Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Not resolved

I went to Petco 4 days before Christmas, and bought a hamster, it was an early Christmas gift. The hamster got on its wheel for about 3 hours straight on night one, and never again after that. On night 3 she had died. We talked to the employees at Petco and they said they would replace her no problem. Thing is, all the hamsters they had, were clearly diseased. On of them had a large red spot as if it had a rash. And the others were all constantly scratching/biting themselves as if they were a dog with fleas. While looking through the tank of depressingly sick hamsters a girl who worked there brought out a tank of new hamsters they were about to put in with the rest. Before they could, I asked to look through them all. I was there for about an hour just watching and petting a couple of them, one of them was very comfortable with me touching it and would let me hold it without a fuss. I obviously decided this one was perfect and got it as the replacement for the one I had before. This hamster, on day one, was very energetic, ran on her wheel for well over half the day. Day 2 she was in her ball and again was very energetic. Day 3 again, she ran on her wheel for a very long time. Day 4, she was buried, and would not come out. After inspecting her more we realized, she had wet-tail, and quickly took her to Petco asking for the veterinary care they offer. I don't know if anyone else reading this has ever had to take a pet to them for Vet. care but its a strange process. The need to "buy it back" in order for them to be able to take it to the veterinarian. I figured this seemed okay, and let it go, because they gave me paper work, took my number and promised to update me as soon as something happened, wither it be good or bad. They also took a 2nd number of a family member so if I can not be reached, they would call them.

A week and a half later, I call very angry. I have not heard a single thing from them yet. A fellow answers and tells me, "She is doing great, we caught it early she will be ready to leave in a couple days." It has now been another week and I called again, the girl who answered acted very queerly towards me when I mentioned a sick hamster. I would like to mention when I called the time before and the man answered he told me it was the "only sick hamster we have." Well the girl acted strangely, and put me on hold. 8 minutes later she comes back saying, I talked to the man who takes care of them (making me assume it was the guy from before) and apparently the day she was set to come home, something happened, she get extremely sick and died.

Problems I found in this, is if she was sick with wet-tail, she wouldn't have died in one day. She was supposed to still be on antibiotics, meaning the wet-tail would not be able to live in her system. And if the hamster was getting veterinary care, why is it some guy from the little critter department was in charge of keeping her healthy? If what I'm thinking is true, which I have much reason to believe it is. The "veterinarian" was just an employee in store who decided he'd care for the sick pets. The only antibiotics he would have(they sell to public) are popularly known to be weak, and to make the sickness stronger/unable to kill. Due to the lack of actual help she died. OR If it was a real Vet., she got better, and they sold her. This assumption is brought on by the girls abnormal behavior when I mentioned the hamster. And how the story of the hamster dying almost instantaneously would make sense.

Even if both my assumptions are wrong, which I really think it is the first of them. There is one thing they messed up on. Calling me. The girl said he called and left a message, must have had the wrong number. No, he had 2 numbers, and said if one didn't answer he would call the other. Messing up 2 numbers is BS and very unlikely. Its more like he just didn't call.

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Same thing happening to my hamster ... She has wet tail .-.


When Petco has an animal under vet care, the animal goes to the vet and then will come to the store with the prescription and dosage. So your small animals guy would have been medicating the hamster at the store after the initial vet visit.

You also should realize that wet tail has no known cure and so while the meds seem to help with symptoms, your hamster still could have passed away while on the antibiotic. As for the phone call, it's unfortunate that you were not called.

You need to remember also though that different people are working from day to day so the person you spoke with may not have been in the next day to call and may have forgotten to pass the message on through the ranks. I'm sorry about your hamster, but as an employee it can get hard to keep everything straight and while each animal is important, there are several of them to care for.


"She was supposed to still be on antibiotics, meaning the wet-tail would not be able to live in her system." That makes no sense. You are also assuming a lot.

Small animlas are not like dogs and cats - sometimes they expire with no explanation. Do you seriously believe that they would re-sell the hampster?

What would that get them? Maybe another five bucks?


Recently they raised the price from the $11 original to $20, and have had few hamsters(been checking). If they ran out and one person in the front didn't know what they were doing they could have just grabbed "another from the back" and never thought twice.

And okay maybe it did die. Why didn't they call either of the 2 numbers like they said they would?