Melissa Kaplan's
Herp Care Collection
Last updated January 1, 2014

Complaint Form Letter to Pet Product Manufacturers

When your pets are harmed by products that should not have been made or marketed as they are, don't just sit back - do something!

©1996, 2000 Melissa Kaplan


One of the major problems those of used working to ensure the health and well-being of reptiles in captivity, especially the ever-increasingly popular green iguana, is that people whose animals have suffered injury, disease or death as a direct result of using products that are inappropriate or unsafe for reptiles, or that have been misleading packaged, marketed, or pushed by pet stores, fail to write letters of complaint to the manufacturers (or stores, especially corporate superstores). Thus, stores and manufacturers claim to know nothing of any problems...and animals keep getting burned, suffer from fatal impactions, or end up at the vet's costing hundreds of dollars to correct metabolic bone disease.

Yvette Ferry's Complaint Form Letter
Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC)
Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

Yvette Ferry's Complaint Form Letter
Yvette Ferry, Iguana Forum host on CompuServe, has very nicely written a form letter anyone can use--and that everyone who has a reptile adversely affected by such products is encouraged to use. Below is the text of the form letter. You can print it out and retype it, or save it using your browser's Save As... feature, or email me for a text version that you can then import into your word processing program and set up with your own letterhead. If you do not have a letterhead setup, put your name, address, phone number and email address (optional) at the top of the page, followed by the date and the text of the following letter. Fill in the [suggested text] as dictated by the problem or situation you experienced.


Mr. or Ms. [company rep's name]
[company name]
[company address]

Dear [insert name of company rep or company here],

I purchased a [pet product] for use with my iguana, made by [company name] and used it according to the packaging instructions [make sure you used it according to packaging instructions!]. As a direct result of your product, my [reptile species], [your reptile's name*], received [describe injury] and had to undergo treatment consisting of [describe treatment].

Not only was this a painful experience for [your reptile's name], but it was also costly for me to provide the veterinary care necessary to save [your reptile's name] life. I have since found that a number of people who participate in an [e-mail discussion list dedicated to [iguanas, snakes, geckos, monitors, etc.] and/or computer online service message board and/or Internet newsgroup], have mentioned similar injuries, and [company name] comes up repeatedly in conjunction with products that are known to cause these injuries [or illness] in the animals they are used with. This discussion [list/message board/newsgroup] has an international readership of several hundred, and many of our subscribers participate in an Internet newsgroups related to reptile and amphibian care that have an international readership in the millions. In short, the recurring problems with your product lines marketed for herps have not gone unrecognized amongst people who keep reptiles and amphibians.

I urge [company name] to examine its products and to fix or discontinue those that are unsafe for use with reptiles, and to provide clear and visible guidelines and warnings for use of these products on the packaging when necessary.

[Or, if you are a victim of the pseudo-full spectrum phenomenon, use the following paragraph:

I urge [company name] to heed to and abide by laws governing truthful advertising. I feel you are purposely misleading the people who buy your bulbs [or tubes, if applicable] for use with their reptiles who require Ultraviolet B radiation to synthesize vitamin D3 and, therefore, to live. I ask you to repackage [tube or bulb name] to more accurately describe it's ultraviolet spectral output.

I am obviously only one of potentially thousands of people who have been similarly victimized, as evidenced by such reports as I have discovered in the reptile veterinary, biological, herpetological, and herpetocultural literature. Clearly, this must stop before other animals are hurt.

Furthermore, I ask that [company name] reimburse me for the costs I have accrued as a result of injury to my pet, including veterinary office visit, diagnostics, and treatment. Attached is a copy of my receipt [or statement from veterinarian] for these expenses [remember to attach these!].


[your name]

cc: [Send copies to the following people and agencies, indicating as such in the "cc" portion of your letter. Getting the word out to as many Powers That Be as possible is the first step in making a change.]

  • Your local Better Business Bureau office -- call Information or look in the City or County pages of your phone book to get their address(s).

  • Your state Consumer Affairs department -- call Information or look in the State listing of your telephone book to get the address--and the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission

  • Your local animal regulatory agencies -- call Information or look in the City and County pages of your phone book to to find out who they are and how to reach them, then call to get their address(es). Your local herpetological society may also have this information.

  • Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC)
    Marshall Meyers
    1220 19th St NW, Suite 400
    Washington DC 20036
    Fax: 202-293-4377

  • The consumer affairs people at your local television station -- check Information or your phone book for their number (filed by the station call letters, i.e., KRON).

  • Your vet's office for her/his information.

  • Your local herp society.

  • Humane Society of the United States
    Paul Irwin
    Humane Society of the United States
    2100 L Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20037

Addresses for Corporate Offices for Superstores:

9151 Rehco Rd
San Diego CA 92121

19601 N. 27th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85051
Brian Dugan, Animal Purchases, 1-800-738-1385 or 630-232-8139, ext. 2965

PetsMart Canada
305-23 Lesmill Ave
North York, Ontario  M3B 3P6  

SuperPet (Canada)
63 Church St.
Suite 402
St. Catharines, ON L2R 3C4

* Note: repeating your reptile's name serves to "humanize" it to people who may otherwise not acknowledge that reptiles can also be loved. This is actually a basic courtroom/jury technique.

Yvette's original letter was specifically for iguana owners. I have modified it somewhat to encourage its use by all reptile and amphibian owners.


Related Articles

Rescuing Reptiles from Pet Stores

Pet Trade Activism

Need to update a veterinary or herp society/rescue listing?

Can't find a vet on my site? Check out these other sites.

Amphibians Conservation Health Lizards Resources
Behavior Crocodilians Herpetology Parent/Teacher Snakes
Captivity Education Humor Pet Trade Societies/Rescues
Chelonians Food/Feeding Invertebrates Plants Using Internet
Clean/Disinfect Green Iguanas & Cyclura Kids Prey Veterinarians
Home About Melissa Kaplan CND Lyme Disease Zoonoses
Help Support This Site   Emergency Preparedness

Brought to you thanks to the good folks at Veterinary Information Network, Inc.

© 1994-2014 Melissa Kaplan or as otherwise noted by other authors of articles on this site