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30 Years of PetSmart - Hear from 5 of our Associates!

PetSmart has been doing Anything for Pets for almost 37 years now—we're lucky to have had associates be part of our pack for 30+ years of that time. Take some time to read their journeys below and see some of the ways PetSmart has advanced through the years—one thing that hasn't changed through—our associates' passion for pets!

Paula, DC14, 30 years with PetSmart

I have loved working at PetSmart for 30 years. It is a great company to work for. I enjoy working with great people. I love that PetSmart cares about its associates and by providing great benefits for everyone. I have enjoyed watching PetSmart grow as a company over the years. We started with only a few stores and one DC. I started as an order filler, and then I was an auditor and moved up to be an Order Fill Supervisor within 2 years. I was promoted to be the Cross Dock Manager for Petsmart for about 7 years at a third-party warehouse. I then was located back to Ennis in June of 99 to get the building back up to start the FDC14. I was then filtered in as the Receiving Supervisor and then promoted to the Receiving Manager position. I spent most of my time in Receiving. I moved to the weekend shift as an Operation Supervisor which supervised the whole shift. I have worked in Outbound when I was moved back to the day shift and then moved back to Inbound. I am currently in DC Services/ Outbound. So I, basically worked in all areas of the operation.

PetSmart has changed a lot over the years.

  • We did everything on paper.

    • Picked on paper, audited on paper, stock shelves with paper tickets which had to be manually keyed in and filled out BOL’s on paper.

    • We only used hand jacks to pick with. We had 2 lifts to load trucks with and had 4 Reach trucks to pull pallets down for Order Fill.

    • We did not have a safety program.

  • We then upgraded to EXE.

    • We started using labels that we picked from and placing them on the merchandise.

    • We started using Battery operated pallet riders and added more lifts and associates.

    • Petsmart also put in place good training with the mangers and supervisors to improve our abilities how to deal with associates and improve our knowledge and improve our concern with safety.

  • We upgraded to WMS in 2009 and we are continuing to grow with technology within the company.


Donna, Lead Cashier, 30 years with PetSmart

The interaction with the animals.

  • Any favorite memories from over the years?

Chance & Lucky stuffed animal drive for children. Also enjoyed visiting the Pet Smart Distribution Center on I-10.

Each day is different with new animals and meeting new people.

  • How has PetSmart changed in the last 30 years?

We started out as a pet food retailer and evolved over the years adding accessories and service all the time. Educating associates with nutrition and selling practices.

  • What roles have you held with PetSmart?

UPC Sign Specialist, Lead Cashier.


Belinda, Assistant Store Leader, 30 years with PetSmart

I started and opened Store #202 in Willowbrook as a cashier in 1990. From there, I've advanced to a Lead Cashier, Speciality Manager (petcare) and am now an Assistant Store Leader.

A favorite memory is way before the "birthday/anniversary" program, I would buy personal cupcakes for birthdays. At the time, we had a Mechanic school nearby where kids from all over the country would attend. We often employed some as stockers. I remember a stocker from Edna, Texas whom I delivered a cupcake to at work and wished him a very happy birthday, and went on with our day. Come to find out he told another stocker how much it meant to him to receive the cupcake because he was here alone with no family near. Made my heart feel good! Made me also realize how much the little things can mean to someone. 3 words to describe life at PetSmart:

Gratifying - When you help find the right solution for someone

Entertaining - There are all sorts of situations with pet parents, pets, and team Evolving - PetSmart is always changing and growing In the last 31 years PetSmart has changed quite a bit! WOW, how far we have come, from a warehouse look of large steel racks and glossy concrete floors to our bright and multitude of stores. PetSmart has grown from only having 3 stores in Houston, to 38 in the Houston area and advanced from only selling fish and large birds like Macaw's and Cockatoo's, to stocking the large 700 gal. acrylic tanks in the front of the store that showcase many large cichlids and arowana fish. We had a photo studio for pets at one time. We had Stateline Tack stores within stores. I remember creating my own cheat sheet (for the register) for items that always lost UPC's- now there is a binder at registers. I remember a time when we had to receive pallets of food by eaches (that's why i remember the first 6 digits of all SD foods). We now sell all kinds of animals, offer vet services, have adoption centers, PetHotels, offer multiple training classes. Sell RX foods, introduced, and now offer curbside pickup. We've grown our own Proprietary Brand lines. We have many warehouse locations for products and fish. We offer specialized schooling for bather's to become groomers in our Grooming Academy. And so much more! I love my life at PetSmart. PetSmart has taught me so much, Shoot, PetSmart has raised me!!! I've learned a lot about how business works and how to grow that business. Working for many Store Leaders and District Managers has shown me different work styles, and each has challenged me and pushed me to be a better leader. I absolutely love the fact that here at PetSmart you aren't stuck at any one position.

PetSmart allows you to grow and learn anything you want. All you need to do is work hard, apply the knowledge, and attain your goals. I've seen it happen. I know a stocker, who went into management, then into store leader, then to leaving the stores to work at home office in Phoenix. "Skies the limit"! I often tell this story during interviews. Now for the bonus part......the cute puppies and kittens you get to cuddle and play with. It's amazing how pets can change your entire day! It must show that I love my job because not only do I work for PetSmart, but so does my sister, my son (did), and my husband (did).


Rita, Senior Applications Analyst, 32 years with PetSmart

I started as a cashier while going to college at University of Arizona when they opened Store 0164 in 1990. I think PetSmart had around 13 stores. It was a lot of fun working in the stores back then. The concept of being able to bring your animals into a store to shop was new so it attracted all kinds of customers. Each store had a 750 gallon aquarium along with a store bird, usually a macaw/parrot. These were also big attractions. After a few years in preparation for eventually selling birds and small animals/reptiles we sold the big aquariums and store birds. A friend I mine who also worked at the store and I ended up buying our store bird, Zack. She is a blue and gold macaw and still lives with my friend and her family today. I believe my store was where PetSmart introduced grooming too. I was at the store for 3 years. I went from being a cashier to lead cashier and then held a few management positions until I transferred up to SSG.

At SSG I started in Inventory Control as an Inventory Control Partner to stores. I later transferred to the Merchandise area and was an Asst. Inventory Manager for Equine/Specialty area until transferring back to Inventory Control as a Inventory Control Analyst and eventually Inventory Control Analyst Supervisor. During this time returned to college for my second degree in computer programming. I ended up transferring to the IS Department in 2001. I have held various Application Analysts/Developer positions since then supporting the Merchandise and Supply Chain areas. One of the best things about moving to IS was being on the QuickSAP Project. When I start with PetSmart the only computer in the store was the main register and there were no DCs so we received all product manually on paper. This was sent up to SSG and someone would hand key into our inventory. I always wanted this functionality at the store so being part of the team that delivered QuickSAP to the stores was a real accomplishment in my career.

PetSmart has been quite adventure especially since I have held different positions in the company over the years. Things have changed drastically since 1990 but the one thing that does not is our love for our animals. That is what makes PetSmart shine!!


Joann Martin, Assistant Store Leader at 3041, 31 years with PetSmart

As far as why I love my life at PetSmart, the answer is broad. I have met some wonderful people over my time that have taught me, walked beside me, and inspired me to become better every year. I have made lifelong friends and relationships over the years and PetSmart truly is my second family.

Favorite memories? Sooo many. Of course working with pets and a lot of great times with people and associates but I think my favorite memories and my favorite role at PetSmart is being involved in new store openings, helping set up, fill empty buildings, train new and excited associates. To work in a new store is special and satisfying.

PetSmart has changed so dramatically over the years. When I started, there was grooming but no other services existed and very few stores. Eventually, some stores even had a photo studio! Uniforms came later. Policies and procedures have changed and evolved to keep pets and people safe and to keep up with our forever changing world. I could write volumes.

I have held every role with PetSmart except for pet trainer, grooming and store leader. I’ve held roles that don’t exist anymore as well. I Love my current role of assistant store leader.

Three words I would describe life at PetSmart with are LOVE, PETS and PEOPLE. Without these three things, we wouldn’t be here although there a lot more than three words to describe PetSmart.


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