Overland Park, Kansas
Not resolved

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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6/23/2019 Petco Corp. I am writing the Petco Corporate in reference to your location at Towne Blvd in Franklin Ohio & the disreputable practice that this store & your corporate office has taken in reference to not refunding the deposit given this store by my elderly parents on a fixed income to simply train a beloved but unruly Black Lab from jumping on people & to simply be led on a leash.

My parents were not able to attend these training sessions, so their pet went untrained. This location clearly stated that they would refund my parents their deposit when they presented their receipt. They did return to the store with their receipt only to be spun to your corporate office for resolution. Your office agreed the money should be refunded in full but Corporate referred my parents back to the store to no avail?

I personally went to this location in behalf of my elderly parents yesterday & notified the Store Manager of my complaint & demanded that the store honor their refund by Friday June 28, 2019. I recorded my conversations with the Mgr. & the cashier with their knowledge so that no account of my statements or theirs could be misconstrued. This pet in question has been given away to new owners since my elderly parents could not safely maintain or properly care for and provide the great home their beloved pet deserved that your trainers could not train?

My son, a Marine, has worked with a company that trains dogs on bomb detection for Law Enforcement & has went to School specifically for expert knowledge in Dog Training, unfortunately he lives out of state so hence the need of your stores services. I’d like to make mention of various Television shows that prove abandoned dogs can be trained without an owner & then given homes with total strangers that simply receive an already trained dog. I myself have personally owned an advertising bus in the past & fully understand power of media when exploited for a particular purpose. This story can be a great human interest & animal welfare production: After June 28, I will retain Legal representation at great personal cost in behalf of my parents to acquire their full refund in cash & only cash along with whatever costs said Legal representation incurs.

In addition, I will establish a new business designed to specifically target your organization as my first account to assure that your bottom line nationwide suffers greatly. Like the stench of smoke my outreach with local & national media campaigns will linger for years to come! I am sick of the disreputable practices of so many organizations including yours that I will pick up the Cross to assist my parents & others like them as an everyday enterprise to combat disreputable practices by mismanaged, fraudulent corporations including yours. I hope that we can immediately resolve this matter & refund my parents their deposit in full & in their possession by Fri, June 28, 2019.

Don’t be late! Forwarded to: https://www.wdtn.com/report-it/ Their address is; Store in question: Petco 3464 Towne Blvd Franklin, OH 45005 (513) 422-7641


Wow you had 3 people working!!!!! Try 2 at our store which is in the top ten grossing in the country!!

I can attest that everything you say is true because I too am an inside. I wish someone at corporate reads this and is at least embraced by what the created.

After I leave I will never ever step foot into a Petco again and will tell everyone I care about to avoid them like the plague and not support a company that doesn’t care for the animals they sell or the employees they take advantage of. Shame on you Ron.


I quit working at Petco just after 4 months.. The store manager was horrible and barely did anything.

I was getting paid almost minimum wage and she expected me to do everything. After I left, I revealed a lot of things to the Regional Director and to the VP of Petco.. Nothing was done ever.. The gal still works for Petco but has since moved to Las Vegas and did a job transfer.

I feel for those employees. Bad enough you have to deal with bad corporate leadership, now a poor store manager!


Like others have said, a lot of what you said happened is against company policy. I agree that since CEO and management changes have occurred that Petco cares less and less about their employees and animals and more and more about selling and making money, which I've complained about on other websites, but the managers in my store always make sure our animals receive proper care and that policy regarding that care is strictly followed.

And if it isn't, our district manager would certainly find out and reprimand our store. We always only, ONLY, adopt out rats and mice that people relinquish to us as pets, NEVER as feeders. We also don't put them on the floor unless they're in a free habitat by themselves with adoption information posted for people to see. Sick or injured animals always receive vet visits and proper care, and the employees who don't abide by that are scolded.

We buy fresh fruits and vegetables for them, and only give them what we know they can and should have. At times, our fish come in sick or DOA, but if that happens too often, the manager who orders them switches to a different vendor. Our store is old as well, but the knowledge to properly maintain the tanks and systems was passed down and if we start getting too many dead fish in our systems, we figure out what the problem is ourselves and fix it. It sounds like your manager was the problem, not Petco.

Or perhaps bad hiring practices in the store in general. Also, I've been told by our groomers that they get paid hourly on top of commissions and tips. I don't know if that's false or not. Our groomers have mentioned taking home 1600 a week.

Our store is one of the busiest in our district, and yes they cut our hours like crazy and that's awful considering how much we make for Petco, but our team knows how to get things done. Good hiring and training practices, I guess. We don't sit around and 'woe is me' about everything.

Of course, then again, this was a long time ago. Sad to know Petco hasn't cared about its employees in so long, but the animal care I've come in contact with in most Petco stores (with caring, trained employees), has been much better than, at the very least, our competitors.


Where do they get their Betta fish from? I have been researching to make sure that wherever I get them from it's a humane store, but I think PetCo is already out of the question.

Any suggestions? And what gender should I get?

I have a 10 gallon tank. I was thinking either a male betta with some other fish or 4-5 female bettas (that's the preferred amount if you want more than one female).


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


He does not sound bitter to me. He is speaking from experience.

I work at one of the top ten grossing stores and his story and experience is a mirror of our store. We are an amazing team and work our hearts off!!! It is impossible to keep up with everything when payroll only cover 2 opening, one full time wotks 8am till 4:30 the other part time 8:30am till 1:30 pm then the second full time comes in at 1:30 -9:30 when part time leaves then the second part time comes in at 4:30 till 9:30. These are the hours allowed from payroll FROM A STORE TOP 10 IN THE COUNTRY.

If we were not an incredibly hard working team the store would fall apart. Does corporate appreciate us? No!!

How do I know this. No raises.


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 ***


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 *** 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.


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.


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