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Discrimination at Petsmart in Ontario

October 30th, 2005, 07:36 PM
Today Georgia (5 and 1/2 year old pitbull x) and I went to Petsmart in London, ON.
Ofcourse she was wearing her muzzle :(
Anyhow, we went there to get another muzzle for Daisy as she is having problems wearing the basket type muzzle. I decided that since we were there to get Georgia's nails cut.
We went to the back of the store where the grooming section is located. I asked a worker if she could cut Georgia's nails. She told me, "No, we got in trouble a few days ago for working with a pitbull because we are not allowed to now". I asked her what the problem was. She responded by telling me, "It is due to the ban in the province". I informed her since August 29th (the start date of the ban in Ontario) I have taken both Georgia & Daisy in there a few times to have their nails done (muzzle free) and never have we been refused service. I asked for the manager.
Meanwhile, Georgia is sitting well behaved by my feet.
The manager showed up and said Petsmart now has a policy about working with pitbulls and blamed it on the provincial ban. She said it is not in writing yet for their policy. She said they would go ahead and do Georgia's nails, which they did because I was not about to just walk away.

I was pretty upset and explained to them how it is discrimination and pitbulls are allowed in public (aslong as they are leashed and muzzled, which Georgia was). I am beyond pissed off about this, what can I do about it????? Anything?

October 30th, 2005, 07:48 PM
If it were me, I would complain (constructvely :) )to the company's head office. Explain that you are a long time loyal custimer and representative of the ___ (Someone must have a number with all the research) people in Ontario who own pitbull terriers. and you are extremely upset etc with this new policy. Explain that it IS discriminatory. I would not threaten to take my business elsewhere until I see what kind of response they send you. cc the letter to the Petsmart you went to and o Pitbull organizations and other dog associations and so forth.

It would also help to have other dog owners write letters of support and if they say they support the policy, then enlist other dog owners who are concerned to take their business elsewhere. I know that may be hard but there are other ways of buying pet supplies. I personally purchase a lot of stuff online or have it ordered by other places - a local grocery chain ordered Yesterday's News for me for example.

It seems to me that this is the kind of policy that will lose them support and customers and from a strictly retail perspective is very silly on their part. It's also very embaressing and not fair to loyal customers. What on earth does the law have to do with grooming - there are lots of groomers around.

October 31st, 2005, 07:13 AM
I think the above poster has very good advice. Write the corporate head office and let them know that while this policy is in place, you will not shop in their stores.
That line about "it's because of the ban"...what an insult to one's intelligence. These dogs are still entitled to care of all kinds.
How about a letter to the editor, too?

I see London city council passed a toned-down by-law, there's an article in the Oct 30 or 31 issue.

October 31st, 2005, 09:31 AM
I agree write the head office and explain why you are so upset and tell them that you would think that being a pet store they would be much more educated about dogs and know that this law is ridiculous. I also would not say that you are going to shop elsewhere. I would say that I await your response. Then if the response is not to your liking then write back and tell them you will no longer be using there store and will pass this on to all your friends with pets to reconsider their choice of stores to shop for there pets. I cannot believe that you had to deal with that type of excuse from a pet store. Ridiculous

October 31st, 2005, 01:51 PM
Actually I will write one via email. B/C being a pet store you would expect that of ALLLLL people and organizations pet focused businesses would be the one to stand by us. I would have caused such a scene. I feel so lost b/c I am just so angry that if someone says something to me I will flip my lid. Yes Iknow its not constructive but I pity (pun intended) the fool that says one thing to me.

Breath luvmypit breath..... :mad: :mad: :mad:

October 31st, 2005, 02:00 PM
Well they are about to lose a lot of business by restricting breeds.

October 31st, 2005, 02:06 PM
I am calling head office for you and they are putting in a request to look at the policy of Ontario Petsmarts. They will call me back, not to worry I didn't mention any names. BAsically they will check if a policy like this in place, why it is in place ect...

As far as the customer servive lady she doesn't know of any policy but the HO is in Arizona. She did sympathize and said what we all know that these dogs are sweet hearts. I would like to know for myself so I can make sure I buy absolutly nothing from there if this is truly policy. And if its just an individual stores policy then maybe we can change that.

October 31st, 2005, 02:42 PM
Thanks everyone for the words of advice.
Well, it looks like their is a new policy in place for Ontario Petsmart's.
I spoke with the district manager this morning and he did say that their was a memo sent out this past weekend informing groomers at Petsmart's that pitbulls will not allowed to be groomed. The reason is due to the fact that Petsmart only allows muzzles on for 20 minute incerements during grooming, for the health of the dog (fair enough).
I asked him why I was being refused service for a simple 5 minute nail trim. He apologized and said that pitbulls are allowed to have their nails trimmed, as it is a short process. He also said that a mass email was sent out, yesterday morning, to all the stores telling them nail trims were allowed. He said the manager I spoke with yesterday obviously did not get the email and was conflicted in what they are allowed to do.
I told him that we are dealing with a pointless law where I have to muzzle my friendly pitbulls and then for us to be discriminated like that is just ridiculous. It's hard enough as it is.
I informed him I will no longer be shopping at Petsmart due to that incident, their staff should know their policies down pat before they go ahead and refuse a service they are allowed to do.

I am going to take this further and also contact their head office. I do know that it states in the Ontario law that it is up to the property owner whether to have a pitbull muzzled, so really it is up to Petsmart to decide if they want to groom pitbulls in their enclosed space, muzzle free.

October 31st, 2005, 02:54 PM
I think we should all contact our local pet smarts and tell then that if this is t here policiy none of us will shop there. We can mention al the various "pet groups" we belong too and explain that we will be passing the word along!

October 31st, 2005, 05:34 PM
I have read this thread and forwarded it to Beth. She is at City Hall right now at the meeting, (you are likely there too right now!) but will be very interested in learning about this incident. It all goes in her files and she is acting on and speaking out LOUDLY about BSL. I'm sure if you get a chance to talk to her at City Hall, you will mention this crap to her. Tsk Tsk on Petsmart! I think they are now PetStupid! What next?!!

October 31st, 2005, 06:01 PM
Lezzer I just saw Beth at City Hall. She is such a nice woman. I told her quickly about what happened.
I did attend the reading of the newly revised proposed pitbull bylaw at City hall. I understand that so many people may be working or it is Halloween but not one other pb owner showed up :( It was finished by 5:30.

love my dogs
October 31st, 2005, 06:17 PM
Well, I would have gone, but I don't remember hearing back about what time it was supposed to be at.

I also thought that I read in the new proposal (link posted by BullLover in other thread) that it was to be read sometime in November . I just assumes that meant that it would be put off again.

Anyway, how did it go.....did they read it? Did they vote on it? What is the scoop?

October 31st, 2005, 06:27 PM
Question for PetSmart. Before the ban was in effect you did not have a restriction on servicing pit bulls, which would indicate that you did not believe them to be inherently dangerous. Does the fact that they are now banned and forced to wear muzzles now automatically make them inherently dangerous?

Some SOB somewhere is going to say that they are banned at PetSmart so they must be dangerous and we need to be able to say that they are only banned in Ontario not at all PetSmart.

BTW: The first pit bull I ever saw was in Buffalo New York. It was on a shot day at PetSmart. There were all types of dogs sitting in line nicely waiting for their shots. I still remember walking away from a Rotti pup as my girlfriend said "we're not getting a dog".

October 31st, 2005, 06:40 PM
Yea, I'm stuck here at work. I'm glad you got to run your story by Beth. She is working very hard for pit bulls and even wants them in our new parks! I am very surprised that more pb owners were not present, but it wasn't a public participation meeting and most of the changes were printed in the LFP and on the City website. Be proud of yourself for initiating those changes and being part of it all! :highfive:

love my dogs
October 31st, 2005, 06:43 PM
Well, it still has not passed yet has it? What is up with the meeting in it says in the proposal on the link from BullLover?

love my dogs
October 31st, 2005, 06:47 PM gendas/2005-10-31%20Agenda/1item%2010.pdf (http://)

1, that the attached revised Pit Bull Dog Licensing By-law (Schedule A) BE INTRODUCED at the
Municipal Council Meeting of November 7, 2005, and that the attached proposed amendments to
the Dog Licensing and Control By-law PH-4 (Schedule B) BE INTRODUCED at the Municipal
Council Meeting of November 7, 2005;

SEE I'm not losing my mind! :D

love my dogs
November 1st, 2005, 04:49 PM
So what is the meeting on the 7th for?

Does anyone know???

November 1st, 2005, 05:26 PM
I asked him why I was being refused service for a simple 5 minute nail trim. He apologized and said that pitbulls are allowed to have their nails trimmed, as it is a short process.

I will cut Georgia's nails for you if you would like.....And no, I don't descriminate against any dog.

November 1st, 2005, 05:27 PM
So what is the meeting on the 7th for?

Does anyone know???

I have no idea.

November 1st, 2005, 06:05 PM
I will cut Georgia's nails for you if you would like.....And no, I don't descriminate against any dog.

Thanks, that would be really nice. When she needs them done again maybe you can do them and I'll watch, so I can just start doing it. I have nail clippers, but I've been to chicken to do it myself. Both her and Daisy are extremely well behaved when getting their nails trimmed.

November 1st, 2005, 06:06 PM
So what is the meeting on the 7th for?

Does anyone know???

I'm assuming this is when it will be voted on.

November 4th, 2005, 12:48 PM
Hey GeorgiaPeaches! Beth and I went into PetSmart on Fanshawe Rd. and asked about the policy, as 2 curious individuals, not in our capacity as LDOA members. When we questioned the groomer, she just sighed heavily and said that the dogs must be muzzled and this can only be for 20 minutes therefore they cannot offer the full grooming/bathing as that takes 3 hours. One would end up taking home a wet dog. Nailclips, maybe, but muzzle required. You could see that the groomer was fed up with being asked and rather irritated.

Too bad.....part of her job requires public service and answering questions, not being a b*tch about it......

Then we approached the store manager who was fully versed in the new rules sent from head office. He was polite, factual and doing his job. He said that nail clipping while muzzled was permissible but grooming/bathing was out of the question as the dog would have to be muzzled for a great length of time and they would not be able to use the heated dryer on the dog, as it would not be able to breathe properly. That makes sense, as it would be dangerous for the dog.

I got the impression that head office thought long and hard on this one. The health of the dog angle is good. I can appreciate that. The whole thing smells bad, no matter how you look at it, however. Funny, it wasn't ever an issue before, but thanks to Mr. Bryant....well, we all know the rest.

By the way, I trim nails too, if you ever need me! :thumbs up

November 4th, 2005, 01:05 PM
Thanks Lezzer, for inquiring at Petsmart. It does smell bad. I have come to find out the whole 20 min muzzle rule at Petsmart is bs. This new "policy" does stink. Why don't they just have humane muzzles on hand for pitbulls, such as the basket style ones that they can wear for long periods of time?!?!?They are jumping on the bandwagon with the government, and to me that is ludicrous, considering they are a petstore!

Also, the grooming locations in the store are completely enclosed and in the law it states, that it is up to the owner and people who are in the enclosed space as to whether the pitbull must be muzzled. You think to keep the customers that are pitbull owners (and I am sure there are many), they would try and meet their needs in any way they can.

I personally have never taken my two to the groomers at Petsmart for anything besides a quick nail trim, but I know many individuals who do.
They are discriminating at that is not acceptable to me.

There are other petstores in this city that appreciate my money and do not discriminate and that is where I will go.

Edit: Oh yeah when I asked the district manager if they will be putting up signs informing the public, he said no.

November 4th, 2005, 02:01 PM
Are you considering this? I bet Beth is!!! I'll let you know what her take is on the whole thing.....we just couldn't resist going in there after a few pints at Jack Astors and stirring things up (hiccup!! :party: ) I'm sure she has something up her sleeve!!!!

November 4th, 2005, 03:07 PM
GP, Beth wants to know who the district manager is and his/her contact info if you can pm me or email me on my home or work email with it. Not sure if we can post this type of contact info on this site.

She's all over this :evil:

November 4th, 2005, 04:37 PM
I thought it was up to the individual businesses if they would require dogs to be muzzled in thier stores as it is "private property" I have just had a conversationn with a friend who owns a pet supply and doggy day care place and she said Pitties do not have to be muzzled in her store, and I stressed the store portion of her business, not the day care, her pollicy for day care is that all dogs must have an assessment before being accepted. No different rules for Pitties. She did say that some smaller, newer places would have trouble with thier insurance if they were just starting out. Pet Samrt wouldnt fall into that categorie. My friend could be wrong, theres lots of opinions out there as to what this bill means but thats her interputation.

November 4th, 2005, 04:41 PM
Thanks Lezzer, pm sent! Hope you guys enjoyed your pints, I need a few after dealing with everything this past week :mad:

November 4th, 2005, 09:08 PM
I phoned that number for petsmart and left my complaint...the woman I spoke to said that I was the third person that day to complain about discrimination towards a pittie owner...

good job you guys :highfive: