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Petsmartreturn policy on live animals

C Review updated:

I am am employee at this Pet Smart and I plan on quitting. Not only are they horrible to work for, their return policy on live animals is ridiculous! I bought a guinea pig, a cage, food, and bedding for the guinea pig. When I got home, I set things up and decided while the animal is sweet, it's too high maintanence for my lifestyle and my daughter kept sticking her hands in the cage. I am afraid it'd bite her eventually and I also don't want my daughter to scare or harm the pet either. So the next day, I went to return my pet, and they TURNED ME DOWN!

They "CLAIM" when you buy a live animal you have 14 days to return it, and if it dies, they'll replace it.

Well my pet was healthy, no problems, but I wanted to return it for the pets well-being where people had more time to care for it, and they said NO!

Turns out, unless it dies, bites you, is sick, ect... you can't return it!

Well needless to say I am quitting Pet Smart, going to bad mouth them to everyone I know and more, and I will NEVER buy anything from them again.



  • Sc
    ScarysMinga Dec 12, 2020
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I just bought a darling little hamster 6 days ago. I went to say goodnight to her and I found her dead. :(
    Do I take her back? It's not a refund I'm after, and I would like another pet, but if she died within a week, I'm afraid another one from Petsmart will die too.


    0 Votes
  • Ku
    Kuzajin Mar 17, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    The irony is the customer is also the associate, she should of known the maintenance as that is her job. I also worked for petsmart as a pet care specialist, so i think there is more to this story then what has been posted. That would be like an alligator handler at a zoo, buys a pet alliagtor and brings it home and says oh my this thing takes work and could bite. Stupid people all around.

    4 Votes
  • Ro
    Royalspin Oct 05, 2017
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I used to be a customer of PetSmart, notice the part where I said used to. I went in today to get some ghost shrimp, small goldfish and an Otocinclus algae eater .The guy who was working the fish section was short with me and rude .I saw he was restocking the tanks and he told me I'd have to wait a half hour for the algae eaters .I said wait a minute, you mean to tell me your going to just cut them loose and then turn around and recatch them and not quarantine them first and not aclimate them for a week or so ? He said yeah it's fine we do it all the time .I noticed the ghost shrimp in the bag with several that were carrying young but 7 out of the 14 were already dead in the shipping bags .I said why don't you just sell me whats in the bag and this way we're not putting them through two shocks at once .I made it clear I wanted the whole bag and not to cut them loose and suffer pH shock. So what does he do ? He didn't bother to listen to me and just cut the bag open and dumped them in. I also asked him what is the PH of the water ? He replied ut was 8.0 .I said that high ? He never responded at all . I felt sorry for the fish and also the customers not knowing any better .This guy should have known better than to just dump all the fish including original water into the tanks that share a central filtration system .The amount of dead fish I saw was just sickening .He didn't even do a body count which your supposed to to get wholesaler credit back on dead fish .I worked in the industry on both sides retail and wholesale and fully understand how to take care of fish and how to ship and receive and do everything you're supposed to .The goal is minimizing shock and loss and making sure that the customer gets a healthy product and becomes a repeat customer. Naturally I wanted to grab the net from his hands and educate him on how to catch them correctly and give him a crash course in fish care .This guy was such a rude and short tempered person I didn't bother and saw no point .Also the main reason why the pH is so high is because they constantly dose the water with salt to keep disease from breaking out on a massive scale .I hoped I could save the shrimp but alas half died within hours .They along with the fish I bought were imatiated from the long transport from the hatchery wholesaler .The bags he was floating had almost no air left and he was handling them roughly like an butt .If this guy was my employee I would have given him one warning only and then fired him especially for his careless attitude and rudeness to the customer.

    In comparison I recently bought from a locally owned pet store who handled the fish with care and precision and won't sell critters until they've acclimated and are healthy enough to sell and offer a full refund for any losses.They also understand water chemistry and don't share the same water for all tanks and even get species specific .Im sure their electric bill isn't cheap but at least all my fish live when I buy from them unless I messed up somehow . PetSmart used to also sell marine fish .Yeah I guess that got too expensive losing all those fish doing the same careless practices and so they dropped that type of fish . It's just a fact that there's going to be a loss in transport of live animals but you never treat them like crap afterwards or sell them right away . Sure I could complain to management or corporate but what good would it do ? Will anything change ? Doubtful. They're not going to change, ever .This is what you get with greedy corporate America with big chain stores who don't train they're staff and certainly don't pay them enough to care at all. PetSmart is the pet version of fast food and instant profits .As a wholesale employee I was also an investigator as well because shops like PetSmart used to make big loss claims and demand credits .So I used to pose as a customer and watch a fellow co-worker deliver the fish and observe their handling procedures .Most shops did well .The big chain stores always pushed their workers to do more faster and as a result quality suffered and of course the pets even more . I personally busted several stores and exposed their misdeeds trying to rip off their supplier .Bottom line is greed and not treating employees or customers or the product with respect that they deserve or training the employees properly .From now on Im buying and supporting locally owned stores . Better quality, better service and the money stays in the community .

    1 Votes
  • Fl
    Floogle Sep 18, 2017

    I just returned a pet to pet smart. Realized after two days I could not give it the care it needed. They took it back but were very angry, making the comment that it was the second time that same animal had been returned! I am sorry but they should have mentioned that before I purchased it! I would have thought twice before purchasing if I had known this. They also scolded me for not doing research before choosing my pet! I did a ton of research! I am sure it would have been fine but apparently the animal I bought had been traumetized by the previous buyers small children. if I had known this I would never have gotten it. Obviously this special little creature needs someone very experienced to care for it. PetSmart needs to be upfront and honest about the history of it's animals.

    0 Votes
  • Nm
    Nmaguirre915 Jan 08, 2017
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    My sons pacman died this morning and I took him when I got off work after seven so I have to wait until tomorrow to
    Return the pacman . What do I do with his body I just have him in the cricket container in the truck

    0 Votes
  • Kk
    KK Shah Dec 25, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    You should have done research...! Aren't they only supposed to let the animal be returned/replaced if it got sick or died? I see no reason for them to take back a fully healthy Guinea Pig, although they should have, seeing your an irresponsible owner. This is your fault for not researching and being prepared. And if you can't control your own kids to not do things, then you surely aren't ready for any pet. (Except maybe a fish.) Please don't blame PetSmart for this! Most of the workers LOVE animals, so that's why they chose to work there in the first place. (Notice how I said MOST. Some just do it because it was the only job available, and I don't agree with this at all.) So please, if your going to get another pet (Which I don't reccomend) PLEASE do your research first. Thank you.

    -2 Votes
  • Jc
    JClements337 Jul 06, 2011

    I agree, pets aren't just items you buy on a whim, to 'try out'. They have feelings and can get attached to people very quickly. Do some reasearch before purchasing a pet. Almost all pets take work, its not like a book you buy, read when you want, and put down when you have something else to do. Teach your children not to put their hands in the cage, of course its going to bite! I have had two small children, at different times along the way, and it was because of that I waited until my youngest is 13 to get two pugs. Now, with his help I have the time to teach them, and take care of them. Returning an animal just because it doesn't 'fit your lifestyle' is terrible.

    2 Votes
  • Wi
    Wiconi Jun 20, 2011

    Weesh*t - they got the point across, didn't they? Spelling is important yes, but you needn't lecture someone on it as long as what they are saying is able to be understood. Some people, however well-educated, have spelling difficulties due to learning disabilities such as dyslexia - which is NOT always just flipping letters around. Some people have a form in which they spell phonetically. Others just cannot retain the proper spelling of a word, whether they know it or not... getting snippy makes you look like the fool, not them.

    Chrystina85 - I do also agree with Lisa, pets are not an impulse buy and you should have done your research. A pet, no matter how small, cute, or fluffy, is a huge responsibility. You must know not only what sort of habitat they require but what sort of care they need, if they need exercise and how, what they eat and how often, and of course, their interaction methods with people.

    Most animals can be "trained" to be handled, but you must always remember they are still just that - animals. They don't have the complexity of thought and understanding of human behavior that so many people expect of them. I am not saying they aren't smart, many are, but they are smart in their own way that would fit their lifestyle in the wild... exceptions being of course for heavily domesticated animals like dogs and cats... though even they exhibit many behaviors of their wild ancestors.

    Most animals, if unaccustomed to being handled particularly by children, will bite. It is a simple matter of training both the child how to handle it, and the animal to resist that urge to bite unless being harmed, that is the biggest responsibility of all. I am the loving owner of a ball python that I have had for some time. He was very young when I bought him (Not from Petsmart, either, as I have no guarantee of their breeding environment to know the overall health of the animal, in spite of a health guarantee, I went to a local reptile place that breeds not only his own snakes in a proper, clean environment to ensure they are disease free, but also breeds the feeder animals to ensure the same.) and was a bit snappy at first with being handled. But, time and patience prevailed, and now he is one of the most personable and loving snakes I've ever encountered. The only time he will bite is if he has had a bad shed and the excess shed is being (with proper education in doing this) removed. It's not comfortable for him, so he'll snap, but he never bites hard. He's handled by children with no problems, and most won't allow snakes to be handled by kids due to their tendency to bite. Not once has he bitten a child and I don't see it happening in the future.

    I guess what I'm trying to say there... is that all animals in spite of any sort of negative reputation can be trained to be loving and touched without any sort of physical harm being done to the one touching it. What separates pet owners from those who consider pets family as opposed to simply pets... is the time and commitment they put in to their animals to ensure they are healthy, happy, and well-adjusted.

    I have to say, though, I am glad you did want to return it. If you cannot find the time (And with a small child I do understand this) to train the animal and handle it regularly so it won't possibly bite, finding it another loving, EDUCATED home is ideal. But perhaps next time, think your purchase through a bit better.

    -3 Votes
  • We
    weesh*t Aug 20, 2009

    I agree with Lisa that a living thing shouldn't be an impulse buy. They have feelings too! It is no lecture. As for mystdragon, learn to spell before putting out your two cents. It makes the entire company look stupid.

    5 Votes
  • My
    Mystdragon1 Feb 14, 2009

    I sorry the information you were given is incorrect. You are aloud to return your pet for any reason within the 14 day period. Contact the corporate office online.

    Dear Pet Smart associate,

    I know your trying to help but, the customer in question, needs help not a lection on pet research.

    2 Votes
  • Li
    Lisa Feb 11, 2009

    I dont know why you were turned down, but I work at petsmart in the pet care department and we will always take an animal back for whatever reason as long as it is within the 14 day guarantee.
    however, this could have easily been avoided completely if you had done some research before buying the guinea pig. Living things shouldn't really be an impulse buy.

    18 Votes

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