I decided to go into my local Petco and see the condition of the kids in
there. I have been in a few times in the past and it was pretty hit and
miss with the state of the tank (they are in big fish tanks). In the
past, I have walked into the back room and filled water bottles. I have
never actually talked to any of the employees I just took it upon myself
to feed and water them. I have probably done this 3 times and never has
anyone stopped or questioned me.
I went in and introduced myself saying I was a member of a group that is
doing checks on Petco stores to make sure that the small animals were
being cared for. I told him about PETA s concerns re the freezer issue
and the lack of vet care the (young 18 22 yo) man appeared horrified by
what I was telling him. However, he said that this confirmed a suspicion
that he had; he apparently got a memo with his paycheck (as did all other
employees in the store). The memo said anyone found putting live animals
in the freezer would be immediately terminated. (THIS IS GOOD, I feel
like it is Petco covering their own Asses but I don t care why they are
doing it, clearly, something is being done. I feel it is in big part to
the people in this community who have fought so hard for so many months!)
They had a note on the wall in back that emphasized the need to take care
of animals, that they needed to look over the shipments carefully before
accepting new animals. It is better to have fewer animals in the store
than to have a bunch of sick ones. He took me into the back room and
showed me all of the animals under vet care; I must admit that I was
impressed! They had a hamster being treated for mites, a guinea pig
with an eye issue some rodent (not sure what) with wet tail . Each was
quarantined in its own cadge with very clear medical instructions and
lots of food and water. They also had a bird that was pulling feathers
and was being beaten up by the other birds. They pulled him out of
general population put him in his own cadge, and were waiting for the
manager to tell them what to do.
Back to the ferrets. As I said, they are in a huge aquarium (I could
probably put my 10 year old niece in it with no trouble). It is no
super-pet cadge but it was not horrible. While their cadge/aquarium was
clean but it had NO toys (other than the litter box). The food dish had
some food in it (not full but it looked good). They had 2 adorable (what
ferret is not adorable) marshal boys both were well behaved very soft and
had adult teeth (I would say at least 4 months old). One of the ferrets
had been there for 1 month the other was new (the new one had a blaze on
his head in the shape of an arrow (insert raisins here `). The first
thing I did was take the fuzzys out to play with, nails were not trimmed
but they were also not crazy long. I quizzed the employee When do they
get out to play?
I let them run around back here every day when I clean out cadges. They
seem to need more attention than the other rodents. (Excuse me did he
just say RODENT!).
I quipped back that would be because they are not rodents .
Nope, they are related to the mink, skunk, and weasel.
Really, aren t weasels mean?
Sometimes probably, but they are not house pets ferrets are
Aren t some ferrets wild
Some but these ferrets are related to wild ferrets like a house cat is
related to a bob cat . The are both cats but they are different species.
Ok, then I addressed the lack of toys. He was great, he asked me to look
around the store and tell him what I thought would be good. I said a
tube or a box would be great. He said that they could not put a box in
there that they must put an official pet toy but it could not be an
expensive toy. I showed him the funnel ($12.00), he said that it was too
much money but he found another rodent tube that it was essentially a
purple cardboard funnel with fluff in it for $5.00 (It was nice and wide,
think carpet tube). I said that if he took the fluff out it would be
great. I also had him put a tennis ball in with them ($.99). The kids
immediately started running through the tube dragging the ball in the
tube, playing king of the mountain and basically acting like crazy
ferrets (it was great). I told the guy I would be back and he told me to
I also gave him a card for our local ferret shelter and said if he
ever had someone drop off unwanted ferrets to call them (he sounded
enthusiastic). I started to leave and I got to talk to the shift
manager. I gave him my whole story and he was less receptive but not a
total jerk. I went back in a few days later and both kids were gone and
the cadge was clean, the tube and ball were still in it, and there were
a bunch of ferret fact sheets by the tank! I feel good that at least I
improved the quality of life for these 2 kids for a few days, hopefully
they went to a good home together (thinking happy thoughts). If one of
you was the person who bought them of if you know who bought them let me
know they were total cuties.
I will go back again tomorrow and see if they have new kids.
I have to drive by this Petco on the way to work so it is easy for me to
stop in twice a week and check on the kids. I hope others do the same.
While I still won t buy my supplies from them (I really don t like that
they sell ferrets) I am glad that some people are open to education. I
have to believe that anyone who works in a pet store is there at least in
part because they love animals, and with proper education, they will
learn how to take care of them correctly.
Kirstin and her fuzzy bunch
[Posted in FML issue 3868]