The shop that we got Honey from, is a local store. It is not a franchise, and the owner that I dealt with, IS the owner/manager. I am *not* impressed with them at all. Not only do I come to find out that they routinely treat the water in their shop for Wet Tail, whether the animals are sick or not, but, they offered me nothing but misinformation designed to sell me more crap, that would have not been effective in treating the Wet Tail anyway.
Petco, where I have either purchased or adopted all of my other hamsters, is in my opinion, a class act. They are in partnership with a local vet, and they have all of their small animals who show any sign of illness or injury treated. They even have a program in place, such that, if I had not been able to afford to have Honey treated, I could have surrendered her to them, even though I didn't purchase her there, and they would have had her treated by their vet, and later she would be placed up for adoption, if she healed. Honestly, I tried to encourage the shop owner where Honey came from to either contact the vet, or surrender the rest of Honey's cage-mates, to them. Let's just say, she wasn't interested in my suggestion.
I have two hammies that I adopted from Petco recently, and both came to me with their veterinary records. One nearly lost an eye to his wheel in the store cage, and the other was an owner surrender because Big John is meaner than shit...of course, he also lived in shit for a long time with his previous owners, so I have hopes that one day, after we work with him for awhile, I'll be able to clean out his cage without worrying about losing a finger. Big John is also the coolest, baddest dude in town. He is so freaking funny that his antics make up for his grumpy ways...and, I think we even understand each other.
So guys, don't rule out the big name pet stores, check them out for yourselves and talk to the staff there. I have unfortunately found, that the local guys, aren't always the good guys.
***The BBB was the only party that I contacted willing to take a complaint against the pet store. The ASPCA, the state, and the county all fobbed me off to each other. The saddest part of this for me, is that I'm not looking to be reimbursed (not that I would refuse compensation for the vet bills) but, that I'm not sure the BBB has much if any jurisdiction over the treatment and welfare of animals.