how to deal with the box store misadvice/ignorance

keokeo

New Member
hi everyone, i know i have seen discussion of the bad care tips and examples that the big stores like petco and petsmart provide for chams.

i was just in the latter store to buy some crickets and saw a little tiny dark colored veiled baby cham trying to catch a cricket to big for him amidst tons of substrate chips the size of his head or more, and another veiled cham in another tank (housed with a healthier looking jackson) near death or dead, eyes closed in a standing dish of water.

i asked for the manager and he said they follow the care instructions provided by veterinarians. i said politely that many vets are not expects on all species and chameleon care is unique and advanced. another example is they recomend dusting wth D3 everytime and do not even stock calcium without D3. when I brought that up, they had ZERO idea what I was talking about so i ordered d3 calcium from amazon.

I'm wondering though, has anyone drafted a basic care guide for these sellers or a concerned notification to the higher-up management in these big corporations as to how they should be modeling proper treatment of the animals they selll? have we tried that as an organized group? (i'm a newbie). they would experience less mortality and potentially save some money that way (thinking corporate here). maybe they just dont care due to bottom line.

i know we can't do a whole lot to save all these chams, and again, i know you have discussed this before as an on-going issue. has anyone had SUCCESS in educating the coporate monolith? do you focus local or could we do something on a larger scale?

every time i'm there getting crickets i try to dissuade moms with little kids from making reptile purchases without doing careful research about the upkeep responsibilities and expenses because they sure as heck aren't goldfish!
:mad:
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
Unfortunately, with the big pet stores it's not a matter of the employees or managers not caring (some of them really do!) but their hands are tied by corporate. They get sent standards they have to meet and there's not much they can do. And they're not about to risk their jobs, especially not right now with the economy like it is.

The best thing you can do is take photos (evidence) and write in to the headquarters with the photos. Always be respectful, but state your case. Be clear and to the point, but don't bother attaching long care-sheets, as they won't get read. The idea is for them to get so many complaints that they either re-evaluate their care or decide to get rid of animals they can't house properly.

But always take photos. You have no case without photos, and I'm always surprised when people come on here to post angrily about what they saw but they never took a photo of it. Everyone has a phone, and taking a photo of a dead animal in a cage or a really sick looking animal is going to make a much stronger argument than a description.
 

tdismang

New Member
hi everyone, i know i have seen discussion of the bad care tips and examples that the big stores like petco and petsmart provide for chams.

i was just in the latter store to buy some crickets and saw a little tiny dark colored veiled baby cham trying to catch a cricket to big for him amidst tons of substrate chips the size of his head or more, and another veiled cham in another tank (housed with a healthier looking jackson) near death or dead, eyes closed in a standing dish of water.

i asked for the manager and he said they follow the care instructions provided by veterinarians. i said politely that many vets are not expects on all species and chameleon care is unique and advanced. another example is they recomend dusting wth D3 everytime and do not even stock calcium without D3. when I brought that up, they had ZERO idea what I was talking about so i ordered d3 calcium from amazon.

I'm wondering though, has anyone drafted a basic care guide for these sellers or a concerned notification to the higher-up management in these big corporations as to how they should be modeling proper treatment of the animals they selll? have we tried that as an organized group? (i'm a newbie). they would experience less mortality and potentially save some money that way (thinking corporate here). maybe they just dont care due to bottom line.

i know we can't do a whole lot to save all these chams, and again, i know you have discussed this before as an on-going issue. has anyone had SUCCESS in educating the coporate monolith? do you focus local or could we do something on a larger scale?

every time i'm there getting crickets i try to dissuade moms with little kids from making reptile purchases without doing careful research about the upkeep responsibilities and expenses because they sure as heck aren't goldfish!
:mad:

Now now, let's not bring goldfish into this. Not trying to derail this thread, but goldfish are as greatly misunderstood as any pet. The general public regards them as disposable and short lived, when, in fact, properly cared for, can live for 30+ years.
 

vgaines

Member
I worked in the pet care department of a big chain store for over three years. It was extremely frustrating dealing with corp. when it came to the care of all small animals including reptiles and fish. Even tho there was a vet in store they only specialized in dogs/cats. They would treat simple stuff in small animals but we had to take reptiles to an outside vet. I can tell you its all about the $$$$. If it doesn't hurt corporations pocketbook they just don't care. I got into trouble from my manager several times because I didn't make a easy sale. I would tell parents and adults that wanted to buy a reptile to go home, do lots of research and see if what they wanted was the right pet for their family. ( did the same with the chinchillas) The care guides we provided were so simplified it was sad. 99% of the people that came in to get a pet thought that we knew everything about the pets we sold. Oh and employees were not allowed to carry cell phones because they were afraid we would take pictures..:mad:
 

lilblack94gt

New Member
I too, used to work for a boig chain petstore.... Petsmart. I eventually quit because I was tired of corporate trying to tell us how to care for an animal and the care sheets they provided were complete crap.

As far as people coming into the store, and thinking they knew about animals, I always made sure they were properly educated before they left the store. many times, I had people come back into the store and specifically ask for me by name. It made me feel good to know that people didnt mind being sent home to do research before I would sell an animal to them.
 
Wow that sucks the petsmarts around me are all great and the employees know a little bit but are kind and open to suggestion and they all have properly stocked shelfs the petcos are a differnt story though once at petco I saw 7 veil chams in the same cage one was a full grown adult and all the rest were hatchlings lol
 

keokeo

New Member
Now now, let's not bring goldfish into this. Not trying to derail this thread, but goldfish are as greatly misunderstood as any pet. The general public regards them as disposable and short lived, when, in fact, properly cared for, can live for 30+ years.
interesting! had no idea about the goldfish fact! i guess it's just that people don't take care of them well that they often pass quickly?
 

keokeo

New Member
I worked in the pet care department of a big chain store for over three years. It was extremely frustrating dealing with corp. when it came to the care of all small animals including reptiles and fish. Even tho there was a vet in store they only specialized in dogs/cats. They would treat simple stuff in small animals but we had to take reptiles to an outside vet. I can tell you its all about the $$$$. If it doesn't hurt corporations pocketbook they just don't care. I got into trouble from my manager several times because I didn't make a easy sale. I would tell parents and adults that wanted to buy a reptile to go home, do lots of research and see if what they wanted was the right pet for their family. ( did the same with the chinchillas) The care guides we provided were so simplified it was sad. 99% of the people that came in to get a pet thought that we knew everything about the pets we sold. Oh and employees were not allowed to carry cell phones because they were afraid we would take pictures..:mad:
wow. that is sad. i just wonder if we can do anything to try to make the situation better for the poor creatures or if this is just the unfortunate reality of capitalism with no options for improvement.
 

DanSB

Avid Member
Both corporations have places where you can leave feedback / complaints on their websites. USE them, it is what they are for.

Write a concise description of what you saw, why it is bad, and be polite focusing on facts. Both stores have visible temp and RH in most hero displays. Note that. Note any filth, note condition, sores, etc...

You can make a difference if you speak up. All the petcos in my area changed their drippers and RH monitoring because I complained. I've had no luck with PETsMART.

I have a standing invitation to anyone to assist in drafting a complaint letter. Complaining here is useless, you NEED to send the complaint to them!
 

jackschamnewbie

New Member
hi everyone, i know i have seen discussion of the bad care tips and examples that the big stores like petco and petsmart provide for chams.

i was just in the latter store to buy some crickets and saw a little tiny dark colored veiled baby cham trying to catch a cricket to big for him amidst tons of substrate chips the size of his head or more, and another veiled cham in another tank (housed with a healthier looking jackson) near death or dead, eyes closed in a standing dish of water.

i asked for the manager and he said they follow the care instructions provided by veterinarians. i said politely that many vets are not expects on all species and chameleon care is unique and advanced. another example is they recomend dusting wth D3 everytime and do not even stock calcium without D3. when I brought that up, they had ZERO idea what I was talking about so i ordered d3 calcium from amazon.

I'm wondering though, has anyone drafted a basic care guide for these sellers or a concerned notification to the higher-up management in these big corporations as to how they should be modeling proper treatment of the animals they selll? have we tried that as an organized group? (i'm a newbie). they would experience less mortality and potentially save some money that way (thinking corporate here). maybe they just dont care due to bottom line.

i know we can't do a whole lot to save all these chams, and again, i know you have discussed this before as an on-going issue. has anyone had SUCCESS in educating the coporate monolith? do you focus local or could we do something on a larger scale?

every time i'm there getting crickets i try to dissuade moms with little kids from making reptile purchases without doing careful research about the upkeep responsibilities and expenses because they sure as heck aren't goldfish!
:mad:

I see the same thing where I live too and it makes me pretty smad... When I left with my first cham i was under the impression that armed with a small fish tank, a spray bottle and a variety of insects that I would be supplying an ideal environment for these creatures.

I wasted nearly every cent I spent bringing home my first cham and the equipment i believed to be essential is now used to breed and house feeders.

As much as I would like to agree I honestly don't think that living conditions for these animals is in the jurisdiction of a local or national corporate office. I have no evidence to prove that thought but it is based off of what I see.

To add some contrast I discovered today that Petco does a passionately phenomenal job with their reptiles in my area. They have two people staffed full time to keep every single crack and crevasse clean in the enclosures that are designed to meet the needs of each creature they are housing, and have the knowledge to educate you on what is and is not needed for each of them. They only had maybe 20 different reptiles to choose from but the lack of quantity was made up for in quality.
The first place I got a cham was at a Petsmart on the same side of town. This place has problems falling out of its *** like a hookers loose farts.
I brought home few chams from them because I couldnt bare the sight of what they had to live in. I wanted to help them be healthy, fat and comfortable little monsters. It really sucks that these animals are born into such wretched environments. To make it worse most of them only make it out to be brought into an even worse environment maintained by someone that has even less knowledge of how to care for them.

I dont see any one person being able to change this. Perhaps if there were enough people to step up and say something loud enough for a big ear to listen but idk... Maybe it is possible
Even at a corporate level they only have so much say in what each store may or may not do, like these stores are individually owned and operated. Even at places that arent part of the billion dollar animal trade industry, such as the ma' and pa' style reptile stores, the quarters are not that much better. The bare minimum seems to be the norm,

Thank you for helping me find justification for being sort of extreme with my obsession. Before now I thought I was just weird
 

Haze1981

Member
Now now, let's not bring goldfish into this. Not trying to derail this thread, but goldfish are as greatly misunderstood as any pet. The general public regards them as disposable and short lived, when, in fact, properly cared for, can live for 30+ years.

Totally off topic but my goldfish lived for 23 years :)
 
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