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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Messages 1 2 

Disgusted by kazzzz on 14 August 2010 11:39am
We had quite an experience today. Anne already knows the story, it's to do with animals again!!!

Missy, Ava and I visited a local pet shop, biggest in Melbourne, well known for stocking exotic animals such as macaws ( $9000 if you want to take one home!), snakes, lizards, exotic fish etc.
Where the dogs, cats, rabbits etc are kept, (all behind glass, almost everything is), was a rat cage, situated at floor level with nothing around it. Ava saw it, ran and put her hands on the front of the cage and next thing I knew she waqs screaming...a rat had attached itself to her finger and wasn't letting go. I got her finger out, which wasn't easy coz the rat wasn't letting go.
There was blood everywhere and she was absolutely hysterical. A member of staff came across( there were several, all teenagers or not much more, no manager in attendance) and we were given practically no help. I was left sitting on the floor with a hysterical bleeding child, and given a toilet roll and a tube of Dettol and a box of bandaids. That was it. Thankfully Missy was there we took her to hospital casualty where it was seen to, thankfully it wasn't too deep and her tetanus shots are upto date, it's been dressed and she's on antibiotics but very traumatised.
The shop staff were utterly useless. I have made a few phone calls and have discovered that they have stuffed up in several areas.
The cage was at floor height, no protection at all. They had no first aid plan despite having a shop full of animals and kids. They had no work safety plan. The manager was contacted by phone and said we should have read the signs, (nowhere near the cage) and was told that we could take her to a doctor 'if we felt like it'. I asked that the incident be recorded and was told that "we don't have anywhere to write that down". I asked three times that the incident be recorded but it wasn't. The couldn't wait for us to leave.
Their concern for Ava was minimal, their care for customers was non existent and I would question the practice of selling animals that are clearly not domesticated on any level. Rats aren't child's pets and for an adult to have seen into the cage would have to be sitting on the floor.
I won't be leaving it here, as I told them when I left. I'll be contacting all the relevant people on Monday.
Re: Disgusted by johnnythemonkey on 14 August 2010 2:44pm
I sure hope you didn't hurt the rat when removing Ava's finger from it's curious little mouth. I support the British Rat Preservation Society. Rats are much misunderstood creatures and you should educate Ava not to startle them.
Re: Disgusted by kazzzz on 14 August 2010 2:59pm
I'd rather this thread not be turned into another argument. There was a child badly hurt here. I'm glad you're getting a laugh out of this.
Re: Disgusted by TERRY S on 14 August 2010 11:53pm
Sounds like the Aussie version of Pets At Home (my local shop). Luckly, the one near me where I bought Alice from is not that bad, however other branches are another thing.


Send Ava my best.

Re: Disgusted by sighthound on 15 August 2010 12:21am
What a horrible experience for you all! I think the clue word here is "teenagers", cheap help that keeps labor costs low despite the attendant lack of knowledge, experience and judgment (and, obviously, oversight. If they are charging that much for macaws, they should be able to employ a competent staff!) Definitely keep at them until you reach upper management and give 'em hell!!!! (Here in the U.S., they would be sued for an enormous amount of money.)

I am always amazed at the level of ignorance about animal behavior displayed by so-called "professionals". There is absolutely no excuse for keeping an obviously terrified animal in the way you described. Of course, it will bite when it sees a huge predator coming at it! And any unsocialized rat would definitely see Ava a a threat. (BTW, properly socialized rats would not have reacted that way and could, indeed, be a good pet for a child.)

Unfortunately, Ava's scars will not only be physical but emotional. She may now distrust all small unfamiliar animals if not all animals in general. She should NEVER have been put in that horrible position by an attractive caged animal left out at a child's level.

And johnny's inappropriate joking aside, it was also a very bad experience for the rat. It will now probably be killed because stupid people put it in a position where it had to attack to "defend" itself. I'd guess that it will be the next meal for one of the exotic snakes at that pet shop.

So sorry you had to go through this.
Re: Disgusted by kazzzz on 15 August 2010 1:51am
Wow Terry they're getting some seriously bad reviews! I wish I could post similar about this pet shop. I've had a lot of pets over the years, I'm a big fish fan and all the fish I have bought from this shop have died quickly, not so with fish from other places. Makes you wonder.

Geraldine, they hire these kids on casual rates, so they only have to pay basic wages and no holiday or sick pay. They advertise on their website that their staff are well trained. Surely to sell and deal with the lives of animals you'd need a fair few years training. I don't think you could be properly trained at 15 or 16.
I do feel sorry for the rat. Obviously it is miserable and in the complete wrong environment. From what I saw it hasn't really been handled or reared so that it could make a pet. It was terrified of Ava. Someone will probably buy it, it will bite someone else and be destroyed as you say.
I'm keeping a close eye on the wound in care of infection. Which is a bit hard coz she won't let me near it~
Re: Disgusted by Spursfan on 15 August 2010 10:54am
Awww I like Pets at Home, Terry! Not that we use it much at all, and it IS expensive, but when we have it's so good that Tosun can come in with us. And last time they offered him a dog biscuit - unfortunately he is very fussy and just doesn't DO dog biscuits (!!) but it was sweet of them anyway.

Re: Disgusted by kazzzz on 15 August 2010 12:29pm
Well they sure have a LOT of unhappy customers!
Re: Disgusted by Spursfan on 15 August 2010 1:09pm
Oh!! I am shocked because I thought it was absolutely lovely!!!

Oh!! (second Oh!! of the post - or is that 3 now?!!) Are you talking about Pets at Home, Kazzzz because I am now wondering if you are talking about YOUR petshop?
Re: Disgusted by kazzzz on 15 August 2010 1:54pm
Pets at Home. I'm just going by the comments on that link.
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