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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 .

Actually re. the glass fronted cages - do the animals in that shop not deserve abit of air circulation?? angry

Obviously they aren't going to suffocate (hmm) but fresh air even if it is pet shop smelling air is surely a basic right?

Would they keep a child inside for weeks on end stirring in stale air? No, I think not!

Yes i may be on one..... my apologies!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 18-Dec-12 16:17:00

Quite agree Bonkey is is an infuriating state of affairs in that store.

DD and I did exactly the same- nice munchy grass for the boars to make up for the fact the lawn is looking rough (and covered in NDN willow leaves. I still cut a handful of grass when I can for them)

There were two boars in one tank. A singleton boar (bit bigger) in another.And in the "Adoption" part a boar who looked the twin of the singleton.
"I got too old to sell"
My DD was very judgey (possibly these two were fighting and had to be split up. But TBH I would challenge any two young boars to keep a level head in these glorified plastic pens with everyone gawping at them).
No idea where they end up though once they've been through the system.Are there that many rescues that would take on a load of adolescent guineas (and rabbits)

I would love to buy them too Bonkey but I know catergorically that my first responsibilty is to my boys who have already been through rescue. And I don't see them embracing new pigs with open arms.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 18-Dec-12 16:18:57

We have a Jolleys petshop (lovely hay) and they occasionally have rabbits and guineas. But they are only 1 or 2 at a time.

moodychops Tue 18-Dec-12 16:20:21

Santa I got teary reading your post, its awful in there isn't it? Last time I went there in summer the poor rabbits were laid flat panting in the heat with no water.

When we rescued our hamster we were told the poor little thing had been left there for months after his siblings were sold "because hamsters with red eyes don't sell" sad

Just given my boys a big cuddle and extra parsley.

I bet those poor piggies have never tasted parsley sad

I think ultimately if they can't be sold then they get put down. they would probably never admit it but what else can they do?
Rescues are over run, if no one wants them then its cheaper for them to get rid than keep them going for however long and hope someone pays a stupid price sad

guineapiglet Tue 18-Dec-12 19:28:06

Oh Bonkey, what a horrible experience, now I shall also be worrying about those little boys tonight, bless them. You have read on many threads about my absolute loathing for this industrial type pet shop, as you say, they are convenient and we have all used them, to our shame!! Since moving I have discovered a really friendly tiny no chain pet shop, lurking in the shadows of P@H and probably likely to go out of business sadly, but the owner is so knowledgable and caring about all pets, really interested and wants to help - what a difference. Could you 'out' the place where these guineas are in case some nearby soul on here might just be able to go and get them? Fingers crossed for them and all the other wretched animals and fish who are unlucky enough to be part of P@H empire - all they are interested in is profit profit profit. Makes me wonder whether animal rescue people do go in and check on these places?

As for the guineas, I have to tell myself that they dont think like we do, if they are fed and not cruelly treated, it is enough..... but it really isnt, I have to hope that they will ultimately be rescued by lovely people like ussmile

JustFabulous Tue 18-Dec-12 19:33:35

I went to buy fish food once and came home with a rescue hamster confused. I got a free cage and everything for taking him.

I think none of the animals in the adoption bit are genuinely in need as such. I think they are stock they got in and just use sob stories to sell more.

MsElleTow Tue 18-Dec-12 19:34:10

DH won't let me go in P@H anymore because I get quite ranty and loud about the state of the cages and animals!blush. More than once I have had to tell them about dead guineas in the cages!sad.

Last time I went in, there was a rabbit in the adoption bit who hardly enough room to turn in his 'tank'! It makes me so, so sad and angry. If I wasn't disabled and DH wouldn't divorce me I'd bring them all home.

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.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 18-Dec-12 22:39:38

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

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.

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 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.

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 !

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.

Whistlingwaves Sat 22-Dec-12 07:07:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Whistlingwaves Sat 22-Dec-12 07:13:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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!"

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.

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>

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 24-Dec-12 19:02:25

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

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.

quirrelquarrel Wed 02-Jan-13 15:54:07

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).

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.

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