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PetSmart fires manager for dog on the job

petsmartA PetSmart in New Jersey may be dog-friendly, but its recent firing of a staff member who brought his dog to work  is making it look something less than employee-friendly.

Eric Favetta was fired from his job at the PetSmart in Secaucus for bringing his dog into the closed store while working a last-minute overnight shift.

Favetta, 31, a PetSmart employee since July 2008, placed his dog Gizmo in the store’s empty day care facility while he spruced up the place for a special showing to potential business partners.

“I have always been the type of employee to go the extra mile,” Favetta told  the Newark Star-Ledger’s “Bamboozled” column.

The store, which encourages its customers to bring pets inside, labeled his deed “theft of services,” and fired him.

Favetta served nearly seven years as a dog handler for various military units in Afghanistan and Bahrain. He became operations manager at the PetSmart in Wayne and, based on his good record, was sent to Secaucus.

At 5 p.m. on Dec. 15, Favetta was asked to work a special overnight shift to prepare the store for a viewing by representatives for Martha Stewart’s company, which was considering adding its product lines to PetSmart.

“I brought my dog with me because I knew if I didn’t, he would have been home alone all day and all night until I returned home at 6 a.m. the next day,” Favetta said. Gizmo, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, spent the night in the empty store’s doggie day care facility as Favetta toiled.

Two weeks later, he was called on the carpet and fired.

PetSmart spokeswoman Jessica White explained the situation this way:

“In our eyes, our services business is huge, with our grooming and training and care. Those are viewed as sale items the same way items on the shelf are,”  she said. “To use the facilities and not pay for it — it falls under the same lines.”

A few days later, PetSmart reconsidered and offered him another job. But Favetta has since moved on. He’s now working as a dog handler for a company that uses animals to search for hazards.

(Photo: MITSU YASUKAWA/Newark Star-Ledger)


Comment from laura
Time January 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I could understand if the dog did damage, but it doesn’t sound like any harm was done. What service did he steal? No other employees were there to provide the service. That’s the equivalent of any restaurant employee who used the grill to make himself a sandwich. Of course you do it. I’m glad he found a new job.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time January 20, 2010 at 8:25 pm

You have to wonder what they were thinking. Did they figure he would keep quiet about it, or were they too stupid to consider that many moves ahead in their little game. I know the old saying is that we should never ascribe to malice what can be explained by stupidity. This is just a perfect example of malice and stupidity walking hand in hand.

Comment from Starla
Time January 21, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Are you kidding? Theft of service for letting his dog sleep in the building while he worked Overtime to make them Look Good, so they could make More Money? Geeze! PetSmart should be ashamed. I am glad the hard working manager found another job. I wouldn’t want to work for a “supposed Pet Friendly Company” who wanted me to leave my dog home alone for 24 hours. I Won’t be shopping there!

Comment from hunter
Time January 24, 2010 at 8:34 am

I called their toll free number on January 23,2010 at 8am and these liars told me that they hired him back.