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PetSmart corporate policy

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by Blueandbluer, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. Blueandbluer

    Blueandbluer Arachnobaron

    As we know, the arachnid husbandry at petsmart is atrocious, and governed by corporate policy, so even if you tell a staff member how to correct their setup, they can't.

    I'm wondering -- has anyone ever tried getting together a petition or letter-writing campaign to their corporate offices, politely explaining where they're going wrong, with references?
  2. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX ArachnoGod Active Member

    I doubt that would work. As you said, they are governed by policy corporations. Big chains, no matter the business they are into, are corporations.
    And corporations wants only profit. When it comes to animals is more sad, since they are living creatures, and not tools or stuff.

    I can be wrong, but i think that 95% of those people who works in those pet shops, are people who know nothing about T's, not even the basics.
    Reminds me like those who work here in Italy in Mc Donalds.. they know nothing about food. They are mostly students or young people who need to earn some money.

    I highly dislike big chains, their way of doing things and that globalized mentality.
    Here the few shops who sold T's, Scorpions, Scolopendra, Snakes etc were owned by enthusiasts breeders only. I learned everything from those guys. And that was a no internet era.

    But no multimillionaire company (obviously) was behind them plus the 2003 Arachnid Ban.. so they closed.
    We are in 2015, now. Everyone have Internet, or access to, so ignorance IMO is not anymore an excuse for keep buying T's from them.

    T's enthusiasts should support T's honest breeders who keep the hobby alive.
  3. EulersK

    EulersK Arachnonomicon Staff Member

    I completely agree. Unfortunately, many buyers are not enthusiasts, and simply want a "giant spider" as a pet.

    On a side note, I work very near to both a PetSmart and Petco. I stop in routinely to see if they have a mislabeled T in hopes of finding a good deal (once bought a subadult B. emilia for $20), and I've noticed something the last few months. They don't carry T's anymore. Granted, I'm only visiting two locations, but they haven't had spiders in months. Has anyone else noticed this? And if so, has there been some corporate policy change?
    • Like Like x 1
  4. I believe there has been, yes. My local PetSmart hasn't carried Tarantulas or Scorpions in ages. Back when I was first starting out I went in and asked if they were planning on bringing in any Ts or Scorps and I was told that they no longer carry large invertebrates due to employee safety concerns. Roughly translated I suspect that means that no one wanted to go near the big scary inverts. :p
  5. Thistles

    Thistles Arachnobroad

    Certain PetSmarts have recently added a reptile display that includes an extra wing, allowing them to stock additional animals. Those PetSmarts generally carry tarantulas. Not all do. Furthermore, some townships restrict dealers from carrying certain animals. The PetSmart and Petco nearest me are in a town that prohibits the sale of tarantulas and scorpions, but there are others nearby that carry them.

    I used to manage the "pet care department" of a PetSmart. I generally followed corporate standards, which call for the animal to be housed in a Kritter Keeper on tropical soil with a water dish and sponge, but left out the sponge in the water bowl. If we got inspected, I just dropped a sponge in until the bigwigs left. Honestly, the KKs are a little on the small side but for temporary housing that's far from terrible. What I had a problem with are the care guides offered.

    If enough keepers wrote to PetSmart, they might make a change. It's happened before. I was unsuccessful from the inside, but there have been instances of customer complaints changing standards at least on the district level. The problem is that the complaints are often from psychos who know nothing about what they're complaining about.

    Whenever I complained or even made polite inquiries at Petco, I've been dismissed and lied to. I haven't tried writing any letters to Petco, though. I worked for them 8 years ago and the management and standards of care there were downright appalling for all animals. I've visited a few and things appear to have changed, but my insider info is outdated when it comes to Petco.

    Bloo, I've worked in 2 Philly PetSmarts. Is the Bustleton/Cottman store one you've been to? They have Ts. The Haldeman store I just left did not. I've never been to Adams or South Philly, so I can't speak to those.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Poec54

    Poec54 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Nothing will change if we don't try.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. dementedlullaby

    dementedlullaby Arachnobaron

    My first tip is don't get mad at the employees on the floor. They are just trying to do what the managers tell them to do so they can keep their job. I've spoke with someone who was let go for trying to improve the reptile living conditions at a chain store. They were bringing things in that cost them out of their own pocket.

    Ask to speak with the manager. If the manager clearly doesn't give a crap stop shopping there. A lot of these chains care more about profits over the actual animals welfare. I hate to say it but inverts and fish (freshwater especially) are also basically bottom of the barrel when it comes to care in a lot of pet stores as well. Tarantulas and scorpions don't bring in the cash flow that other pets do and most freshwater/brackish fish are a dime a dozen. Mom and Pop stores are far more willing to adjust how they keep animals, I'm guessing due to the power of word and mouth.
  8. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    What gets me is that many of the improvements would not be that costly or time-consuming to implement. What is the practical difference between a water dish with a sponge vs no sponge, for example. maintaining the proper moisture levels would cost nothing, just look up the type of requrememts suggests and act accordingly. Proper substrates might add a few cents to the overhead, but would be negligible to, probably. I think it may be a case of being unwillingness to admit their guidelines are incorrect, or something. That and maybe they want the quickest methods possible so their employees can get as much done as possible rather invest much time in the livestock, I dunno.
  9. Blueandbluer

    Blueandbluer Arachnobaron

    Thanks, Poec... that's what I was thinking too.

    ---------- Post added 08-24-2015 at 03:25 PM ----------

    I try to assume best intent -- there is SO MUCH conflicting information available, I wonder if the Petsmart people originally set up the corporate policy based on old info and just never thought about it ever again. I'm wondering if we could mobilize, if there'd at least be a CHANCE of getting a small change, like getting rid of the damn sponges. I don't think expecting them to have world class enclosures is reasonable, but maybe if we asked for few small revenue-neutral changes, with good references?
  10. Slimdean

    Slimdean Arachnopeon

    The Petco Manager were I am refuses to carry T's. She said it's a horrible experience for both creature and store. No one wants to go near the cage or nor does anyone buy it til they clearance it. She make sure the system says 1 so they don't get any.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. leaveittoweaver

    leaveittoweaver Arachnoknight

    Only one of the Petsmarts in our area carries T's. The Petco's carry T's....usually rosies and pink toes but every once in awhile I see A.seemani or H.Lividum.
  12. johnny quango

    johnny quango Arachnoknight Arachnosupporter

    I agree 1000s of people should stand together as 1 voice it may not work but it may get unwanted publicity
  13. captmarga

    captmarga Arachnobaron

    I currently have a complaint open with Petsmart about this very thing. I was brushed off by manager #1. Manager #2 said she would take care of it. Visit 4 and still no progress, BUT the fellow at checkout said they were aware and had been "absolutely forbidden" by their care specialist and consulting vet to remove the sponge. My complaint remains open at this time.
  14. leaveittoweaver

    leaveittoweaver Arachnoknight

    It took forever for Petsmart and petco to feed their Cresties appropriately and here we are years later and they finally are. A lot of times it is due to not knowing and needing enough people to say something to make a change. I worked for a pet store that kept a certain critter incorrectly and even with me saying something, did not change it, it took three or four customer complaints(smaller company) for it to be rectified. We chose not to carry the animal any more but that's better then keeping it incorrectly.

    Even corporate can change their ways if the consumer complaint is large enough!
  15. Yeah, I am thinking if someone could post corporate email or mailing address -- I'd be glad to write a few of the major chains. If enough of us do it... well, maybe nothing will happen. But it couldn't hurt to try. Email is free and USPS stamps are still a pretty good deal imo. Could even have a poll here to see how many AB'ers assisted in the effort.
  16. dredrickt

    dredrickt Arachnoknight

    While the intent has merit- you pretty much nailed it, nothing will happen. Even if over a thousand people signed a petition, that wouldn't even amount to one line of text on a post-it note memo to a low level VP on a wednesday morning. It would be more effective to just offer kind advice to those working the area, I know that seems like an endless talk, and it is, but at this point, the ground level is where the most change will take place (even though its a revolving door for those employees).
  17. Blueandbluer

    Blueandbluer Arachnobaron

    I intend to write Petsmart, and use cites from Stan's book and other resources to at least get them to ditch the sponge and use proper substrate. Please, anyone who cares about this even a little, do the same! For the lazy -- PM me and I can give you a copy of my letter, all you'll have to do is print it, sign it, stamp it, and mail it. Here's a link that gives their company address in both US and Canada:


    Will it result in any change? Probably not. But there is a chance, where if we say nothing there's no chance at all.

    I have never used Petco, so wouldn't feel comfortable contacting them as a customer, but if anyone else should like to feel free.

    ---------- Post added 08-25-2015 at 11:49 AM ----------

    Normally I'd agree, but at PetSmart I know that won't work. The managers and staff are FORBIDDEN by policy to alter the care of the animals from the corporate mandated care. If they did so, and it were noticed, they would lose their jobs.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Thistles

    Thistles Arachnobroad

    Not true. They might be written up, but there are tons of policy violations in every store and all that happens is the district manager tells you to fix it - assuming the DM even notices. I doubt even an auditor would notice a missing sponge from a water dish.

    The bedding used in the enclosures should be coconut coir. Nothing wrong with that.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. This right here is why they refuse to take hobbyists seriously: they've got vets, who we know from previous examples know nothing about tarantulas (like vets advising and offering fang removal) insisting they be kept this way. Unless we can get them to understand these vets are full of it we won't be taken seriously.
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