused her (cigerette butt to her wings and tail)and returned her back to the store.

she had lived most of her life in there and was a bitter(till the handlers bleed). two days after she was transferred to a store in town, me and twin investigated her, giving positive feed back and we were receiving her attention. Apparently the petco (asuming it was the manager, keep in mind they had no current bird handler) posted a sign saying (indirectly to us your the cause)the bird is stressed and people are allowed only 15 minute contact in feet away from the glass cage, she is under supervision.) That ticked my sis and me off(a bird who is stressed plucks feathers, she was grooming and eating near the glass where we stood, saying she came to us). we ended up getting in the credit card and buying her and the green cheek who was under her.

however both birds are doing really well and are spoiled with just about all day interaction with us and they love us for it. A friend of the family however received a parakeet that died a couple days later due to the rough handling of the bird.

They are really terrible on obtaining the correct people to handle the animals without stress.


I just quit working at a Petco in VA. Still five years after this post was written, and in a different state, I was shocked in the complete accuracy of this post! If it didn't say this was in Kansas, I would have thought they worked for my store!


Maybe now that petco sold to an Canada outfit maybe they will fire all the VP's and all the DM's in all states because none of them have a back bone or care for animals or it employees that care about the animals. I pray the clean house once and for all if the want petco to have a good reputation again. I mean fire them all in every state and start in California and Nevada.

New York, United States #1105305

I, too, worked for Petco and did so for about 10 years. I ran the fish and reptile departments (I did everything, those were my official" titles).

Prior to Petco, I worked for 10 years as a manager of a mom & pop shop. In that time, I had the priviledge of working alongside a marine biologist (now a professor), the VP of the local aquarium society, and an avian behaviouralist. I also worked a bit in the grooming shop with some of the best show groomers on The Island.

Everything the OP said is true about Petco.

Even though, I'm in NY, just about everything could've applied to the stores I worked at. Except for the fish.

I kept my departments pristine with little to no disease. If there was something, it was because they came in with it. I knew how to take care of the problem quickly.

But she is right about the old feeder tanks. I had to keep it on a constant water change (turned on the water flow and let it run 24/7) and change the filters a couple of times a day. I drained and refilled once a day. When I would come in after my day off, I'd have to deal with 1,000 dead goldfish caked to the filter intake.

Just imagine the smell of dead fish in an 80 degree room in stagnant water because they plugged up the filter. I used to throw up in the floor drains. All because no one wanted to be bothered. And I would be the one getting yelled at for it.

Corporate has unrealistic expectations from the employees.

They want everything to pass the white glove test while there are only 3 employees scheduled for each shift (manager or lead, cashier, and someone on the floor). I made sure my departments were spotless and fronted and faced. But they'd always find something wrong. I once got written up by the RCAC for a dead fish in a tank.

I literally watched the fish convulse and die while the RCAC had her back turned to the tank. She turned around and it was there. They didn't like me because they thought I had an attitude since I would question their animal care policies to their faces and tell them how their care guidelines were wrong.

In the grooming shop (my sister was the manager in there), it was appaulling at how Petco forced the groomers to push add-ons.

Those add-ons, especially the de-shed, aren't add-ons! They say it's a special brushing technique. A competent bather/fluffer or groomer will brush and blow dry your dog and remove the undercoat in the process. No matter what kind of dog, you should be able to run a fine toothed comb through the coat and pull out no undercoat.

At least that's how I was taught to do it. I had customers in the old store that would literally pull out flea combs and check their dogs for undercoat (they were rich people in Huntington). Hand scissoring charge? Again, cleaning up a shave down is part of the grooming.

Dogs (like Golden Retrievers) get their feet trimmed and pads cleaned up. Any real groomer or bather/fluffer is supposed to do that. But Petco also employs imcompetent groomers or trains their own drones.

Manager bonuses...

We used to bust ourselves doing all the work while the manager sat on her fat @55 in the office eating ice cream with her husband. And she'd be the one getting the bonus. As far as adoption animals, yes, my manager did the same. So, if a customer was looking to get rid of a reptile or amphibian, I'd tell them to say they were bringing it in to give to me instead of putting it up for adoption.

It ground the manager, but that's the way it went.

I had a manager who worked for Petco back when it was still a feed store in San Diego. She said the worst thing the company did was start selling animals because they just became merchandise and not animals.


I am so happy now that Petco never got back to me when I applied last year. I ended up getting a job at a mom & pop pet store and am so much happier than I would have been with the situation you describe.


I wouldn't buy fish there for free everyone I bought there croked and were covered with ick


I don't know if you will see this, since it's year's later. But Iaadopted 3# Guinea pig's from Petco in Whitehall Pennsylvania.

I have had them for three year's now, and they are VERY taken care of. I adopted for just the reasonsyou mentioned.

At least I saved 3# little soul's from pain and death. <3


27 dislikes= 27 Petco f@gs


I started working there recently and am disgusted by how animals are brought in from supposed breeders.


I work there! You are right!


Thank you for this information. I have been considering applying there and started an application but they want me to take a ridiculous assessment.

I groom dogs for goodness sakes!

Why not interview me to see if I'm a good fit. Needless to say I won't apply there.

Beaverton, Oregon, United States #925216

Your store might be that way yes but I feel like I keep hearing crud about petco but have yet to see much wrong with the store I don't usually buy supplies at petco since the supplies are a bit pricey and they don't have what I need but most of my my came from petco and I haven't gotten any sick unhealthy mice my only concern was when I gave them some males I could not keep they were super surprised how healthy they were pet stores should never be surprised by healthy animals. The pet is I've been to don't sell live feeder mice.

to Ashley #977913

Both of your my my came from Petco? Well, my my.

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