WESTMINSTER, MARYLAND -- We have been buying the Simply Nourish Sweet Potato Dog Treats from Pet Smart in Westminster, MD. for almost one year and our dogs simply love them. Who knew that a dog would like dried sweet potatoes? They are a jerky treat consistency with real sweet potatoes sliced and then dehydrated. Well, they loved them until recently when instead of the treats being the center cut slices of the sweet potatoes, all we were getting in a $9.99 bag was unpeeled potato end pieces with hard skin and not much sweet potato. My dogs started turning their nose up at them and I returned a few bags because all I got were the butt ends of the potatoes that looked like they were picked out of a trash bin and very, very few slices of good sweet potatoes.
Recently, I went to the same Pet Smart and purchased a few bags of these, hoping that they had some good potato treats in them. There is just a small window on the bag for you to look at what is inside, so I took a chance and bought some. Shortly thereafter at home my dogs asked for a treat and I grabbed for the new bag of these treats. Upon opening the bag, I went to reach inside and immediately noticed white strings in the bag stuck to the sweet potato treats. I took a treat out of the bag to examine it and noticed that the white strings looked like "white gauze" that you would put on a wound-- not real thick, just strings stuck to the potatoes. My first reaction was that this was part of the dehydration process when they dried out the treat. The bag is heat sealed and appeared to have the air taken out of the bag. I knew they changed the product so I was really unsure of what it was. I then held the bag up and looked in the clear window and that is when I found out what the strange white material/strings were: THE BAG HAD LIVE BUGS CRAWLING OVER THE SWEET POTATOES so I assume these were cobwebs. From what I could see, there were at least 4 or 5 but maybe more bugs in the bag. The bugs had been sealed with the bugs inside.
I immediately called the store and talked to a woman manager, and she replied: "if you want to bring the bag back to the store, we can replace it with another bag"! Why would I want another bag when this bag had bugs in it. I looked over the entire bag and there were no holes, rips, punctures, etc. How were these bugs still alive. I told the manager that I would be contacting the FDA to file a report with them, but that I thought she would like to know so she could pull other bags off the shelf. I triply bagged the bag of treats and put it out in my garage until I could go to the store the next day. I filed the report with the FDA and the next day visited the store. The same product was still on the shelf and no one at the store had been informed of the treats having bugs. I returned other bags of the treats which I had previously purchased but not opened and got a store credit. The manager on duty that day had also not been informed. How does this happen? I also called the number on the bag of treats, who answered "Pet Smart"' so I assume this is their product. They took my name and address, but didn't ask for the CPU code on the bag to see what other bags came from the same place--if mine had live, crawling bugs, they had to have been put there at the time of packaging since there were no holes in the bag at all. The 2nd manager confirmed the bugs and webs in the bag which I took in to the store the next day. How was Pet Smart going to trace the product if they didn't ask for numbers? How could this involve just one bag, there had to be more but how many people inspect the product before they give it to their pet?
The reaction I got from Pet Smart from both of the managers, and the number I called on the bag was very disappointing. I didn't expect them to do a major recall of the entire product line, but I did think they would take the information from the bag, find out where it was packaged, and then follow through with notifying that plant and hopefully inspecting for some kind of infestation. For 5+ bugs plus webs to be in such a small bag, shouldn't this have some kind of safety standards in place. I was disheartened by the way in which our neighborhood pet food chain handled this complaint. I shop in this store every week and some months more often so I am not a stranger to the employees and the manager. I didn't expect preferential treatment, I just wanted them to do something, act concerned, and make some reports or phone calls to see how bugs and cobwebs got sealed in a bag of their treats and that may be more bags are still out there.
Worse yet, maybe someone's dog(s) have gotten sick from eating a treat with either a cobweb or a bug on it and the owner doesn't know why because the incident was not made known to the public. How often does something like this happen and it is not investigated by them? I realize it was one bag with 5+ bugs and cobwebs, but how many bags haven't been sold or opened yet from that same plant? Why isn't pet food and treats more stringently regulated? I just wanted more and expected more from the company where everyone takes their pets to on weekends and the employees seem so concerned and always ask: "what kind of pet do you have" or "how many cats/dogs do you have" when we visit their store.
Do they really care or is it just "small talk". I wanted to feel that there are standards in place and that my pets safety is their top priority. I didn't get that from the way in which Pet Smart in Westminster or the branch of Pet Smart who answered the phone number written on the bag of treats. They just seemed to act like live bugs and cobwebs found in a heat sealed bag of treats was nothing more than the printing on the bag being misspelled. They seemed more bothered and put out that I was making an issue of this.
MEDFORD, OREGON -- PetSmart Bites!
Our family has rescued and cared for abandoned and injured animals for at least 38 years now. Our youngest daughter Karina grew up helping us with these unfortunate creatures and as the years went by she grew to love them and our mission.
Karina has owned many diverse types of creatures including a red tail boa, she has cared for a baby dear in Georgia, and she has cared for horses and has owned dogs, cats and other furry creatures all her life. Therefore working at the local PetSmart in Medford at first seemed like the perfect fit for Karina.
Currently, Karina has adopted two dogs that have been abandoned and in the past two years has spent well over $2,000.00 on them for medical care which she really can't afford working at PetSmart for $8.70 per hour.
A person can see she loves the animals she bathes in the bathing room and the animals and their owners waiting in line to purchase pet friendly supplies. Karina knew what was best to feed your animals and which items you would need for pet problems such as dander or skin problems just to name a few.
However, in May of 2008 Karina injured her back while caring for animals as she always has. She saw the doctor and he provided her with a light duty work note. Karina provided this note to Manager Connie Hooper Leggett who told her there was no such thing as light duty work at PetSmart.
Karina not wanting to lose her job kept working even though her back was still injured even after resting and treating it for about a week. Manager Connie Hooper Leggett then told Karina she would cut her hours unless she sold more of their care products to customers.
At this point as her father and at her request I was now involved. I own and operate Martinez & Associates Investigations and after goggling http://www.indeed.com/forum/cmp/PetSmart/s-company-culture-at-PetSmart/t3889 and many other links regarding the PetSmart culture I knew my daughter Karina needed someone in her corner.
The Manager did in fact make good on cutting Karina's hours down to between 13 and 18 hours per week. Karina told her Manager's she needed at least 30 hours a week to pay her rent, care for her animal friends and buy food, gas and so forth. However the punishment continued in cut hours even though Karina has been with PetSmart at least 3 years and was selling as much as other employees.
I did in fact step in to investigate and bring my daughter her lunch. I never disturbed the customers but while I was trying to investigate the PetSmart in Medford, their corporate office sent me a letter stating I would be trespassing if I entered the store again.
On August 15, 2009 Karina was bitten by a large Akita dog while bathing the dog. During bathing the dog got its rear foot caught in the grate at the bottom of the bathing tub. Karina and three other employees tried to hold the Akita while they attempted to free the foot. The dog tried to attack one of the employees who let go, then the second employee let go leaving Karina to wrestle this large dog alone and try to free the foot. The Akita bit Karina ripping open her left arm and an employee from the Banfield Hospital next door came in to assist.
Karina has been treated unfairly, she asked the management if she could seek employment with the nearby Wal-Mart to compensate for her lost hours and she was told they would not adjust her hours or work schedule for another employer to allow her to work at another place.
Karina Martinez loves animals and animal owners as anyone can investigate and find out. However, Manager Connie Hooper Leggett has to face the District Manager about sales and she has continued to punish Karina with reduced hours.
As part of my investigation into this matter I found numerous disgruntled employees many for the same reason who have quit. I asked Karina about the sales and she explained that in this economy pet owners don't always have the extra money. Upon further investigation I found that Star with PetSmart stated Karina's sales were up with other employees.
It appears to me that the Manager Connie Hooper Leggett can continue to cut Karina's hours, she can bring in new employees and give those 30 hours a week and this does not violate any labor laws because I have checked. However, I find it distasteful and unethical at best just another blog on the wall in goggle land for PetSmart.
Timothy J. Martinez
Martinez & Associates Investigations
MACON, GEORGIA -- On Sunday July 12, 2009, I took my 5 year old English Setter to his grooming appointment at 12pm. They said he would be finished at 4pm. I arrived back at 4 and was told it would take another 30 minutes, so I left and had to go back. I waited for a little while for someone to come out and help me and I witnessed a groomer pretty much abusing a dog. She was trying to cut his nails and he was pulling away (as expected) and at one point he fell off the table and she yanked him back up by his throat and continued to pull and yank on his paws brutally.
When Willis, my dog, was returned to me, I noticed he had a horribly uneven cut, and that there were some really long hairs that the groomer missed. Instead of complaining, I just paid and decided I would try to fix his fur when I got home.
Well, when I got home he ran to his water dish like he didn't have a drink for 4 hours. Then, I grabbed a pair of scissors and started to clip the random hair the groomer missed and I saw a bunch of fleas on his bottom! My dog did not have fleas when I dropped him off! In fact, he has never had fleas! I knew he caught them at Petsmart. When I contacted the store, and finally got in touch with the manager the next day, they offered me a free flea bath after I already went to a different store as soon as I saw the fleas and treated him with 30 dollars worth of over-the-counter remedies.
What is a free flea bath going to do? Make it so that he has to sit in a cage for 6 hours while he dries and doesn't eat or drink anything? Then, he might catch some other insect infestation or disease from the unsanitary facility? No thanks. They also missed some of his nails. Some of them weren't even filed down. I will never have my dog groomed at PetSmart or purchase any of their products again.
N/A, ILLINOIS -- My Boyfriend and I owned a beautiful 2yr old neo mastiff named Dino. We took him to Banfield in October of 08 because he had watery stools, and was vomiting. So he was given Metronidazole for his sickness. Dino was taking the pills twice daily at 500 mg. We noticed that it did make him VERY thirsty but the watery stools and vomiting stopped. well he started to get sick little by little we noticed that he looked slimmer, very thirsty, and was just acting very different. One day we came home ( First week in December) and found our Poor Dino on the floor in a pile of blood and was having a seizure. The scene was unexplainable and horrifying. We Rushed him to the hospital and they sedated him right away. We couldn't think of the medication that was given to him (in October) at the time so test were performed and wasn't looking good for dino. after a 1,200 + dollar bill and still couldn't determine the cause that night. Our option was to keep him over night( that meant more $) and taking him to a Neurologist the next day, or to put him down. It really wasn't looking good for poor Dino we don't know how long he was having a seizure and that of course meant brain damage. So we had to make the decision and put him down. VERY VERY hard decision. We didn't only loose a dog we lost a friend, a protector of our family, we lost our child...
So the other day I ran into the bottle of Metronidazole and did some research. found out that side affects/ overdose are:Dogs and cats: Symptoms of overdose of Metronidazole include the gastrointestinal signs (anorexia, vomiting) and neurological signs including depression, ataxia, disorientation, head-tilt, tremors, bradycardia, rigidity, stiffness, and seizures. Neurologic signs may occur due to acute overdose although they are more commonly seen in animals that are on long-term moderate or high doses (oral doses greater than 66 mg/kg/day). Signs of chronic toxicity often begin 7-12 days following the start of treatment. After the drug is discontinued, it may be several days to two weeks before these neurological signs begin to diminish.
Just wanted to pass on this info to pet owners to be aware of. We are continuing to do research and possibly take legal action if needed.
Thanks for you're time.
AKRON, OHIO -- I noticed my nine year old cat was losing weight. I made an appointment with my regular vet, five days away. The next morning, I found my kitty in the basement not moving and hardly breathing. I have an emergency clinic I have used, but it was 20 minutes away. My vet is 45 minutes away. I bundled her up and took her to Banfield, which was five minutes from me.
To make a five day story short, they perked her up with IV fluids, did blood work, told me she had elevated liver enzymes. They insisted on keeping her and I didn't care. They were very good about telling me what things were going to cost. Every day for those five days, I was there three times a day visiting her, agreeing to blood work, listening as they told me other things they were uncovering. Finally, she was well enough to go home. My bill for Banfield, $2,800.
Within 48hrs, she got glassy eyed and lethargic. I called my vet, drove the 45 minutes, and the minute my vet looked at the cat, she said, "Diabetes." A $28 blood test later, it was confirmed. The cat was so far gone that trying to regulate the disease was probably going to be futile. I had her put to sleep.
I still had two cats left, so I looked up the symptoms on line. My kitty had every symptom listed for diabetes. She was a classic case. I wondered why Banfield hadn't caught it. I pondered this out loud in front of my co-workers and they ALL had stories to relate about Banfield being money driven more than pet driven. After investigating more, their credo is to get the animal, keep it, run tests, run the bill up, and take the money, all while appearing to be concerned.
I looked at my vet bill. They did over 20 blood tests on my cat and never tested for diabetes, again, all of her symptoms obvious, but I didn't know. This is why I am passing along this info to you. As is, I feel horrible and guilty for not seeing what they were doing, but all I could see was that she was feeling better; that's all I cared about. I beat myself up about "if I had gotten to the disease sooner," but my vet assures me those five days wouldn't have saved my kitty. Aside from that, Banfield made a lot of money off of my ignorance and my love for that cat.
LACEY, WASHINGTON -- We have two chihuahua Hearing Assist dogs that we have trained to alert us to situations in our environment that a fully hearing person would never think of twice. They allow us to function in a world that is slowly becoming silent. In order to help fit into the hearing world better, we are scrupulous about keeping them groomed, so as not to offend or aggravate the dander allergies of others.
We have our animals groomed on a regular basis in our home area of Casa Grande, AZ, and are thrilled with the care they give Munchkin and BearBear. They are regularly bathed, trimmed, given sanitary clips, and generally, kept cleaner than most people. Munchkin, especially, has problems with the hair on her feet growing into what we call 'Grinch feet.' Her usual grooming involves carefully trimming the hair on her feet, then trimming her nails.
We called two months ahead of time to the PetSmart in Lacey, WA, and set up appointments to have our animals groomed, as we are in contact with our new granddaughter and sort of adopted grandson, both born within two weeks of each other three months ago.
First, when Crystal called to confirm the appointments just before we left Arizona, our names had not been put in the book. Strike one.
When we arrived and dropped them off, the normal routine for PetSmart groomers is to carry these tiny (both less than 6 lbs) animals to the rear of the facility. Instead, they were drug through all this hair on the floor. Strike Two. When we picked them up a few hours later, here they came, dragging them through the hair again. We paid and left, a bit put out at the treatment of our animals by people who advertise that they care so much about your animals. We found that the feet had not been trimmed, the animals had obviously not been bathed, no sanitary trim, in fact, not much had been done at all. On top of that, something was done to Munchkin while she was there that has us perplexed. Prior to this so-called 'grooming,' she loved everyone, as was the way she was trained.
These two feared nothing and were as loving a pair as you ever saw. When we picked them up from PetSmart, Munchkin was suddenly afraid of men, and would actually try to get away from any man besides me that came near her. We are working hard to re-train her to be friendly, as most people interpret fear in an animal as a sign of a possible fear-biter. This hampers her ability to do her job.
PetSmart may have just ruined a service animal worth about ten thousand dollars, and may have made it necessary to reduce her to a common pet. We went back, and the so-called 'manager,' said we couldn't prove they hadn't bathed our animals, or that they had done anything to make Munchkin fear anyone, so they offered to trim her feet, and that was it. We will continue to use our regular groomer in Arizona, but will warn people living in the Lacey-Olympia-Tumwater area, avoid the PetSmart groomers in Lacey. If they will do this to a service animal, what will they do to your pet? I know this is under Crystal's name, but she asked me to write this, she is so upset that she felt I should write it.
ALBANY, NEW YORK -- I had the unfortunate experience of having to enter a store called Pet Smart in a quest to find some alfalfa for some guinead pig rodent type creature my nephew has. Upon entering the store I was overwhelmed by the terrible odor. I can not even begin to describe the scent. I'm surprised my eyes did not tear up, but I almost wish they did because after I entered the doors (which I had to pull open, get some automatic doors PetSmart) I saw tons of animals roaming around the store. Many dogs with leashes, some cats wandering freely, even some type of reptile that I couldn't stand to look at.
I entertained the possibility of leaving immediately before risking injury due to these animals being allowed to run amok throughout the store, but I decided since I was only after one item to risk it. Searching throughout the aisles, I was approached by a man with a far too overzealous dog that approached and put his front paws up on my legs. I was appalled and the man told me that his dog was friendly. I told him that I didn't care how friendly his canine was and I asked this man if I looked like the kind of lady who would want something so wild and untamed licking me all over and burying its face in my nether regions. He was speechless. After not so kindly telling this man to go take a flying leap, I continued my search for alfalfa only now smelling like a mutt and covered in dog hair.
As I entered a new aisle I was confronted by a curious tabby who decided to rub up against and between my legs all the while emitting a low, guttural sound. Obviously on the verge of attack, I was able to ward it off by jabbing and poking at it with a rawhide bone. At this point, I had had enough! I approached the manager on duty and showed him my pant legs covered in animal hair. I told him PetSmart would be paying for me to have the entire outfit dry cleaned one way or the other and demanded to know where I should send the receipt after those services were performed. He told me that he was unsure about how PetSmart would handle something like that, but in the meantime offered to provide me with complimentary lint rollers in a feeble attempt to remedy the situation.
After acquiring my three free lint rollers, I had this manager show me where the alfalfa was and lead me to the check out register to avoid further attacks. I removed my change purse from my bag thinking PetSmart couldn't charge more than 75 cents for a bag of hay, but they wanted nearly four dollars! Needless to say, I left that bag of alfalfa sitting there and left with only my lint rollers. Since this event I have been calling PetSmart every day in order to get an address to send my dry cleaning receipt before I actually get it cleaned (there is no way I am going to pay for something like this), but thus far I have only been given the runaround. This will be the last time I ever step foot inside PetSmart. From now on I will only shop at pet stores that do not allow animals!
AVONDALE, ARIZONA -- Shame on the Manager at this Pet Smart. First making a statement that Pet Smart donates to much to non-profits dealing with animals than throwing away cases and bags of cat and dog food that are either torn or near expiration dates into trash bins. There are people out there that want animals but cannot afford to feed them. Pet Smart is the one that really stinks.
If you don't believe me go behind the store any time and you will find un-open pet products in the trash.
COLUMBIA, MARYLAND -- The writers of Monty Python's classic “dead parrot” skit must have had a psychic future vision of the cynicism at the PetSmart in Columbia MD.
My daughter returned a very sick chinchilla that was dying in her arms. The store manager was defensive and argumentative. “We'll give it some liquids and antibiotics,” he said halfheartedly before hustling the motionless animal to an unseen veterinarian supposedly in the back room. “Actually, I don't think anyone here knows how to treat chinchillas,” he then confessed.
My wife and crying daughter had the humiliation of waiting in line at the service counter with the dying animal, even though she had called ahead to say she was bringing a critically sick animal to see their vet. They got about as much compassion from PetSmart as you'd expect from returning a broken toaster to Wal-Mart.
All the manager wanted to do was get the dying animal out of sight and do a hasty refund to get my family out of the store. This is sickening if it is representative of the PetSmart corporate culture. Their theme song should be from the Steve Miller Band's: “Take the Money and Run.”
PetSmart's managers might do better being trained to sell vacuum cleaners, which already suck.
JENSEN BEACH, FL -- I purchased several items from Petsmart, including a (approx) $40.00 dog cage. I paid with a Visa debit card. When I got to the parking lot and checked my receipt I found that they had charged twice for the $40.00 cage. I went back to the store immediately and pointed out the error to the cashier. She said that she made a mistake and called the manager to make the correction. They put through a credit, but I felt that they should certainly not charge my card the full amount. I was assured that they would not. Three days later, the full amount (including the$40.00 overcharge) was debited from my account. When I went back for an explanation, the manager said the funds should come back soon. RIDICULOUS!!! How do you double charge someone, take the incorrect amount anyway, and tell the buyer "You'll get the refund at some point ???? The manager said "We all make mistakes" . My response was "You made the mistake worse by keeping the extra $40.00 of my money anyway! I own a business and take credit cards. The next time I am short of cash, I'll just run someone's card for $500.00 instead of $200.00, use their money to pay my bills, and return the mistake when I feel like it! Nice game PETSMART!