Are they next to the "Pet Cobra" display?
(Next time stick with the Golden Lab puppy!)
It wasn't until Meghan Steever and boyfriend Zach Irwin watched a nature show on poisonous animals, that they realized one of the deadly salamanders, was sitting in their fish tank. "We were just recently playing with it and we freaked out...and found out they were very deadly," explains Meghan.
The California Newt Meghan brought home from PetCo in Sioux Falls was a gift for her 18-month-old son, Lance. "We had it running around on his tummy to see, to get him to play with it. He just swatted it away thank God, he didn't actually like it and try playing with it, kiss it or something. Cause he could have died and we probably never would have found out what happened to him," says Meghan.
California Newts are among the most toxic salamanders. They have poisonous glands beneath their skin. If ingested, they could be deadly. "It causes paralysis or respiratory paralysis so they can't breathe and it can be quite toxic for people," explains Dr. Angela Anderson, Heather Ridge Pet Hospital.and...
PetCo wouldn't talk with KSFY on camera, but managers did admit there are no signs up around the store warning customers about poisonous animals. They say they rely on customers to ask questions. They also have a 15-day return policy on all animals. Meghan says that policy is not good enough. "It's not a big deal if they sell poisonous animals, but you should be notified when your purchasing it, that it is," says Meghan.
PetCo says a change would have to come from their corporate office, and right now, there are no plans to do so. PetCo says they do not recommend giving a child a reptile as a gift, because they can also spread salmonella. Meghan says for now, the Newt will stay locked up inside the family's aquarium.