So, I went into a Pets at Home today....

(34 Posts)

...against my better judgement but pigwigs needed hay and it was closer than anywhere else at the time! Lesson learnt

I actively avoided the animals because it makes me sad .

Went to get some hay - all looked bloody rank! And a third more expensive than my usual place for half the amount hmm . Stupid me actually thought it may be a tad cheaper being a chain and all hmm . Plus it was so beige and shit! The stuff I buy is lovely and green - even the bad batches are still bloody green!
I picked up timothy hay to start, took it to the till, then took it back because I decided it looked awful.
Went back and decided to get them burgess forage because it was the only thing that looked tasty and didn't cost a bomb!

Then, somehow or another I got drawn to the rescue centre hmm <bad move>
- 2 rabbits that "Have been in the shop so long so the charity is trying to find a them a loving home" hmm
-2 male pigs - both in separate glass fronted small cages hiding under the bridges. "My friends all got chosen and I was left alone - Looking for a loving home"
-A number of hamsters - same as above
sad sad sad

I would have had those bloody pigs in fact I would have had the lot and considering how much i dislike rabbits that says a lot if i thought dh wouldn't kill me and then cook them ... they looked so sad in their shitty small tanks. I actually think that they were a third of the size of my boys ones and I still think my cages could be bigger sad

Then I very stupidly walked passed the other animals and yes, they were fucking packed full ready for xmas! Why, oh bloody why do they need to get new 'stock' when they can't sell the ones they had in the first place. Those pigs couldn't have been more than 10 weeks, not exactly past the cute baby stage sad sad
Most of those animals will be sold for presents and then end up rotting somewhere when people get bored, and god only knows what will happen to the ones that grow up/get left etc and can't find a home! sad

Oh it makes me sooooo angry .

I will never ever step back in there! No matter how bloody convenient!

Rant over ish .

Staff at P@H vary so much.
There's one where they are very knowledgable about GPs.
One where I think "I've forgotten more about pigs than you'll ever know" hmm
And the worst one I have encountered where 2 of the hogs had a closed eye.
I told a member of staff and waited until they caught the GPs.
"Oh maybe he's tired " they told me.
I said "I've kept guinea-pigs since I was my daughters age. They don't have an eye stuck shut unless there's a problem".
(I didn't say anything rude but I was angry )

jessjessjess Fri 04-Jan-13 00:43:30

Our local P@H is pretty good and we use their in-house vet, Companion Care, who are a) brilliant, really nice, kind, helpful vets and b) very good value. The other local vets are extortionate. They are also the only vet in our area that doesn't use a company beginning with M (which we avoid for various reasons) for emergency out of hours.

midori1999 Fri 04-Jan-13 00:37:29

Sorry about your buns Chops. sad my bunnies are indoors, but we had one hen killed and one taken by a fox. Five were left, luckily my dogs scared the fox off it seems when the hens were sensible enough to come to our glass back door. (they used to come in our kitchen)

Can you get a neutered male to go with your doe? We took on a neutered single boy from a friend earlier last year and not that long after took him for 'speed dating' at a local rescue. He hadn't seen another bun his whole life (3 years) and it took 3 introductions to find a girl anywhere near suitable. We managed to bond them quite quickly once home though and now a couple of months on they are doing fabulously! The rescue was great.

Chopstheduck Thu 03-Jan-13 17:23:56

I don't want to give her up really, but I can't keep her on her own, I'm worried about foxes, and I don't really want to comit to another rabbit. I might consider a slightly older companion, so were not potentially starting another 12 years over. Really waiting to see what comes up at the rescue!

Whatever happens we will keep hold of her until she has a def happy bond either at home or somewhere else.

guineapiglet Thu 03-Jan-13 15:50:53

V sorry to hear about your rabbit, what a horrible thing to happen, do hope your lady is safe and sound, but I know what you mean about worrying about her- it happened to our old neighbours last year, first the fox took the rabbits and then came back for the chickens despite them supposedly being fox proofed - it would be sad for you to give her up totally, some friends of ours have a couple of rabbits in an 'egglu' type thing which seems secure but not that spacious....... it is a rotten time of year for furries. I agree with you about not using P @ H, but I might be tempted to rescue creatures if I knew I could offer just one wretched animal a home, as you say, it does feed the whole cycle and adds to their business so its quite a quandry to know what to do. I used to get all my guineas hay from a local farmer who charged about a fiver for a massive bale, and refused to go back to P@H after our last guinea died. Hopefully your local rescue may be able to help you and offer you some support.

Chopstheduck Thu 03-Jan-13 14:41:19

thanks KRITIQ smile

I'm in touch with a local rescue. Apparently there is a shortage of local does, so I will either rehome Coco with someone who wants a female to go with a bereaved male, or consider rescuing a solo male to bond with my doe. I'm kinda hoping I can find a lovely home for my doe, as I'm very worried about the fox coming back, and so at the moment Coco is having to sleep in a rabbit cage in the storeroom at nights to be absolutely certain she is safe. It's reasonably spacious, enough room for litter tray, periscoping, but not really a long term solution sad

KRITIQ Thu 03-Jan-13 14:29:17

Oh Chops, so so very sorry to hear about your buns. How awful!

I'd heard about the VIP buns. I can only imagine the impact of all that intervention on such a young animal must be.

I'm sure there's a wee bub somewhere in a rescue that would love to live with your sad doe now. Just have a look around. Take good care.

Chopstheduck Thu 03-Jan-13 11:59:09

my trio of buns never would touch P@H hay. Only got one left now (two got taken by a fox Christmas night sad) They won't even eat their Timothy hay, so if I can't get to a LPS, I have to get the Burgess forage.

I hate seeing the rabbits in there. All that sawdust (very abd for rabbits respiratory systems), no litter tray, nasty looking scraps of hay, overflowing bowls of pellets.

Did anyone here about the VIP buns scandal too? baby rabbits bred in Spain that have already been vaccinated, micro-chipped & neutered at 4-5 weeks of age. sad

I could be so tempted to go get a baby from there to bond with my lonely doe, to get one rabbit out of there, but it's just feeding the trade.

KRITIQ Thu 03-Jan-13 11:52:26

For Timothy Hay, Pet Planet has a special on Animal Dreams, which my boys love, at £1.99 for a small but densely packed bale. www.petplanet.co.uk/product.asp?dept_id=445&pf_id=59854

This also seems a good value - 14.99 for 17 KG of regular hay.

I've had the "Comfey" hay from them before and it was quite good.

At times, even the hay at Tesco isn't bad. It's not been a good year for hay I don't think.

midori1999 Wed 02-Jan-13 21:56:16

I shop for hay etc at PAH as there are no smaller, I dependant per shops left near us any more. sad I would never buy animals from there though, including the adoption centre, as it's still buying from them. The only way they will stop selling animals is if they can't sell them. They now stock Alfalfa King Timothy hay, which is green and long stemmed, so great for our bunnies. I hate giving them my business though.

There was a guy who bred small animals for PAH where I used to keep my horses. It was appalling. Small, very overcrowded cages (although some rabbits and guineas did have outdoor hutches with attached runs which we're moved regularly to fresh grass, but they were still too small), lots of dead and half eaten animals. It was truly awful and having seen this place first hand and seen photos of rodent farms, I couldn't care less how nice a few of the staff in a few branches might be.

More than once I have had to tell them about dead guineas in the cages!

WHAT?! this is atrocious!

Jesus christ I've never heard anything like this. Poor you, and the poor guins!

We're lucky to have a nice pet shop nearby, which has been there for 10+ years. Cages and things not v. big but I think they've stopped putting rabbits and guinea pigs together (!!) and it always looks clean and well-lit (though I never see fresh food, just pellets).

FernieB Fri 28-Dec-12 08:22:52

Magic - don't worry about the lack of 'wheek wheek'. As far as I can make out it just means 'Get me cucumber now' as mine only do it when they hear the fridge door.

I also get my hay from P@H as my boys love it.

Sunny - I agree it is a bit sad when pets are put in the rescue part because they've been in the store a while, but I think it is probably the most effective way of finding them a home. If the 'older' pets are in the same area as the cute little babies, they'll be ignored. Putting them in a separate section means that they're not compared to the little ones. Also the 'older' pets can't be kept in the same enclosure as the young ones.

People looking for an older pet (experienced rabbit owners will know that an older bun is often easier than a young kit) will automatically look in the rescue place anyway. I regularly visit my P@H and always check out the rescue bit to see who's there and pets don't stay there for long. In the 18 months since I adopted my GP's and started going regularly, the pet who was there the longest was my rabbit. He was there when I took home my GP's and 2 months later I took him home as well.

Magic I buy hay from The Range (4kg bags for £3.69 ish. Might be £3.99 now)
They have soft barley straw for the same price. I stack the straw at the back of their box for buoyancy and insulation, then hay at the front to scoff.

Jolleys Pet Shop have lovely smelling hay, but more expensive.

I've not tried baled hay though loads of GP owners buy from stables/farms.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My GP1 is a squeaky boy. GP2 never squeaks, He purrs like a dove.Or a brisk, laughing purr. But never squeaks. confused

Sunnywithachanceofjinglebells Mon 24-Dec-12 18:14:07

I agree. I only go in for cat stuff (we have elderly mog) and I'm always upset and infuriated by the 'rescue' section. 'X rabbit is here because he's been in the store too long'. <fume>

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Mon 24-Dec-12 18:09:55

I'm not a huge fan of pets at home but my local one is pretty good, and I've never seen any of the things I often read about happening in there.

The runs the animals are in are never over run and are actually a fair size, they also always have lots of toys, hay and food in.

The staff are friendly and helpful and spend a lot of time with the animals when the store is quite, I was in there last week the vet in there is the best in the area and my dog and rabbits love him and there was a staff member sat in with the rabbits just playing with them.

The adoption cages are small with glass fronts but the top is open so they get plenty of air.

One of my boys came from there, purely because I fell in love with him and couldn't just walk past, and my mum adopted one of her girls from there for the same reason, the girl at the till actually cried when mum chose Daisy because they all loved her.

All that said I never buy their hay, straw or food at p@h and only go in there when we go to the vet.

MagicHouse Mon 24-Dec-12 14:11:44

I didn't realise there was lots of adverse publicity about P@H. I always use mine and the staff there are lovely - they spend ages talking to me about all my questions. The animal cages are always spotless and not overcrowded. My two came from there and fingers crossed are healthy and happy.

Where would people recommend buying hay from? - I get tons from P@H and have to say it's very expensive, but my tow seem to like it.

Lastly, a question - mine rarely squeak! Any advice on this - I wonder if I'm overfeeding them! They make lots of happy little talking noises, but I never hear the "wheek wheek!"

Fearnie ours used to be awful but I found the staff in their to be the same, the enclosures and toys were better too, bigger, clean, toys in.

Hope this is a sign of a turnaround for them animal welfare wise.

I must admit I went in yesterday for a toy for the dog and i have a hatred of the place (Mums 2 bunnies died same day, one rat and two piggies within weeks. )

I was watching the bloke giving them out and he was actually checking them over and knowledgable, he spent ages giving them the correct info and checking eyes/teeth/ears and bottoms.

It was a relief tbh.

When I got my two i picked the oldest, not fancy markings ones because everyone was getting the tiny ones.

SledsImOn Thu 20-Dec-12 16:27:05

I read that they breed hundreds of animals and then use their 'rehoming' bit as an excuse to sell the ones that just got too old to be 'cute'.

B*stards, they really are.

I really hate that shop and when we got our rabbits, (we were looking everywhere to replace the family of our existing one, after they were taken by a fox and she was lonely) they came from the 'too old to sell' bit...and the teenager handling them was just nasty to them, tipping them out of the plastic tunnel from a couple of feet off the ground.

I complained formally after we got home. I got a sucky up letter and a voucher to make me go in there again.

I spent the voucher but I very, very rarely go in there to buy anything now.

Fernie Its great that you have a good one!

Agree with guinea
Would write more but am in my sick bed and on phone since i cba....

my apologies for being a lazy bint !

FernieB Wed 19-Dec-12 14:41:14

Thanks guineapiglet! I do agree that they have problems with their ethos. They are a big business and of course have to make money, but they will make enough profit on the sale of pet supplies to please their shareholders and could well afford to be more discerning about how they source and sell their pets. I do contact them from time to time to try and put some pressure on them.

I just wanted to stand up for the staff, some of whom really do care and work hard for their pets. A guy who was working at my house recently told me that his very naughty bearded lizard escaped. Someone found it and took it to P@H where it was well looked after for over a week while they tried to track down who owned it. Fortunately they were reunited and more reinforcements have been made to the lizards cage.

BTW - not going to live in a cave any more as my boys refused to live anywhere without a fridge to keep their veggies nice.

guineapiglet Wed 19-Dec-12 14:00:15

No - no hassle! It is really positive to read something so personal aboutP@H and some good experiences there, and it sounds like some members of staff where you are ( can you give a postcode so they can be held up as good examples?)have done their best for you and are genuinely caring about the animals there - I have been in a few over the years in different parts of the country, and I am sure there are individual staff who care very much -its good to know.

I guess it is their 'ethos' that I find so immoral, breeding and selling animals with little or no concern for their welfare, not checking to whom pets are sold, all to make a profit ( tho' obviously the individual staff make a big difference to members of the public, and are concerned about the animals' welfare) - they cannot stand up to the demands and ethos of a company face if that makes sense - P@H is a multinational business, thats the long and short of it I guess -
many of us have not had the personal care and attention which you and your pets have, so it is good to read that not everyone attached to the 'evil empire'
is cruel and careless. ( and it is good to know this one works alongside rescue centres etc) I am sure there are just as many small pet shops/breeders who are just as heartless and in it for the dosh so to speak, - I am so glad your boys have got such a great home!

FernieB Wed 19-Dec-12 13:34:25

70 - nice to hear your GP1 is reading the articles in the newspaper - my boys only look at the cartoons! I'm sure they would both love some hay with a special prize in it. What happens if you collect all the animal parts? Do they build up to create your own zoo?

Don't want to defend P@H too much, but I use my local one quite a lot as my boys only like their food and they were all adopted from there. I don't recognise my local one from the descriptions on here, so I think a lot of the problems must be due to individual stores/staff. The staff in mine are excellent - they've been there ages and I regularly see them chatting to the animals. As I am in there quite early in the day, I also see them letting the adoption bunnys/pigs out for runs/cuddles. All the animals are kept in good size enclosures and all receive plenty of fresh veg and have a lot of toys. They are linked closely to a local rescue centre and work with them to find homes for unwanted pets as well as raising a lot of money for them. My GP's came to this P@H via the rescue centre (they'd been rejected as smooth pig had a mild infection - he was perfectly healthy when I took him and fluffy pig home). My rabbit had been a long term inmate at the store (6 months) which unfortunately does happen, but a member of staff was in tears when I adopted him as she was so attached to him. She still asks after him every time I go in.

I know there are a lot of problems with P@H particularly in regard to where they source their animals, but some of the staff are lovely and really do their best to look after the animals in their care. Now I'm off to live in a cave with my boys as I'm sure I'm about to get hassle for saying a few nice things about P@H.

My GP1 is still waiting to get a bale of hay with a deers leg in it. He read that in the Daily Mail.
Then your boys got one with a shredded bird IIRC KRITIQ.

My boar feels very hard done by confused

KRITIQ Tue 18-Dec-12 21:49:08

I can't go in there anymore. I just won't go in there anymore. I order everything on line and if I get stuck, even Tesco hay is better than what I've had from P @ H. I only wish more folks would think before going there. I'm sure they could still do a good business selling supplies and not livestock.

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