Greenwich Rabbit Rescue


april 214

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.









I have just seen the shocking  report on your site regarding pets at home. I have recently encountered them and their vet company companion care it was an encounter I will regret for my entire life . I brought my cat to their Chippenham store on a Saturday a few weeks ago as she vomited blood and had problems breathing they charged me £330. 00 said she was fine and sent her home with pain killers. less then 36 hours later she was dead with the emergency vet suspecting internal bleeding or pneumonia caused by the vomited blood getting into her lungs, that was a second bill for £340.00. I have since found  out the night vets are also owned by pets at home. When I complained to companion care about them not looking after Lilly properly they said it was me who delayed bringing her in and I  only brought her in for a fur ball so not their fault. !!! they then humiliated me in the store and told me to get out or they would call the police.
Obviously I am heart broken but mainly very angry at how they let her die slowly and in pain. I have set up a Facebook page because I am totally disgusted at their treatment of her. But also how they have the bare faced cheek to write to me say I never brought her in for vomiting blood or breathing problems just a fur ball  and told them I was to busy to get her their sooner ,but then say she had blood on her mouth and paws and her heart rate and temperature were high?   
Like you I have not got a hate campaign against either, vets in general ,companion care,  pets at  home  or their other company vets 4 pets. I do however believe people need to be better informed and also really know who is treating their pet. what qualifications they really have and what those letters after a name means  because I know I had no idea until Lilly paid for it with her life all because I choose the wrong vets. 
Hope you don’t mind but I would like to share what you have on here about them on Lilly's Facebook profile .Her profile page is:  Lilly's story. and we have put a separate page up called : who will care for your pet. you can find it on facebook.
We are currently setting up a web site to give full details of what they done to Lilly and the callous and barbaric way we were treated after wards when she could make them no more money.
I think what you are doing is wonderful and people should Know the truth.






 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.



Just came across you online It saddens me to know that company is so careless.
A year ago I was naive enough to buy my first pet bunny from Pets at home.
Fell in love with her straight away, I asked why she was sneezing and they replied with 'she has a cold it will go in a week'
So I took her home.. Two months later she was still sneezing, I took her to a vet and they told me she has snuffles and she had had it for a while,
its now a year later and I'm 100's of pounds in vet and medicine bills down the line, I emailed them complaining, I got no reply,
but I saw someone online that they had the same problem, and they had replied telling her to bring the rabbit back and they would
replace it while 'getting rid' of the ill one. Sickens me.
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. 


ii saw the campaign against PAH (pets at home) ii have to agree but pet shops generally aren't the best way to purchase an animal anyway as you dont know of the animals heritage. I am currently doing a Diploma in Animal Management which covers the care for animals too and PAH doesn't have great standards even though they are better than other family run ones. I went with my boyfriend to buy a hamster and ask for job vacancies only they had none, surprisingly a majority of the lower staff dont have the qualifications to be working with animals! Let alone advising new owners on how to look after them! Only two had a Diploma in Animal Management -the course ii am on- and a couple of the other managers had done hands on but no qualifications to there name for the actual position. Pet shops, in general, should NOT sell live animals as they do not take sufficient time to clean them out or check on them and often the animals are in overcrowded confined spaces that are completely inadequate for the number they keep in stock to sell as well as dogs/cats could be from factory farms, have hereditary diseases, temperamental issues etc. Animals should come straight from qualified breeders or rescue centers for a second chance in life NOT pet stores! ^-^

I adopted my rabbit from there -PAH- and he STUNK! my dad could smell him from upstairs the moment we sat down in the living room with our new furry friend, Alfie an abandoned Lionhead. My rabbit also has abandonment issues; as he is fine with me handling him but anyone else without me nearby and he freaks out and bites. Think he has jealousy issues with my 13 year old bichon bitch too, though at one point he did cuddle next to her and sleep. He is a very strange rabbit and has earned the nickname Psycho Bunny among my friends and family although ii call him Aslan "my brave little lion" because he seems to take on the world. I'm looking to get him a very large, very spacious, 4ft long 6ft tall, three tier, hutch and run... as well as a pair of girls to keep him company as he is always on his own but found the scent of a female rabbit calms him down; working on the animal unit at Writtle College handling the does you pick up the smell unwillingly. If you get in any female Lionheads PLEASE let me know as I'd like to play cupid with my fluffy Aslan, hes a good rabbit really... just... misunderstood


i have read a lot of the comments posted on your website and i have to say i agree, pets at home should not sell pets, i know that you concentrate mostly on the rabbits but i adore rats, they are my favourite animal, very clever, clean and loving.
i bought my first in 2008 as soon as i moved out of my parents into my own flat, not from pets at home (my nearest branch is andover) but from porton garden center, i do not know if they sell animals from farms but i think it is likely.
i have only ever bought 2 rats from pets at home, these 2 being from the adoption area, i have seen many more rats there mostly rats on there own (which is unadvisable as they are very socable creatures) that say they need careful handling, if this is so then the store should know not to sell to every to dick or harry because a rats bite is (and i should know) very painful and would make a novice reconsider owning said rat.
anyhoo, the 2 rats i bought were very sickly when i got them, they looked sickly anyway, they were both very small conpared to other rats i had of that age,and by that time i had owned 4, i was just very worried that the store would have sold them for snake food or just killed them if they were not sold, so i adopted them cus im a sucka for a rat in trouble. after having them at home i realised just how sick they were, i honestly didnt mind this as i thought i was giving them a good end i there life, giving them love, etc. muffin was the better of the 2, crumpet on the other hand had a bulging eye and was so thin you didnt want to hold him for to long incase you crushed him, it wasnt long before both were on baytril, they ate fine, but both found it difficult to do what any other rat at 20 months would easily be able to do. i got them both in april, in the end on july crumpet took a turn for the worst, he hardly moved, he couldnt support his back legs and if i took him out of the cage and put him on my chest to rest he would sit like that for hours and i would actually have to check if he was breathing. i took him to the vets who said that i could either pts or try on batrtil, it was a selfish decision on my part to try him on the baytril to see if he would get better, and to my surprise he did, he gained weight and his legs worked better, for him to go down him again 2 weeks later. on the 04/08/2010 i had crumpet pts, the vet said he was drowning in himself. with muffin left on his own i couldnt put him with any of the rats i had as they are terretorial to other rats other than the ones they already live with so i bought 2 babies (both breeder bred) as its easier to introduce a adult rat to baby rats (for males anyway) they got on great. muffin lived with the others rats for 3 weeks before he too went down hill, his back legs gave out, he hardly moved, and he was getting thinner. i took him to the vets expecting him to be put down, but the vet said that he may have a few more months left if he was put on baytril, i agreed. 4 days later i came home from work to find muffin having epilectic fits, he was pys on 28/08/2010 not even a onth after crumpet.
it was said on there form that there previous owner could not keep them, i do not know if this is true or not, i do not know if they were that small because they were abused, or because of the copious amounts of inbreeding that happens at pets at home, there size was similar to that of a dwarf rat, which is half the size if not smaller than a 'normal' sized rat, normal being about 12 inches from head to feet not including the beautiful tail.
i have owned rats now for over 2 years and have owned 21 so far soon to be 29, i am very good friends with numerous breeders one of which is a vet nurse, and i can safely say that none of the rats that i have ever had (breeder bred and non breeder bred) have been as bad as crumpet and muffin. all rats get myco, they are born with it just as we humans are born with cancer, it just dosent mean we will 'get' it, in fact i have rats now who have myco and 1 who died not long ago from it, but none of them were ever as ill as those 2.
i do not regret getting them as i know i gave them happiness in there last months of life, but i would never buy from them again. i go in the store sometimes just to look at the rats and all i see is poor young rats (probably to young to be sold, which is 6 weeks for a rat) who are terrified of coming out of what ever they can hide behind, rats i know from repitable breeders of the same age love attention.
i hope that you succeed in stopping pets at home from selling pets, they should not be getting profit for selling pets. the breeders i know get no profit for breeding rats, after food, attention etc the money that they get from selling the rats is about the same as what it was to feed them. its not about profit its about healthy, long lived, good tempered animals.
thanks for listening to my rant
kelly (and my 16 boys)



I saw your page and thought you might be interested in my facebook page:!/pages/PETS-AT-HOME-STOP-SELLING-PETS/122391457790115?v=wall

I hold a First Diploma in Animal Care and an Intermediate Diploma in Animal Husbandry and the Environment. It is a qualification that I feel everyone who works with animals should have as a minimum requirement.

I have the misfortune of having a cousin who doesn't understand that an animal is for life. She begged her parents for a syrian hamster and they gave in. They took her to the Bridlington branch where a woman adviced her to get a cage only suitable for the dwarfs/mice. A month later, I got a phone call from said cousin who begged me to re home the hamster as it kept her awake at night. I took her (the hamster) into my care for a few days before re homing her with the animal college I studied at (They often take in unwanted animals) as I couldn't keep her myself.

They brought all the equipment the hamster had - a tiny cage with only a wheel to play on and a couple of toilet tubes, a hamster ball and the Pets @ Home 'special hamster pack' consisting of bedding, food, treats and a vitamin suppliment. The latter item had me questioning their food, surely if their own food was complete like it said it was then no extra vitamins were needed? My cousin refused to handle the hamster because it had bitten her. I realised it had only bitten her because the poor thing was terrified of humans and had never really been handled! I gave her a quick health check to make sure she wasn't ill. I noticed her teeth were very long so I put a block of untreated wood in her cage to save her from the horror of having them clipped. The next morning, all that was left of the block was 'fragments'. The poor girl was that board that if she got anything new, she overreacted!

While I had her, I used a toothbrush to get her used to the feeling of being touched, when it was time to take her to her new home, she accepted hands in her cage and as long as one made no sudden moves, she accepted being picked up. Although I knew she had a great new home, I often wish I could have kept her.

It has been a while since the Animal Welfare Act with it's Five Freedoms came into force. Pets at Home act like they are exempt from the Act. The shop needs to be stopped and only we, the 'paying public', can make that happen!



 I stumbled across your site tonight after looking for yet more feeding, care, general info tips for my giant house rabbit, Steve. I barely noticed your subsection re pets at home. I too bought my first house rabbit from my local branch in Feb this year, I'd researched and read all the things they needed before commiting to this change in lifestyle. We waited until we returned from a break to get Bodicea, with me at home 24/7 for 2 weeks to get her settled. We noticed straight away she couldn't controlled her bladder and bowels (we've had all manner of animals and still have so we are not naive), I spent the whole time cleaning! I monitored what she ate, drank etc and in line with all the cat's only got the best fresh food etc. Within a month she just sat up and died!!!! Of course being a total animal lover I have plaughed myself with what did I do wrong, researched it on the internet etc with no answers.
 Later, as we had the puppy pen etc, we went back, after much soul searching, and we have Steve, as other letters no info re breed but we think through our own research he's a british giant and I watch him like a hawk I am so frightened that he'll follow Bodicea.
 We got no real info re his breed, age, neuturing etc that in hindsight was bad, I had to ask the usual question re behaviour, food and sex, all very lax. No encouragement re neuturing was given and all the boxes on the form ticked without asking me if he was going straight home etc.
 Although I have felt for some time Bodicea was a sick bunny and I expressed this to our local manager I only got a discount on Steve when really, as some one who shops in there frequently and wouldn't commit to a previous house rabbit due to holiday plans, should have had a replacement. They have said their giant house rabbit's only come out for a short time in the morning but my big bunny is out from morning to night even free for runs in the garden with all escape routes closed, he comes and goes as free as possible. I still go in to Pets at Home for food etc but my heart is breaking at the giant they have had in there for month's and is not growing but I can't take on any more.


TEL...01732 364546
Reply maggie harris
12:14 PM on July 23, 2010
my question is why buy,when there are so many rescue centres across the country,looking for kind homes, for abandoned rabbits,without a fee,while you
keep buying these pets from shops like pets at home,they will continue to trade.believe me people power works,and they will stop trading,if you keep up the pressure,going in the shop complaining,writeing to head office, they will get sick of it. ANIMAL AID,in tonbridge,are happy to recieve complaints regarding
shops like pets at home,they took focus DO-IT-ALL to court,and many member of staff that left,even managers,reported what they had seen,and what was going on behind closed door,i myself helped in the campain,to get them stopped,as i to saw for myself the neglect of non trained staff,and animals that need not of died. I too worked at pets at home,for 6months, and had to leave because of what i saw,regarding animal welfare standards, i go in daily to monitor,what
i see,and report it,manyl vets oppose these places,also. Im hated there,for one reson,i care, the way i see it,if these places have nothing to hide,where does all the agression come from staff,worse from area managers,and we will look at your complaint from head office!!!! from what their plicy says,pets come first
ect ect, then how come the animals sometimes,have to wait for food and water,untill the stock has been put out,going into the afternoon,befor they have their basic requirements???come weekend!!!!boy they get a carrot,if they are lucky,and some toys,wonder why the weekend,and not in the week??? maybe its because weekend is the best time to sell,maybe more kids go in there,with parents,what do you think......
HEARD THE LATEST,GIANT BREEDS NOW,£175,GOING CHEAPER,IF YOU BUY 2. Go in and ask a member of staff like i did,how old,what sort of breed are they,english,french,continental, most probably,you will recieve a blank look,like i did. If you know your stuff,then watch the attitude change also. Please do not buy one of these rabbits unless you know what you are takeing on,please read up befor you buy. we got ours from a rep breeder,hes been very hard work
he,s a house bunny,and we would not be without him,but the first year he caused alot of damage in our home,they can cost you alot of money in the long run
but saying that,they are beautifull pets,and give many years of love,back to you.How healthy are they,interbreeding goes on,they may be ill when bought, but you dont know till you get them home. Just buy your pets supplies from there,and boycote buying pets,they then start to look at stopping pet sales,i IT WORKS!!!!!!


Amanda Woollams
10:59 AM on July 05, 2010 by
Hi i bought 2 rabbits from pets at home in south ruislip on 9 may, they have ringworm one is worse than the other, pets at home have offered to pay half the vets bills but say i left it too long to prove liability, just wondered if anyone had bought pets around the same time from there and were experiecing anything similar as am sure there must be others and then thay would have to listen



Pets at Home have just announced that, over the Easter period, they will be offering ONE rabbit, a 3FT indoor cage and some accessories for £80!

For a store who's moto is 'Pets before Profit', this is extremely irresponsible.

Join us by refusing to spend your hard earned money in ANY of their stores until they agree to withdraw this offer and spread the word to all your friends to do the same.


Dear Sirs,


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 – 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 rabbit’s 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 bun’s life.  My bun is about to be neutered and I am definitely prepared to use Raymond as he is aware of the bun’s 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 parents’ 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.


Thank you.


Hi Val,

I adopted a lovely black rex dwarf female rabbit from you at the end of last September, who I've named Mrs Rabbit. I'm really sorry it's taken me so long to send you some pictures of her. She's doing well and seems a happy bunny.

Sadly, the same cannot be said of Benjamin, who I adopted from Pets at Home about a week before I adopted Mrs Rabbit from you. After taking Benjamin for a check up with Margit, it transpired that he had a chronic bone infection (one of the worst Margit had ever seen, in fact she thought it was a malignant tumour at first) and very sadly, the kindest thing was for him to go to sleep a few weeks ago.

I made a complaint to Pets at Home - locally and to their HQ, because poor Benjamin had been sitting in his cage in their shop for 6 months without ever having had a vet check him. His notice said he was 'grumpy and best not suited to children'. I am convinced it was his infection which caused him pain, that's all, and he could have been treated for it over those 6 months.  I couldn't believe how negligent PAH had been. PAH did refund the cost of  Benjamin's initial consulation and treatment (£220 - Margit had to do a biopsy to find out if he had cancer) and said they would look at improving procedures in the shop. I'm very sceptical whether anything will change though and I worry for the other animals there.


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 don’t 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 just came across your page of letters issuing compaints and concerned about Pets at Home and, unfortunatley, was hardly surprised. I used to work there for 6 months whilst at University but quit because I hated it so much. I used to work at a family run pet shop who bred their own animals in excellent conditions etc and so was really shocked in the difference as to how pets at home was run.

Firstly, it is not surprising that so many people have reported purchasing animals, only to find them ill shortly after bringing them home. Pets at Home stores buy their animals on bulk, (to meet expected demands at any given time) from breeders that the store use. The amount of animals required are ordered online via the companies stock order intranet. No-one who works there (except presumably a small number of people at head office) are allowed details or addresses of the breeders used. The reason I was given was apparantly to prevent staff from giving these details to customers who would purchase directly from the breeder and the compnay would loose money. However, it begs the question as to what conditions they are being bred under etc. Could be pretty bad to produce that amount of animals that can be ordered at will (sometimes up to 30 8 week old rabbits from one store).. hmm...

The animals are delivered all together in a lorry to the store. Sometimes, large quantities of animals, presumably scared bunched close together. The drivers do not know anything about animals and (at least to the store I was working at) gave them food that they should not be eating eg grapes, cucumber etc to hamsters. Not really surprising that so many people seem to have reported incidincies of wet tail etc when bringing small animals home.

Secondly, as a large chain retail business one must assume that some people working there will be of lower abilities/less motivated than others. A lot of staff I worked with were brilliant, they were knowledgable about animals and genuinely cared for their wellfare. However, others were simply incompetant. You might get away with that in say a clothes outlet, but it is not fare when animal wellfare is involved. The training you are given involves working through 2 booklets and then you are allowed to sell animals/sex them/offer advice to customers regarding any query with little to no supervision. Could perhaps be ok, except that only 2 chapers in each book (out of about 6 - 8) are actually devoted to animal care. 1 chapter for fish and the other for small animals. I hardly believe this would prepare the average person to be able to competantly offer advice or inform people on how to correctly care for a variety of different animals. I was alright, having had the experience of 2 years of training at a previous pet shop but some of my colleagues to put it simply, did not have a clue.

The company has these 'values' it promotes but in short, they drive hard on customer care and little else is supervised. Customer care being whether or not they leave the store happy, not 'how can we sell the healthiest, happiest animals to promote long term advantages etc'. They have mystery shoppers who come in regularly to check to see if the staff can talk to customers/advice them appropriately but, as far as I saw, had no inspectors to ensure the animals at the store were being treated well.

Like I said I quit after 6 months, even though I needed the money. They even treat their staff badly, at least the managers did at mine, but I don't see that as being as bad because you have the option to leave. The animals obviously don't.

You probably already knew this but thought I'd write it anyway after reading all those complaints. I think your site is brilliant by the way, excellent work. I am looking to get a new rabbit when I finally get a flat (hopefully soon) and will definately be considering adopting one from you.




seeing as i cant find any way of writing ont he pets at home page ill write my comment here instead. after reading all the comments i was shocked but i do have to say... at the time of buying my rabbit from there... she was sexed correctly, i was explained to about EVERYTHING.... including injections i needed for her. the man who served me was extremely helpful and she was completely healthy.... and still is. i notice you have not posted a single positive comment about this shop which worries me as i find it hard to believe after my good experience with this store that not a single person has anything nice to say in opposition to your campaign? after all its a bisiness they are trying to run ans yes i appreciate there are alot of bad stories but clearly not all of the stores and staff are the same and you are not making this clear to people. and frankly thats not the way to get your point accross by simply bad mouthing the whole brand. with all the stores and all the customers i think its very unliely you have onoly been told bad things about the company. as i know for a fact my experience was fantastic and i had no problems whatsoever.


Hi, I own two giant bunnies, both of which i purchased from my local pets at home store in wolverhampton. I was absolutely appalled when I read some of the emails people have sent in and feel genuinely upset by it. The reason I purchased my first bunny was because he had been there alone for months! But i have to say, when buying him the staff were great and asked many questions to ensure they felt I was capable of having him, they still now recognize me and ask about my babies and have always given me advice and guidance I wanted. One of the staff even commented how nice it was to see someone buying a giant rabbit who can actually look after them rather than just wanting one for the novelty. From the advice of so many others I will not be spending any more on these poor animals, but I just wanted to comment that not all stores seem to be as bad as others. I will say in the past week both rabbits have had to be treated for snuffles but I believe this to be something quite common (I was initially devastated and blamed myself) but both are on the road to recovery and I don't believe it to have been from pets at home.


This to me is onother prime example of why not to buy pet shop buns. The staff had no idea they were both suffering from snuffles, something they cannot be cured of. And will in the long term cost this person a lot of money and heart ache in the future.


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 have just read your pets at home complaints page and was to discover many shocking stories as mine had been... 2 wks ago i purchased a baby guinea pig, when she was being put into the box i noticed that she has a lot of flaky skin on her ears the her assistant assued me that it was ok... when i got her home and checked her over i noticed that from her ears right down to her shoulder blades all her skin was peelin off in huge flakes on both ears...i rang the store who said bring her in the nxt day.. i spoke to the manager before bringing her in and she said that the instore vet could take a look at her or i could get my money back... as we had already been quite taken with her i got the vet to look at her.. he diagnoosed mange and gave her a ivermectin injection and was told to come back om the 21st which is 14 days later..... 3 days after i noticed a bald patch onher face and caled the companion vets at pets at home they said it was perfectly normal.. the next day my guinnie had ripped a large hole in her cheek where it was bald i noticed she was very hot to pick up and she was barely taking any fluids... i manage to get an appionment for the nxt day and my carer took her in and the vet gave her a fucidin cream... she became worse and by sunday her eye was sinking in i managed to get hold of rescue centre who took her and syringe fed her the rescue centre send she may not survive the night...if she did she would tak her to the vets herself..... which she did the vet said she was seriously underwieght and that she had RINGWORM not mange... my guinnie had also become incontineant and still not may survive as she is very seriously ill as the ringworm had been left to ravage her little i noticed yesterday my other healthy guinnie is now showing signs of rimgworm to and is being treated accordingley..... WHY OH WHY ARE PETS AT HOME SELLING GUINNIES RAVAGED WITH RINGWORM THAT IF NOT CAUGHT IN TIME CAN LEAD TO A VERY PAINFULL DEATHi know its been a long email but i just wanted you to know how terrible the condition of my baby guinnie was she is now in the care of the rescue centre if she survives

thankyou for taking the time to read this


Good afternoon,
Please could you publish my story on your website to warn future buyers.
My boyfriend and I bought a Syrian hamster from our local Pets At Home store at Southend Airport Retail Park on 04/08/09. It was the only Syrian hamster there, all others were Dwarf hamsters. I chose the Syrian hamster as it was the only lively looking hamster there - only now do I realise why.
We bought a cage for the hamster, wood shavings, toys, runner ball, etc. First of all, the store failed to point out that the cage in question was for Dwarf hamsters ideally - had we of known we would have gotten a bigger one. Second, we took the hamster  home, after jsut 1 day she showed signs of illness. Her cage smelt pungant and she wasnt coming out of a night time. By the 3rd day I picked her up and noticed her underneath was smelly and brown and looking very sore. After doing some searching on google I figured she had 'wet tail' which is a case of severe dioreah in animals so I immediately took her to the vet where she was prescribed the antiobiotic Baytril. Despite giving her the antiobiotic as prescribed she still deteriorated and by day 7, exactly one week after purchasing, she passed away on the way to taking her to the vets to be put down. She could barely stand on her legs, she could hardly breathe, it was horrific to witness.
We later found out from the vet that most of the hamsters bought to her are from Pets at Home, and most of them go on to die.
After further investigation on the internet we found that wet tail is often caused by stress and E.Coli and the symptoms take around 7 days to show, meaning we bought her when she was sick. We also found out that it is best not to re-use any of the sick hamsters belongings again and wet tail is highly contagious.
When I called the store, I spoke to the manager who advised we COULD use the cage again (although I find it hard to want to follow their advise) and that we could get a refund for the hamster but nothing else. We were also told that we should have returned the hamster when she became sick, we would then get a refund and they would make her better (though I find that hard to believe), if the hamster does regain full health then we can buy her back. This was never literated to us at the time of buying and we have spent money on vets bills in the time. Had I of even known half of the things I do now I wouldnt have taken her back just for them to shove her in a cupboard to die.
I sincerely hope that the stores get what is coming to them, no matter how big or small an animal, its cruelty to let them suffer in this way.
If you are reading this PLEASE DO NOT BUY ANYTHING from any Pets and Home branch.




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 I’d 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!


Kind regards


Wendy Westby


Hi there i have read all of the information on this site and i am contacting you as we purchased four female rabbits from pets at home and hutches spent a fortune! Nine months later my young son came running in from the garden in tears and to my horror discovered nine dead baby rabbits. Suddenly it became a complete nightmare found one male that was sold as a female and phoned pets at home in a rage unfortunately my brother worked at the store as assistant manager and he was the only one able to deal with it. He contacted head office and they gave us two free hutches and i thought that was at least a way of saying sorry. Three weeks later my brother has been sacked as he failed to make it clear that it was his brother who was the irrate customer and accused him and myself of some sort of scam and theft although theyhave not bothered to contact me. I am furious that they have deflected the issue of their incompetance and i have an unemployed brother and 14 baby rabbits i am considering in going to the local papers and getting the locals to boycott the store as i have not heard from head office. Do you think this is a serious issue that they should be dealing with!!
Many Thanks for your time


I have been reading through your letters on Pets at Home.  We have a store in Taunton and I regularly visit it, not to purchase anything, but to check up on the animals.  I have frequently been in the shop when the water bottles are either filthy and green with algae or they have no water at all.

On one visit, when the rabbits had no water so I went to the front desk and mentioned it to a member of staff.  He said that the bottles would get filled up at the end of the day. I told him that this was not acceptable given that it was 5 pm and that would be at least another 3 hours until the animals got water.  When I asked to speak to the manager, the lad eventually called someone over who filled up the bottles.  I wish I could say this was a one off, but the staff don’t seem to have any training in animal care and it falls to members of the public to make sure that the animals are being cared for.  

Pets at Home needs to set an example of good animal care and not a laid back approach of the animals will get fed and watered at the beginning and end of the day, and if they run out of either in the meantime then they will just have to go without.

I also think they should not be allowed to sell the tiny hutches that they have.

I also don’t understand why customers are allowed to take their dogs up the small animal area, which results in the animals scattering and being terrorised.

I am writing to you, because there seems to be some strong feeling against this shop, and I am sure there are others that are just as bad.  Can we work together to put pressure on them to improve their practices?

Best wishes



Hi there,
I run a small guinea pig rescue in the north east and I am very concerned about the way Pets at Home are trading animals.I am currently being flooded wit guinea pigs that were bought there and are no longer wanted and litter after litter of unwanted babies that have resulted from miss sexing and being sold pregnant.
I have now asked all my adopters to boycott this store and buy from stores that do not stock animals. I am also upping my publicity so people become more rescue aware.
I have started to do more research on Pets at Home and understand that they buy their guinea pigs in bulk from an animal farm. It is probably where they get their other animals from to. I am trying to find out more about this farm and how the animals are bred. I wondered if you knew any more about this. Along with other small rescues locally we are trying to pull together some more information to start publisicing this more.
Many thanks


Pets at home adoption Scheme is full of their own mass produced animals/Don’t 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 it’s 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 it’s 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.


A rabbit came in today that goes to prove to me that the charlton store is one of the worst.If your running a shop are you not supposed to know what you selling?
it seems no you dont need to know a thing just sell sell sell. The bun that came in was supposed to be a french lop but was a british giant. You would have thought that with all the rabbit books they sell someone would have looked it up if they didnt know. Even worse is the thought that the breeder that sold him to them didnt know either.
The member of staff  there wasent even interested in giving any advise on what he was being fed either. The customer was just told the food stuff is over there. Perhaps i will take in a poster of rabbit breeds so they dont have to look far to know what their selling.


Hi i just thought id let you know , I adopted a female rabbit from pets at home in slough, we were told she was 7 months old and that the family who had her before couldn't keep her due to moving to a smaller property, my daughter fell in love with her, so on paying a £10 donation to them we took her home. After about a week of having her she started acting weird, as once being a rabbit breeder myself, knew the signs that this was not normal for any rabbit, we were not told that she needed spaying, and that she wouldn't grow very much to what she was when we bought her, well..........................., we have had her for about two months now and she is a lot bigger than when we got her, she has now also started biting us when we go to feed her, she lunges at you when u put your hand in the cage to stroke her, and she makes the most horrible grunting noise too, for my daughter who is only ten, who most desperately wanted a rabbit, is now petrified of touching her, she wont hold her as the rabbit has left her with bruises up her arms where she has constantly bitten her, so we are now left to try and care for the rabbit. We only got her a rabbit as we had previously bout her two guinea pigs (so called brothers ) from the same place, only for one of them to live for a month and then the other one died 6 months later, and thinking back on it i bought both my rats from there , one amazingly died after having her for a month and now the other one i have has a tumour on her leg, but as she is very old she hasn't got long left to live anyway, but its the rabbit that concerns me the most, These people should be shut down for selling ill health animals, and should tell you the exact reason why these animals are up for adoption.
from Amanda Rogers.( angry parent)


hi i would like to add to your pets at home page too. i went into my local pets at home store in wales during the week as we had decided to have rabbits once again. our 16 year old cat had recently passed away and we thought a rabbit or two would be a wiser option as we now live near a road. i was annoyed to see one rabbit in with guinea pigs . it was being bullied and having its fur pulled. The guinea pigs wouldnt leave it rest either. i pointed this out to one o f the young boys as a little girl watching was also getting disturbed. the boys said this happens and is normal and that they  had had to remove him from the rabbit enclosure as he was being bullied there. i then went to find the manager as i had read that you shouldnt keep rabbits and guineas in together. I spoke to the manager and told him he shouldnt have the rabbit in there to which he said you are right ( so if he knew this why was he in there) . he had it removed and taken to a cage out the back somewhere. i went back the next afternoon to check if it had been put back in but luckily it hadnt. subsequently, due to this and what i have read  i have taken on a rabbit from a rabbit rescue called mitzy. also i will not being buying a further pet items from them  ...


I have just discovered your websit and am appauled to read all the emails you have received regarding Pets at Home.
I have a story to tell about a rabbit I brought from there "adoption centre" at our local store in June 2008.  I was told that the dear little fella that i brought had be brought in as the person who owned him had to move to a flat and could not keep him.  He was 2 years old and sold to me as a dawrf lop, he soon grew into a much larger bunny. He was fine for a while and then he started to chase our cat and cause a few problems between them.  I took him to the vet to have him castrated in the hope that he would calm down.  After his op, there was little difference in his behaviour towards our cat, so the cat just kept out of his way (my rabbit was let out in the garden during the daytime) I have to say he was a sweet little thing and caused me no problems when cleaning his hutch or feeding him.  Anyway, I took him every 6 months for his mixy jab and the VHD and he was spoilt rotten.
Just before christmas 2008 I took him for his mixy booster and the vet noticed that his face was swollen on one side.  He prescribed a course of antibiotics and we were to return again on the 28th Dec. The medication done nothing and on our return visit he was booked in for surgery for an abcess on his jaw. 
Sadly he was so poorly, that after a conversation with the vet I decided that he should be put to sleep to save any futher suffering.  I had him for just 6 months, and estimate that I paid out over £350 in vet fees during this time + food+bedding & toys.
So after reading some of your other letters I am now assuming that my poor boy was in fact one of these poor rabbits bred by an animal farm.  I am really angry that I was not given the full story, that my poor boy suffered so much in such a short time.  I miss my rabbit so much he was quite a character and very loving. My only comfort was that in the 6 months he was with me he had the most fantastic life any rabbit could ask for with loads of love and kindness.
I am now looking for another bunny and trust me I won't be going back to Pets @ Home. 
So please if you are looking to give a bunny a loving home, visit you local rescue centre's and give another rabbit a chance of a better life.


i was most interested in ready your pages regarding pets at home. i bought 2 rabbits for my children from pets at home.  my daughter wanted a female white lop, hence we got a mini lop white with grey/beige patches.  we decided whilst there to buy my son a black netherland dwarf.  i asked if they were female on 3 occoasions to be told yes they definately were. i held them and checked their eyes and nose etc.  the white one (we called honey) fell asleep on me and i couldnt resist. anyway  they were getting along fine until recently when i went to  clean the hutch and found babies.  my 2 female obviously werent. i immediately seperated them and complained to pets at home to no avail.  anyway  2 weeks later dandelion my black netherland dwarf was dead in her hutch leaving me 4 beautiful babies. i am now hand rearing them and they seem to be doing well. however i then took honey to the vet to get checked and he has an infection, snuffles. hes on anti biotics and now living in my house, hes doing well and i wouldnt change him as hes the most lovable friendly bunny ive ever known.  i am so angry though as i ended up with babies, an ill rabbit and a dead rabbit.  PLEASE NO ONE BUY RABBITS FROM THERE
thank you


Hi Greenwich Rabbit Rescue
I'd just like to comment on something that was raised in one of the letters about Pets at Home, where it was recommended that people buy rabbits from Pets at Home to give them a better life. THIS DOES NOT WORK.
Pets at Home will just use the (exorbitant amount) of money you give them for one rabbit to buy more, putting them through the same misery and veterinary problems that all the thousands of others have endured, and at the same time encouraging the nauseating 'factory-breeders' to overbreed and keep in disgusting conditions yet more death-sentenced animals.
Although it may sound evilly coldhearted and more than a little contradictory, the best thing you can do for rabbit welfare is leave the rabbits where they are. And get up on your campaigning high horse and write letters to anyone and everyone - Pets at Home, your MP, animal welfare organisations, and you really can start saving rabbit lives.
Yes, those particular animals may well die at the petshop, but they will NOT have died in vain - if petshops and factory-breeders realise that the demand for ill animals is no longer there, then they will have two options: either take better care of the animals, or stop trading in live beings altogether.
And if either of those things happen, you can be sure that you have saved countless animal lives and helped make the world a better place.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.


without prejudice                                      22.9.07
Pets @ Home
I was in your store in Blackheath, looking for dog biscuits.   The stores improvements are very impressive, congratulations. Whilst eye catching for PROSPECTIVE PURCHASERS - ANIMALS AGAIN IGNORED !!!! your profit, your money maker !!!
Whilst I congratualte you on the PRESENTATION of your company, if people purchase animals from your store then unfortunately, they purchase problems.
Your staff are not generally able to sex rabbit, nor know how to adequately care for them.  Their are none if any toys something to stimulate them being contained in a small space, often for months.
I was most concerned their is a giant rabbit in store again  - this has no toys no stimulation and just lays their, not adequare space - mo ome knew in store specialised breed needs experience.
I have myself had problems with this store.   Foolish son purchased a male rabbit and guinea pig "keep them together" staff Blackheath - Not what the AWF animal welfare fund states.
Then after my rowing  with FOOLISH SON he purchased another pig & rabbit and was informed by staff at your store PETS AT HOME fine to put animals together resulted in SERIOUS INJURY surgery for the rabbit proce £240 son - VAST SUFFERING FOR POOR RABBIT.
I want NOTHING FROM YOUR COMPANY MONETARY beacuse this cannot compensate poor rabbit suffering....a promise to stop this cruelty, informing customers honestly, informatively ALL STAFF - regards to animals & behaviour etc.
Whilst looking at animals in store small confined spaces, no execise,handling,stimulation of the mind - IS DISASTER !!! not surprise when child gets rabbit home and handles it for the x ammount of times that day it nips them - and either dies in cage due to child not wishing to handle it or ends up at local animal rescue - hence your company causing more misery - BUT MAKING PROFIT FROM ANIMAL SUFFERING.
Your company makes VAST ammounts of money selling these poor animals that either die, become ill,tossed aside .  I for one think it is disgracful to cause "legalised suffering to animals".
I shall be informing my MP & Trading standards of the practise of your Company,and the way it treats,takes care of ?, ensures animals are happy,, healthy when leave due to living in correct environment.
I am not and have never been an animal activist - but after STUPID SON purchasing bunnie,pigs from your company - Feel you need to know that ALL STAFF need guidlines, trainning on animal care, stimulation and your companies priority needs to be directed at animals in YOUR CARE whilst waiting for rehoming.
I am not a professional qualified in animal care - only someone that has fallen in love with Rabbits & Guinea pigs and find your companies treatment of them disgracful, If I lacked care,execise,fresh water, stimulation for my animals RSPCA "WOULD HAVE RIGHT TO REMOVE ANIMALS"
J O';Brien


Hi I too would like to add to the debate on Pets At Home.

I bought my dwarf lop from there some months ago and when we went to the vet for her first jab it was discovered she had some warts on her neck so they were removed when she was spayed. The warts appeared again on her genitals and now on her claws and nose. She had been diagnosed with Atypical Myxi or Lumpy bunny syndrome the vet thinks she had this when I bought her as I had her vaccinated almost immediately and because of the lumps on her neck. I love Tosca and wouldn't change her for the world but Pets At home should take precautions to ensure all the rabbits they sell are healthy!

I was also disgusted as I have been into my local store on four occasions now and they are selling rabbits but cages that are not big enough to house them!!!!! I bought the biggest cage they did (the often don't have this in stock) but Tosca has grown to 6.5lbs and on our last trip to the vet (we go once a week) she thought Tosca could do with putting some weight on, as she is a big rabbit. I now have abandoned the cage from Pets At Home and Tosca lives in a dog pen although she has run of my house! I have a further complaint with Pets at home as they had a rabbit from a local rescue centre for sale. It was in a pen I would only see fit for a hamster (don't think I am joking) the food bowl was empty and it was right at the back of the store where no one could see it. I complained to the manager but went back the following weekend to find the same situation!!!

Sara & Tosca

Was this resposable?

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]



Hi there
I came across your website in a magazine over the weekend, and after looking at it today, I wasn't suprised to find such bad feedback on Pets at Home.
I am a total rabbit lover and four and a half years ago I went into Pets at Home just to have a look at the rabbits when a tiny golden coloured doe hidden in the corner caught my eye. She was absolutely beautiful and I just had to take her home with me. I called her honey and she was 'my baby'. As we bought her in November, we were advised to keep her indoors.
However, for the first few days she was home, she wouldn't move out of the corner of her hutch and looked petrified. She also wasn't eating anything, not even hay. I thought it may have been due to fear.
One evening while I was holding her I noticed a lump on the leg, so I took her to the vets. It was there that we discovered that there was infact two lumps that were alot bigger than we first thought that had turned deep purple and black through infection. After the vet drained the lumps, teeth marks were discovered and the vet advised us that she had probably been attacked by the other rabbits. I was appaulled as nobody at Pets at Home had even noticed!!
I nursed her back to health with the help of my mum, and she started to grow as she was finally eating and she became the most adorable, loving rabbit I have ever owned.
I spoiled her rotten, even buying her a pink rabbit hutch, and she lived indoors with me in the evenings as she was house trained. She continued to suffer health problems throughout her life but she always found ways to tell me she was unwell so I could help her as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, she passed away from cancer 3 weeks ago in my arms at home, but she gave me the best four and a half years of my life. She even lay by me while I was sleeping after my grandfather died to let me know she was there.
I do totally agree that nobody should give any more business to Pets at Home as they mistreat the animals so badly. However, people must think about the poor animals that are stuck in that chain of shops and want to save them from the mistreatment they are recieving.
I found 'my baby' for a reason, that reason being to save her and give her the life she desevred and I believe all the rabbits at Pets at Home derserve the same. Forget about putting money into the pockets of Pets at Home and think about the rabbits. We can do this and still make sure our voices of disapproval are heard.
Angharad Fielding.


HEllo,I have just come across your website.To add to the letters concerning pets at home from a different angle.
A new store has just opened where we live,my daughter needed a job and applied for a post.At the selection afternoon she was interviewed and had the chance to ask questions.As 'animal people' who have rabbits and guineas she asked about the welfare of the stores animals and was told they only have animals from one source(they didnt mention that meant an animal farm!)she also asked about their age,condition etc and if they have access to vetinary care while they are in the store.She was told they are seen by a vet before going into the store.She also got the impression that the pet care was general rather than the specific responsibility of selected staff.
When she came home she said she didnt like the way her questions were answered and felt the animals were not a priority as hers would have been.She did not want to get the job at the new store and subsequently did not.
As a family we have not visited the store and have no desire to.





                                               THIS IS THEIR SIZE






Dear GR,

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


Forwarded Message:
Subj: Pets At Home Problems 
Date: 13/03/2007 13:37:47 Pacific Daylight Time
To: Greenwichrescue
Hiya val,
I emailed you before about problems I've had with pets at home and it's just gotten worse. I bought a male dutch bunny to breed from, he had a retained testicle and had to be castrated - he also had snuffles, which I fortunately managed to clear up - a real miracle. He's now a house bunny with my brother in dorset and very happy indeed. At the same time I bought a black self continental giant Doe and guess what, she's had snuffles too, persistently from 10 weeks of age. This has been the bain of my life!!!! I'm so unhappy. She's such a beautiful bunny but has never gone more than 3-4 weeks without antibiotics to control this conditions. since xmas she's had 7 weeks of eye drops and 2 weeks of anti-biotics and it's still not gone away and she's so unhappy. I've had to keep her indoors so she cant infect any of my other bunnies, and she should be outside playing with the others. the vet is now talking about taking culture swabs and flushing and x-rays but says she'll never get any better s, not least because of the cost (she's already cost me over £300 in vets bills), I've decided not to go with that as it's not fair to put her under the stress of being put out for flushing and operations etc. if she's not going to be better at the end of it. I love her immensly - as i do with all my other bunnies, but am seriously considering taking her to giant rabbit rescue to be re-homed so she can have the one-to-one attention she needs constantly and from someone who knows what health issues she has before they take her home. also, because she is a giant rabbit, the new home she goes to will be with a vetted, experienced keeper who specifically wants a giant bunny. I've just started giving her echinacea to see if this helps and she's back at the vets on friday, but if not, then I really have no other choice, it's the best way forward for her, me and the other bunnies I have, but letting her go is going to break my heart. Both rabbits were purchased from pets at jome in harlow - I've kept rabbits all y life and these ar the first and only bunnies I've ever come across with this condition, I've had many a sleepless night worrying about both these rabbits, been scratched to shreds from giving the medications and  many a ruined clothes for the same reason, and I've been driven to the edge of despair by having to let first Piper (dutch buck) and possib;y now also Sooty (black Conti Doe) go to new homes when they are all like members of my family, and it's all down to the pets at home. I dont know if it's an inherent condition they were born with, though this is unlikely, as they're different breeds of rabbit, so this only leads to the problem being caused by poor husbandry on the part of either the breeder(s) they get their bunnies from, or, at pets at home themselves.
Please please tell your readers about this - even if it stops one person buying rabbits from them, it will be far better for them and the rabbit(s), I advise anyone buying rabbits to either buy from a rescue, or a reputable breeder. I breed rabbits myself and have the petshop where I sell rabbits, but they're cleaned out daily, have fresh food and water daily are kept at home until they are at least 8 weeks old and when they are sold the new owner is given a birth certificate with access via my website to info re. their parentage. we also provide info on rabbit care from the petcare trust and RWAF re. neutering, flystrike, regular health checks and vaccinations, pairing rabbits, joining the RWAF etc. and provide contact details (telephone / email for an aftercare service).... all things we did not receive from pets at home....
from a very unhappy EX pets at home customer!!!!!!




hello its rosie...i collected a mini rex from the rescue last year.
even though i am young i also have some things to say about pets at home.
there was a hamster squashed against the glass of a cage between a metal
thing and the cage and we thought there might be something wrong. So we went
up to one of the staff and asked him if it was ok and he said......"its
ok...hamsters dont have backbones so they can fit through very small
spaces" im pretty sure that hamsters arnet invertibrates and they do
infact have a fully fuctioning just shows how badly trained
the staff are their and how they just cant be bothered to get staff that
actually care about only 12 and i know that hamsters have a
adding to that my sister purchased two gerbils from their when my parents
didnt know there was anything wrong whith pets at home and the people
said..."its ok you can put them together because they have lives together
all their lives.....they failed to mention that actually these gerbils
wouldent live well together and would probably end up killing each
other.........which they did also pretty sure that Pets
At Home were selling the exitable, skittish, not good whith children Polish
rabbits that i have read so much about....but to be fair they might have
been cross breeds that look like polishes....anyway thats my email...hope it
gets to you and the web adres is right

                                                                From rosie




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.

Pets at Home creates more misery for our rescue - 04/02/2006

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.

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 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...

THIS WAS BORROWED FROM THE GREENFIELDS RABBIT RESCUE SITE,theres a link to it on the link page please visit.






I came across your website in a magazine and i think its amazing what you are doing. I am 19 and me and my mum are animal lovers. When i am older i would love to set up my own animal rescue centre but it is obviously lots of hard work! I thought i would email you to let you know that i went into Pets At Home in my town Nuneaton the other day and they were keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together, one of the guinea pigs was attacking the rabbits, he was pulling there fur out, i complained to one of the staff and the lady said it was ok she took him out for a stroke and said that he was the oldest animal there and he had been attacked and now he does it to the rest of the animals! It was horrible to see, they should have kept him seperate, as soon as she put him down he went straight back and starting harrassing the poor other animals again! I also said to the lady that rabbits and guinea pigs shouldn't be kept together but she begged to differ, i wasn't pleased at all! Just thought i would let you know about my experience. All the best with your rescue centre.



I 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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