Petco really sucks.....

ricktavious
  • #1
There was a new mall that opened near here, so me and my girlfriend decided to check it out on Friday. Now, Petsmart doesn't exactly do a wonderful job, but in comparison they do so much better for the bettas than the Petco does. All the bettas there looked really depressed, not moving at all....they were not in the "blue water" that is supposed to keep bettas somewhat healthier. All the cups had a bunch of crud in them. Really bothered me, wish I had another tank
 
COBettaCouple
  • #2
yea.. I feel like that whenever I go by the bettas at any of the stores.. I wish they'd realize their bettas would look (and feel) so much better in at least a beanie baby box or something that size.. the cups petco,petsmart and walmart use are far too small.
 
Tazmiche
  • #3
Bettas or 'Siamese fighting fish' as all the stores call them here always get the worst deal. You would think that creatures as beautiful as these would be treasured and shown off!!!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #4
yea, unfortunately to these big companies, they're just inventory. :'(

Bettas or 'Siamese fighting fish' as all the stores call them here always get the worst deal. You would think that creatures as beautiful as these would be treasured and shown off!!!
 
Barbrella
  • #5
unfortunately to these big companies, they're just inventory

Yeah, and near-worthless inventory that you dump when it expires.

8 days ago, there was one leftover cup on Walmart's betta shelf. Had been there two weeks.

This pitiful ittybitty girl was in it, dying of ammonia poisoning and I'm sure minutes away from being flushed. No one wanted such a plain fish, but I did. Took a week of constant TLC to bring her back to life.

Here she is in her nasty cup, and how she is now, cruising her new domain (way at the top)and eating like a little piglet. What a character she is!
 
ricktavious
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Yeah, and near-worthless inventory that you dump when it expires.

8 days ago, there was one leftover cup on Walmart's betta shelf. Had been there two weeks.

This pitiful ittybitty girl was in it, dying of ammonia poisoning and I'm sure minutes away from being flushed. No one wanted such a plain fish, but I did. Took a week of constant TLC to bring her back to life.

Here she is in her nasty cup, and how she is now, cruising her new domain (way at the top)and eating like a little piglet. What a character she is!

That's great to hear that you have given her such a great home!!!!
 
Bonochick
  • #7
That is so sweet, Barbrella! She's lucky you came along.
 
Barbrella
  • #8
I feel lucky that I got there in time.

Maybe we should have a thread with Before and Afters?

I love happy endings.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #9
congrats on saving her.. the females show stress so easy that people don't know how colorful and lively they can be. (This is where smart companies would want to make them look better.)

We got our female Sweetie and the 'before' pic there shows her green due to the flash but she was dull brown with heavy stress lines. she was missing the pectoral fin on that side, along with a lot of scales and most of her analfin.. lying in the bottom of a cup. a sure goner.
Now she's the move lively and fiesty betta that we have with amazing fins that I can't seem to capture the rainbow coloring of very well (the 'after' pic is the best try at it).


I feel lucky that I got there in time.
Maybe we should have a thread with Before and Afters?
I love happy endings.
 
nmwierman1977
  • #10
Great save Barbrella!! Congratulations!Natalie
 
Windchaser
  • #11
I keep trying to change things at the Petco that I manage, but it never gets far sadly. I've taken the bettas and released them into our big tanks with peaceful, non fancy finned fish, but that never lasts. :/
 
COBettaCouple
  • #12
yea, you're one of the good ones and working for Petco has to be frustrating. I realize how story policy is determined mostly (if not completely) by the corporate offices. we appreciate you doing what you can for the fish at your store.

If only the company would realize that the bettas (especially the females) would look much more attractive to customers in larger containers. and let's face it, the way the company treats fish costs them millions a year in business from the people who'd be most likely to spend a lot and keep spending. Alienating the long-term fish keepers who can easily spend $1000+ a year for the short-term business of people with a passing fancy for fish and developing a reputation of "Deathco" does hurt the bottom line and I think the costs of treating fish (particularly bettas) better would be more than made up for in increased business.

we order everything except live fish from the DFS website after having just had it with the corporate philosophy of the top Petco execs. Plus the manager of the store in St. Augustine has the cashiers routinely double-charging people. (that and a couple other incidents sent us looking online just so we could avoid spending money at that store.) He's like 180 degrees opposite of you with the dirtiest tanks always full of dead and decaying fish and the dirtiest betta cups i've ever seen.

between tanks, supplies, food, meds, decor, etc. and the fish themselves our fish budget is easily 4 figures annually and we're just getting started in fish-keeping. So many people who are in this for the long-term spend more and feel the same way we do... and there goes millions a year in business. doesn't seem smart to me and shows the contempt and disregard the head execs have for fish owners.

feel free to pass this on to the "big boys" at the top.. I know more than a couple members have sent letters in to them, only to get a standard "you're stupid" form reply. petsmart isn't much better and if Petco as a corporation would change, they could gain a large loyal bunch of spending customers.

I wish you managed the store near us. we'd shop there if you did. you're one of the good ones and again, we appreciate your efforts to help the bettas and other fish at your store.

I keep trying to change things at the Petco that I manage, but it never gets far sadly. I've taken the bettas and released them into our big tanks with peaceful, non fancy finned fish, but that never lasts. :/
 
Barbrella
  • #13
Bottom line is profit/loss. Petstores care little to nothing about the merchandise they sell. Sadly, those of us who cannot resist taking a half-dead betta home are rewarding the abusers by giving them money. I'm guilty of this too!

The only way this treatment will stop is if petstores lose money and in order for that to happen, everyone would have to stop buying bettas, or any other pet that is being mistreated. The minute we take that one out, another takes it's place.

I guess if they got enough letters saying something like "Neither I, nor anyone I know will shop at your place of business until conditions improve", would be the only way.

I really don't know a definitive answer to this shameful situation.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #14
I really think there is opportunity for a national chain of fish stores that treat fish properly, certainly the handful of good managers that petco and petsmart have would be happier working for a company like that and I know we'd shop there very frequently. ordering online gets us the supplies and all, but going to the store & looking at the fish.. that's fun for us fishkeepers and we would LOVE shopping at a store where we didn't leave feeling so bad for the Bettas and other fish dying in it.
 
Windchaser
  • #15
For sure. On the bright side the original owner has taken control of the company once again and things are looking brighter, but you know how that goes.

The only thing I can really do consistantly is educate the customers that come into my store on what really is best for the fish. I'm always talking them out of those **** little coffee cup bowls and like that and into buying at least a 3 gallon tank for their bettas.

On the bright side I have managed to hire a great Aquatics Specialtist that has been cleaning up my fish department. Now he and I just gotta get the others that do routine maintenance in the department to understand the importance of doing things right.

I just need to find 2 more specialists to care for the birds and small animals (my fish guy is also a great reptile hobbyist and actually breeds bearded dragons himself) and things will look better.

On an upscale I managed to get rid of those stupid signs on the betta end cap that talk about bettas being capable of living in spaces no bigger than a cup in my store. They went to more generic signs that talk about bettas in general (true information for once).

Many of the betta specific tanks that have been coming in (Petco's own brand now) have been getting bigger, too! Many of them are at least 3 gallons, and the little crappy things are being discontinued and put on clearance to get rid of them!

Sadly, in the end, everything in the stores are just money to the corporote office. That's all they care about, just like every other big business. As you said, they fail to see the big picture most of the time. We could do so much more if we could get the funding and support from the head office for the animals (not just fish).

What makes things tolerable for me is focusing on the good things that I have managed to do while working with the company such as working closely with adoption groups closely and hosting events every weekend to get animals into loving homes (helped 54 puppies this weekend find good homes! WOOT!)

I'll keep doing what I can and what I feel is right no matter what the yahoos in the main office think they know.

Whew! I'm done ranting.


yea, you're one of the good ones and working for Petco has to be frustrating. I realize how story policy is determined mostly (if not completely) by the corporate offices. we appreciate you doing what you can for the fish at your store.

If only the company would realize that the bettas (especially the females) would look much more attractive to customers in larger containers. and let's face it, the way the company treats fish costs them millions a year in business from the people who'd be most likely to spend a lot and keep spending. Alienating the long-term fish keepers who can easily spend $1000+ a year for the short-term business of people with a passing fancy for fish and developing a reputation of "Deathco" does hurt the bottom line and I think the costs of treating fish (particularly bettas) better would be more than made up for in increased business.

we order everything except live fish from the DFS website after having just had it with the corporate philosophy of the top Petco execs. Plus the manager of the store in St. Augustine has the cashiers routinely double-charging people. (that and a couple other incidents sent us looking online just so we could avoid spending money at that store.) He's like 180 degrees opposite of you with the dirtiest tanks always full of dead and decaying fish and the dirtiest betta cups i've ever seen.

between tanks, supplies, food, meds, decor, etc. and the fish themselves our fish budget is easily 4 figures annually and we're just getting started in fish-keeping. So many people who are in this for the long-term spend more and feel the same way we do... and there goes millions a year in business. doesn't seem smart to me and shows the contempt and disregard the head execs have for fish owners.

feel free to pass this on to the "big boys" at the top.. I know more than a couple members have sent letters in to them, only to get a standard "you're stupid" form reply. petsmart isn't much better and if Petco as a corporation would change, they could gain a large loyal bunch of spending customers.

I wish you managed the store near us. we'd shop there if you did. you're one of the good ones and again, we appreciate your efforts to help the bettas and other fish at your store.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #16
please, please, please come manage the store here in westminster! then we could shop there!


Really, that's great what you're doing at your store.. i've never seen a Petco store run like that!
 
Windchaser
  • #17
LOL! Never know where I'll end up.

I'd love to float around the area and hit the stores up in bad shape and clean em up.
 
Yuni
  • #18
Still there's a lot of mistreated animals there :/ Even if people try to clean up the stores and take better care of their stock some way or another they still go down hill. I went to Petfair a few days ago and I was so mad that they put a clearly sick female and male together to 'breed real quick' It made me sick -.- Luckily I saved the female while someone else at the store bought the male (Real nice lady) So I guess these to little fishies got a good ending ^.^ I would post before and after pics but she's camra shy XD
 
Barbrella
  • #19
The only thing I can really do consistantly is educate the customers that come into my store on what really is best for the fish. I'm always talking them out of those **** little coffee cup bowls and like that and into buying at least a 3 gallon tank for their bettas.

That's great! The only real solution to abuse is education. So you educate the customers and maybe they'll pass it on to their friends etc. If only more petstores had people like you to explain that although bettas can exist in tiny bowls, they don't like it any more than people would like living in a closet.

A big problem is petstores hiring staff and not wanting to pay for someone who knows what he/she is talking about. Some of the most ignorant, horrendous advice I've ever heard came from "the guy at the pet store"..
 
Windchaser
  • #20
Despite the crappiness of putting the poor little guys and gals in bowls, there is still policy on taking care of them better than what they usually are.

I think many people do not realise that.

For example:
The betta cup water is supposed to be changed 3 days a week! This includes giving them a clean cup if old one is too dirty to clean or damaged in anyway

The water is supposed to be treated with betta water conditioner (preferably using water that comes out of one of our warmer tanks as opposed to tap water)

Cleaning their cups with hot water.

The air hole on the lide needs to punched open so air is getting into the bowl.

We actually do get animal care audits where the regional animal coordinator, etc comes into the stores at random and hits us up checking on animal care. There are serious consequences if you fail a care alert and people lose their jobs. I fired two folks when I first started when they thought it woudl be ncie to slack off on care on the day I took off work.

The problem comes from the . . . nitwits (being nice about it) that don't care enough/too lazy to do things right.

It is very frustrating and heartbreaking to have to deal with these kinds of people every day.

The first step I took to fixing this issue at my store was asking the RIGHT QUESTIONS during interviews. I want people at my store that love animals and care for them (even the cashiers).

Arrrrgh, more ranting.
 
lilsoccakid
  • #21
luckly, I have a store called pet world in my area, which keeps me away from petsmart and petworld. They have about 100 tanks, and have never seen a dead fish. Every person that works there is an expert. They still keep about 10 bettas at a time in those little cups, but the water is 100% changed daily, and some are kept in bowls with established gravel. Sadly, their is only one more of these stores besides the one I go to
 
COBettaCouple
  • #22
Yea, you wouldn't know those policies exist at the store in St. Augustine. The cups are almost always dirty, the water is usually bad enough that it must be weeks old and has achieved a disgusting color, plenty of waste at the bottom of the cups and I can tell when they've been fed with the food tossed all around the place.. hopefully some made it in the cups.

I've seen what you mean about slackers.. one of the staff in the fish department thought he'd share with us that he just didn't feel like cleaning the cups and was going outside for a smoke.



Despite the crappiness of putting the poor little guys and gals in bowls, there is still policy on taking care of them better than what they usually are.

I think many people do not realise that.

The problem comes from the . . . nitwits (being nice about it) that don't care enough/too lazy to do things right.

It is very frustrating and heartbreaking to have to deal with these kinds of people every day.

The first step I took to fixing this issue at my store was asking the RIGHT QUESTIONS during interviews. I want people at my store that love animals and care for them (even the cashiers).

Arrrrgh, more ranting.
 
zpecialt
  • #23
My local Petsmart takes extreme care in their aquatic department. The fish are always looking happy and healthy. The are active and colorful with clear water. However, their is a Petco and a Pet Supplies Plus that definitely do not meet the same standards. The Petco isn't bad (although I do think more frequent water changes would be beneficial), but the PSP is dirty with dead fish in almost every tank each time I visit. It is very disappointing that these large companies with more funds available to care for these creatures cannot even compete with the care of the small business LFS.
 
pamd
  • #24
Keep up the good fight, Windchaser! A hundred balloons for you for every little fish life you save, even when it means going up against the corporate bigwigs who count immediate dollars, yet don't see the long-term picture!

I agree with Barbrella, CoBettaCouple and others who say we must stop the abuse, then profits will rise. As in yours and others' posts, my first concern is for the fishes' well-being, and that the conditions for Bettas in particular are pathetic in almost all pet stores that I've seen.

Don't the corporate wheels at the top see how discouraging it would be for a first-time customer to get a $6 Betta, a $15 bowl, and a $4 jar of food, then get discouraged because the poor Betta dies? Don't they see that someone like me would spend a lot more at the store if they trust it and the advice they get there? (And I'm sure there are a LOT of people like me who fell in love with their first $6 Betta and went on to spend $100 + at the store on equipment to keep him/her happy and healthy, then want MORE Bettas with appropriate equipment.)

I went to all local and at least one representative national outlet of all pet store fish dealers in my local area before I bought Sparkles, my first Betta. There was only one store that treated the Bettas semi-humanely, which was PetLand. At least, the fish weren't kept in pathetic little cups, but in small glass bowls. Each fish had a plant.

One thing that I thought was a neat trick is that I got ahold of a guy who cares about fish a lot, Jason, who told me when the next shipment of Betta fish was arriving at the local PetLand. I got there exactly at the moment, got the pick of the two dozen or so. They came from Oregon.

I got the first pick of fish as they were unpacking them and putting them into their bowls. I stared and stared at them, but picked Sparkles because he seemed most alert. He's still Mr. Personality, but turns out he's got beautiful coloration, too.

You can do a search for Sparkles or pamd on this board and find pix of him.
 
chickadee
  • #25
Well I actually felt bad about the fact that they closed our Walmart fish department as they had just remodeled it and had made a real effort to make it nice and the bettas each had a nice little gallon tank with its own shelf with light and air around it. They each had their own little container of food in front of their little tank and while they were not heated and filtered they were clean and the area they were in was protected from drafts and fairly warm. The man who ran the department cleaned ALL the tanks including the betta ones every day and I saw him doing it. He was careful with the fish and when I talked to him he knew about the fish he sold. He still works with the other pet supplies and when I saw him out there last week he told me that he missed the fish and had enjoyed taking care of them. He was instrumental in getting the new area set up and was sorry that the store was made to dismantle it. We now only have one fish outlet in town and it is in a lawn and garden center. They are excellent in their care of fish but their selection is very limited and due to the problems that bettas present and their limited space, they choose not to carry them.

Rose
 
COBettaCouple
  • #26
WOW! amazing! astounding! did I mention that i'm shocked! i'd gladly shop a fish department like that.
Well I actually felt bad about the fact that they closed our Walmart fish department as they had just remodeled it and had made a real effort to make it nice and the bettas each had a nice little gallon tank with its own shelf with light and air around it. They each had their own little container of food in front of their little tank and while they were not heated and filtered they were clean and the area they were in was protected from drafts and fairly warm. The man who ran the department cleaned ALL the tanks including the betta ones every day and I saw him doing it. He was careful with the fish and when I talked to him he knew about the fish he sold. He still works with the other pet supplies and when I saw him out there last week he told me that he missed the fish and had enjoyed taking care of them. He was instrumental in getting the new area set up and was sorry that the store was made to dismantle it. We now only have one fish outlet in town and it is in a lawn and garden center. They are excellent in their care of fish but their selection is very limited and due to the problems that bettas present and their limited space, they choose not to carry them.

Rose
 
Barbrella
  • #27
Well I actually felt bad about the fact that they closed our Walmart fish department as they had just remodeled it and had made a real effort to make it nice and the bettas each had a nice little gallon tank with its own shelf with light and air around it. They each had their own little container of food in front of their little tank and while they were not heated and filtered they were clean and the area they were in was protected from drafts and fairly warm. The man who ran the department cleaned ALL the tanks including the betta ones every day

Can you please send that gentleman to my local Walmart, where the bettas are left in 6 oz plastic cups until they are sold or die?

Wow.....
 
COBettaCouple
  • #28
lol.. yea, I'll 2nd that! maybe he can make a tour of walmart and make the fish departments un-walmart-like?

Can you please send that gentleman to my local Walmart, where the bettas are left in 6 oz plastic cups until they are sold or die?

Wow.....
 
ricktavious
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
Went back yesterday....never seen so many dead bettas in a store in my life It was so sad, there were at least two in a small display I saw that were dead and several other that looked half-dead.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #30
sounds as bad as the store in St. Augustine.

Went back yesterday....never seen so many dead bettas in a store in my life It was so sad, there were at least two in a small display I saw that were dead and several other that looked half-dead.
 

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