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Village Pet ShoppeIncorrect Pet Care Information

After the death of two of my previous parakeets due to illness (one had been sick from the day I brought her home, the other I found dying and soaking wet from being in his water bowl and probably catching cold), I paid a visit to Village Pet Shoppe to purchase a cockatiel because I felt that it would be a nice addition to my pet family, and PetCo was not selling them at the time. The cockatiel I brought home has been vet-checked, tested, and found to be healthy, but when I was purchasing him, I got to talk to who I believe was the store owner. I told her that my parakeets from before had passed away due to illness. When the question of what I fed them/will feed my cockatiel came up, I told her that I switched my parakeets to pellets. She then harshly blamed my parakeets' deaths on me because, apparently, an immediate switch to pellets will make my birds sick. When I visited my vet in Westminster, MD, a very well-known vet who has been in the business for a very long time, he told me that what she said was preposterous, and that the only way the switch could have killed my parakeets was if they starved themselves to death from choosing not to eat the new food. My parakeets ate the pellets quite happily and to their full content, I made sure that they were happy with everything that I provided them. I was quite disheartened to think that the store owner of a pet shop that had been open for such a long time would say such things to me, and provide me with poor pet guidance. She recommended a certain type of cockatiel seed to me, and after buying it, my vet examined it and gave me a "tsk tsk", because it was a poor diet, fattening and not very nutritious. It contained sunflower seeds, which he described to me as having no nutrition, "it's just cooking oil". I got the go-ahead to switch my cockatiel immediately to pellets, or a bag of parakeet seed with more nutritious food in it. It is still alive, and going through its first molt now.

Also, my new cockatiel has been petrified of human touch since the day I brought it home. The store owner told me that cockatiels are very easy to tame, and I've read that, but I knew that when the attendant went to retrieve my cockatiel, chasing it around the cage and grasping it very firmly, letting it flail and nearly break its wings (it did end up fleeing and my dad had to pick it up, more gently, however, and we got it into the box), it would take forever and a day to get it to trust me. It's a slow process, but it is getting slightly used to my hand being around it.

I was given no receipt, or any information on my cockatiel's life guarantee (PetCo makes you sign a contract, and it blatantly states that if the bird dies within 15 days they will refund your money or give you a new bird).

Many people have complained about the store, and I can say that I've bought pets from there before. When it comes to taking young little rats out of the VERY over-populated enclosure (when I went to get one there were rats upon rats in one small glass enclosure), they pick them up by the tails which can cause damage to their backs/tails. One can argue that picking up a squirmy rodent is hard, but there are other ways to do it than suspending all their weight on their tail.

I had no problem purchasing my bird from the store, but if I ever go back there, I will find it hard to listen to the information I am given about the care of my animals, and the blame I might receive about the death of my previous pets. My vet was quite upset about what he heard. If you want to buy a cockatiel, the PetCo in Hanover has a pair of females for $70 each (I paid $100), and at least the employees are sweet, kind and patient, and have answered questions for me quite well.

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