Petsmart

farkasjk14

New Member
I just wanted to post a mini-rant about petsmart.

I purchased a veiled chameleon last week at petsmart. I've been wanting a chameleon for the past 2 years, and I finally committed. There is a local petstore called Preuss Pets, and they are SO knowledgeable and helpful and answer any questions that you have. Unfortunately, they do not have chameleons for sale that frequently when they do.

So I saw this chameleon at petsmart. His cage was not nearly as tall as it should have been, and there was not enough foliage inside the cage. There was no sign outside of the cage indicating that this animal gets stressed easily, so you should not poke the cage, get close to the cage, etc. Plus, petsmart has a lot of traffic, whether it be people or loud barking dogs.

I was in the store, debated with myself for 45 minutes pacing up and down the reptile accessory aisle before I decided if I wanted to commit to a petsmart chameleon. I asked an employee for help to pick out bulbs, and ask her any last minute questions that I had (after reading numerous articles about chameleons). She handed me a pamphlet, had me read what vague and lacking information was on it, and pretty much agreed with whatever I asked. I was so fed up that I asked her if anyone else in the store would be more knowledgeable (in a polite way of course). She went to go grab the store manager.

The store manager seemed slightly more knowledgeable, portraying confidence when he answered my questions. Unfortunately, much of the information he told me was wrong. He stated that if the chameleon was cold in the winter, to put a heating rock in the cage with the pet. He said the chameleons needed to be misted (not just their cage) because reptiles breathe through their skin. I knew the cage needed to be misted to maintain humidity, but geez! He had me get a mulch like substrate for my chameleon, and told me to let the crickets be free range. He also said that they don't get chameleons that frequently, and when they do, it normally takes awhile to sell.

I know that everyone raises their chameleons differently, but I felt as a first time owner, that I really needed correct information. So I had everything in my cart, and as the manager is getting the chameleon out of its cage, he says "get in there sweetheart". I proceeded to ask if it was a male or a female, and he stated female. I called earlier that afternoon and I must have talked to someone else, because they said it was a male. I didn't want a female because I didn't want to deal with the eggs, and my heart dropped. The manager went to ask a different manager, and said that he was 85% confident that it was a male, but his store is suppose to only carry females. I attempted to buy everything the chameleon needed, but due to the lack of a dripper, general sticks, and a sprayer, I needed to go to the other petstore the next day.

I went to Preuss and they told me that half the things I purchased for the chameleon (substrate, light-wattage, gutload , etc.) was incorrect. I was very frustrated, but purchased the necessary items for the chameleon.

Today, I went to petsmart to buy fishfood. As I walk by, low and behold there are TWO VEILED CHAMELEONS IN ONE TANK. I practically erupted. They were both a dark hunter green with some black and I knew they must have been terribly stressed. I immediately addressed the manager, which come to fins out was the animal manager, and she stated she was unaware they were in the same cage and she didn't know that they were not suppose to be.

My chameleon is luckily doing well, but I am going to write a letter to petsmart. If a store is going to sell an animal, the least they can do is provide adequate care. OR COMMON SENSE CARE. I guess the main reason as to why I'm posting this is to tell others not to purchase from commercialized pet stores. My next chameleon will be purchased by a knowledgeable breeder.

Thank you ALL for being knowledgeable/willing to answer questions to your best ability. I appreciate all the members and this forum!!!
 

juice28

New Member
i cant say much...im not a petsmart person i used to work at petco and my store specifically was VERY good but we were all animal keepers ourselves from squirrels to caimen so we kind of had specialists we referred to if we weren't sure of something i was the reptile and fish guy along with 2 others. i could def see why the employees you dealt with upset you, we would keep 3 chams together in an enclosure but it was a nice size and our chams were always babys and baby chams are ok together for the most part..they might have been dark due to shipping and new cage stress not specifically due to each other assuming they were babys.. i too have a female veiled cham and i really didnt want a female for the same reason as you BUT.. i got a deal on her that was stupid good and a no brainer to pass up and honestly shes so cool and im sooo glad i got her and its great learning for my next cham which will be a male because females do need a bit more attention so when i get a male ill be more than prepared for him :)
 

ChamyLove

New Member
Reading this, I got very upset myself. :mad: I completely agree with you. I get my feeders at petsmart (most convenient place), and every time I go there, they have a chameleon there. Sometimes veiled, sometimes Jackson's. It makes me so upset to see them there, that I just want to purchase them to save them, but I know that if I do that they will just keep ordering chameleons to sell in their stores. :mad:
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
Yea, I agree that it tugs at our heart strings but we cannot purchase a chameleon from a pet store we don't agree with. It's not rescuing, it's giving a business you don't want to support your $60-100, showing them that there is a demand, and freeing up a cage for a new animal. We can write all the letters we want, but we vote with our money when we buy chameleons from Petco/Petsmart.
 

OldChamKeeper

Chameleon Enthusiast
I used to work in the pet industry a few decades ago... I fully support what Olimpia said. You have to vote with your money.


All that happens at Petsmart is some bean counter sees what things have sold and what things have not sold. They then just re-order what sells.

If anything, buying a poor chameleon from Petsmart or Petco just results in them buying another one in the next few weeks.

The only way you can get a store to stop doing something you dislike, is to cost them money. That means not purchasing their animals, taking pictures and reporting them to your local animal control, sometimes even sending in pictures to their corporate offices (however that doesn't mean much on average).

I could save around 10-20% on my supplies if I bought them at Petsmart or Petco, however I choose to purchase supplies from my local herp shop.... vote with your money
 

bbprinting

New Member
I'm with Olimpia on this one when I was doing reef tanks we had these same discussion about petco all the time about their sickly salt water stock, and being cheap, people were always trying to buy and rescue these fish but to corporate that was nothing more than another sale and another reason to buy more inventory. I've started just walking past the chameleons now when I'm in Petsmart just to not get upset.
 

Crusader

Member
You would thing working in a specialized store they would hire people who are knowledgeable. However that is not the case.

Working at Petco was my first job after I graduated from high school. I was never allowed to have any pets of my own growing up. So I didn't have any experience under my belt. But, because of my confidence and dashing smile, I was hired on the spot. :p
My training was a crash course on a computer in the break room covering everything from how to welcome and deal with customers, small animals, reptiles, fish, cats, dogs and birds. Nothing advanced, just the basics.

If you are looking for advice, ask for a specialist. An easy way to tell is by looking at their name tags. Petco and Petsmart use these stickers on their badges showing what they are specialized in. That means they actually know what they are talking about. They've either had pets in this area for a long amount of time, or they've dedicated time to train and research more on this particular area of the store.
 

Yak

New Member
I am so disappointed at this store, today on my way to the show I saw a Petsmart from the freeway, and just for the heck of it I decided to get off and go back towards the shopping center this store was at. I asked one employee if they had any chameleons and they told me they were at the end of the aisle. I passed them as they were on an end cap towards the middle. No big deal but when you’re in a rush, walking around the store after asking someone, is annoying. I had to ask a second employee, and when I found them, I noticed they only had two Veiled, I was interested in the Jackson.
The two babies were in a square cubicle of around 12x12x12 and looked a little bit skinny, they were “on sale” at $99.99 each.
I asked the same guy if they had any Jacksons, he stared at the air for two seconds and said, “A chameleon is a chameleon,… we only have those vail, viel, veiled, bail,…. I can never pronounce their name”.
I turn around and left the store.
To my fortuned I found a nice healthy cham at the show.
 

djfishygillz

Avid Member
You buy their products, give them money, then talk crap about them, but still gave them business. So you know what they care about, the money that you gave them.
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
:mad::mad::mad::mad:

I just found out that the ONLY independent pet supply in Juneau AK closed its doors a week ago. It had been in business for decades. A couple of years ago PetCo moved in almost across the street. Many of the original shop's customers swore they would keep supporting them but obviously the almighty dollar and corporate scale bulk buying power won. People whine about big box chain stores but when it comes down to their personal pocketbook and tempting bargains they don't spend where it counts. Now a service-oriented, well known and liked store's staff is out of work, the managers and owners will go who knows where.

This was my only source for herp supplies...the live feeders I can't breed, and the frozen rodents for my python. No one ships directly to me here. I can order dry goods online of course, but nothing perishable. And, big corporate stores like PetCo have very little interest in the remote customers scattered around SE AK with no road access to Juneau. Most locally-owned businesses understand this and for a small fee will take phone orders and take them to the airport for you. Not PetCo, they can't be bothered. The original pet shop was kind enough to receive my frozen rodent shipments from the South 48 and deliver them to the local air taxi for me. I honestly don't know what I'm going to do.

I may have to rehome my python before my store of frozen rodents runs out. To add insult to injury, its likely that PetCo will test the market for a few years, decide they don't like their profit from Juneau, and leave again.
 
Last edited:

Virgil1972

Avid Member
:mad::mad::mad::mad:

I just found out that the ONLY independent pet supply in Juneau AK closed its doors a week ago. It had been in business for decades. A couple of years ago PetCo moved in almost across the street. Many of the original shop's customers swore they would keep supporting them but obviously the almighty dollar and corporate scale bulk buying power won. People whine about big box chain stores but when it comes down to their personal pocketbook and tempting bargains they don't spend where it counts. Now a service-oriented, well known and liked store's staff is out of work, the managers and owners will go who knows where.

This was my only source for herp supplies...the live feeders I can't breed, and the frozen rodents for my python. No one ships directly to me here. I can order dry goods online of course, but nothing perishable. And, big corporate stores like PetCo have very little interest in the remote customers scattered around SE AK with no road access to Juneau. Most locally-owned businesses understand this and for a small fee will take phone orders and take them to the airport for you. Not PetCo, they can't be bothered. The original pet shop was kind enough to receive my frozen rodent shipments from the South 48 and deliver them to the local air taxi for me. I honestly don't know what I'm going to do.

I may have to rehome my python before my store of frozen rodents runs out. To add insult to injury, its likely that PetCo will test the market for a few years, decide they don't like their profit from Juneau, and leave again.
My town had a reptile shop open up about a year ago and I do not know what I would do if they closed down. You should write PetCo a letter telling them where to shove their cheap crap.
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
The only letter I'll ever write to PetCo and the like will be explaining why I will never walk through their doors...even if I have my dog along or not.
 

BabyChamCham

Established Member
I used to work in the pet industry a few decades ago... I fully support what Olimpia said. You have to vote with your money.


All that happens at Petsmart is some bean counter sees what things have sold and what things have not sold. They then just re-order what sells.

If anything, buying a poor chameleon from Petsmart or Petco just results in them buying another one in the next few weeks.

The only way you can get a store to stop doing something you dislike, is to cost them money. That means not purchasing their animals, taking pictures and reporting them to your local animal control, sometimes even sending in pictures to their corporate offices (however that doesn't mean much on average).

I could save around 10-20% on my supplies if I bought them at Petsmart or Petco, however I choose to purchase supplies from my local herp shop.... vote with your money
I hear pet smart is gonna stop selling chameleons soon... o_O
 

KLowery88

Avid Member
:mad::mad::mad::mad:

I just found out that the ONLY independent pet supply in Juneau AK closed its doors a week ago. It had been in business for decades. A couple of years ago PetCo moved in almost across the street. Many of the original shop's customers swore they would keep supporting them but obviously the almighty dollar and corporate scale bulk buying power won. People whine about big box chain stores but when it comes down to their personal pocketbook and tempting bargains they don't spend where it counts. Now a service-oriented, well known and liked store's staff is out of work, the managers and owners will go who knows where.

This was my only source for herp supplies...the live feeders I can't breed, and the frozen rodents for my python. No one ships directly to me here. I can order dry goods online of course, but nothing perishable. And, big corporate stores like PetCo have very little interest in the remote customers scattered around SE AK with no road access to Juneau. Most locally-owned businesses understand this and for a small fee will take phone orders and take them to the airport for you. Not PetCo, they can't be bothered. The original pet shop was kind enough to receive my frozen rodent shipments from the South 48 and deliver them to the local air taxi for me. I honestly don't know what I'm going to do.

I may have to rehome my python before my store of frozen rodents runs out. To add insult to injury, its likely that PetCo will test the market for a few years, decide they don't like their profit from Juneau, and leave again.

That's awful... Do none of the lower 48 rodent suppliers ship directly to residential AK addresses?
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
If you happen to live in the city (Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau) and you have house delivery yes. Problem is, many towns don't have any sort of commercial house delivery or house mail delivery. FedEx will ship perishable to Anchorage, but they put express freight in THE MAIL from that point. Ironic as they brag how fast they are...well, Alaska is not Mars but they don't seem to get it. Not great for anything alive or frozen. I have been through this so often. UPS used to deliver express, but not to my town.
 

hiddenflaws

Avid Member
I got very upset myself with the conditions I saw my chameleon in! I had to get him from Petsmart due to the fact that there isn’t anyone near me or another petstore (other than petco) that sells them. Petco had two of them in the same small tank together when I went to their to get some of my chameleons essentials a week before picking mine up at Petsmart. I was kind of mad to also find out that the largest size they have for a tank (Petsmart) is the minimum requirement for them! And there was only one cage that sold in that size! I definitely went with that cage until I can get his new one shipped in. After reading about the gender confusion of your chameleon, I hope that isn’t the case with mine. I’m definitely going to check again once I wake up in the morning!
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
Hi @hiddenflaws we all feel for the poor chameleons at the big box store it rarely goes well with them. Just a heads up this tread is very old so don't be disappointed if the OP never responds to your comment.
Hope all is well with your new pet. If not you can ask for help in the Health Clinic section.
 
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