The new Pets At Home in the old kent rd is causing grave concern at the moment. Baby rabbits being sold there are sick, there dying acording to vets of malnutrition and dehydration. Please do NOT BUY FROM THEM.Many people at the moment are reporting them to trading standards in Lewisham as RSPCA wont act with out them. Good old RSPCA.
THANKFULLY PETS A T HOME HAVE DECIDED NOT TO GO AHEAD WITH THE VIP BUNS, THIS WAS NUTERING BABY RABBITS ABROARD THEN SHIPPING THE POOR THINGS OVER HEAR TO SELL.
ALSO: THIS WEEK ALONE I HAVE TAKEN IN 4 PAIRES OF MALE BUNS THAT WERE SOLD TO PEOPLE BY PAT SAYING THEY WOULD GET ON. PLEASE PLEASE DONT BELIEVE A WORD THEY SAY THE DONT.THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE HAVE HAD A BAD TIME OF IT TRYING TO MAKE THEIR RABBITS GET ON. SOME HAVE COST MEGER BUCKS AT THE VETS WERE THEVE HURT EACH OTHER, OTHERS GONE TO THE EXPENCE OF HAVING BOTH CASTRATED AND STILL THEY DONT GET ON. THE ONLY THING THEY CAN DO IS PAYOUT FOR ANOTHER CAGE. THEY END UP ON RESCUE DUE TO COST AND DESPAIR OF PEOPLE THAT JUST WANTED A NICE PET.
Pets At Home are currently under investagation about the breeder that supplies them with rabbits as the vets in broughton astley have been swamped with people taking rabbits in to have them pts because of the bad teeth problems && also having to have their rabbits neautered because p@h selling them two females or two males and then finding out there male and female. because aparently its such a big breeder they could be interbred or bad lines put in its discusiting isnt it
Found this bit of news today on facebook.
We have taken pets at home to court in 2010 after our son caught a severe case of ringworm. He was 3 years old at the time and caught the ringworm after I bought 2 guinea pigs from our local pets at home store. I noticed the guineas had ringworm after a week and was offered free vet treatment from pets at home which I took but it was to late. My son came out with his first lesion a couple of weeks later and I took him to the doctors where he got some cream. This did not clear it up and it ended up spreading all over his body. He lost all the hair on one side of his head and his scalp looked like someone had ripped off his skin it was so sore and raw and covered in puss. This went on for six months and I practically lived at the doctors. My son also couldn't go to nursery as he was infectious to the other children so therefore I couldn't go to work. Finally my doctor had to resort to giving my son an intensive treatment meant for adults which caused side effects but did clear up the ringworm. I documented my sons case with photos which looked like something off a horror film and I took pets at home to court and won considerable compensation for my son. He still has small bald patches that have never grown back on his head. As you can imagine this was a very upsetting time for me and my son, I hope it can prevent the same thing from happening to other families as it is mainly children that end up suffering from this type of negligence.
Good morning, I was just searching the web too see if anyone else had problems with their bunny after buying from pets at home and came across your site. I brought my Giant Rabbit from the store in Charlton. Getting him home I noticed he had flaky skin on his back and really scratched his ears till they were red and bled Turns out he had really bad build up of wax in his ears, could see it without using a light, it was awful. Took him to the vets (the one in pets at home) he was there for 8 hours having his ears cleaned. Asked about the flaky skin, they said it was just dry skin, that eventually was treated as a parasite with spot on and has completely gone. Both of these problems he had when he came from the store. Even though the staff took him into the vets room before letting me take him home, I don't know what for, because they didn't even weigh him. Their practices need revising, and they need to be monitored more. I'll be looking for a mate in the new year for my bun once he is neutered, but won't be going pets at home again.
PETS AT HOME
I was actually quite surprised and rather concerned at your comments about Pets at Home. Whilst I can empathise, I can actually confirm that I have adopted two rabbits from Pets at Home because of careless owners. The first was a black standard â who is now about 5 years old and was dumped outside the Pets at Home in Crayford. She was left pregnant and was with 3 male rabbits. The rabbits were emaciated and riddled with fleas. The veterinary practice, namely, Raymond (who is a rabbit specialist and is an excellent vet) cared for the rabbits and I understand that all of them were rehomed.
Secondly, I adopted a Lionhead from Pets at Home, Crayford, in January 2010. It transpired that the fella had a 4cm abscess and Pets at Home had instructed the Vet, again Raymond and his colleagues, to deal with the rabbit. The rabbit had an operation to remove the abscess in December 2009 and I was fortunate to adopt him in January. I requested the rabbitâs full medical history at PaH and took him to my usual vet (who specialises in small animals and has always treated my rabbits successfully) to check the new bun over. My vet confirmed that Raymond at Pets at Home did an incredible job and saved the bunâs life. My bun is about to be neutered and I am definitely prepared to use Raymond as he is aware of the bunâs full medical history.
I must state that I am appalled with the parents who buy their children rabbits. The parents have no idea of cost and a rabbit is very expensive especially with vaccinations, teeth and neutering. I absolutely despair of the parentsâ uneducated ethics and inability to ask all the questions before purchasing a rabbit. They should, at least, have read up about rabbits on the internet, library or purchase a book before the purchase of a rabbit. They should probably adopt a rabbit rather than buy it at first hand. .
Rabbits can be destructive especially with wires and carpets. You are correct, some rabbits do not need a cage: I have one such like - my oldest rabbit is so clean that no one would even know there was a rabbit in the house.
I personally prefer to adopt rabbits or other animals.
Hello after reading your letters about P@H I feel I must add my experience.
I purchased a British Giant rabbit from the pets at home store in Fareham, everything I could possibly want to know was explained to me size she would get to, she was correctly sexed, vaccinations, neutering,correct feeding life expectancy,and whether or not to introduce a companion [prefererably after neutering as it would need to be a male] I decided to get her a mate and went back to the store to ask about a suitable breed, the girl I spoke to told me she was not sure but her manager had a giant rabbit and a smaller breed and she would get her to talk to me, it turned out the manager also had a British Giant partnered with a Dutch, I asked about the size difference and was told that although a lot of organisations said no she had had no problems but to introduce them slowly on neutral territory. I chose a male velvet rex [again all information was given] I was given a free health check for him at the vets [as I had been with the Giant] he too was very healthy and the two are inseperable. Although I donât doubt the letters you have received I have found the staff at Fareham very knowledgeable interested, polite and helpful so not all stores are the same.
I wanted to add my experience of Pets at home, Chingford (NE London) branch. Having been given an unwanted rabbit I felt he needed a companion & was told that you could adopt a rabbit from Pets at Home as I would never buy an animal from a pet shop or breeder. When I phoned the store asking if they had any rabbits to adopt I was told that they had a lot of albino ones in the back. When I asked where they had come from the salesperson admitted that they not been purchased as babies (presumably because they were not cute enough) & were now up for adoption. Which certainly confirms the views previously expressed that this adoption scheme is just a scam to get rid of their surplus of stock.
I naively bought my first rabbit from a pet shop, but would not do that again and now I adopt from rescues. I visit Pets at Home to buy food, straw etc. One day in our local branch in Nottingham I witnessed a disturbing event which I really wished Id complained about. A couple were buying a rabbit. When asked by the member of staff if they wanted a hutch, they told her no, that the rabbit would live in a pet carrier and that they would let it run round outside IN THE EVENINGS AFTER WORK. I was absolutely appalled that they were then sold this rabbit!
Pets at home adoption Scheme is full of their own mass produced animals/Donât fall for their fraudulent signs. I have seen lone full grown gerbils & Rabbits for example in there one week & next week see them in the adoption pens. They put up the signs saying owner had too many or owner no longer wanted them.
It is a place to put their animals that get too old to sell or animals that have been sick and got better maybe.
I cannot understand how they get away with selling badly bred mass produced animals & a Rescue/adoption centre.
I remember a member of staff telling me that a certain rabbit was not very friendly so they put him in adoption as it was easier to get him sold in the adoption bit.
I avoid them like the plague as itâs so easy to feel sorry for any animal in P@H.
They Must be shut down and I think Trading Standards are the people who should go in if they put up fraudulent signs.I am going to contact Trading Standards about our local stores as itâs not right.
I feel like taking a mini camera into our stores as proof that.
They sell sick animals, animals are not cared for properly, animals are bred in some stores, staff cannot handle or sex animals properly. They produce animals without any consideration about health or temperament. The list is endless.
Shut them down.
Today i took in a very large cross breed rabbit that was coming in because it was biting the child of the household and had got too big. The lady had rung to say she had gone to Pets At Home to get a small rabbit for her handicapped son. She had been given this rabbit as a netherland dwarf, but it had got way to pig and was biting. When they came i was shocked, the rabbit was huge its weight was7 lb. The netherland dwarf shouldnt go over 2 lb in weight. Needless to say it was far to big to be on the little boys lap to be petted. The boy was heartbroken at giving up his beloved rabbit. Is it to much to ask that the staff at least should know their breeds and how big they will get. This boy has lost his pet because the staff dont know what they are doing. Everyone already know they carnt sex rabbits or stop them getting pregnant , is there no end to their incompedence? . Perhaps to make it easy for them they should buy a breed poster to put on their wall so they can see what rabbit is what. Its not rocket science for god sake. If i were that lady i would have reported them to trading standards.
The rabbit they were sold was not as they say fit for purpose.If you ask for a rabbit that is small they should be able to sell you one that is going to be small, if you buy a young rabbit that turnes out to be pregnant you have been duped. There is an easy way to stop there rabbits and piggies getting pregnant but they carnt do it, put a lid on the pen so the males carn jump over to the girls. Wouldnt you think that was easy? Ive mentioned it to them a few times but to no avail.They have collored the pet market and have no intentions of learning there trade properly and to hell with the poor mugs that suffer in the process. The rabbits they sell are massed produced and come from i beleive Devon. Massed produced animals of any kind are not handled enough before they get to their destination to make good pets. A baby rabbit should be handled from the day it comes out of the nest. If this is done and its handled every day it will be very tame and friendly. [ have you ever tried to pick up one of their rabbits?] Because there is not the time to do this when your mass breeding the result is an unfit for purpose animal. Children are very easily put off rabbit if they struggle and kick when picked up. This can put a child off an animal, what a shame they end up being scared of them. Its not the rabbits fault but these rabbits all end up in rescue centwers because they are not friendly. Why should rescue centers have to pay to take on all these rabbit?.The vast majority of rabbits that come into me are not friendly, so the children have total gone off the idea. What good is a pet that you carnt cuddle and stroke? I know how much i have to pay out to keep these rabbits and reabilitate them if i can. Why carnt Pets At Home at least litsen to good advise?, its not just coming from me but rescues all over the country and the ordinery pet owner. Please Please think before you buy a pet from there. There are some good rabbit breeders out there that could sell you a proper pet and know its parents and can assure you that its not got bad teeth or pasturella or be pregnant,and is friendly and been well handled ,and the size , you can see the parents. A lot of people now will only buy puppies and kitten's from a breeder for that reason .You can see the parents and talk to someone that hopfully knows a little about their animals. Alternativly go to your nearest rescue and give a rabbit a second chance.
VAL [ trying to pick up the peices]
THEY ARE NOW TRYING TO SELL CONTINENTAL GIANTS AT PETS AT HOME. FOR ANYONE WHO DOSENT KNOW THESE ARE HUGE RABBITS THAT WOULD NEED A 6FT- 7FT CAGE, THE HIGHT TO COME WITHIN THE RSPCA GUIDELINES WOULD HAVE TO BE ABOUT 4-5 FT HIGH. RABBITS THAT ARE PETS MUST BE ABLE TO STAND ON THERE BACK LEGS WITHOUT TOUCHING THE ROOF. WERE DO PETS AT HOME THINK YOU ARE GOING TO GET A GAGE TO FIT THE RABBIT. GIANTS ARE A SPCIELIST RABBIT AND NOT THE RUN OF THE MILL PET, THEY NEED VERY CAREFULL ATTENTION AND THEIR LIFE EXPECTANCY CAN BE AS LITTLE AS THREE YEARS. THEY DONT TELL YOU THAT.
THE BRANCH AT CHARLTON DOSENT EVEN HAVE ANY DETAILS ABOUT THE BREED ON SHOW FOR PEOPLE TO READ.ONE OF THE BABY GIANTS I SAW THERE WASENT EVEN OLD ENOUGH TO BE SOLD. THEY TAKE TWO YEARS TO GROW FULLY AND SHOULD NOT BE SOLD UNTILL THEIR ABOUT 14 WEEKS. THIS JUST PROVES TO ME THAT DISPITE MAKING A SHOW AT CRAYFORD BRANCH THAT THEY ARE WORKING WITH CHARITIES THEY STILL DO WHAT THEY WANT AND STILL DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.
THIS IS THEIR SIZE
I would like to add to the debate about Pets at Home.
We never buy any rabbit (we have several!) from a pet shop but I fell in love with a 'giant continental' at our local store. After going in to see it twice a week (after it had been stuck there for over 2 months) and wondering whether or not I was doing the right thing buying from a shop I bought 'him'.
As experienced rabbit owners my husband and I were fully aware of how the 'boy' would grow and my husband had built an 8 1/2 foot by 9ft enclosure for him.
The shop made us fully aware of the size he could become and said he had not been neutered (at first they said he had!).
When our rabbit went in for castration the vet phoned to say it was in fact a doe! After surgery the vet said they found some abnormalities in her womb and had sent them off to pathology.
By this point I was feeling absolutely awful - I love these bundles of fluff and felt terrible that I had bought from a shop who had made such drastic mistakes.
The results have come back only to suggest that our poor girl had already had some sort of surgery which they believe was a spay and this could only have happened whilst in the shop - believe me this reduced to me tears!
I have contacted the Pets at Home head office who said they were very concerned by this situation and would retrain and speak to their staff. They are also paying for her surgery and tests.
However I feel so strongly about this I have contacted my local trading standards (via my county council) and urge anyone who has had similar problems to please, please do the same.
So although this has started as a sad story I am hoping that I can do something to stop this happening again.
I have spoken to several people who had said that many rabbits are having to be rescued from pets at home buys as customers were told the wrong sex or they have grown too big.
Please don't buy any animal from pets at home - although I love our girl dearly and she has a lovely temperament and has gone to a good home I recommend that people go to a rescue centre or reputable breeder which is what we have gone back to doing to find our girl a beautiful French lop buck as a companion.
I have come across your website today after a very upsetting morning at the vets with a 12week old bunny I brought from Pets At Home. I brought a male lop ear rabbit (and yes they did try to sell me two together), at the time of purchasing him he was in a run with about 8 other young bunnies who I was told were between 8 to 11 weeks old. He seemed fine, alert and happy for the first week of us having him, then we noticed his stools were not forming properly and leaving a mess in his fur, I assumed it was ISS and that increasing the fibre in his diet would improve the stools so they were solid, unfortunately a day later we found our bunny in collapsed in a mess of diarrhoea. We rushed him to an emergency vet and we were told that he had a parasite and low chance of survival, at great sadness he had to be put to sleep. I called Pets at Home to advise them of what happened and they were very uninterested and seemed only keen to offer me a replacement! I am now worried about all the other bunnies that were purchased from the same breeder, put Pets at Home seemed unwilling to call the new owners to pass on any concerns. Devastated and so upset with what has happened, we lost a lovely little character who had only recently come to a loving home, I won’t ever buy another animal from Pets at Home again. Katie
I am writing through you in response to the 'Honey' email which warns readers about Pets at Home. The story is very sad but I would like to say my male rabbit, Cadbury was very healthy when bought and has continued to be healthy until his estimated age of 5+ years that he is now. However, I was never told by Pets at Home that rabbits need injections, or in fact a lot of the useful info on your pages,which I would like to thank you for.
This has been added here to highlight the damage being done to rabbit welfare by Pets At Home. Never has a company done so much damage, when supposedly being there to help.As a rabbit rescue i urge everyone to boycot this company untill they can get there house in order, they are adding to the problems of rescue centers werever they are.
Wake up and smell the coffee, you could help.
What follows is the personal opinion of Green Fields Rescues centres manager:
This time around its Pets at Home at Slough we have to thank for the existance of these 17 unwanted baby rabbits. It beggers belief that they are legally allowed to get away with this, but when you purchase an animal from Pets at Home the small print on the reciept you are issued states "we do not guarantee the age or sex of the livestock we sell" which makes you wonder what on earth they are doing selling animals in the first place....however, this doesnt stop the staff from seemingly having a random guess at the sex while convincing the shopper they have been accurate. Sexing rabbits is NOT difficult to do. We have NEVER rehomed a mis-sexed rabbit from our rescue and as its an easy thing to learn to do correctly there is no reason why we ever should. So why cant Pets at Home say the same thing? Surely a big company like this should have a budget for top level staff training. They damned well SHOULD be able to guarantee the sex of the animals they sell.
In this case, the family in question had been sold "2 females". Around 12 weeks later, once they had become old enough to breed, the first litter of baby rabbits was born. As females can get pregnant within a few hours of giving birth, the male should have been removed right away. The staff at Pets at Home Slough however, told the family not to worry about this telling the worried family that "the female cant get pregnant again while she is still feeding the babies". They didnt mention that the father could indeed have killed the young too and that un-neutered males should never be left with newborn kits. They were lucky and the first litter survived. 4 weeks later, the second litter arrived. However, the family didnt discover the litter, hidden in a nest....until the female was pregnant again.
Pets at Home took some of the first litter back into the shop to sell on at just 6 weeks old which they advised the family was the right age for them to be weaned. This is utter rubbish and baby bunnies should never be removed from their mother until they have reached 10 weeks old. It is common practise for Pets at Home to stock baby rabbits of this age and as per RWA guidelines on the correct age for weaning, this is yet another reason to avoid Pets at Home at all costs.
Then followed several months of Pets at Home mis- sexing more of the resulting litters until they were old enough that the remainder of the first litter all became pregnant too and the situation began to spiral out of control. Finally realising that Pets at Home had persistantly misadvised and misinformed them, in desperation, the family rung us for help.
We arrived to find 17 rabbits and just 3 hutches. Pets at Home had also told the family the following gem of rabbit care information: "If you feed the rabbits on a complete food, you dont need to feed them anything else." !!!!!!!!Consequently, these rabbits had NEVER been fed any hay. Infact, hay should make up 90% of a rabbits diet and there is no such thing as an entirely "complete" food. It is utterly amazing to all of us that these rabbits surivived the onset of gut stasis without hay. The family had no idea that the rabbits needed any toys or stimulation so were in totally blank hutches, all were unvaccinated as Pets at Home had omitted to mention that requirement as well, they were on dusty Pets at Home brand wood shavings with the result that we suspected all of them may have myxomatosis due to their irritated eyes and nasal passage ways.
So, we now have 17 unwanted, unvaccinated, unneutered rabbits. The cost of getting these rabbits ready for rehoming will be in the region of £1800 which we are going to have to scrape and fundraise like mad to acheive.
Pets at Home meanwhile, profited from the mis-sale of the "female" rabbits in the first place, profited again from the sale of the litter they took from their mother too young at 6 weeks old and profited again from the sales of the sub-standard food they recommended as "complete" and from the dusty bedding they sold.
What makes me as a rescue centre manager angry is that we dont understand WHY Pets at Home should be allowed to profit from these animals misery and we have to pick up the pieces, struggling every single day to make enough money to keep the rescue going. And its not just us, we know of countless other rescues affected in the same way as our rescue is and the majority of the time all of these rescues are so overwhelmed we dont have the energy or finances to do anything about it. I know only too well the feeling of hopeless desperation of "one little rescue" in the face of a corporate giant, but we HAVE to start to stand together to do something about this. THIS time it was Sloughs branch responsible for the situation of these 17 rabbits but we also pick up the pieces from the stores at Reading, Farnborough and Wokingham and its time it stopped. Are you a rescue centre manager? Do you have documented evidence of the impact that your local Pets at Home is having on your rescue? Please get in touch if you do.
Its NOT difficult to correctly sex baby rabbits, we do it every day and have NEVER got it wrong. The bottom line is that while the law allows for Pets at Home to hide behind the disclaimer of "We do not guarantee the age or sex of the livestock we sell" then there is no incentive whatsoever for the staff to do so correctly.
VOTE WITH YOUR FEET AND VOTE WITH YOUR PEN AND VOTE WITH YOUR WALLETT.
1)Dont buy your pet supplies in Pets at Home or any other store which stocks animals. Go to a garden centre or independant shop who doesnt stock any livestock.
2)Write to your MP. Tell them you are appauled that the law allows Pets at Home to practise pet sales in the way that they do and tell them about how rescues such as ours struggle to keep going in the face of the overwhelming numbers envolved.
3) Go into Pets at Home and look at the animals. Make sure they have plenty of water and lots of hay. If they havent complain loudly to the manager. Also complain if the rabbits and guinea pigs share a pen. Mention that the RSPCA, RWA and Cavy Trust ALL say rabbits and guinea pigs should NEVER live together. Talk to people who you can see looking at the rabbits and guinea pigs. Tell them about RESCUE centres as an alternative and tell them Pets at Home create misery for rescues up and down the country and that they consistantly mis-sex the animals they sell hiding behind their disclaimer.
Can you help?? Green Fields Rescue would like to launch a legal challenge against the get out clause Pets at Home uses on their reciepts as being an "unfair disclaimer" but we need funding and legal support. Do you know a corporate law solicitor who would take on this case as pro bono work? Please contact us if you do. We would also like to press Pets at Home to meet the costs of getting these 17 rabbits ready for rehoming. Are you good at letter writing? Could you draft something we can send to their head office?
Can you make a donation to help us get these bunnies ready for rehoming? A donation of £10 feeds a small group of these rabbits for a week, £15 pays for vaccinations, a donation of £40 pays for a male to be neutered and a donation of £60 pays for a female to be spayed. Please give what you can via the "help us" section of this website or send a cheque payable to Green Fields Rescue to the address on the contact page. If you email us we can give you the account details for the rescue if you would to do an online bank transfer.
Want to adopt from this group? 8 have gone to ARC in west London www.animalrescueandcare.org.uk and the rest are here at Green Fields Rescue. They will be listed on the rabbits available page under the heading "Rescued Group of 17"
Thankyou so much for the letters, phone calls and emails of support. We are collecting a rather amazing amount of evidence of Pets at Homes incompitent staff country wide. I even took a call from Scotland on this subject this morning.
We also now have a contact working INSIDE PETS AT HOME who will be obtaining film and audio of consignments of dead and dying baby rabbits arriving from the mass breeding centre that Pets at Home use to supply their stores, some so young they dont even have their eyes open, some who have been so poorly bred they have teeth malocclusion at just 6 weeks of age. As well as several other pieces of evidence to take to the national press should we need to.
Please continue to send us your Pets at Home horror stories for our file and thankyou once again for all your supportive messages.
Remember, boycott stores and spread the word...
"PETS AT HOME....LEAVE THEM ALONE"
THIS WAS BORROWED FROM THE GREENFIELDS RABBIT RESCUE SITE,theres a link to it on the link page please visit.
HiI have just come across this page and have spent a long time reading all the messages sent in about people's bad experiences with PAH. Although this is a rabbit rescue site I would like to share my experience with the stores regarding both rabbits and other species they sell and give advice on.
One of my rabbits recently had surgery following a severe case of atypical mxyomatosis/lumpy bunny syndrome. Although she was not bought from PAH (I bought her from a breeder when she was a baby, she's now 3 years old) I went to one of their branches to buy a cage she could be kept in while she was recovering. I decided straight away to get a dog crate instead of one of the cages they sell as indoor rabbit housing because those are WAY too small even for a rabbit who, like she was at the time, is on restricted space for the recovery period. First off, this particular branch is always understaffed and it's difficult to find someone to ask for assistance. When I did find someone, that member of staff tried to tell me that the smallest dog crate would be big enough for her and her litter tray despite the fact that I clearly explained she's quite a large rabbit (part giant breed). Thankfully I insisted on the next size up which was only just big enough.
When talking about Pets At Home I have to point out how poorly looked after their fish are. Where I used to live I would often look at the fish to find time after time several dead in their tanks, often half eaten by other fish too. I would go and tell a member of staff and sometimes they would go and remove the dead ones straight away, other times not and I don't know how long they took to get round to it on those occasions. I kept complaining about this issue and it just fell on deaf ears. I used to have fish and was given poor advice by them on issues I had with ill goldfish. I also recently went into one of their stores (a different branch) expressing interest in getting fish again (starting from scratch as I have no tank or anything) and was shocked at how little knowledge any of their staff have even now. When it comes to setting up a new tank the only advice they really give is to let it sit for a week or more after filling with water before you add fish. When I mentioned that I planned to do a fishless cycle rather than fish-in cycling as it's better for the fish welfare the member of staff didn't even seem to know what cycling the tank is. (In a nutshell it's establishing the beneficial bacteria required for biological filtration - removal of ammonia etc. so that the fish don't get ill from their own waste, for those who don't know). Anyone selling fish should know that at least!
I have bought gerbils from PAH before and been very disappointed. While they were lovely gerbils, they did not live long at all. In their shops they underestimate how long a healthy gerbil should live, probably deliberately, and now I see why. I used to breed gerbils myself and would expect them to live 3-5 years. My oldest lived to 6 1/2 years old. However, the pair I bought from them both died relatively young, the first at just 6 months old, the second at 2 years. They both fell ill in exactly the same way too, first they stopped eating, losing weight very quickly, then they became lethargic, their balance and ability to walk and stand deteriorating until they dropped dead. With both of them I took them to the vet as soon as they went off their food but with no obvious cause all the vet could think to do was try antibiotics, which unfortunately didn't help in either case. I strongly feel that this disease and early death is due to them being mass produced and poorly bred by whoever their supplier is, with no standard for long term health and welfare, only the urge to sell large quantities quickly.
After the death of my second gerbil from them, I unfortunately got sucked into their "adoption scheme" as they had a female gerbil on her own, who I was led to believe had been given up by someone to begin with. But then it turned out that she just hadn't sold and had become too old to sell compared to the new babies they wanted to get out on display. As for why she was on her own, I don't know but my guess would be that the others from her litter had sold and she was the last one left. Anyway, I felt sorry for her and thought at the time I was doing some good in adopting as opposed to buying. She turned out to be very timid, very scared of people and of being handled so she clearly hadn't been handled properly before being sold. She also had a rather barren cage with no toys or stimulation and went mad over chewing up her wooden toys when I brought her home so she clearly felt the need to wear her teeth down a bit. It has taken me a long time to take away her fear of me, I'm still the only person she isn't scared of though.
I have to agree with what others have said about animals in the shops not having enough room and freedom to move around in their own space. However this is definitely more true in the bigger branches, not so much in the smaller branches. My nearest one is smaller and as it sells fewer animals, the ones that are in the shop have more space. So what I have to say is not all negative and I do believe it is worth being positive where possible. This particular branch it's more a case of fewer, larger display cages as opposed to the larger branches' more, smaller ones. Where I used to live (a larger branch) I saw a giant rabbit who had been there a long time, and he didn't have enough room, so one day I decided if he was still there in a weeks' time I'd buy him. He was, so I did. However what they didn't tell me until I had committed to buying was that he had an ear infection, which instead of consulting a vet on, they were treating with generic, off-the-shelf ear drops. I took him home and all was fine at first, but I didn't have him long because my dog was scared of him. Luckily I spoke to the person who sold him to me who said there was someone else interested in him so they would phone them, so I knew he was going straight to another home which put me at ease. However, I often wonder how he got on as I'm not convinced about how he was raised and kept by PAH.
The only other positive thing I have to say about them is that I managed to buy a very big rabbit hutch from them, that's the only one I've found that is big enough for me to be happy that my 2 bunnies have enough room in. The quality isn't the best and it needed some small modifications but all the other hutches I've looked at just aren't big enough for my liking (or theirs). So at least I have something positive to say, but if I'm completely honest after hearing the horror stories combined with my own experience, I won't be buying from them again. I had previously thought I'll never buy any animals again from them, but other things I will keep buying occasionally, however I am so appalled at what I have heard from others that I'm not boycotting them completely. Thank you for sharing and opening people's eyes, I'm so sorry for everyone else who has lost animals due to the company's poor practices
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