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19 June 2008


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Rather puts "Where the pets go" in a new light... ick.


I've always liked Petsmart better. Although I know they've had their share of problems.


Well, they were busy in April . . . hiding the fact we had toxic tomatoes. . . .

Kat "

Makes me wanna PUKE! Guess the FDA was just daudling along, scratching their heads for TWO MONTHS - wondering if they were gonna actually have to DO SOMETHING!

Here's PETCO's Contact Us pg:


The “small government” people always want to let market forces operate unless, you know, they don’t. In other words, letting people know what they need to know to make informed decisions is bad, protecting corporations is good.

I think the small government people would tell you that the FDA should be abolished. Reading this story, it sounds to me like it's the big government that's protecting corporations.

Gina Spadafori

Jessica, you might be interested in this piece by Paul Krugman on how the "small government" people have been throttling regulatory agencies while pushing to hand them over to the industries they are supposed to be watching.

Colorado Transplant

Well, my Batman got tired of all the cat food I bought from Petsmart and caught his own organic food. I cannot tell you what it was because it disgusts me to look at the remains.

The vet spent about 15 minutes with me yesterday to get me to slim him down. He has gained about 2 and l/2 lbs. in 2 and l/2 months.

I wondered how many calories he caught for himself today. I will have to deduct an estimated amount from the calories in the canned food I give him. Oh, dear!

Poor Petco--they might lose a lot of money because of the publicity. Poor shareholders.

Susan Fox

Not that I needed another reason to buy our pets' food at a locally owned business instead of Petco, but jeez. Sounds like they need to "hire" some barn cats ASAP.


Gina: I may have taken a different message from that NY Times article than you did, and I would love to see a post from you about how you think food regulation should change. Personally I'm not convinced the USDA and FDA are fixable, but I'd be extremely interested in hearing someone else's proposal about how things should be fixed!


Colorado Transplant: I believe Petco went private several years ago, so they do not have to please shareholders with a high dividend.

Their high prices, compared to Petsmart, must just be do to greed. The Petco head office told me they charged more for identical items due to the exceptional service they offer the customers, Ha!


Honestly, I've always found the service to be better at Petsmart, as well as the prices.

But more and more, it seems worth the extra trouble to go to the slightly more distant locally-owned stores.


One big way to fix the FDA and other agencies would be to vote in folks who aren't out to prove that government can't do anything well - by doing everything they can to make sure that government doesn't do anything well.

The folks who believe in a completely unfettered market and it's "invisible hand" don't care if it takes sick or dead pets and consumers to eventually create enough bad press that consumers choose to buy elsewhere. Those folks are also often on the side of those who would limit liability suits against companies and individuals who knowingly endanger consumers for more profit.

It's time to roll back the second coming of the robber-baron era.


I don't shop at the pet "superstores."

They don't carry the better brands (hopefully they're better) of pet food anyway, at least the one close to me doesn't.

One thing that was a tip off to me about the quality being sold at my local PETCO, was the fish room. I have been keeping aquariums for many years, and I know when I see unhealthy fish, or fish that have had bad handling by the suppliers prior to being sold.

Carol V

I must chime in about PetCo...the first and only (and last) time I went was two weeks ago...having recently lost my 2 yr old golden to cancer (second golden in two years with cancer) I needed to purchase a crate and play-yard and needed to be time efficient so off I went. I also wanted to buy my new pup Jack some safe toys, chew and soft and when I asked where the dog/puppy toys are that were not made in China the salesgirl told me where all the toys were and I asked if any domestic/organic toys and she said no that all their toys were safe and then I asked if she was aware of the melamine/ca contamination in the pet food last year from China and reports of lead in dog toys from China and she had never heard of that and looked at me like I had three heads.....


Please, PETCO will NEVER be a "great store" and, from my experience, the animals definitely do NOT come first. I'm with a no kill rescue shelter and the new PETCO dangled all sorts of carrots to get us to place cats in those horrible boxes to live. I've gone around and checked several of the PETCO stores and found the cats without water or food and too depressed to even move around...if there were room for them to move around. Just yesterday I was at the brand new PETCO and saw kittens with no litter box and no water. The manager wasn't available, so I went home and called back. Was told "it's been taken care of, thanks for letting us know." Went back to the store and still no litter, no water. Any place that sells animals is all about the profits, not the animals.



I was merely commenting on my local PETCO store. Can't speak for all of them, nor Petsmart, because I have not shopped there.

If you call an "educated employee," as one who would let a "first time fishkeeping family" dad almost buy his 5 year old son a saltwater fish, with no idea on how to keep it...then I guess our definitions of education are different. It was only after I let the dad know how difficult saltwater fishkeeping can be for a novice, that he opted to buy a less difficult freshwater fish for their first try.

The aisles at my local PETCO are full of junk stacked up, are narrow, and the service isn't good either.

The premium foods I was referring to definitely were not Science Diet, IAMS, or Pedigree dog and cat food. The last time I checked PETCO was not carrying the brands of cat food that I now buy. I called and the employee told me that they don't carry them. Sorry, but since the pet food recalls you couldn't pay me to buy the brands that they carry.

You have a right to your opinion, do we. And we have a right not to shop at PETCO or Petsmart, if that's our choice.


I think it's clear the the PETCO supply warehouse sitch is more than a 'difficult to keep the pests away' thing. Rodents were urinating, defecating, gnawing at, reproducing and dying among the food in this warehouse. See this article for details:,062108petco.article

Christie Keith

As someone who doesn't shop at "big box" retailers of ANY kind but once or twice a year, and then at gunpoint, if you removed all signage and put me in a Petco and a Petsmart, I couldn't tell the difference between them. I think they only seem different if you're strictly comparing huge chains to huge chains.

This is where I shop:

THAT is a good pet supply store.


Oh, I should probably note: Not an employee of either company, and I have concerns about Petsmart, too. Can't really buy toys at either chain, either.


Sarah, I'm glad you're proud of the company you work for.

I know PetCo was around before Petsmart. It also has higher prices. The service is, well, at least in my area, it's possible to make a "quick stop" at Petsmart. It's not possible to make a "quick stop" at PetCo.

Petsmart doesn’t educate their employees about the different animals and it shows if you ever go to a store to purchase an animal. They have a very small selection of animals also.

Selling animals at all is a point against both Petsmart and PetCo. Having a larger selection of animals does not, for me, tilt this one in favor of PetCo.

PETCO will always be “Where the Pets Go” because “Animals Always Come First!”

It's a mistake to fall for your own advertising slogans.:( Around here, one of the notable differences between Petsmart and PetCo is that people are a lot more likely to bring their pets to Petsmart, whether for a shopping trip or for socialization practice.

It is a shame that the distribution center had this problem, but considering the amount of animal food that is there, I am sure that it is not that easy to keep the pests away.

The FDA isn't describing a normal "these things happen" kind of situation. They're describing a serious failure to do adequate pest control. The company should expect to take a hit for it.

Sarah (PETCO employee)

To all of you that say PETCO is a bad store, it is actually a great store and company. They ensure that all of the employees are well educated on every animal (birds, small animals, reptiles, dogs and cats, and aquatics. They ensure that if there is any injured or sick animal, fish, bird, or reptile at it is properly cared for which includes a call and/or visi