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Old 05-22-03, 03:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Pet Store Responds to Complaints

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:

Dear Sirs/Madams;

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!!!

SambasReptileRescue@Hotmail.Com


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!
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Old 05-22-03, 03:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Congrats. Hopefully they listen to what you tell them and its not just a scam to get you to be quiet. It really sucks because the big corporate stores are what most people see, so they think these conditions are good for the animals. Because people that visit these stores usually only see sick animals, they have never really expierced the true beauty of reptiles that are healthy. I hate when people see animals as an object instead of a life. If you ask the the "Pet Rock" fad there was a long time ago should come back as these "pets" are disposable
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Old 05-22-03, 04:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would like to remind you guys that the slander of pet stores if not permitted in the forums for legal reasons... So lets keep it within reason.
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Old 05-22-03, 04:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well Samba, I'm here in Las Cruces (howdy ). What usually will happen is they will outlast you, even if they get someone to care (small chance) the employee turnover in these places (from management on down) is so rapid that it doesn't last. Otherwise they 'do good' until publicity dies down then back to the same old, same old. Good luck, and possibly we can set up a meeting next time I'm there (mom lives in Albuquerque) which is fairly often. Check out Subterranian Jungle those guys are pretty good, I think it's on morningside, just north of central.
 
Old 05-22-03, 04:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Jeff...none of the names of any store was mentioned...only the fact that it was a corporate pet store.
your not to blame for your caution thought....would suck if something legal happened to this site....or its members
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Old 05-22-03, 04:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It's very sad going into "most" pet stores these days. All the pet stores in my area have the same porblem. One in particular has all animals in the same 10gal tanks regardless of size. One such example was a BP that had dead skin all over it and was trying to soak in a water dish. The only problem was the water dish was about the size of it's head. Pet stores are only concerned with money, any way the can cheap out they will. Another pet store has some colubian boa consrtictor babies, which they got from the same breeder i got mine from and theirs are all bout half the thickness of mine. I kow this 'cause the breeder told me and then i went and saw them for myself. It's very sad and i want to buy all the pets in those stores, but i don't have the space.
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Old 05-22-03, 04:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Congrads! Well done I wish I could get a local pet store to change, maybe I need to be more direct.
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Old 05-22-03, 04:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Even if your were to buy these animals thought...the stores would just order more, and more, and more. Thats what these stores are there for. Once in awhile you can talk to the manager of the store and if you get lucky they will give you an animal. I've heard of this happening a few times(can count it on 1 hand..) but once you get the animal you usually need to spend even more on vet bills...i'd be willing to pay for the vet thought
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Old 05-22-03, 04:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks, Steve, I really hope it's not a scam. Personally, I considered going down to the petstore after speaking with the manager to see what the current conditions are. I don't want them to 'tidy up' before I have a chance to show them what animals are sick, which animals shouldn't be housed together, etc.

This particular store has major problems with iguanas, tokay geckos, anoles, fire-bellied toads, fat-tailed and leopard geckos. Many of their animals are STILL wild-caught (I guess they want to save $$$). When there are 10 creatures to a cage, and some are large, some small, the public gets the idea that it's okay to do this. They also think the inter-species and same sex situations are ok. Animals being housed on unappropriate substrate, etc. Well they're not and I hope they take me seriously.

I've been rehabilitating reptiles such as theirs for almost 7 yrs. now so I'm not just a casual observer, and I let him know that. I hope this prompts everyone to do the same in their areas (if there is a problem, of course), and I will let you guys know how it goes down tomorrow! Thanks again!
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Old 05-22-03, 04:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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samba,
I would like you to know(even though you probably already do) that the actions you have taken have been bold. and i want you to know that i have a new found respect for you (even though i dont realy know you) and i would like to just say that people like you who are giving there spare time and lives to these reptiles and people like you who make shure other people are taking care of there anamals in a resposable and safe manner and its people like you who give the hobby of keeping reptiles a good name.
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Old 05-22-03, 04:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Wow, by the time I replied to Steve, 6 more messages were posted!

Jeff: Relax, I'm a smart gal, that's why I *** the store name! =)

To ReverendSterlin: Mark and Xyavyer are good friends of mine. As a matter of fact, they sold me my first two leopard geckos years before they had their shop! Those men take the absolute best care of their animals that I have ever seen, and I think credit is deserved where it is due! I use the same vet as them, and would trust the life of any of my animals in their hands. They've gone so far to help me with the many rescues I've had and I can't thank them enough.

As for the pet store in question, I plan on referring the manager to them to see what it means to REALLY care for animals. I know the turnover rate is high in these stores, that's why I've been trying to get myself employed there for 3 years. I don't even like the store, but I figure if I were in charge of their care they'd be better off, and I'd have a more than-satisfying job!

If you want to meet up sometime that would be cool... I'm just outside of Albuquerque, in Rio Rancho. E-mail me sometime and we'll get something going!

Randolph: Maybe you can take the time to talk to the problem pet stores in your area, if there is a coorporate office or an owner you can talk to, I'm sure they'd be willing to listen. If they don't, at the very least, the last thing you could do is contact the Humane Society and let them know what is going on. They should be able to help you and the reptiles. Don't give up! I've been on 'my' petstore now for 3 years!!!!!!

And Steve (again) LOL occasionally I have been called by petstores to pick up reptiles, but this happens very rarely. The petstores know that if an animal is sick they have few options... (1.) return the animal to wherever it came from;
(2.) sell the animal as it is;
(3.) try to save the animal and sell it;
(4.) give the animal to someone who cares (almost never happens)
(5.) let the animal die a miserable, painful death in front of the public (most always happens).

What is most sad is that they would rather leave a sick animal on display for the public to see and try to sell it regardless, then give it to someone who can try to save it, and place it in an experienced home. Sometimes I wonder just how messed up and insincere we humans have become... I have saved animals from this particular store before and I've had a lot of success and failures. I even bought two tokay geckos 1yr. and a half ago because they were in such bad shape. The female required hospitialization for a few days, then eventually died less then a month later. The male was strong and lived for a few months but just couldn't hang on, I guess. I know by buying them I made space for more sick reptiles to come in... but if you had only seen their sad, pathetic, lifeless faces maybe you would have done the same. I have a little more control today... but not a lot. Thanks for all the support, it really means a lot to me!
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Old 05-22-03, 04:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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What is the name of this horrible pet store i would really like to know and hope that it is not a P#t@%&rt?
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Old 05-22-03, 05:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Night Crawler you should take some time and read all that has been said in this post then MAYBE you might catch on why the name of the store was not told?????
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Old 05-22-03, 06:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well was it a Pe*#^%rt thats all I really wanted to know? They can answer that yes or no.
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Old 05-22-03, 06:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Tim responded to your post but I'd like to add a few things. I am very impressed that you took the time, effort and guts to do what so obviously needed to be done. That is why we are herpers in the first place. That's why we go to sites such as this, for the great info and great people, who never cease to amaze me. Thank-you for helping our world-wide hobby which is still greatly misunderstood. I am seriously considering doing the same here. We have a well known chain here that continually houses leos that are decrepid and sick on their way to death. They even house different species together, which time and again I've tried to explain is the worst thing a store can do. It's been like that for a long time now, but I do recall a time when the store had great facilities for reptiles, and that was where I bought my second leo, who is huge, healthy and happy. Keep up the good work and I hope that your effort will truly make a difference.
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