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To be disgusted with Pets at home?

(105 Posts)
MadHattersHat Wed 22-Jan-14 11:29:58

I had to pop in there yesterday to get some food. I had my toddler DD with me so we had a look around all the animals. We got to the adoption bit and there was a gorgeous brown rabbit there called Thumper - if I could have taken him home I would. He was so friendly and kept trying to reach up to us - really friendly. However, his water bowl was bone dry with what looked like remnants of what looked like straw.

I went over to one of the employees to let them know he was completely out and was rudely told: "Well, I'm a bit busy at the minute!"

Fair enough, they might have been busy - but they weren't swamped and there were about 3 of them working in the store. But I found their tone disgusting. They seriously don't care - despite what they like to say.

I just hope he did get his water. I feel awful that I wasn't able to take him. If I could, I would have in a heartbeat.

NinjaBunny Wed 22-Jan-14 11:33:13

Animals are treated really badly in there.

They've been 'Watchdogged' at least once.

Have you seen the fish? They're often really poorly. Sometimes even dead ones floating around and you can see they've been there a while.


squeakytoy Wed 22-Jan-14 11:35:46

I use the one local to me very regularly, and I have always found the staff there to be very good and the animals well cared for. The fish (my main reason for going) are in excellent condition and the staff who work in that section are also very knowledgable. So it may just be the branch that you were at which was poor, hopefully.

MadHattersHat Wed 22-Jan-14 11:37:36

I did see them on watchdog and I was really shocked. But my local one has always been pretty good (or so I thought!). I generally only pop in for the odd bit of food that I can't get in my local supermarket. I don't think I will again. I'd rather order it online elsewhere.

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 22-Jan-14 11:38:34

I understand that the rabbit not having any water is a bad thing. That should be the bare minimum that he has.

On the other hand, you spoke to one member of staff who was rude. I am not sure that Pets at Home should be written off on the basis of one crap staff member. You say you found their tone disgusting but it was only one person. Perhaps if you had asked one of the others they would have dealt with it immediately.

Either way, if you aren't happy you could always write to head office and complain. They aren't perfect, I know but based on your incident, it is the staff member at fault not the entire chain.

Generally I am with Squeakytoy on this one. Our branch is fine too.

MadHattersHat Wed 22-Jan-14 11:40:49

I can handle the rude comment big , I've got a thick skin lol but to leave an animal without water is disgusting in itself. It's a pet store where they apparently pride themselves on looking after their animals well...

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 22-Jan-14 11:46:53

MadHatter - I was in the local P@H a while back and two of the guineas had an eye closed shut.
I let a member of staff know and they said they would be there "in a minute" (they were on the till)
I waited until someone came over (I would've waited until they had done so, no matter how long)

They caught one guinea and said "Oh maybe he's sleeping" hmm

Or maybe he's got an eye infection or an injury eh? I've kept guinea-pigs since I was 9 yo and our currant pair are number 13 and 15 .
So I wasn't buying the "sleepy bit"

Though TBF they've always had water, hay and food not so much but I know they are greedy mammals.

Avalon Wed 22-Jan-14 11:51:06

Every pet place I've been in, has water bottles for rabbits, not bowls.

Are you sure you didn't miss a waterbottle?

NinjaBunny Wed 22-Jan-14 11:51:52

Pets At Home advised the child of the DP of the brother of a friend still with me?) that keeping two unspayed female bunnies together would be fine.

Obviously they fought.

The slightly more aggressive of the pair is currently sitting next to me on the sofa nibbling me as I type because the child couldn't cope with her and Pets At home wouldn't have her back.

I love her madly though so I guess it worked out for the best..!

PrimroseLodge Wed 22-Jan-14 11:53:51

I've had to tell staff that rabbits had no water in the past. When I told staff they weren't rude but they weren't very interested either.

MadHattersHat Wed 22-Jan-14 11:55:04

Nope no bottle, a bowl of water. The way he was closed in the adoption bit you couldn't have put a bottle up. I still looked though, but nothing.

I feel a bit guilty because I should have waited to make sure someone went along to do it as 70 did when she noticed the guinea pig.

wannaBe Wed 22-Jan-14 11:55:14

rabbits don't have water bowls they have bottles. I would have thought it was likely an empty food bowl you spotted not a water bowl and the "straw" was actually hay.

Pets at home were on watchdog years ago, but it's worth bearing in mind that they've changed ownership since then and have made massive efforts to improve their conditions.

I wouldn't write off a shop based on one comment either...

TitsalinaBumSquash Wed 22-Jan-14 11:55:14

Last time we went to our local one, DS pointed out several 'sleeping' fish floating on the top of the water to the guy working there, he got huffed and tutted out as the man netted the dead fish out the tank. angry

MadHattersHat Wed 22-Jan-14 11:58:25 was a water bowl. I've had rabbits myself and I know some prefer a bowl to a bottle (mine had bowls). It was definitely a bowl as there was nowhere to place bottle - plus I looked.

Doodledumdums Wed 22-Jan-14 12:00:10

Are you sure it wasn't an empty food bowl? Generally rabbits drink water from upright water dispensers don't they? I'm not saying his food bowl should be empty, but it's not quite as imperative as water that it is full at all times.

Our PAH is great too, and my friend is a manager at a different branch and she takes her job and the animal care extremely seriously.

Maybe report your local store, but i'm with a couple of others, I don't think the whole chain can be written off based on this!

Doodledumdums Wed 22-Jan-14 12:02:16

x post- sorry!

MadHattersHat Wed 22-Jan-14 12:04:16

Definitely a water bowl. Rabbits actually like bowls because it's how it comes more naturally to them than a bottle. I thought they preferred bottles tbh until I had a rabbit myself and did a lot of reading up. They will use bottles but most prefer bowls.

Pointeshoes Wed 22-Jan-14 12:10:20

Our local pets at homes are great , much better than other pet shops. We have rabbits and they prefer water bowls as it encourages them to drink more than from a bottle. Either is fine as long as they some water.

NinjaBunny Wed 22-Jan-14 12:11:11

When my bunny was recently staying at the vet (all better now for those who read and advised on my dislocated hip thread flowers ) they asked if she preferred a bowl or a bottle.

So I guess it varies from bunny to bunny.

MadHattersHat Wed 22-Jan-14 12:13:03

Ouch! Ninja , your poor bunny. Hope he/she is doing ok now!

expatinscotland Wed 22-Jan-14 12:17:39

Our nearest Pets at Home is fab. We got our lovely hamster there. I wouldn't write them all off.

LESuffolk Wed 22-Jan-14 12:18:14

My local pets At Home store recently spent a lot (a shed load) of money treating a rabbit that required a leg amputation through no fault of their own.

It will be in supported adoption paid for by the store for the rest of its natural life.

The local store is amazing and the things I hear about people coming in demanding to buy animals, not bothering to prepare for them or educate themselves and the store always refuses to sell to them.

To be honest there are far more irresponsible pet owners than there are pet stores but am I going to judge all pet owners on the basis of bad ones?


Take it up with the store.

LESuffolk Wed 22-Jan-14 12:20:07

Oh and they are one of The Times top ten emlpoyers to work for w/ regards to training, work conditions and the way they treat their animals.

They have new ownership and are an excellent company.

NinjaBunny Wed 22-Jan-14 12:20:52

Ouch! Ninja , your poor bunny. Hope he/she is doing ok now!

Yup. Bouncing all over the place. Currently on the back of the sofa twitching her nose at me.


MadHattersHat Wed 22-Jan-14 12:21:10

I'm not boycotting the whole stores - just my local, hence why I said I'd order stuff offline instead of popping in. smile

They're usually pretty good - it could be a one off incident, even. However, the rabbit's water shouldn't have got so low to be completely gone.

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