Pets at Home survey

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ColGabz
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Re: Pets at Home survey

Post by ColGabz » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:37 am

I absolutely despise P&H, so if you will be offended please don't read this. Everything I will say now is the truth. (However hard it hurts me to do so)


In one of the shops near my boyfriend, I saw in the adoption part there was a male albino dumbo rat, up for 'adoption'. I asked if I could see him, and the staff seemed to jump at the chance, but I couldn't hold him. Alarm bells should've rung by then but as he was on his own I really couldn't leave him there for perhaps a younger child to take in who doesn't know much about rats where he would end worse off. I wish I never bothered (that is a horrible thing to say but it is true.) It took the store manager and an assistant 30 minutes to get him into a box, he was very stressed out and obviously unhappy being inside the tank he was in. It smelt strongly of urine (this could be because of the tank etc) but he had obviously been in there for some time without being changed (seriously, it was quite bad but I do know that nervous poo stinks). I called him Wednesday.

I was told that Wednesday the rat was 14 weeks old, and apparently he had come in from someone who could not take care of him (I have reason to believe that he was just a left over rat that had not been bought by customers and was too old to be ‘sold’ along with the young ones that come in once a week -I was told by a manager in another store. That this was probably the case and Charlton pets at home should not lie on the adoption cards shown next to the animal as it is against PAH rules (apparently).

So long story short, I took Wednesday home, where he was very aggressive and vicious. He bit my father and myself down to the bone, and the twice a week cleaning the cage was a nightmare, It was a two person job. I have no idea how the assistants at the Pets at Home Charlton store managed to get him in there and clean the cage out successfully without being bitten, and to be honest I don't think that they tried. It wasn’t a fearful bite, it was aggressive. So when I look back on it, I now realise why they wanted to get ‘rid’ of the rat so soon. I am starting to think that the rat was left over, and he was put in there on his own, and with lack of human contact (I was told by another store manager they do not have the time to handle animals) he just got more and more aggressive by the day. So say, I think the rats in PAH are about 6 -7 weeks old when they are bought. Wednesday was potentially in there on his own for roughly double that before I donated £10 and took him home. I tried absolutely everything I could (I am an experienced rat and ferret owner) I was going to hand him over to a lady who is a specialist in aggressive rats – But I couldn’t due to the binding contract that I had with Pets at home which said that if I could not take care of the animal, I am to give it back to Pets at Home.

So about a month and a bit of having him and trying to tame him (actually I think it was a bit more) it got so bad that I was going to put him to sleep. It would’ve cost me £75 and I really wish I did that. I gave Wednesday back to Pets at Home but to another store, with all the adoption info I recieved in the other store. I asked the store manager there several questions (he was fantastic, very honest with me and didn’t hesitate too much to give me answers.) I hated handing Wednesday over I felt like I had failed, and I was upset over it. I actually cried in the shop much to the embarassment of my boyfriend hah ! I handed him over in a doubled up box, with food inside.(he was in a small box and then a huge cardboard box around it to be safe, and a warning on top) I am not over exaggerating here.

I was told that he would be put up for adoption again, but this time with ‘V. Aggressive’’ next to it. This breaks my heart, I didn't go back in to check up and see if he was there, maybe I will tonight out of curiosity but I should've gave him to the lady who is experienced and takes in agressive rats specificaly ! I gave him back because the quality of life for him at mine was terrible, I fed him (with gloves on so he didn't come charging at me) after a while I learned that I should not go in with bare hands. I only could speak to him and he was so unhappy at my home I was binded by the contract to give him back to them. I just hope they did the right thing, and I dread to think what happened when they opened the box..

I saw two ‘male’ Siamese dumbo rats who were labelled as ‘Bill and Ben’’ in the adoption part of the store ( which I now call animals at discount) ... I thought long and hard about it and decided to give it ago. I had two boys and three girls at the time and I decided that I could introduce the two new Siamese boys to my boys later on. The store manager told me that these rats were ones that were left over from originally being for sale. I donated again, and took the ‘boys’ home.

When I got home... These were not bucks, they were does ! I was horrified, I was hoping that they had been too young to conceive whilst they were potentially in with other bucks. I think that one of the girls miscarried two days after I brought them home from the stress of moving into new surroundings Luckily I do not have any extra rats from them and they have been able to be housed with my three other girls in the Ferret XL cage I (luckily) had, no way would’ve I been able to afford one after the money I spent on trying to help Wednesday !

I have told you my story so you can see there are still problems with the stores. I think that most people just don’t bother to sent P@H letters, because they don’t expect replies - if you have had a problem - SEND A LETTER !!! I did, the reply was awful but if who ever is reading them sees these stories regarding rats, surely if they have any sense they will do something about it.

So now, I don't shop in pets at home. I buy science and excel rat food either online or from my aunties wholesalers, or from shops which don't sell animals.

I just wonder, if they so called apparently 'excel' the 5 rules of animal care, why are customers only given a ‘pet care’ leaflet rather than being questioned and checked up on later on ? Because so many people buy their pets - they really should do check ups, no matter how hard it is if they really do care for the animals and not the sales, right ? I know that P@H do not hold responsibility for the damage caused to persons or property – but if this was a child who was bitten as severely as I was I’m sure that the matter would not have been taken so lightly as it has been.

The state of the reptiles I have seen in P@H is disgraceful, the fish even worse. I think that Pets at Home are making false claims by putting their animals in the ‘adoption’ boxes – it’s just a way of putting them for discount – which is very clever of the store but wrong and misleading. If you put up ‘’Discount animals half price ! Sale’’ there would be many people against it.

I never used to mind Pets at Home too much – I always said I would never buy an animal from there – I ‘adopted’ instead, I also regret that as over the years I have put so much money in their pockets by buying toys etc which are so much cheaper elsewhere !!!!

I sent them a letter, and vowed to keep my mouth shut until I got a good reply - which I didn't. I plain asked some simple questions and they couldn't do it for me. So, here's my story for you guys to see. Make what you will of it.

I just wonder where the rats come from, a manager of the store told me that they got new stock in every week - I know how easy it is for them to breed rats but 'rat mill' seems to alarm me....

I am sorry if I offended anyone from this but this is all truth - and people need to know about it, I will not be using their 'adoption' system as they are lying about where the animals are coming from, I'd never give a pet to a rehoming bit in a pet shop - would you, honestly ? If there were independent adoption places and even RSPCA (I'm not the biggest fan but atleast I know if I sent my pet there for adoption they would do home checks !) ?

Please don't be offended - that is the last thing I am doing here, I just .. I don't know, I'm really miffed and emotionally exhausted after it all.

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Thorn
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Re: Pets at Home survey

Post by Thorn » Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:27 am

Hi Colgabz, don't worry about offending, this thread is about these good and bad stories re PAH.

If I were you I would have not bothered with the being tied in to a contract business and takin him to the lady you mentioned. I know a contract is a contract but I really don't think PAH are gonna know or even care that much to be honest.

I've had problems with them being sexed too but since coming onto this site and forum I know how easy it is to sex a rat....so if you ever have an experience like with the 2 does just check if they have nipples and testes :wink:

Good move on not buying anything from them again though. I buy as little as possible from them, i think its just litter and my boyfriend's chinchilla pellets we get from there now but hoping to buy online soon instead :)
Owned by Does: Bella, Scout, Puck and Mouse, and bucks: Atticus, Chali and Dill
Rest In Peace my beautiful girls Tonks, Socks, Luna and Chino

ColGabz
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Re: Pets at Home survey

Post by ColGabz » Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:03 pm

If I wished to take this further (infact, I may do, in the form of a petition or something) the fact that I didn't take the animal back and I broke a contract could be used against me - that is my problem here.

Believe me, I thought long and hard about that. :-(

I do know how to sex a rat ! :P I just in the heat of it all didn't say to the shop whilst I was there ! But it's so awful to think that young children could be putting in what they think are two males in with another two males... I just don't get it !! Pets at home should not be allowed to sell livestock.


Shall I make a petition to number 10 about ''Pet shops should not be allowed to sell livestock'' ? Would anyone be interested ?

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Thorn
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Re: Pets at Home survey

Post by Thorn » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:38 pm

ColGabz wrote:If I wished to take this further (infact, I may do, in the form of a petition or something) the fact that I didn't take the animal back and I broke a contract could be used against me - that is my problem here.

Believe me, I thought long and hard about that. :-(

I do know how to sex a rat ! :P I just in the heat of it all didn't say to the shop whilst I was there ! But it's so awful to think that young children could be putting in what they think are two males in with another two males... I just don't get it !! Pets at home should not be allowed to sell livestock.


Shall I make a petition to number 10 about ''Pet shops should not be allowed to sell livestock'' ? Would anyone be interested ?


Hi ColGabz, sorry if i offended you, just not read any of your other posts so didn't know if you knew how to sex them :wink:

I see what you mean about if you took it further, so at least you know you did everything by the rules even if it might not have been best thing for the rat. It may have ended up having to be put to sleep, but if it was then at least it doesn't have to suffer on his own anymore. On the other hand someone who does take in aggressive rats may have gone in and rescued him. Maybe thats something we could do in future if we come across an agressive rat in this situation - tip off a specialised person about the animal and see if they are willing to get him, even donate the £10 or so to them.

Its dreadful kids could end up buying a buck and a doe and not even realise. If pet shops are going to sell pets they should at least have the basic knowledge of the animal their selling! Argh it makes me angry to see some of the states the animals are in. I'd definately be up for signing a petition :D
Owned by Does: Bella, Scout, Puck and Mouse, and bucks: Atticus, Chali and Dill
Rest In Peace my beautiful girls Tonks, Socks, Luna and Chino

emmabell
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Re: Pets at Home survey

Post by emmabell » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:22 pm

When my hamster died a few week ago and I persuaded my dad to finally let me get a rat (I've wanted one since I was very young) I decided to go into two different P@H stores to look at some. (This was before I came onto this forum and knew anything about the proper care of rats from all of you experienced people :))

I went into one in Leigh and asked about them. Apparently I needed a minimun sized cage the size of a dog cage for two rats which seemed a bit much to me, but I didn't know anything about rats so I was none the wiser. I didn't purchase any rats or cage and decided to go to a P@H in Middlebrook(Bolton) to see if their advice was any different.

They pointed out a smaller, plastic bottomed cage which wasn't tall enough for rats to climb and explore like I now know they need.
So that night I came home and looked for a rat forum and found this, so now I'm much more informed and have a lovely sized cage (that can house 3 rats according to the cage calculator :))

(& I'm getting my rats from a breeder on Sunday 15th =DD I'm so excited!)

But my boyfriend saw my cage and was soo jealous cause of how awesome it looked (not sure on the make btw) and he decided to get one and get rats of his own and, ignoring my advice, got them from a P@H.

He wanted two males (top eared) and the P@H we went to in Wigan only had females (the employee didn't seem too sure on the sex and had to open the cage and poke about to check, but I could clearly tell they were does and I know nothing O___o haha)

So we travelled to Middlebrook and they had two males so he decided to get them, the employee did check if the cage he had was large enough and advised us on some cat litter (Bio-Catolet or something). Now I'm not sure if it's suitable for rats so can someone let me know so I can tell my boyfriend ^___^

So we took the ratties home and one is very friendly. He sniffs around and is constantly exploring, we wanna name him after a famous explorer :p
The other rat is very timid and seems quite scared.. He's always hiding in his bed but I'm sure he'll be okay in time :)

So all-in-all, after a very long post might I add ;o haha, my experience at three different P@H stores was average but I wouldn't purchase my pets from there personally and I do hope my boyfriend's new ratties don't come to have any problems :)

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Boltbrain
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Re: Pets at Home survey

Post by Boltbrain » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:12 pm

I purchased my first 2 rats from P@H and found the staff in my local store to be very informative and helpfull. A number of the staff keep rats themselves and they were willing to spend a long time talking about their care etc with me. Everything the told me agreed with what I had already read up online. We spent a long time talking about cages and the assistent even advised me not to buy the cage from them as there were better cheaper cages available from an non P@H store nearby.

The rat tanks at the store are on the small side but are very clean and as I normally pop in early they are always being in the process of cleaning out. The rats I purchased had obviously been well handled.

I have also purchasded Guinea pigs from there and when one had an abscess soon after purchasing P@H paid for all of the vet bills and aftercare costs.

I understand not all stores are like this and that buying from them contributes to poor breeding methods but not all of the stores are as bad as their reputation

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RattyRenton
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Re: Pets at Home survey

Post by RattyRenton » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:37 am

Don't know if this thread is focusing on rats but about 7 years ago I got 2 Roborovski's hamsters from P@H Aintree, was informed they were both males. A YEAR ( :o ) later I found a litter of babies, then another....( I know you're asking 'why didn't you seperate them?'. I think the reason was I was young and daft and didn't know which was mum and which was dad and didn't want to seperate the babies from mum, etc etc. )
Heather x
and the Ratties; Marley, Dylan, Ewan, Charley, Dale, Mitch, Milo, Timmy, Archie, Arthur, Bruce and Basil

:rainbow: Thorston, Si, Dave, Roger and George :dumborainbow:

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Lackis
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Re: Pets at Home survey

Post by Lackis » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:01 pm

Got my most recent 2 from P@H which was a laugh, got some interesting info from the P@H staff in Northwich about dumbo rats:
Dumbo's grow bigger than top eared (therefore more expensive).
Can't keep dumbos and top eared together because they will fight.

But hey at least the girls were all definitly girls! I was more upset by the fact that one of the remaining 2 top eared rats on show very clearly had skin problem, when I quetioned the girl showing them to me she did say it was being treated at least. Oh and the day after I brough Abigail and Matilda home Abigail developed an abcess on her right cheek. Obviously it's debatable wether P@H's conditions caused this or if was coincidence but I'll never bu from them again. Partly because a big bale of carefresh bedding is £5 more expensive there than than my local pet superstore and I'd rather support local independant shops which most importantly don't sell animals!

On the upside, when in the P@H in Crewe I complained to (a fairly nice actually) boy there who I'd been gathering information from about there being a single male rat alone in a tank. This was actually a follow up visit because I'd seen him there a week ago and had come back to find out if he was still alone. The boy I spoke to went and harassed another member of staff about it which made me feel better :D so some of their staff are obviously competant and caring.
Sasha & Qudo :halo: Maggie & Cassie :halo: Abigail, Matilda & Jupiter :dumbo: Anastacia and Greta! :baby:

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Re: Pets at Home survey

Post by Ormrod91 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:19 pm

Ive had about 4 rats from P@H, all from different places.

my first two were from the same place, and they were amazing! beautiful rats and lived long and amazing lives. they were correctly sexed, and very healthy. and very tame.

my third one, my little Cocoa. well she was in with about 4 other rats, yet when i got her home and tried intorducing her to an adult rat and then after that failed, to a same age rat, she attacked both, and became very aggressive towards them and me if shes near another rat. When i actually purchased her, the lady, who was manager of the small animal section, and had apparently got experience with rats, couldnt handle her what so ever, by this i mean, when she put her hand in, cocoa ran away. she ran out of the cage, and onto the floor, and i tried catching her, and the woman kept saying 'ive got it!'. clearly she didnt! so i told her to give her to me, and within 5 mins of being in my arms she was calm. although her sex and age were correct, i am still currently working on getting her to socialize with other rats.

my fourth was from where i live now, and she is such a lovely! they sexed her correctly, and her age was correct. but she was on her own when i got her, and there were no other rats in store, so i took her home with the intentions of her going in with little cocoa (before i knew about her temperement problems). so she ended up alone for a about a month, until i got my baby girls, who she is now a very good big sis too. BUT, all was not so great with this p@h! a few weeks later i noticed bald patches on her, took her to the vet, and she has ringworm! she has now recovered from that, but she also gave it to me as well, so i had to go to the drs and be treated, and then our other rats also had to be checked, so although she is lovely, i wont be buying from that p@h again!

x
Mum To Many Amazing Rats:
:smileyrat: Cocoa Roo, Isabella, Lace, Kizzmae & JerryLee :smileyrat:
:rainbow: Frodo, Elijah, Woody, Pipsqiek, Pixie, Tobey, Lili Rose, Tiddles & 8 littlens, Perky, Kizzbo, Pinky, DaisieMae, Marley :rainbow:

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Re: Pets at Home survey

Post by geliparker » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:56 pm

My boys come from PAH...3 month later and I am still battling with socialising, nipping and handling - the staff told me that it would be finr to keep them in a large rabbit cage (hah - out within 10 seconds through the bars) and that I shouldn't bother with any fresh food!! :angry: ...since dry has everything they need. Needless to say my dumbo boys are now eating anything but the dry:-)...and of course I have not listened to the advise on using sawdust!

It doesn't stop there - I keep coldwater fish as well and have NEVER seen so much deceased fish in so many different tanks (imagine buying just one and then loosing your whole tank of fish), not to mention the poor undernourished bearded dragon underneath the fish....PLEASE, PLEASE do not use them

devoted housekeeper, cook, backscratcher and entertainer to Max and Morris :halo:

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Becca:)
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Re: Pets at Home survey

Post by Becca:) » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:20 pm

Mine are pets at home girls and I have a lot to say!

Well, one is a hairless girl and one is a pregnant black hooded girl.

At least they sexed them right when I got them. I pray Sugar my hairless isn't pregnant too, that would be a big dilemma :(

The problem I am faced with is that I honestly believe Mhaya is going to have babies in the next week/few days. I need to seperate her from Sugar ideally. My parents are going away over night early wednesday coming back late thursday. I can't get a free cage from P@H (asking/begging/trying tomorrow) without proof she is pregnant, which only actual babies can provide, but that could be when my parents are gone. I see myself having to buy a whole second lot of stuff tomorrow for their own stupidity.. she was probably seperated too late but I am almost certain she is pregnant :|

Other than that my hairless has had little spots on her nose that scab over, some kind of health issue that arose the day after getting her home? They don't bother her but I will get her vet checked if another appears. She is jumpy at my touch had a bit of a nipping problem which we're working through slowly, still nips when I'm in the cage but not when she's out. Mhaya is a sweetie bit me once and then we were friends but still doesn't like to be held much, I do blame the way the yoink them out of their little unventilated tanks and drop them in the arms of customers.

Not impressed with P@H agree with all the 'care' comments previous people have mentioned. I have three boxes full of my own mix of food now on top of that they are getting egg, monkey nuts, rice and chicken as treats. :love:
Mhaya :smileyrat: Sugar :smileyrat: Fen :baby: Fae :baby:

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Thorn
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Re: Pets at Home survey

Post by Thorn » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:04 pm

This is exactly why pet shops should not be allowed to sell animals!

The scabs sound like mites so you will need to have them treated but be carefful about one being pregnant and the babies. You will need to go to a breeder or vet to have them diagnosed if you are unsure yourself and they will also be able to tell you if they are pregnant.

Worst comes to worse, buy a spare cage so you are satisfied, then when she does have kittens you can show the pet shop and they will have to refund you what you paid or supply you with another cage.

This really makes me sick :angryrat:
Owned by Does: Bella, Scout, Puck and Mouse, and bucks: Atticus, Chali and Dill
Rest In Peace my beautiful girls Tonks, Socks, Luna and Chino

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Becca:)
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Re: Pets at Home survey

Post by Becca:) » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:43 pm

I have given both rats a close check over for mites and found nothing, they looked like little black head spots just around the whisker folicles on her nose :-( if any more appear I will show the vet, they had scabbed over before I got the chance!

Well I have a good update from P@H, today I went there and explained my situation. They have *loaned* me another cage, nesting box, water bottle and food bowl. Also they gave me free cleaning spray, mineral stone, paper based bedding and vitamin supplement which I found quite generous. What got me thinking though was how unsurprised they were. They didn't question whether she could be pregnant so they must be well used to these kinds of mistakes.

I pray that my hairless isn't also pregnant because of the lactation difficulties they often face, I would be very concerned. She has spent the last two nights frantically nest making and the pregnant ratty in question hasn't bothered to make a nest at all! The hairless one (Sugar) is a very slinky little baby though so with any luck she won't bring me any surprises in the next week. I have had them for two weeks and when I went to the store again today, two of their cage mates were still waiting for homes :-( I couldn't see if they were definitely female as they were asleep.

I will start a new thread if Mhaya has babies, I will know for certain by about the 22nd. At least I'm all prepared now! Thanks for all advise given :-)
Mhaya :smileyrat: Sugar :smileyrat: Fen :baby: Fae :baby:

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Becca:)
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Re: Pets at Home survey

Post by Becca:) » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:46 pm

And just a quick pic of her tum, you can't see here but she's getting bigger. As you can see she has groomed all the hair from her nipples in the lat two days :love:

Image
Mhaya :smileyrat: Sugar :smileyrat: Fen :baby: Fae :baby:

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Re: Pets at Home survey

Post by Hannah&Lee » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:13 am

I brought my first 3 boys from P@H Stoke (now know better) the girl who sold them to me was terrified of them and sort of roughly forced them into a box.
She didnt know how old they were.
I was told that the rat 'nuggets' would provide all the nutrients they would need.
I wasnt even asked if i had a cage (i had brought a massive one from another shop rather than the tiny ones they recommend)
I really regret buying from them, my boys were so stressed and really nervous i felt so bad and guilty i just wanted them to be happy and they were terrified, they have settled in now (over 3 months) but they are not as snuggly as peoples rats that you read about on the forum.
When i got them home Munchy wouldnt stop sneezing so took to vets (given Bayril) so on a good note P@H did pay for all vet care no questions. That i think is there only good point, is they will pay for all vets bills.

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