Guinea Pigs need our help!

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:37 am

It looks very professional!

For the members who aren't aware - "PetC O" is automatically changed to PetNo on the GL site.

To reach Lynx's page, type " O.html", without the space.

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Post   » Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:34 am

tracis, I'm thinking I ought to disable that, esp if I can't even post a link to that page (didn't think of it).

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Post   » Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:37 am

Okay, you should be able to get to the link now:

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Post   » Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:19 pm

I just got back the form crap from Petco:

Dear Jennifer,

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.


Bonnie M.
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."

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Post   » Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:41 pm

Not so cool.

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Post   » Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:15 pm

That's typical of them. Grr.

They're selling hairless hamsters now?!


Post   » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:21 pm

Thanks to everyone that has emailed PetCo. Let's keep this going. Everyone that has received their canned response, reply and point out the flaws in their logic. Point out that although the event might be fine for hamsters, it is not fine for other animals. They may not have had any problems in previous years, but that was just hamsters.

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.


Post   » Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:55 pm

I have emailed the ASPCA, and Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, I hope they decide to get involved. Also I will be emailing many of the media outlets here in South Florida. I hope this helps!! Thanks for all the support!!!

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Annie K

Post   » Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:23 am

I sent another e-mail and will send snail mail and call as well. I can make myself into a real pest if need be!

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Post   » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:00 am

Their reply is crappy, in my opinion.

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Post   » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:08 am

Can't disease spread from these Critter Runs?

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Post   » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:15 am

I made another page about this:

If there are any errors in it, please tell me.

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Post   » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:26 am

I sent them the email just now. I'll tell what happens.

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Post   » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:31 am

Geez. The hairless hamster thing weirds me out.

Thanks for bringing this to attention.

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Post   » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:51 am

They claimed they're "training" the employees to "properly clean" the balls, but that many strange animals sharing airspace with each other, not to mention Petco's poor "stock" is a mashup of diseases waiting to happen.

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Post   » Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:33 pm

Someone in another forum told me that she works at PetCo, and her store is doing the hamster part but only gerbils, hammies, and rats are allowed. So maybe we can have more effect if we approach individual store managers, and ask them not to include the larger animals?

She says the higher ups actually do tell them to discourage people from selling the large size balls.


Post   » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:26 pm

As a former petco employee I can tell you that they do not discourage you from selling anything. They want you to give the people whatever it says on the caresheet and more if they will buy it. If the higher ups really discouraged it, then why dont they stop carrying them or have signs hanging that say not to buy them for chins and guinea pigs.

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!!!


Post   » Fri Aug 10, 2007 4:51 am

Totally missed this thread the first time around. What we're trying to put together is actual first-hand stories about pigs who've been injured in exercise balls - we all know they're bad, but to stand any chance of getting through to these morons I think we need actual evidence. Does anyone have any direct experience with injuries caused by these things?

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Post   » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:08 am

Kaz you rock, thanks so much for helping me with my search.

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...


Post   » Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:28 pm

Unfortunately, so far all I've got is stories like mine - bought a ball, stuck a pig in it, pig just sat there, googled "guinea pig exercise ball", felt horrified, threw the damn thing away, apologized with lots of veggies.

(Although it was that google search that led me here, so the ball was good for one thing at least.)

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