Thank you for sharing your concern about the upcoming Hamster Ball Derby and Critter Run.
Our concerns, like yours, include animal care and safety at all our events. In planning the upcoming race event, we took into account the following considerations:
* We’ve conducted national Hamster Ball Derbies several times without a single health or safety incident. Last March, for example, more than 12,000 hamsters raced at PETCO stores nationwide with no reports of health risks or problems among participating animals or pet parents.
* Customers who enjoyed those previous, incident-free hamster race events requested that we allow other animals to participate.
* We asked our chief veterinarian and Animal Care & Education team for their recommendation about allowing other animals to participate. They said it would be safe to allow mice, gerbils, rats, chinchillas and guinea pigs to race as well, as long as all small animals race in appropriately sized exercise balls.
* Our store associate training guide for this event states the importance of keeping different species from mixing together; properly cleaning and disinfecting the race track; and ensuring customers rest their pets between race heats.
* Our event brochures encourage customers to hold “training sessions” with their pets at home to help ensure their small animals will be comfortable in the hamster balls and be able to participate.
* Participants clearly see their pets as part of the family and enjoy these all-for-fun competitions as another way to celebrate the human-animal bond.
We appreciate and share your concern. Pet safety is a top priority at our store events and in all we do at PETCO. We are proud of our record and will continue to take prudent steps to ensure the upcoming derby and critter run is a fun and safe event for all participants.
Customer Relations Coordinator
At PETCO, Animals Always Come First... Our People Make it Happen!
"Animals always come first... unless that gets in the way of profits, in which case we can assure people that the vet we pay six figures to say these things will support us."
They're selling hairless hamsters now?!
Send them a snail mail letter and phone them. The more complaints they receive, the more notice they will take. It's not just one forum that is participating. The chinchilla and rat people are complaining also. It takes many people coming together to make a change.
PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc.
Customer Relations Team
9125 Rehco Road
San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: 1-888-824-PALS(7257) (7 days a week)
An animal activist friend of mine was telling me today that for every email complaint sent it is looked at by corporations as 10 people having the same opinion and not responding. Every snail mail complaint counts as 100 people not responding. Each and every complaint adds up.
If there are any errors in it, please tell me.
She says the higher ups actually do tell them to discourage people from selling the large size balls.
Many of the higher ups that I have dealt with while an employee had no idea about the small animals that they carry. They are there for the business aspect not the animal care aspect. Many of the higher ups have no background in animals, only business. Just because you own an animal does not mean you know anything about it. You have to do more than just read one book and own the animal to know about it.
Also the Hamster part is seperate from the critter run. But I think going to individual stores may help because some of the managers at some of the stores do care!! Just not enough of them!!!
If I can get personal stories about injuries or illnesses, or vet statements, or policy statements giving data about injuries, or other "hard proof" on why this is bad, I think I can create a fairly effective directed campaign against this. Alternatively I'll try to get statements from vets that this is a bad idea.
I do have two pigs with missing/injured toes that I can't *actually* ascribe to ball use, but I can certainly use them as actors portraying pigs who have been injured by balls...
(Although it was that google search that led me here, so the ball was good for one thing at least.)