Dog, Cat or Pet Purchase / California Pets of Carlsbad and Escondido, CA

Posted on Friday, February 9th, 2007 at 9:29pm CST by fab3ea12

Company: Dog, Cat or Pet Purchase / California Pets of Carlsbad and Escondido, CA

Category: Other

Today I visited two (2) California Pets stores in the North County of San Diego (i.e., their store in Escondido and the one in Carlsbad Westfield Malls) to see about purchasing a small Pomeranian puppy for my handicapped elderly mother who recently lost her Pomeranian due to old age. One puppy was going for $2000 and the other was selling for $2100.

I was amazed to learn from store management that there were NO special considerations or accommodations to address the special needs of the handicapped or elderly who are not able to come into the store to see if they like the pet being considered for purchase. The policy, as explained to me by the store manager was clear and simple: You buy the pet, leave the store, and unless there is a medical problem with the pet, there is NO provision to return the pet. And, there is no exception to this policy to allow for a handicapped or elderly person to see the pet, unless the person could come into the store location. I even offered to (1) pay for the puppy in full and (2) pay for a Vet to certify that the puppy was healthy should I need to return the puppy. In this day-and-age, it amazes me that merchants who specialize in marketing such personal items, like family pets, do not recognize or attempt to accommodate the special needs of the elderly or handicapped who are not able to physically come into their stores, especially given the inflated pricing of their pets.

If you are considering a pet for the elderly or handicapped, I recommend you shop elsewhere, and regardless of where you shop, make sure that you clearly understand the return policy. In my opinion, California Pets is only interested in pushing their animals out the door with little to no consideration for the needs of their customers.

I welcome a representative from California Pets to reply to this posting. Furthermore, I invite any representative from California Pets to publicly address my complaint about NOT accommodating the needs of the handicapped and elderly toward the selection of a pet. I would love to see this issue responsibly addressed by California Pets. There should be provisions for this sector of the market given today’s emphasis in accommodating the special needs of our aging population and our handicapped.



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8d20df17, 2007-09-23, 03:14PM CDT


I just received your letter of complaint. I am sorry to hear about your mothers loss. It is unfortunate she cannot come into the store. And yes it is unfortunate we could not accommodate to your needs. However, in order to protect our animals in the store we have to abide by many safety standards.

When a puppy is born it is only exposed to its littermates and needs to be in a sanitized area. While the puppy is being transported the puppy again needs to be in a similar environment. Once the puppy arrives in our store we must maintain isolation and sanitation as you have seen in our stores.

Once the puppy leaves the store it can be exposed and begin to incubate many types of diseases such as; Parvo, Distemper, Upper respiratory or other diseases. This does not include the stress the puppy has when changing environments. Stress often leads to illness. For these reasons we cannot allow a puppy to leave our store and come back. We have to protect all of our animals.

We started uniting families with pets in 1968. We have learned a lot about animals since then. Constant environmental change for animals is completely unhealthy and inhumane. We are not in business to just move puppies out and its not about you paying to see if the puppy is healthy to come back, its about eliminating the stress the puppy undergoes from environmental change.

We are in business because we believe animals truly bring unconditional love to all walks of life. With todays technology there are many ways to communicate. If you understand your mothers needs and know the personality your mother likes then you could simply pick out a pet for her. If she wanted to see the pet first then we simply could have taken a digital picture of the puppy and sent it by email, camera phone, video, or printed it out. Either way, there are alternative options for these types of cases.

All of our customers despite their situation are treated equally. For the sake of our puppies we make it clear to all our customers the importance of reducing the amount of environmental changes. We have to think about the health of our animals. While we cannot please everyone, one thing is for sure, once they have unconditional love in their hands, it is then we know we have done our job.

I trust you understand we truly care about the well being of our animals from the very beginning of their lives and not because we did not want to accommodate to your mothers needs. Once again I stress, we dont want our animals to undergo anymore stress then they have to. If I could assist you with anything, please feel free to contact me at either store. I am here for you!

Joe Shamore

California Pets


623d9c47, 2007-10-04, 12:26AM CDT

I was about to purchase a Shih Tzu through the internet and I just didn't feel right about I let my finger walk the yellow pages and found California Pets. I did not know about this place at all so I called. I spoke to the Carlsbad store first but they had only a female Shih Tzu and I wanted a male. I called the Escondido store and spoke to a gentleman by the name of Bobby. I asked Bobby if he had a Shih Tzu and he said he had 2. I told him that I was thinking of purchasing a puppy over the internet and he cautioned me to be careful. I asked him if he could take a photo of the puppies so that I don't have to drive over an hour to find that the puppies they have dissapoint me. Bobby returned all my call and sent me numerous pictures. I drove up that same day and purchased my second Shih Tzu. Well my husband purchased him for me as a bday gift.

This store was wonderful. One bad experience by one customer does not and should not taint a company.

34b6f060, 2007-10-23, 02:18PM CDT

Cal Pets is great IMO. They treated my g/f & I well. Our puppy had kennel cough and after a visit to the vet it was promptly taken care of at no charge to us. Cal Pets stands by EVERYTHING that is listed on the paperwork you receive when purchasing a dog. There should be no questions as to the terms as you are required to sign more pages than if you were buying a home or car lol. It is not the pet stores job to accomodate specific people to that extent. As Joe stated you clearly decided against alternative means as per his examples. Maybe you should think about how YOU can better accomodate her. Perhaps buy her a freakin' pet store and let her "test" them all out before whining. Cal Pets gets an A++++

6be46bc7, 2007-11-29, 09:43AM CST

Instead of buying a dog from a pet store and adding to the overpopulation crisis, why don't you adopt a shelter dog? There are plenty of pomeranians and every other breed waiting for homes. For every dog you buy at a pet store or breeder, one has to die at a shelter.

261f8769, 2007-12-23, 11:56AM CST

I would like to make a very important comment. If you do want to purchase a puppy from any pet store, be sure and get the background of where the puppy was breeded, who was the broker who sold the puppy to the Pet Store. If the broker is listed as Hunt out of Missouri, Texas or Arkansas you can bet it is from an horrible puppy mill. Do not take the advise from the people in the Pet Stores ask for documentations. Better then that go to your local animal shelter and adopt a rescue puppy or dog. Anyone buying indirectly from these puppy mills is aiding in their profits. Just search the Humane Society Web Page and see what these puppy mills do to these precious animals.

a2deaf75, 2008-01-04, 12:37AM CST

One of my good friends works at california pets and I will add that this is a LEGITIMATE place to buy a dog from. The dogs do not come from "mills." I forget how it was explained to me, but they definately do not come from "mills." To add to Kurt (the high maintenance, rude man) purchasing a dog or other animal is different than purchasing a car, or something from a grocery store. Animals have feelings, emotions, and can get scared easily if removed from it's environment. Imagine how you would feel if some big giant took you away from your house and placed you in an unfamiliar environment. A car can be test driven, and any grocery item can be refunded. But a dog needs to have the least amount of stress at all times.


079a4fd5, 2008-06-09, 12:50PM CDT

would you adopt a child, then demand to return him or her because that child didn't properly suit your family? well the same thing applies when adopting a puppy! i'm not sure if you have ever owned a pet before, but it is very much like having a child. they require your unconditional love, nurturing, and care. I am an ex employee of California Pets, and i can assure you that Joey, and his staff bend over backwards to accommodate there customers. it is your job as a customer with needs, to be willing to let them accommodate you with what they have to offer. not only is it an issue of california pets, but your talking about California state laws on returning pets to a pet store. don't be so impossible, the world is not out to make you happy...

7a836943, 2008-07-11, 05:25PM CDT

I would have to agree, do no buy from this place, my fiance and I purchased a Beagle from the North County California Pets store. They did not let us know that the dog was being drugged because of an eating disorder it had. This eating disorder was because of a bacterial infection that the puppy had, which can be contracted by other pets AND PEOPLE. It is seriously fatal to other pets such as cats who would certainly die from this.

Problem there being, we also have a cat, who the puppy was around for the week we had. We took it to the vet yesterday and got the tests back today because we were concerned about his health because we had to hand feed him for his lack of apetite, even though he would not each much.

When he would go to the bathroom, which was maybe once a day if we were lucky, his excrement was soft which if you know dogs is not a good sign, eventually it turned into diarreah and he could not stop from excreting everywhere.

We were told that the dog was completely health and had no disorders, once again we were not informed he had an eating disorder or of this bacterial infect. Obviously the vet who is in charge of this pet store is not doing his job. California Pets is a horrible place to buy a pet from, how can you trust a place that will knowingly sell you a diseased dog and have a policy that you cannot be refunded your money and can only switch for another dog (which is probably infected as well since our puppy was in a cage with other dogs).

I am personally going back there and giving them a piece of my mind today.


934ed4a4, 2008-07-18, 10:30PM CDT

I can not believe that in this "Day and Age" you people are still buying pets from these puppy stores!!!! If you love animals, and apparently are using the internet, do a bit of research to get a rescue dog, or find a reputable breeder! So many dogs are being turned into different rescue agencies (there are hundreds of rescue groups trying to save dogs and cats). Lately there is a higher than usual turn over to rescues of pure bread dogs, and even sometimes puppies, because of people losing their homes, jobs, etc. The great thing about rescue is that the dogs are often in foster homes, where they are evaluated. You can learn how well the dog is trained, and other important facts (i.e. barky, good with kids, energy level), and they can assess a "fit" for you and for the dog! AND...if it turns out the fit isn't a good one, for whatever reason, you take it back to the rescue! Seriously, it is a great option. Just google the breed you want, or go to to find a breed in a shelter somewhere. Argh! I'm sorry I'm so frustrated, but I just can't believe that these puppy/pet stores still exist. They claim to care about the animals, but they obviously don't. The response from the owner is lame, and pets often are sick in those stores...If you truly care about animals, check out the humane society, helen woodward animal sheter (also in north county), or find a good rescue. Many great animals are being put to sleep as I type this.

Thanks for reading, and good luck to you all!

934ed4a4, 2008-07-18, 11:00PM CDT

While this post is only one complaint, there have been others. Copy and past to be informed.

fe349e09, 2009-06-27, 11:43AM CDT

I have 3 dogs. Two of them were purchased from California Pets in Escondido. The first dog I purchased from them was a 6 month old poodle. He is a great pet. A year later, I saw a Bichon Frise there that I could not resist. She became ill with hypoglycemia the first night in my home. That was no problem as the I took her into the vet they require us all to see to get the puppies checked out for their health guarantee. They saved her life. Two days later, she was a totally crazy little puppy, playing with my other dogs.

California Pets has been excellent to me and my two dogs purchased there. I have one other dog purchased from a local breeder who was less expensive but didn't all of the extras and guarantees that California Pets offers. I have no problem purchasing from them again in the future.

The original complaint here is about California Pets not allowing someone to buy a dog and then return it? If they allowed that, they would be exposing the dog to lots of other parasites and viruses which would be brought back to the entire store. Nobody could run a business like that.

As far as those who are saying just go to a shelter. I will say that I tried that route for several months before I went to California Pets. There are severe allergies in my family and as far as I know, there are only 2 types of dogs that we can even keep inside of our house. I searched for poodles and bichons at all of the local shelters. I had my severly allergic husband go with me to rescue places to interact with dogs who were "poodle mixes"to see if he could tolerate them. After several months of us being continually disappointed by not finding a pet, I finally found my first dog at California Pets. If I believed that they bought from puppy mills, I would not have bought my dogs there.

I still believe that adopting a rescued pet is the best way to go. However, that is not always an option. I have found California Pets to be a very reputable place to purchase a pet.

6bafd7e0, 2009-06-29, 11:44PM CDT

the pets at california pets most certainly DO come from puppy mills. but beyond THAT argument, what i can say is that the "staff" that i saw on my last visit to the store were completely incompetent and couldn't have cared less about attending to the customers in the store. one particular employee was spritzing one of the parrots in the store with a squirt bottle. having owned several birds myself, i fully realize that they enjoy being sprayed with water. HOWEVER, this particular employee was zapping it in the eye, to the annoyance of the bird, laughing about it, and pointing this out to his co-workers. the store appeared to be very heavily staffed, but despite this, the employees were all much more interested in gossiping with each other than seeing to customers. it's a truly disgusting situation, and i'm saddened that westfield continues to allow this store to operate in their mall.

b0a1b128, 2009-08-23, 05:41PM CDT

I agree with the stores policy. The less moving around the better for these little pups. The stress levels of these dogs must already be near the max just being in the store window.

Either assist mom to the store just as you would for any other out of the home visit or just buy it for her and bring it home. It's obvious that she already likes the breed if she's asking for another one. If the dog is to much for her it doesn't matter if she went to the store or not. I hope you drop the drama and get your mom the dog she desirves.

e4acbf8f, 2010-02-04, 05:31PM CST

i was an unfortunate california pets custumer, but luckily we saved the life of our now 5 month old puggle. at the time of purchase she was 10 weeks old. first i wanna complian bout their sky high prices, second their custumer servise SUCKS, unprofessional staff who are just there for commission and their high school r.o.p program, well enough bout that. whe got abby a puggle a breed between a pug and a beagle, the night we brought her home she had this really bad cough , runny nose and she snored like a 40 year old man, her lack of energy drew our attention to her helth, two days passed and we took her to the vet , there we were notified that she had pneumonia, ennel cough, coccidia and gyardia, SMALL WORMS IN HER TUMMY, after two weeks of treatment we were not still 100 percent that we will have our puppy back, no chance of her living was a sure possibility, luckily we did not give up , thanks to the wonderfull service given to her at MONACHY ANIMAL HOSPITAL, well now she is all good with abby but lesson learn , DO NOT BUY FROM CALIFORNIA PETS , ALL THEIR PUPPYS ARE MILL DOGS FROM THE EAST, A FRIEND OF MY WORKS AT THE AIRPORT AND SEES ALL THESE SHIPMENTS,, PLEASE PEOPLE LOOK FOR BREEDERS LOCALLY THAT HAVE THE PUPPYS PARENTS ON THE PREMISE. THANKS FOR VIEWING THIS,,

b0f54a84, 2010-06-23, 10:01PM CDT


My name is Sarah. Two years ago I purchased a yorkie from California pet and he died from health issues 2 weeks later. He was in and out of the hospital during those 2 weeks starting the next morning after purchasing him. Not only was the owner rude and insensitive, it took him weeks to get me my 2400 I paid for him back. He wouldnt even discount me another puppy, not like I would want another one from their after that heartache anyways. There are puppies at the humane society that need homes and are healthier then any dogs at California Pets. DONT SUPPORT PUPPY MILLS!!! Dont put yourself threw the heart ache of loosing a pet like i did.

e4e10378, 2012-02-15, 05:06PM CST

California Pets was very accomidating to us and wonderful. My husband and i purchased a small Boston Terrier and love the new addition to our family. The transition from pet store to an new home will always be tramatic, but we have welcomed him and couldn't be happier. In fact we have recommended to several of our friends to go to California Pets and purchase an animal from them. We were given a substantial amount of paperwork on proper care of our pet and information regarding his background. I highly recommend CA Pets.

Terra, 2013-06-13, 09:55PM CDT

I just purchased an American Eskimo at California Pets in Carlsbad Mall. He wasn't even with me for 2 hours and started breathing hard. I took him to Monacky hospital who just gave him a clean bill of health 8 hours earlier. He has pneumonia, fluid in his lungs, diarrhea, vomiting ect.. He has been in the hospital for over a week now! They say he will be in the hospital for another week. We don't even know if he will actually get better. While I have all this time without my new puppy. I was looking over the paper work. They said the dog was 8 weeks old. he is actually 10 weeks. They said he is ACA registered. He isn't. They said they would get me paper work for him mom and dad. They don't have any. The address they gave me for the breeder doesn't exist and the owners name is a 16 year old girl from the middle of now where. They have lied the hole process. The only good thing is that they say that are giving us our money back. I hope the puppy makes it through healthy. We bought this puppy after we lost our 14 year old Poodle. We wanted something happy for our family. This is very sad for us. I feel really bad giving him back but it's for the best. At least we bought him so now he got the medical care he needed. Or he would still be in their store stating a clean bill of health and bad papers. Be careful! I wouldn't buy from here again!

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