Saturday, February 7, 2009

Another PetSmart Horror Story

Please know, that I am not trying to bash PetSmart.
As a publisher, I interact with many people
and hear a lot of their stories.
I can not judge. I just pass on the stories
and you, the consumer will have to judge.
And if PetSmart wants to answer to all these
allegations, I will gladly run their response as well.
This came in today, from a former employee...

My heart breaks for each one of you who has lost your pet do to understaffed, undertrained people at Petsmart. More importantly and more tragic,
my heart breaks for the animals who have no control over their situation.

These animals are taken to Petsmart,where they are forced to indure cruel and inhumane treatement,(all for the almighty dollar),they get injured and spend their last moments suffering and more than ever needing the love and comfort of the pet parent.this business is not about the comfort or safety of the animals. I know because I worked for Petsmart in Dublin California, for about 5 weeks in June 2008.

They take in as many animals as they can rush them through the bath and groom as fast as they can so that they can make as much money as they can. I am an animal lover and donate much time to rescue and fund raising for certain groups. I resigned from Petsmart because I saw animals get hit because they would not move or get into the kennel, I saw them dragged and the day that I quit I saw an unattended dog jump out of the wash tub hanging from the leash restraint attached to the wall.

The bather just pulled the dog up by the leash and put it in the kennel while scolding the dog for jumping out. I was on the floor with another animal and could not get up in time to rescue. I secured the animal I was working with and went to check on the dog. It was just frozen with fear. I went to report this to the Assistant Manager, and I shared what abuse I had witnessed in the past 2 weeks. I told her I was quitting because I could not stand to see this.

Places like this take in too many animals and tie them up all over in a very small room where the stressed and afraid animals can and do attack other animals. The animals are left tied and unattended (even though the rules say this can't be done). Stressed and mistreated animals many times would throw up and have loose stools for hours, and the owners are not called or told about the events. Instead they say the animal did fine and they talk all sweet and cutesy to your animal while you are there.

When I left I informed all the animal groups I work with and continue to tell every animal owner that I meet. If they must take their animal to be groomed they need to find a caring compassionate person who does grooming, not a company
that's just trying to make lots of money.

Remember too that the worst time for grooming is during holidays when many people want the animal all cleaned up and pretty. These places don't have occupancy requirements so they just keep taking in more animals and they tie them all over. It is very unsafe. Please use this tragedy to do something good for your loved one and all other animals
so that they will not suffer the same fate.


Anonymous said...

Why doesn't someone take at least cellphone pictures or video and get them on you tube or local news? This might cause Petsmart to take a look at themselves more closely when the bad stuff hits the public eye???

Michael said...

Cool post, i enjoyed reading it!

Anonymous said...

I used to work for petco very similar situation, and I do not agree with the actions of the groomers but I do know that at least with petco the groomers have alot of pressure put on them to take in as many dogs as possible I had even been in situations where I was left working from 8am to 9 at night without a break because the managers insisted that I take more dogs than I could handle because they want to look good to corporate with Petco it is like a competition between all the Petco's in the area to see whho does the most sales, grooming, extra services, etc. and this is one of the many reasons why I quit working for Petco and promised myself that no matter how desperately I need the money to pay my bills and everything else I will never work for a big corporation like Petco or Petsmart ever again

Anonymous said...

Nothing like this ever happens at the PetSmart grooming salon I work for. We are VERY strict about safety. It's an immediate termination if a manager even HEARS about someone leaving a dog in a tub, on a table, or not reporting an injury that is more than a quicked nail. At least for us, if a dog is showing that he or she is stressed in any way, we take them to a vet to get checked. We love the dogs we groom. I take less dogs every day to make sure I'm being safe and doing everything the right way to avoid injury.

Although I do hate PetSmart. But not because of the safety policies. It's one of the things that sets them apart from the crappy mom-n-pop shops that use HEATED dryers on dogs that can't even have dryers to begin with. Or muzzle dogs that can't be muzzled. THEY are the ones that take in too many dogs to make more money. Not PetSmart.

Anonymous said...

I worked for PetSmart for over 6 years. I quit a year and a half ago because I cannot work for a company such as theirs any longer. I do not agree with the principles that they have set for themselves and the company in the last 5 years. If you think that it is just the animals they do not care about then remember this, they care even less about their employees. Oh, they have a survey they conduct every year where you get to say some of what you think, but little, if any of it, is heeded. Their goal is now to make money. To sell worthless training classes, to make money, to sell grooming services, make money. I happened to see documents, (these were real!), stating how many dogs groomers are expected to do in an 8 hour shift. Each groomer is expected to groom up to 11 dogs or more. If they do not meet this quota, they are hauled into the office and questioned why they are not grooming enough, and what are their plans to do more? Mind you now, this is 11 dogs to bathe, dry and groom in 8 hours, with a half hour lunch break, and two 15 minute breaks which are required by law, and to cover their own butts, they expect you to take them. So, this is 7 hours grooming time. I ask you this then, HOW can any groomer SAFELY do this many dogs in this type of time frame? The pressure is on these people to sell, sell, sell. Not only grooming, but overpriced services like shampoo, tooth brushing, clogne, and other worthless crap you don't need or want. In the store I worked in, they automatically tacked this on to your bill without asking, all so they could meet the quota that corporate expected, so they did not get yelled at for failing to meet it!
At the end of every day, if a groomer does not meet his quota, he, or she, has to fill out a report stating how they are going to meet their requirements for the nest day, and the rest of the week. Still think they care most about your pet??

The mission of this company USED to be about people and pets. However I watched this focus completetly change over the years. If you knew what it is like to work for this company, and what really goes on behind the scenes, you would not shop there.

I will say though that in the store I worked at, the small animals and fish department was very well maintained, and high levels of quality were a requirement. That was due to the knowledge of the employees and manager of that department. However, now, with a new store director who is more concerned about climbing the corporate ladder, than providing a good working enviornment, I believe the whole store is failing dreadfully in employee morale. This also seems to be the new way to run the company as a whole, since this was not the only store where this type of thing goes on.

Two years before I quit, a statement was made to me, by someone rather high up in the company, who should not have said to me probably. "The time is now to get out of PetSmart. Changes are in the wind, and it is not going to be a good place for any one to work any longer. Don't believe me? Give it two years!"

He was right. I watched store directors quit, district managers quit, and others who truly cared about the employees were fired, and replaced with what they now have. These people let you know, you are expendable, plain and blunt.

This is not a good place to work, it's not a good place to shop, and certainly, NOT a good place to take your pet for grooming! Since I quit, I have never looked back, and I have never returned with my pets for any services they have to offer!

Anonymous said...

I currently work for a petsmart and we take VERY good care of our animals in the entire store. i am personally a manager and if i ever saw a groomer behaving in any way like it was described above, i would fire the groomer. i have also called petparents personally when ive seen any dog in distress to let them know what was wrong. i am very sorry for any bad expirences customers have had, but it isnt every store.

Jennifer said...

Let me tell you my horror story with petsmart! We just got a phone call that our little yorkiepoo, Tyke was taken to the vet due to a small "knick" on the back of his ear. We rushed to the store where they wouldn't let us see him! Finally a store manager came out n told us Tyke had been cut on the back of his neck with the clippers and the doctor would see him soon. Eventually a Doctor came out and explained that Tyke had to be put to sleep, a tube shoved down this throat, and somehow they planned on stitching up a HOLE larger then the size of a quarter on the back of his neck!!!!! We were told it would only take 12 minutes but that we could come back and get him in 3 hours!!! Now its the waiting part! DO NOT GO TO PETSMART GROOMERS!!!!

Coco Chanel said...

That is terrible! What city is this in? I am so sorry for your loss.....

Anonymous said...

It is AMAZING how you people state you are a ANIMAL LOVER and you turn your backs, and quit a place that you are now accuessing of abusing and harming animals. Now by you all not doing anything to stop what your saying is going on, you guys are not any better, if not worse than the hands that caused the abuse / injury because now you are allowing it to continue to happen. If it was that awful, at that many PetSmarts, why not step forward, state your claim, and inform the managers about what is going on, if they don't listen go higher up.
Because in the end, PetSmart wants money, and customers pay with money, so they will insure their groomers do the best they possible can, and if not replace them. There to many people out their looking for work, and so many people can be replaced now a days.

Anonymous said...

The PetSmart that I work for is kind and caring. I am a kind and caring groomer. The safety policies in place have been drilled into us tons of times. We have fired people for violating them. If a dog gets hurt (it happens at every groom shop, sad to say, but it does for many reasons) we rush them to a vet and call the parent before doing so.

Whatever PetSmarts you guys are talking's sad that things happen. But remember this above all: what is the circumstance that causes the injury/fatality? Did your groomer/manager/ the best of their ability to service and help your pet? If you can honestly answer no...then it's a problem.

I feel horribly that dogs have died in the care of the company i work for. I love the company I work for and I'm not ashamed to say it.

But how many "mom and pop" shops have injured dogs or had dogs pass away in their care? I bet the number is more surprising than you'd think. And how many dogs had pre-existing conditions that were yet to be discovered and not even the pet parent knew about it? I've personally turned away TONS of dogs because I felt unsafe grooming them...because they had health conditions that were conflicting with a long grooming process...were too aggressive...etc. But i also have had people come to me because they know that i'm patient, that i learn about their pet...and that most of all I CARE.

I groom because I love dogs; not money. If i loved money...i'd have another job.

So before you condemn an entire company- think of the individuals working for it who DO care...and seek them out.

Anonymous said...

This story sounds terrible, thats for sure, but as a petsmart employee must say that these sound like stories that you'd NEVER hear coming from my location. The groomers are highly trained and over-booking is never an issue. I've even witnessed my supervisor and one of the groomers take a dog to a clinic to have something checked out that the groomer discovered on the dog. They made this trip after 1:30 pm, when my supervisors shift ended, so she basically worked over time for no pay, just because she cares. Our stores OSAT (customer satisfaction surveys) almost always rate over 80%, which is very high. This means that 80% of customers rated all areas of service in the store as 'Beyond expectations'. Again, this story is tragic, and its quite possible it's not an exaggeration, but it would never be heard of at my location.

Anonymous said...

Be a groomer for a day then preferrably 6 months. Prove you're a real animal lover. Because u have to reallllllllly love animals to be a groomer. A room full of toddlers on speed have nothing on a room full of dogs. Patience and even more patience is required. U practically have to be jesus like to work with animals all day long not to mention their owners. Tips are pathetic. Pay is ridiculous. Upkeep and outlay for your grooming kit even more outrageous. We groom bc we love being around these sacred and wild creatures. Annnnnd accidents do happen when bella or scrappy do jump around or twist or plain out fight the groom. We are using sharp object around an independent being that has no way to communicate to us other than barking or biting us or peeing or pooping on us and yes sometimes releasing their anal glands! Be a groomer then judge. And petsmart has a ton or safety rules. That good employees follow and bad employees don't. But bad employees are everywhere. Jerks are everywhere no matter where u go. I agree with one poster here that said do not condemn a whole entity but seek out the good of that entity. Tip your groomers more than your waitresses. We do a hell of a lot more than you think.

Anonymous said...

Please BEWARE of PetSmart in Oxnard, Ca. ( store # 136 )

On Sunday morning ( 3-11 ) around 10:30 in the morning I dropped off my little dog at the PetSmart on Oxnard Blvd. ( store # 136 ) for a grooming.
A young goofy looking guy took wrote me up. He asked if the phone number they had on file was a good number to reach me at and I told him NO, that was my wifes number and gave him my cell number. He wrote it down, took my dog and said she would be ready around 3:30 .....I left.

Around 2:30 in the afternoon he called me and told me there had been a accident and the had to take my dog to the vet ( Banfield in the same building ) because he had cut her "dew claw" and it would require a minor surgery with stitches. ( I asked him why this would require an additional 3 hours and he told me they were very busy ). I was a little upset and worried about my dog but hey, accidents happen right ?

My wife got off work at 4:30 pm and called me to tell me PetSmart had just called and our dog was ready to be picked up. I told her what had happened and she went straight over picked her up and brought her home.

I went out and took our dog out of the car. She had a big bandage on her hind leg / foot and a plastic "cone" around her neck. I took her out of the car and let her down in the grass to see if she needed to go potty. Her foot did not seem to bother her that much but I knew something was wrong. She was lethargic and shaking. I reached down to pick her up and accidentally touched her tail. she reached around and tried to bite me! We noticed she was hiding her tail and would not wag it at all...clearly something was very wrong.

The next day the vet called to see how our dog was doing. I expressed my concern about her tail and she told me they would look at it on Wednesday at her "recheck" appointment.

When we took her back the vet told us her leg was healing well. She then did an x ray on her tail and found it to be BROKEN in the middle.

No wonder our little dog was shaking, she was in PAIN !

Did this happen at the groomers or at the vet ? Was it an accident or abuse ? I don't know. All I DO KNOW is that when I took my dog there she DID NOT have a broken tail. Why did they not tell us about this ? How could someone break a dogs tail and not know it ?

Also, when my wife got home she had a few messages on her phone from Banfield calling for authorization for anesthesia for the surgery. ( my wife cannot take her phone into her work and needless to say did not answer ) they went ahead and did the surgery under local anesthesia . These bozo's JUST CALLED ME at 2:30 on MY PHONE to tell me what happened .....Talk about incompetent !

If you are thinking about taking your beloved pet to these people I would think twice. All I wanted to do is go spend a little of my hard earned money with them and get my dog a hair cut. NEVER AGAIN !

Anonymous said...

Umm I work at that same Petsmart she talks about and it is not like that at all this is very dramatic and not the truth at all we send digs home us they get sick in the kennel or are too stressed for the groom we never leave dogs unattended in a tub it a table this whole thing is ridiculous

Anonymous said...

PetsMart has turned the corner - its completly about the money. The new DM came
From a store where rescues desperate to adopt would not work with him. Store managers get
Moved around frequently so the hatchet ones can clean house. LIEING is the norm. If a customer calls corporate with a comaints and is dumb enough to give them their name, they are followed in the stores like they are going to steal and they have had several confrontations. All the good employees who loved their jobs are replaced with autrons.
PetsMart- this kind of corporate culture will only serve you for a short time.