Chain pet stores, am I overreacting?

So i ended up at pet supplies plus to geab a few crickets for my crestie, and i always check out the reptiles while im there. I was saddened to see the poor care of the reptiles there. Not one enclosure read more than 70° inside, and most of them were at about 40% humidity, dirty water bowls and crickets crawling all over the animals.
I mentioned something to one of the girls at the register about reptiles needing higher temps and humidity but she just kind of rolled her eyes like she didnt care, or had been told before. I didnt take photos as id left my phone in my car, so contacting corporate would be a dead end.

Im almost comsidering getting a part time job there just to educate them and/or make sure their animals are properly cared for. It truly disgusts me. Am I worrying too much? There’s no way those animals can be comfortable in environments like that.


Its natural to care, we’re all in this hobby because we love our reptiles. As for stores go, a lot of the employees are only able to do what upper management will let them do or they have limited knowledge but again, can only do whats a loud. Case in point, my wife and I are very fluent and knowledgeable with salt water aquariums be it fish or coral. She worked for petco and she would’ve loved to treat those tanks like our own but she couldn’t. Not every store will operate like that even part of the same chain but my point is I applaud your wanting to make a change but most of the time its more than just a careless employee.


It’s one of the most unfortunate realities of big business being allowed to handle livestock
Many chain stores end up like this due to restrictive policy’s, underpaid/undereducated staff and budget concerns

The only thing I can recommend is to support your local shops & small batch breeders :wink:


You are over worrying and your are not.
Since there is nothing you can really do, you are only causing yourself the stress. Best thing to do do is like @phoenix-exotics stated

If more people went this route, then big chain stores will feel the effects.

Just an after thought, if you had proof, maybe a local humane society could get involved or county animal control could do something. Not sure what all would be involved.


The dirty secret of these stores is that they are designed and operated under the marketing tactic that was started by Gillette - give away the razor for free and you hook a customer for life buying replacement razor heads.

These stores make their money off the hardware/supplies and they do not care about the loss of livestock in the store. Contacting Corporate will have no real impact because they are not going to change their very successful model for making them money


As @dsed @d_y_python @phoenix-exotics and @t_h_wyman stated above in a nutshell, it’s ALL ABOUT THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR. All the big name chain stores, and animal wholesalers, are the same and “it ain’t gonna change” “ever” because there will always be big corporate greed. Unfortunately.

I worked for a few months part time at a local Petsmart in pet care in 2020, and truthfully, I wish I had not. Animal care was pretty much at the bottom of the ladder. I saw animals die at the store and animals sick/and or dead upon arrival. I saw putrid water, empty food dishes, snakes in dire sheds, male rodents killing each other in the same cage, etc. Pet care people have to also stop to run a register, dip fish, bag crickets, take customer phone calls, and wait on customers in the store as well as take care of the animals all in a manner of very a limited number hours (part time) pays no benefits- cheap labor. No animal care training is required either. It’s about selling the product whether it’s right for the animal/consumer or not.

Sell sell sell, make money, if an animal dies the next shipment is coming. Understand what I am saying?


Even knowing that there’s nothing you can do, and that a purchase would only be encouraging the behavior, it still hurts. I saw a Uromastyx in my local PSP and its tank themometer read 72*. They let me hold her, and all I could do was tell her I was sorry :confused:
I totally share your pain iamerica93