How did you react when seeing the abuse? Did you ever say anything? I'm not trying to make you feel bad/shame you I'm just curious.
This is the nicest way someone has asked. Most just outright call me an asshole. I did speak up at one point to the local agriculture department, who would be responsible for that stuff. They never got back to me. I stuck around purely because
1. I didn't have another job yet
2. I was still there to prevent things from getting worse to the best of my ability
What are some of the worst things you saw?
Lots and lots of neglect by the GM. We had a lizard that had gotten sick (just allergies) so he was having a bit of a tough time shedding skin. If you don't know, when they can't shed skin properly, they need to be in a tank with much less sand and distractions. The manager just put him in a tank in the back. Nobody knew about it, and she didn't feed it. By the time me and another guy found it, he was long past being saved. We ended up just having to euthanize him.
Will the animals be rescued or not?
Depends on what the local law officials decide. I'm not quite sure, but most likely they'll take the animals away from the manager. After I left I found out she was removed once for abusing lizzards
Why is the humane society investigating? They're not a law enforcement agency are they?
Someone *wink wink* tipped them off
Was it the company that was abusive, in general, or the specific franchise was abusive and the company took no notice to that?
So, Petland themselves aren't abusive. It was defiantly the GM. I worked for multiple stores, and I noticed just how much better all the other stores were. Hell, we got 1 hour specifically to play with the dogs at a different store. The GM was just a 'money is all that matters' person
My only experience with a Petland was walking in, seeing dyed fish, and walking right back out. Do those actually sell in this day and age?
You'd be surprised what sells. Got a blue frenchie one time, someone sold that puppy for $12,500
I worked at a Petland when I was in high school. I applied for the job because I love animals and wanted to play with the puppies all day. Their whole thing was "USDA approved breeders". When I had worked there for a while, I started looking into what that actually meant and it meant jack shit. The dogs were from puppy mills. We weren't supposed to go look when the deliveries arrived but I did once and saw the shady ass vans full of puppies. The dogs all came with "papers".
The vet techs were all amazing and took good care of the dogs and all the "pet counselors" as we were called at the time also cared for them (minus one lady who was obsessed with sales and commissions). It didn't seem like ours were neglected once they arrived but they definitely arrived sickly. When the store closed, we'd let some run loose and play with them as we faced the shelves and restocked. Our fish and reptile people cared for their departments and were generally all pretty knowledgeable.
Was the store owner a POS? Most likely. GM? Yes. I was too young to get into the politics and only worked there maybe 6months-1year before I left for college. Years later my parents got a dog from there because they felt bad for her. She has a million health issues and thankfully we have the money to make sure she gets the right care. It'll be good when they pass laws that don't allow pet stores to sell pets anymore. It's just not fair. Leaving a puppy alone in a cage in a creepy store all night...even that just bothers me, let alone the 10000 of other issues.
I feel like I may have worked with you. I worked with someone who bought a dog and quit before going to college
I should be noted that Petlands are mainly franchises. I managed the fish department at one in my early 20s. The owner personally visited the almost all the breeders we ordered our puppies from. All of our dogs were seen by a vet before they were available for customer access.
Yes, the business exists to make a profit, but we prided ourselves in providing the best animal for the right home. We asked questions, we held weekly employee training, we offered free training and training materials. My department wouldn't let a goldfish go home in a bowl.
This is like saying all Burger Kings are bad because one person took a picture standing in the lettuce.
Can corporate be more diligent in vetting vendors? Maybe. It's hard when most of your stores are individual businesses you're really just charging for branding. Any store caught using puppy mills or abusing animals would have all branding stripped from their store.
This was corporate. The franchises get a bad rap, especially the ones in KY. But this one was a corporate store. I'm not sure where the puppies came from, but they were all delivered by some company that went around to pick them up all at once. We did have files on where they came from, but I wasn't high enough up in the ranks to be allowed to sift through that paper work
How did you quit?
Me: "Hey GM, this dog is coughing a bit, wasn't playing around, a bit of snot in his nose. Want me to take him to the vet?"
GM: "are you stupid or something? You don't just take dogs to the vet because of a cough! It's winter, allergies, (Blah blah blah. Some other stupid reasons)"
End of the shift I just quit. I did tell the Kennel manager about it, she brought the dog to the vet and thanked me for telling her.
Was there any maltreatment of birds or small animals like hamsters and mice ? If so, what did you see?
Yes. I was kinda the bird guy there. I had just finished socializing this Green Cheek Conure. I noticed that a cockatiel wasn't moving much. He was in his water dish with his wings stuck out. I know he wasn't bathing or preening, so I picked him up, I hadn't socialized him yet, so it was odd. He was lethargic, and kinda out of it. I ended up telling my GM, who just kinda put up a cage in the back, probably thinking that this $200 bird wasn't worth the price of bringing it to an avian vet.
What are you going to do now, with your coworkers? Will you speak up for the animals that were abused now that you’re older?
I'm going to actually speak up with organizations about animal abuse. Petland is on damage control right now. I suggest going to the link in the description of the video and supporting the cause to shut them down
How many of your co-workers were mistreating the animals? Like, how common of a sight was it? Was it mostly your superiors? Were you alone in feeling concerned?
Entirely superiors. None of us in the kennel or on the floor actually mistreated the dogs. It was all just the higher ups
What kinds of abuse did the animals endure?
Mostly being denied medical privileges. Had 2 bulldogs with cherry eyes (if you don't know what it is; be careful before looking it up, it's sad.) the vet didn't get to them until they lived with it for around 3 weeks. A lot of sick dogs also had to deal, mentally, with isolation. Only seeing a person for 2 hours a day, and not having toys.
I thought this was incredibly old news?! The petlands in my state had a massive lawsuit like 15 years ago, had to pay money and closed up all shops in the state I thought
They had an undercover investigator go in just this past 2 weeks
Do you think that in the future they will outlaw selling dogs?
Hopefully. I'd never buy a dog, my family dog is a rescue, and that's the way to go. It's like buying a sports car over a traditional car, it comes off as a statement of wealth
Did you ever come close to try and save one of the animals?
Almost bought a bird on multiple occasions
As a consumer, I saw a lady dump a shelter full of hermit crabs ruthlessly and like ten of them fell from a foot in the air back onto the floor of the glass tank, was there ever any blatant abuse like this that you saw someone do in front of a customer?
hmmm... I can't recall anything in front of customers. If there were sick dogs, the first thing to do was move them away from costumers. Things were brought out of sight, and not to spoken about to customers.
Have you bought an iron yet?
Are you going to file a federal lawsuit?
I wish. USHA is already underway with one, plus, I aint got the money for a lawyer
Thanks for doing this Ask me anything! A lot of times when I go into Petland to ask the staff general questions (mostly about where the animals come from), they don't bother to tell me or are just rude about it.
I have a few questions so I'll just list them out for simplicity.
- From worse - best (semi worst/inadequate) - what was the care like for each animal section? (ex. fish section, bird section, etc)
- How much do the staff actually know/are required to know about the animals? In other pet stores I visit for supplies, I find that they often don't know much about animal care (specifically fish,) so I was wondering if Petland is similar or they require you to have a good/basic knowledge about the products/animals they sell.
- Were you allowed to educate the customers about knowledge/care where they were wrong? I know some pet stores that aren't allowed to correct their customers simply because if they make it so that the customer's always right, they can make money easier.
- Rodents, dogs, fish, reptile, birds. I don't know too much about fish and reptile because I didn't work it.
- We needed no prior knowledge. Half of us in the kennel were literally highschool/college students
- Not us specifically. We worked with the dogs so the manager said, "Don't talk to guests. You don't know what to say and what not to say."
I looked up cherry eyes before writing this and that’s insane. How can you do that to a poor dog? My question for you is, how many sleepless nights did you have knowing this was going on? For me, it would eat me up and I have two of my own with one that passed away this year
It was a regrettable time in my life
Have you ever shut down a pet store before?
Nope. Just worked in one
Why did you sign an NDA if you’d already quit?
I signed it as I got the job. It may not apply now that I don't work there. But I'm not taking that chance. The NHA agent is under a lawsuit RN
Why is the body deleted?
Mods deleted the post
Why is the body deleted?
We have a petland under investigation now due to selling so many sick puppies. I worked in a vets office and we constantly had puppies coming in dying of various ailments. A lot of parvo cases as well, none survived. I'm curious, were the animals ever vetted prior to being bought by the company? Or was it strictly done after someone reports symptoms? How would they go about buying the animals? Most reputable breeders avoid selling to franchise stores as they want their pet in a safe home they can verify. Do you know if these were puppy mill situations or did they kinda keep you in the dark and have you just focus on maintaining the image? Were reports largely ignored by your supervisors in contrast to anyone actually listening to the employee when they felt something was wrong? I had went in to a Petland due to morbid curiosity with a coworker and we were appalled. The spaces with multiple puppies were cramped and always had diarrhea and urine everywhere, most were lethargic, laying in the own feces. Some were larger puppies in tiny cages. There wasn't a single clean cage in the entire store and it was really sad. I hope y'all can pull this off and they can get shut down.
Are you in the greater Cincinnati area? (aka northern KY)
What animal did you feel the worst for?
Puppies in Iso (which we called special care) it's just a blank room where they deal with no contact for days. And it usually gets really cold in there. When you walk in, all they do is cry.
My only real question is how the hell did you take that photo while I can see all of your fingers??
Not many people know this, but on iphone, you can hit the volume buttons to take pictures
how large is petland relative to all other pet companies?
Just below Petsmart
I wish I could upvote this a million times, just to get it more visible. I worked at a couple different Petland stores in Canada, and though it has no legal ties to Petland USA, a lot of shady shit, especially mismanagement, led to a many animals suffering needlessly and/or dying.
Also, since this is an Ask me anything and top-levels need a question, is this investigation going to apply only to the store you worked at, or could it be brought against the company as a whole?
Brought against probably the ones in KY
There is a Petland in my area (upstate NY). Where are the puppies sourced from? Are they puppy mill pups or from good, legitimate breeders? Are all the Petlands this way or is this a localized problem?
Depends on the breed. Frenchies come from some place in PA. Germans, Great Danes, and Shelties come from mills
Was this a corporate owned store or franchisee?
The Petland near me isn't anything close to as bad as this. I wonder if this is just one really shitty owner. You might have just been able to write a letter to corporate and they would have acted on this.
Corporate. It was all on the General manager, she was the reason for the abuse
Why are you doing this?
Because people need to know about what this lady did. She's an awful person, not just to the dogs, but also to her workers. People who lied enough to sell the dogs got huge pay raises, meanwhile we in the kennel got jack shit. the GM has been caught abusing animals multiple times, and needs to be stopped
Aren't there better charities than HSUS to do business with?
NSPCA I guess
What would you do to the owners?
If I had the legal authority? I'd file an account of animal neglect/abuse on the manager.
Why are you such a pussy you didn’t contact animal control or police?
I did. I was the one to tip off the NHA
My goldfish died because I fed him too much, what is the optimal way to feed a goldfish?
Depends on the type of goldfish. Some need a bit more food than others. I would say if it's a traditional gold fish; 2-3 times a day. Watch how much they eat in 90 seconds to get an estimate of how much per feeding
What in your opinion is the dumbest animal Petland sells?
I don't know... goldfish are pretty dumb animals
All else matters not.
Can you provide evidence?
All else is nonsense.
Evidence on the case? They took our phones as soon as we got in the store to work. I did wear a wire once, but almost got caught and never wore it again.
I'm the one who tipped off the humane society
Why did you not feel a moral obligation to say something until the story was getting traction?
I reported it while I worked there. The local humane society just never said anything to me.
wtf? i thought petstores were made illegal like a decade ago - I haven't seen any since then
They still exist, sadly. Some actually aren't that bad, mostly just ones that sell, like, goldfish aren't bad.
I aint watching the video because I hate youtube. Can you explain exactly what you mean by abused? Like specifically? Sorry if this would be obvious by watching the video, i just rather read things
A lot of the stuff started kicking up after I left, so some of that stuff is new to me
How close are you to becoming vegan?
Honestly... I don't think I could be vegan. Vegetarian... maybe... but not vegan
How many animals did you personally abuse?
Oh god, none! I wasn't that person. I specifically left because animals were getting abused
Why did you say something sooner? It’s kinda annoying that you didn’t imo
I mentioned this in the previous post that got removed because I didn't have my proof pic. I was a teenager who needed money. The Kennel itself wasn't abusive, just the manager. I quit just before it started to get really bad.