As a past Petsmart associate I can say yes, there are employee discounts. Occasionally they have a certain day when the percentage is increased, so you may save your big purchases for then.
If you want to work with the fish, then you should convey your desire to work in pet care. Pet care is what manages all the live animals and covers the reptile, small animal, and fish part of the store. You may start as something like cashier or stocker, but if they know you want to work pet care and need people in that department, you'll be over there in no time. I was hired as cashier and was moved to pet care in a couple of weeks.
They're going to be looking for someone that has good people skills and can connect with pet parents (shoppers). Pretty much everyone who applies at a place like Petsmart/Petco "loves pets". When they ask why you want to work there, you can mention this, but be sure to mention other reasons as well. They do still value experience with animals.
Be prepared to talk about your experience with animals and possibly do a mock sales pitch of a random item of the hiring manager's choosing. I was asked what I would say to a guy who was coming in for cat litter for his girlfriend's cat but didn't know anything about cats or what litter she used.
Good luck! Petsmart was certainly more engaging to work at than most retailing jobs, but be prepared to do a lot of work and deal with a lot of people who don't know how to properly take care of animals (and some who will not appreciate your correct advice).
Thank you for the advice. I've worked retail before, so I know all about dealing with customers and selling. I worked at Victoria's Secret. It was a nightmare, lol.
I have great people skills and am very friendly, so I'm not overly concerned about that. I'm also a senior in college with nearly a 3.9 GPA in history, so I also have brains too :). I have a very animal-oriented resume and like I said, I've had pets my whole life. Literally, I grew up with 120lbs king German Shepherds, I've been riding horses since I was 6 (and have owned 3), and we've owned several other pets. I've taken animal science courses in college and in high school I was in the FFA and took classes on vet science, equine science, animal science, and the like.
I applied for a pet care position as they actually didn't even have a cashier one open, so we'll see. :) It may not even work out because of the commute and hours, but fingers crossed!
I'm also working at a dressage farm on Sundays now, I start this upcoming Sunday. And I have another potential retail job lined up (my friend is the manager).