My girlfriend and I had just moved from Nashville to one of it's many suburbs, Madison. While we were exploring the area we found a large pet store just down the street from us. Yay! (We thought, because we used to have to drive for thirty minuets to get to our old pet store.) So we went in, thinking because it wasn't a chain, it would be cheaper. This ended up not being the case as far as most of the supplies were concerned, so we moved on to look at the pets since we were thinking about getting a new ferret at the time.
The ferrets were in a large, multilevel wire cage. Which is fine if you're keeping them at home, but not so fine for when you're keeping them in a store. Mostly this is due to the fact that any Tom, Dick, or Harry can stick their fingers in there to mess with the poor little guys. Of course I didn't think about this at the time, and while I'm not a Tom, Dick, or Harry I still, very stupidly, stuck my fingers in the cage.
In my defense, I had never encountered an aggressive ferret before. Our boys, and every other ferret I have handled, has been nothing but sweet, affectionate, and playful. What happened next didn't really occur to me, but as I said it was very, very stupid of me. And also, in their defense, they did have a sign warning me. (Which I didn't see because of the angle I had approached the cage.)
So, yes, I got bit. And not just bit, but the little carpet shark latched onto my finger and DID NOT LET GO. I yelped and tried to pull away, which only made him bite harder, so hard that his teeth went through my nail and I started to bleed. Here is where the bad service comes in... while the seemingly one and only associate in the entire store was by the rat cages helping somebody else with a purchase, I am within his sight and yelling very loudly for help and crying. I was bleeding and my girlfriend was freaking out. He looked over at us and did absolutely nothing. Finally, my girlfriend got her fingers far enough into the cage to pry his mouth open. He managed to nick her to while she was pulling her finger out. So we're both bleeding and upset and the associate, who by now as far as I could see was doing nothing, walked away.
Now I realize this is a slight Customer_Suck on my part for messing with unknown animals when there was a sign warning me that there was a possibility they could bite. (Not DO NOT TOUCH ANIMALS, but rather FERRETS MAY BITE.) It is still wrong to place in animal in public place and essentially put it in the position where it COULD bite someone or where the animal itself can be harmed. (And it could, it is a very large store and the animals are in an unwatched area.) Not to mention my finger could've been bitten off and the associate did absolutely nothing to come to our aid when we were in plain sight of him. I hope I scared off the customers he was helping with my whimpering/screams of pain.
A few months after this happened we decided to go back. We were cage shopping for our rabbit and we thought they might have more of a selection then Petco or Petsmart. And I, being the sucker for anything furry that I am, decided to go look at the animals again despite what happened last time. I walked past the ferrets into an area with low tables. These tables had clear plastic walls around the tops that contained animals. The walls were low enough for a child to reach in on three of them, though there was one with higher walls. (Though an adult could still reach inside.)
Tentative after being bitten in there I tried to pet one of the bunnies, thinking that he wouldn't bite since there was A) no sign & B) the walls were so low. He thankfully didn't. So I petted him awhile and got to thinking how cute/what a sweetie he was/what a good friend he'd make our other bunny. (And he said SUCKERRRR!) I noticed while I was petting him that one of his little ears had a VERY large chunk taken out of it, almost the entire top part. Which make him all the more tiny and pathetic= I had to have him.
So we ended up buying him along with a large, brand new cage. For the first couple of days I notice he's sneezing quite a bit. At first I thought maybe it was just a little bit of a cold and he'd get over it. Unfortunately it turned into something much worse and I had to take him to the vet. What he had is a contagious disease (snuffled) that is usually caused by neglect, stress, and overcrowding. The vet gives him a couple of shots, but he also notices that his bottom teeth are crooked. Thankfully, later, we discovered he could shave them down/chew on his own, so we didn't need to take him to the vet to get them shaved down every month.
Granted, I could have taken him back and gotten my money back, but by then I adored him and I did take on the responsibility to take care of him. I should've known better then to have bought an animal from there after the first incident, but he was tiny, furry, and needed a good home. (FOR GODS SAKE LOOK! Is that face not irrisistable?) And by taking him back there I would probably be condemning him to a slow, lonely death.
So the Bad_Service here is keeping and selling animals without proper cages, neglecting the animals so that they get sick, getting the animals from a source that breeds deformities, not socializing the animals enough to keep them from biting, and putting animals in a situation where they can hurt each other, people, and themselves.
The problem is that TN has more stray animals then I've ever seen and a lot of unrulely wildlife. Would the ASPCA even do anything if I called them to check this place out? And if not them, then who could I call or write to, to handle this situation?