Dear irresponsible pet stores...

Fuck you. Same to irresponsible breeders. Actually, double fuck you.

I just rescued a sick guinea pig from a pet store. It does not matter which one. Every whoring corporate store is the same. They have no scruples beyond making a buck.

An extremely sick and malnourished guinea pig was brought to me yesterday by a friend. He was in store that he frequents often. A worker gave him this guinea pig and said if anyone would take it, it would be him. And if the animal died, he could, you know just feed it to his guinea pig.

The friend brings it to me saying if it could get better I was the only one he knew that would try. He shows me this guinea pig. Cutest thing I ever saw. I could fit three of him in my not so large hands. He is sneezing, wheezing and listless. Eyes crusted, nose running and obviously dehydrated. I am almost died. I could not believe the store would have kept the pig that long without getting help.

This little thing was infested with lice. Apparently, its litter mates would not let it eat or drink. Am I appalled they would even have a animal that sick and lice-ridden in the same cage as other healthy pigs they were trying to sell. That does not even make any good business sense!

I had to hand feed the pig, try to clear some congestion, pick lice, and keep him warm. I stayed up all night terrified it would die before I could do something. I take the darling to the vet and he is diagnosed with advanced pneumonia, lice, malnourishment, scurvy! and dehydration. It weighed about 1/4 what it should have for its age. I happily paid vet the $70 (that I was going to use to see a doctor for congestion I have had for over a month) for supplies to give him a chance to get better, and only a chance to save Kieran (named him even though he could easily die). But he is fighter with a huge appetite for food and life. My mom said he will not die on our watch.

**WHY WHY AND HOW **could an establishment that purports itself to be in the interests of animals let something like that occur? I mean, it would have been more humane for them to kill it. How could they even risk other healthier animals like that?

While trying to find a non-toxic, safe flea powder for such a small sick animal, I went to about 5 different pet stores in the area. All of them had animals in tiny tiny cages. Most smelled. They just had huge plates of food sitting out for the animals to gorge on and foul. How could anyone with a heart or soul work in a company like that? If you are in it just to make some money, no mind the animal FUCK YOU. Even if you love an animal, I could not imagine working in a place where I would have to turn a blind eye to the cruelty. Selling fucking disposable pets like so much candy. Giving misinformation to owners. Selling bunnies and chicks that are going to almost certainly end up in the homes of people like me when the kid gets bored. Fuck the bottom line.

Now, Walmart gets its own paragraph. They are not content enough to run hardware stores and mom-and-pop groceries out of town, no. They need to corner the market on animals. I am sick at the squalor of the fish tanks in these stores everytime I go in. I mean, frankly, why would I want to buy fish when half the tank is belly up. Yet I see well-meaning but stupid people buy them. I am sure they wonder two days later why they are flushing all their fish and their money into the sewer system.

My ire for irresponsible amateur and professional breeders, puppy mills and their ilk knows no bounds. I could not stop writing if I started.

How can people do this to animals? I am not a member of PETA (though I admire at least their…zeal). I eat meat, lots of it (even killed a chicken or two). But dammit, I am convinced that any asshole that could watch an little animal die and then casually offer it as food is going to one of the hottest, dankest places in hell. You cannot have a soul or any decency to breed and sell animals like this. I firmly believe that they are fit people to be around other humans.

I am sad and so so tired of picking up for people’s irresponsible care of animals. I do not have enough room in my heart and home to take care of it all. All of it things that could be prevented if people just thought smartly and did not support these stores with their money and stopped creating a market for sickly, unhealthy animals.

Well said, I fully agree with the sentiment expressed but it’s a losing battle. Colectively humans are cruel and greedy, don’t let it get to you too much. You did what was right and that is the most important thing. I really don’t expect this to ever change. Pets are toys to most people and animals are disposable (unless they wag their tails :rolleyes: ).

I can’t say I would have rescued a guinea pig but I’m a bit of a tree hugger and always get a sick feeling in my stomach when I walk by these pet stores.

Pet stores piss me the fuck off. Especially ones that purchase from kitten and puppy mills. Buying a dog or cat at the pet store is a great way to find one that’s likely imbred and will have major genetic problems, and to support a cruel industry rather than finding one at the Humane Society. People who purchase from pet stores piss me the fuck off too, I guess.



I love it, too, that lately they have been selling “designer” pets (-poo crosses) for thousands of dollars. I even have seen australian shepherd puppies (one of my two breeds) going for $999 in petstors, claiming they were from “small hobby breeders” - yeah, right, they may have come from “hobby breeders”… who then sold them to a broker when they were too small to go (but they had to make weight and still be in that cute phase at 5 weeks) who then sold them to a pet store.

IT DRIVES ME CRAZY! Fuck-a-duck. NEVER buy a puppy or kitten from a pet store. NEVER. If you are willing to risk health issues from not knowing the puppy’s ancestry, then SAVE A PET FROM A SHELTER. If you really want a specific breed, then GO TO A REPUTABLE BREEDER.

GAH. The problem is that we all want to “save” the puppy mill puppies from the petshops. Unfortunately, by buying them from the pet shop, we are supporting the mill/broker industry, which is, on all accounts, an EXTREMELY lucrative business. Oh the stories I could tell, from having worked with breed rescues…

Good on ya, OP, for saving the little pig. Hope he continues doing ok.

I just applied at a large chain pet store – no dogs or cats for sale, mind you, or I wouldn’t have considered it. They do have a local rescue group coming in on weekends to adopt dogs and cats out. Don’t get me started on puppy mills; I know a dog who is a walking example of why they’re a bad bad bad thing. And I love animals, pretty much any animals, and I’ll take damn good care of them if I end up doing that. (I applied as a cashier but told them I’d do almost anything else; I’m not scared of the reptiles!) I most certainly will not give out misinformation about them. I’ve been keeping bettas for most of the last year and you would not believe the ignorance the stores tend to exhibit where those little guys are concerned.

Of course, they’re not actually hiring right now, but maybe I’ll get lucky.

Oh, I forgot – I hope your guinea pig gets better. It sounds like he’s in good hands. Poor little guy.

And another hearty HEAR! HEAR! and, I, too, hope the little piggy gets better quickly. Now that he’s in your hands, I’m sure he will!

Pet stores are one of my personal peeves. I swear the maltreatment of animals at the “mall pet stores” is so rampant and pervasive that I am starting to believe they do it to play on one’s conscience. I know it sounds a little conspiratory; however, every mall pet store I have stopped in has dehydrated pets sitting in their own feces. It’s heartbreaking. (I will say Petco seems to do a little better, but I still think the bloodlines of those dogs, especially, are suspect.)

My girlfriend, a huge animal lover, always wants to rescue the pets in those mall stores. I, personally, wouldn’t give one single penny to those places because I think it perpetuates an economic system based on mistreatment of animals and blatant heart tugging. It is really hard though because I am also a huge animal lover. To quote Richard Black, “Those fucking fucks!”

I am not a breeder or a vet, but I totally with Elenfair re breeders and shelters.

OR a rodent, or a lizard, or anything else for that matter (especially exotics). Yes, some small pet stores know what they’re doing, but most do not. I’ve seen so many pet stores keeping rodents in pine shavings, which are bad for them. The oils in them cause respiratory problems, but they’re cheap. Rodent breeders (hamster, gerbil, rat, mouse) breeders are very common and very easy to find, and usually know far more about their animals because they only breed one or maybe two different types of pet. Also, there are plenty homeless ones available as well - shelters don’t just deal with dogs and cats.

As tempted as I am to rescue animals from pet stores, it’s a bad idea to do it - whatever pet you buy will be replaced by something else, and only encourages them to supply more of that type of pet.

The thing that makes me mad is that many of these animals aren’t even hard to care for - they just need the right bedding and food, and to be kept clean, and they’ll be fine!

I DO shop at my local Petco, because their employees actually seem to know what they’re doing. They don’t sell dogs and cats, and their rodents are clean and they use Carefresh bedding or something similar instead of pine. I got my gerbils through a breeder, but I buy supplies there.

Good on you for saving the piggy! You’re amazing and good piggy karma shall come your way :wink: .

I’m happy to say that there are no longer pet stores that sell dogs/cats in my area. The big chain stores have local shelters come in and adopt out animals and that is wonderful. I know they get a lot of animals adopted out (literally just about every animal they bring in). Yet, as great as they are in that area, they still keep the small guys in tiny, poorly kept cages. There is one smaller, local store, but they only sell fish, birds, reptiles and bunnies. All are well taken care of and such.

Anyway! Thank you for taking care of the little guy- I’m sure he’ll tell you with plenty of little chirps and snuggles.

…Piggy Pictures? Please? :slight_smile:

I just wanted to say, boofuu, thank you for doing what you did. This sort of thing pisses me off, too. Good luck with the piggy, I’m sure he’ll get better soon. :slight_smile:

We got our first bunny (Juno) at a mall pet store because we were stupid.
We got our second and third bunny from the same store because we were disgusted.
Imagine a 3’x3’ plexiglass box with a piece of shelving serving as a cover. Living in this cell are probably about 15-20 guinea pigs and two little bunnies. The bunnies were obviously bonded and one was obviously malnourished. The other bunny was protecting the smaller one from the guniea pigs. We knew full well that the little one probably wouldn’t live but we wanted to try anyway. But, since the two were bonded, we didn’t want to split them up so we bought both.
For the next two weeks, they lived in a nice big clean cage with a plastic bottom (wire is bad for their little feet). They had fresh hay and veggies and water and pellets. We got them both litter box trained in about an hour. They even had corn cob litter. We did everything we could to keep them comfortable. We took both to the vet - one who specializes in rabbits. We were given antibiotics for the little one. She had an abcess on her leg - most likely from a gunea pig attack.
After two weeks of feeding the little one (Icarus) antibiotics and yogurt, 3 times a day, she was finally starting to look better. The abcess healed. her color changed from greyish to her natural buff. She even scampered around our living room. But, she had pasturella and there was nothing we could do about it. We had to put her to sleep exactly two weeks after we got her.
Her buddy (Daedalus) got very sick after Icarus died. Our vet did tests on Juno and Daedalus to see if they had been infected. Amazingly enough, they both appear to be immune to pasturella. Our vet told us that Daedalus was grieving and to just give her time, be gentle and after a while, to try to bond her with Juno.

Thankfully, Juno and Daedalus not only bonded very well, they are both healthy. After about 6 months, Daedalus stopped wheezing and sneezing and she started to play again. They now live in total bunny luxury - a 4’ tall x 5’ wide, 3 floor condo.
I will never forget little Icarus though. I even have a tattoo on my wrist that looks exactly like her. Even though we had her for such a short amount of time, I loved her and I always will.

Those fucking mouthbreathers working in the pet store could have saved Icarus’ life if they had just given their only two bunnies a safe place to live. Bunnies and Guniea pigs can get along just fine - but not when one is outnumbered 10 to 1. It’s just wrong. It’s despicable. I honestly believe the owners and employees of these stores should be forced to live in the same conditions the animals must suffer.

About the people buying fish at Walmart: They don’t wonder why the fish dies. They knew it was sick when they bought it, and are trying to “save” it from the horrible conditions it lives in at the store. When you point out to them that maybe if the people trying to “save” fish would stop buying them, Walmart might eventually quit selling them (or at least stock less of them), they say “at least it lived out it’s last hours in peace” or, if it lives, “at least I saved that one”, or “I know, but I just couldn’t let it live like that.”
And then, the stores that actually take care of their animals go out of business because everyone’s too busy buying animals from Walmart in order to “save” them. :mad:

Used to work in a pet store myself. One of the problems that the store experienced, and I suspect most do, is that taking care of animals is more demanding than many other minimum wage jobs, if you don’t sell that weed whacker all you need to do is dust it off every now and then. That pup still needs to be fed and cleaned up after.

Still, the wage slaves (and believe me, that is how we were treated) are expected to make a sales quota in order to keep their job. So you end up with a choice, clean the cage, or stand out front to aggressively sell kitty litter.  Add to that the fact that much of the advice we were told to give customers was not geared toward the health of the animals, but selling product, and there you have it.

If all that wasn't bad enough, the owner of the store saw herself as far above these peasants.  Her attitude towards employee relations was "I can treat you like shit, there is always some other schlub to take you job. Resultingly, she went thru anyone with any clue about the care of animals in an astoundingly short period of time.

How this store closed, was reported in the local papers. People who had been buying puppies from the store (who maintained that they NEVER bought from puppy mills) were calling and complaining. So they were told they would be able to come in on a certain Saturday and meet with a company (the store was a franchise) representitive and resolve their problems. That Thursday night, after closing, the managers and owner packed up and moved out, leaving no forewarding address,  and the company from who the franchise was held, refused to provide thes customers with the information (I assume eventually someone got a few lawyers involved, but the paper never followed up on that).

 So when I see poorly treated animals in a petstore, I often wonder if it is because the staff dosn't know better, or if there is an owner somewhere telling them that cleaning the cages every day and taking the sick ones to the vet (and don't get me started on petstore vets, the stories I could tell)  is hurting the bottom line.

Thanks, guys. Funny my control panels did not show that anyone replied. So seeing all the responses were very well received. Kieran is still alive and I plan on keeping it that way.

They were especially welcome since this afternoon I had to take the little guy to the vet again. He started having spasms and falling to the side when he tried to walk. I about died. I rushed him to vet and found out he probably had pasteurella, like congodwarf, from the rabbits housed in the same cage at the store. sigh I wanted to call the store but I figured I would just end up cussing a worker that had no idea what I was talking about.

Pasteurella can cause pneumonia and an middle/inner ear infection. So he keeps falling over and gets rigid with the pain. We had to give him a stronger antibiotic injection, on top of the other broad spectrum drugs. Apparently, he was not really weaned, so he cannot eat solid food well. I have to make everything really really small or ground up. But he is still so sweet and keeps getting up to walk and to cuddle on our lap. You know I love animals when I let an animal with lice cuddle on my shoulder (good thing they are species specific).

The part I hate is that I feel so powerless. I don’t think that I can save them all, but it is just frustrating that my fuck you will not be heard. I am not mad at the workers, really. They are just doing a job; it is the “guys on top” that are reprehensible. Frankly, I am sure that the greatest amount of workers are not even aware that some of their practices are inhumane.

I try to avoid buying the animals and tell people that are shopping for pets that they are perpurtrating a problem. But most people will ignore you when all they want is a $7 gerbil for their kid. I mean, I was tricked once into buying a chinchilla despite my beliefs. But that time I relented because the cutest little chin I have ever seen literally threw itself at the cage glass to get my attention. When I bent over to look at him he clawed at the cage. I asked a worker if I could see the chinchilla and it jumped into my arms and did not want to leave. I was not going to buy him but I went home and cried so much, my aunt bought him as a gift. I did not want to give my money, but I will say that he is the sweetest chinchilla. He is the peacemaker among my other 6. He would be a great therapy animal.

Anyway, thanks for the support again and good luck with all your animals. If we can’t completely stop the cruelty we can all do our part. Just knowing that there is a problem is important. And knowing is half the battle. (You know you want to say it :slight_smile: )

Hey boofuu, good for you, and good luck to you and Kieran. I hope he’ll be fat and sassy soon.

Bless you, boofuu for saving the little guy, and best of luck in keeping baby Guinea Pig in good health.

Sadly, though, it’s my experience that market economy drives a lot of the “heartless pet store owner/puppy mill operator” paradigm. One of my aunties owned and operated a pet store some years ago. She screened breeders obsessively, with the (seemingly) good business sense that it was more profitable and more ethical to maintain healthy animals, regardless of higher initial costs and consumer costs. Because my aunt only bought from reputable dealers, who didn’t overbreed or inbreed their dogs, cats, iguanas, etc., her initial costs were higher, and so were her retail costs. Needless to say, she was driven out of business by a consumer economy that asked “Why should I pay $500 for your cocker spaniel puppies, when I can go to the mall and buy a spaniel for $250.” Even now, 15 years after my aunt went out of business, I still “inherit” her rescue critters – mostly pets purchased at the mall. The chart Polski has bad hips, the King Charles Spaniel is hydrocephalitic, and the Newfie is just plain stupid, but loveable. The Manx is borderline retarded, but sweet and peaceable. The iguanas are “spooky” – wild animals who have never been socialized, but who aren’t able to fend for themselves. Even the fancy goldfish are badly bred, but (IMHO) entitled to some comfortable existence while they’re on earth. A few of us, like you, are dedicated to providing these animals with good homes without propagating excess population. Most people, apparently, are only in the market for “but it’s so cute,” regardless of the suffering brought on by irresponsible breeding.

Yeah, if anything ever deserved pitting, it’s the notion that “these helpless animals are so cute, we ought to breed them without regard to their future welfare.”

Best regards and best of luck in your rescue mission!

Ugh. There is one pet store in my area I will go to to purchase pets; it’s called “Lou’s Pet Shop” and they’ve been in business for over 30 years. They sell fish, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils and mice. The people who work there are there because they love animals, not because they’re high schoolers who needed a part time job and it was either this or the McDonalds a few blocks over.

They buy their animals from good breeders; the rabbits they get are from a guy who has been carefully breeding them for over 20 years. Each animal has at least the minimum necessary amount of space (one guinea pig will be in a 3’x3’ cage, for example). The cages are always clean (they clean them out every day or every other day) and they have the proper diet fed to each animal.

If you’re thinking about a pet, they’re willing to talk to you, personally, for over a half hour, just answering questions. I brought my boyfriend there to see if he was allergic to rabbits because he wants to adopt one. Not only did they not push a sale, but they said that even if he wanted to buy one right then and there, they would refuse because he needs to wait at least 24 hours to see if an allergic reaction would pop up.

They also know what they’re talking about regarding food and housing. They said that they have the cute puffy chew treats for small animals but advise against them since they’re basically junk food for them. Instead of trying to get me to buy the little dinosaur-shaped sugar bombs for my guinea pig, they said to just get the $2 a bag plain pellets* and hay.

So even though we didn’t get a baby bunny from them, we’re gonna go and get the supplies there. They’re the kind of store that would be happier that my b/f adopted a grown bunny instead of buying one of theirs. :slight_smile:

  • I already know how to properly care for guinea pigs, but it’s refreshing to hear pet store employees give definitively correct answers for a change!

I was wiping my glasses while reading this, and I thought you said, “I bought my boyfriend there”! :eek:

It always breaks my heart to walk past a pet store. I go out of my way to avoid them. I want to rescue all of the sad little creatures in the cages, yet know that if I do, there will just be another one to take the first one’s place.

Fuck them. Fuck every single person who has ever put an animal in pain. Fuck those uncaring bastards who put animals in such horrible conditions. Fuck the pet store workers that don’t give a damn when you point out that one of their animals is visibly sick. Fuck the people who run the puppy mills and the pet stores with no other goal in mind than profit. Fuck all of them.

Go buy a pet at the SPCA. And although not everyone is aware of this, the SPCA doesn’t just have dogs and cats. They have guinea pigs, rabbits, and other animals too.

A-fucking-men and thank you to every single one of you for those posts.

And I hope the piggie is doing well, boofuu. They really are the greatest little guys, especially when they learn to associate the sound of the fridge opening or paper crinkling with food and start their their happy popcorn dance accompanied with their trademark “Wheeeek!” Guinea pigs own, man.

For anyone who cares or would like to do a bit of something that helps – PeTA used to have a program that rewarded good pet stores with recognition and motivated them to provide better care. I used to do this a few years ago, and it was as simple as downloading the forms from their site and visiting your local shop. After walking through and checking off the good/bad things you saw, you talked with the manager a bit about what could be done to improve life for the creatures. I did it with a local place that was just filthy, really horrible, and the manager cleaned up a lot of things considerably.