To All Concerned;
We all know THAT petstore chain that always seems to have sick, diseased, dying and dead animals on display. We have a few of those here in Albuquerque, but after visiting one a few weeks ago and offering help to the reptile caretaker (free of charge, I might add) and getting no response whatsoever, I decided to take action.
Last night I emailed the coorporate office with my concerns. It's so distressing for me to see these animals in such sad shape that I couldn't NOT say anything. The following is the letter I sent:
I have observed in some of your stores (in Albuquerque, NM), the poor quality and distressing condition of many reptiles and amphibians who are not being cared for in a professional manner. I have been trying to gain employment with your chain so that I may properly demonstrate to your customers the appropriate attitude towards reptiles and amphibians, as well as show by example the environments they require. I want nothing more than to improve the stores' public image (as of now, at least here in NM, it is widely avoided in this department). The ***** Stores here claim to use the on-site vet-staff, but I always see decrepid, diseased and dying animals in their stores. Even when I point out these things (and suggest ideas to improve) to managers and employees alike, no one seems to care enough to take action. It's very sad to walk into a store and see dead and dying animals, not occassionally, but on a regular basis. Please respond, I WANT TO HELP!!!
Since this morning I have recieved a response from the coorporate office, and the district manager of the particular store to which I am referring. After a lengthy phone conversation, the manager (who turns out to be a really concerned guy), extended an offer for me to visit the store in question and point out areas I think need improving. He even wanted me to come in at the same time as his reptile 'specialist' (who I might add, couldn't even sex an adult leopard gecko for me 2 weeks ago), so that I could give him some pointers.
He explained to me (or tried to excuse some of the animals that I've seen), by stating that animals are not always healthy when they arrive at the store. I countered that with the fact that such animals should recieve Vet attention, and not be left on display with 10 other reptiles in a ten-gallon tank for the public to see. He claims his store has a place for the sick animals to go (and I hope it's not back to where they came from). Tomorrow I am meeting with him, and I will post an update here. It's nice to be heard, because I've been making in-store complaints for 3+ years now. (This district manager has only been with this store for 3 months). While on the defensive, I hope our meeting will result in these reptiles and amphibians being treated the way they deserve to be: with the utmost respect!
I encourage all of you out there to do the same with pet stores in your areas who may not be taking proper care of their reptiles and amphibians. Please note however, that this meeting is ONLY taking place because I reported them to coorporate headquarters. I have never been invited to such a meeting with complaints told in-store. Thanks for your support!