Update by user Feb 05
They refunded all of the items. James the store manager was very kind and helpful.
You can tell they never want this outcome for their animals. Thank you, James.
Original review posted by user Jan 15
Myself and my significant other had been discussing getting a bearded dragon for some time, and we finally decided to get everything we needed to welcome a new little beardie into our lives. A woman named "Mel" helped us get all of our lights, food, furnishings, etc and gave us information on how to care for our new little lizard.
We took the baby home and had everything set up as we had been instructed. The lizard was very lethargic from the moment they got home and they got progressively worse. Myself and my SO were doing research for hours a day to try and troubleshoot the issue but to no avail. One week after we had picked up the lizard we came home to find that they weren't moving and were barely breathing.
We rushed the lizard back to Petco, to find that it hadn't survived. The store manager was kind and apologetic. The lizard was sick when we got it. So a few weeks go by and we have grieved the loss of "Hammie," our deceased lizard.
We decided we wanted to give it another go - we had continued to research, disinfected the tank thoroughly, reviewed our husbandry and went back to Petco. This time around we decided to go with a larger and slightly older lizard, hoping that it would be more hardy than the last. We reviewed our set up with the staff, and they were helpful and kind. We got the baby home and things were great, she was eating regularly, defecting regularly, basking appropriately, etc.
etc. She developed a little personality and things seemed great. About 8 days after we brought her home, we noticed that she was dragging her front leg. We had read about the possibilities of metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons, and so we decided to bring her back to Petco to capitalize on their 30-day guarantee and free vet visit.
We surrendered her back to the staff, received our refund and they took her to the vet the next morning. Despite being assured that we would be called and updated, we heard nothing and had to call a few times to get any information. When I finally did speak with someone (Mel), they were incredibly condescending, trying to explain to me "how the sun works" and that we needed follow protocol that she had given us when our first lizard died. We have since purchased literature written by an actual herp vet that showed that her instructions were not founded or realistic.
I called and spoke with the vet that saw our little lizard and discussed our set up with her including our adjusted husbandry, feeding, cleanliness, etc and she told us that everything we were doing was correct. She also told us that the lizard's recovery was likely to be better if we were the ones to administer the treatment. Places like Petco are not equipped as well to treat sick animals as they don't have as much one on one attention. I spoke with the manager again and the attitude of the staff seemed to change.
All of a sudden we were not receiving the same kindness and helpfulness, but rather they seemed detached from trying to keep us up to date on the health of our beardie. We have called every day to check on how she's doing, we have received different information from different employees. I reached out today to find out that her condition has gotten worse and that the Metabolic Bone Disease had progressed too far. From our understanding MBD doesn't develop in less than a week - Petco is continually selling sick animals and misguiding customers on how to take care of them.
We will most likely lose another pet. This is heartbreaking. Our experience has been an awful one. We do not take pet adoption lightly and it is frustrating and sad that they sell sick animals and have at least one staff member who is horribly uninformed.
If nothing else comes of this, I at least hope to discourage others from purchasing reptiles at Petco as they are overbred and sick before you even bring them home. Save yourself the heartache and look for a reputable source with experts that can guide you.
Product or Service Mentioned: Petco Bearded Dragons Lizard.
Reason of review: Sick animals, uninformed staff member, loss of pet.
Monetary Loss: $60.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
I liked: Majority of the staff, Product variety.
I didn't like: Staff member mel, Being sold a sick animal twice.