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!!