Small pets from pet stores?

Discussion in 'Cat and Pet Forum' started by Whisper, May 9, 2012.

  1. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    I feel safe speaking for mostly everyone in that we're not okay with puppy mill pups being sold at pet stores.
    But how do you feel about it when it's "small" pets? Rabbits? Ferrets? Hamsters? Turtles? Lizards? Snakes? Gerbils? Mice? Birds? You get the picture of what I mean, lol.
    Do you think it's the same or very different? Do people run what you would call mills for these animals? Are you okay with some of these pets being sold at pet stores, but not others?
    When I got my bunny several years ago, she was a gift and came all the way from Minnesota. I assume she was bought from a pet store up there and it didn't bother me at all then. But an acquaintance of mine just got two rabbits from a pet store and I realized this time it did bother me. I was thinking of breeders and rescues and wondering what kind of background her new buns have. So that's what brought up this question.
    Opinions?
     
  2. Blue_Dog

    Blue_Dog Guest

    Check this link out. It talks about rats but applies to all small animals: http://www.jorats.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=2113&sid=31c72a95d93a947500f209ff06596bdd

    From what I understand it is the same all over, no matter the pet. Some stores get from local breeders. But in my opinion a quality breeder would want to know what was happening with their litter, make sure they get good homes, keep track of their lines, etc. Selling to a pet store does not provide such an opportunity. And so the back yard breeder is just a small scale version of the above linked. Maybe in better conditions if lucky.

    Talking with land hermit crab owners, they are apparently wild caught since it is uncommon for them to breed in captivity and raising the young a whole other story. Some fish are wild caught too.

    It bothers me a lot and I have purchased small animals and fish from pet store. At first it was because I didn't consider other options. Then it was because I thought adoption was impossible. Then it just turned into sympathy purchases (what some people call rescuing or adopting from pet stores; if the animal was purchased, it was no rescue it just made room for another animal and promoted the sale of said animal) as I began to realize my adoptions. Now I do my best to adopt no matter what. Fish are the hardest at times, but it can happen too.
     
  3. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Pet store ferrets come from Marshall's Frrret Mills. It's an absolutely disgusting place where ferrets are free to breed to whoever, at whatever age, and then the employees guess their age to sell them to let stores.

    IMHO, buying a ferret from a pet store may even be worse than buying a kitten or puppy -- not only are you supporting the mill, you are supporting Marshall's breeding laboratory ferrts, beagles, pigs and mongrels.

    It absolutely disgusts me when people go on ferret forums and brag about buying a pet store ferret.
     
  4. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    All of my small animals I ended up getting off CL (ratties, snake, etc) and were being improperly cared for.

    My fish have all been from LFS where they breed their own stock. Except I once got a betta from petco, and I STILL regret it!!

    After living with my girlie rats I can't imagine them being stuck in a rat farm, they are SO affectionate and intelligent. They must go insane in that type of environment.
     
  5. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    I can't speak for rodents, but birds typically shouldn't come from pet stores either :( So many people see the cute birds and buy them without doing their research. Birds are SO much work, super expensive and live a very long time.... I would be really happy if pet stores left selling birds up to hobby breeders.

    ETA: Most stores don't hand-feed their babies properly or socialize them properly, and if you think an unsocialized dog is bad... Try having an unsocialized parrot. They are still pretty 'wild' and revert back to instinctual behaviour very easily. Having had a well socialized, hand-fed bird and a non-hand fed bird, I will never ever have another parrot who wasn't hand-fed.

    I have so much respect for people who rescue unfriendly birds. I couldn't live with one, do all the work and not be given back affection lol. Props to them, seriously.
     
  6. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    I'll give Marshall's that much -- they breed for temperament firt, then colour. So their ferrets tend to be much friendlier than, say, Real Canadian ferrets ( which have, thankfully, for the most part shut down)

    Then again, that has its downsides. I mean, look at Renegade. He shouldnt be alive
     
  7. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    I work at a pet store. I don't care for Marshall ferrets at all, 99% of the time we don't have any ferrets, and the other 1% of the time we get Path Valley. It's illegal to breed them here without a license, so..there aren't really any local breeders.

    Our bunnies come from a show breeder's culls, mostly. Some from other local breeders. Guinea pigs, my manager breeds some, once in a while we will get them from a decent wholesaler who usually has rarer breeds. Hamsters, mice, and rats from the wholesaler though occasionally we have a litter. The wholesaler breeds the rats. 80% of rats and 95% of mice go as feeders though..that kind of sucks.

    We hand feed our baby birds from very young, obviously I've shared photos. We have nice parrots that are socialized and healthy. Offer a mix of pellet, seed, fresh stuff. Clean everyday, don't overcrowd.

    Not afraid to get the vet out for problems, especially with birds. We've even taken guinea pigs to the vet on occasion...I'd say most stores won't for an animal that isn't worth even the cost of an office visit.

    Oh..and we take in animals all the time. We take in a bunny or guinea pig every week probably, and adopt them out. Sometimes small rodents too. Birds, big and small, on occasion. We have an Amazon right now that was a surrender. We have some..animals I can't mention due to a pending case...from animal control. So...we definitely do our part to help the displaced guys.

    So...I think our store is pretty decent for a pet store. We all take an interest in selling people healthy animals with correct information. I really think it depends on the store...some places are great, others are horrible. In Florida there was a store that even allowed smoking indoors, and the employees would smoke in the break room and on the floor after closing. I don't think I would purchase a critter from Petsmart or Petco...I don't think I ever have.
     
  8. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Yah... Path Valley is just another mill, from what I hear. Not as bad as Marshall's in terms of they don't keep as many ferrets, and they don't breed for labs, but it's the same thing in terms of quality.

    I don't think anybody is blaming the pet stores, really. Well, I mean of you sell animals, it's not likely you'll be getting my money, and even less likely if you sell ferrets, but that's just because I cannot support a store giving mills money -- whether they take care of their pets or not
     
  9. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    To be fair, 90% of people who own ferrets don't do it right, so I really don't expect a pet store to do it right. You have to really KNOW the ferret to know something's wrong before it's too late -- Heck, Ren was on deaths doorstep when I took him to the vet because he was beig cuddly. Rogue was dying of cancer and lung failure when I took him to the vet because he preferred to lay down oddly. I just don't have faith an employee at a pet store can have the kind of relationship with every animal that they'd know.

    If I'm going to be spending thousands of dollars on a ferret within the first year of getting it,
    I'd rather it be a rehome.
     
  10. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    I think its all the same, they all come from crappy conditions but honestly for most of those species, options are limited. Where else are you going to get mice? I don't think reputable mouse breeders are common and shelters sure aren't filled with them.
     
  11. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    I've had pet store rats and breeder rats and shelter rats--the shelter rats were neutered males and were the best :p (dunno from where the originated but they were awesome).
    Then I would rank the breeder rats, then the pet store rats.

    If I were getting more rats I would get them from a breeder for sure (unless I fell in love with one at a pet store).


    I bought my gerbils at a pet store and would do so again, but would prefer a hobbyist.


    I probably wouldn't be too picky about where I got my mice, but would prefer from a hobbyist.


    I'd be looking at rehomes if I wanted a medium-large parrot. For a budgie I would go to a breeder. For finches, I wouldn't care where I got them (but would probably go to a breeder).


    For most reptiles I would probably look for animals from a hobbyist, possibly rehomes. I might buy something like an anole at a pet store though.


    If I were getting a ferret I would either take a rehome or, preferably, I would get it from Europe (I believe I looked into it once and it was pretty easy).


    Rabbits from breeders.


    I think getting animals from a hobbyist is almost always worth it.

    • Seeing how they're raised
    • Future support/asking questions
    • Financially supporting someone who is knowledgable and breeding nice robust animals
    • More assurance that the animal is healthy, knowing what to watch out for, etc.

    All good things that come from getting hobbyist animals.
     
  12. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Our HS always has tons of mice, rats and hamsters/gerbils. Like, really? You couldn't even give that hamster that one year it would live??
     
  13. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Most ferret breeders I would buy from in Europe, won't ship. Unless you're flying down to get the ferret, it's just not safe for it in cargo. Most that do ship, you wouldn't want to touch their ferrets -- they're just mean.

    'tis why I'm hoping to have Fran fly back with a ferret for me in a few years :)
     
  14. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    No I would go there myself and pick it out for sure :) Are there airlines that allow you to have them under the seat (because that would be super, and they're one of the few critters that actually would fit under the seat)? The pet policies on international flights I remember are dog/cat.
     
  15. SevenSins

    SevenSins Guest

    "Reputable" mouse breeders are more common than you might think, you just may have to ship depending on the variety you're looking for (I'm partial to satins myself).

    http://www.fancymicebreeders.com/
    http://www.miceandrats.com/
    http://www.afrma.org/
     
  16. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    Good to know. I'm a "rat person" and know that breeders for them are hard to find, or it seems like no one really sticks with it... none of the "big name" breeders that I used to hear about a couple years ago are around anymore. I think there's like 1 breeder in MN but I don't know how good they are.

    Personally I'd have a hard time justifying shipping, too - it's very unlikely I would even want to ship a dog, I can't see myself doing it for a pocket pet. I'd probably just go the Craigslist rehome route. My last 2 rats I got from my school (who originally got them from a pet store) and that worked out well.
     
  17. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    It bothers me.
    aside from the health aspects, it's the whole IDEA of selling animals to people on impulse that makes my mad
    and that's what pet stores are all about!

    They don't give people the right info, they don't screen people, the employees have NO IDEA how to care for them or what to tell people and they cater to people who just walk in, see something cute and decide "I want to buy that pet today!" which IMO is wrong.
    Pets should be thought out and planned for additions. Not something that you pick up at the pet store just because and aren't prepared for.

    Especially when it comes to parrots, it makes me sick :/ probably because we have one but they are way too intelligent of creatures to just be stuck in tiny cages with people who have NO IDEA how to care for them and how much human interaction they need.

    Puppies, kittens, hamsters, birds.. I don't think anyone should be able to walk into any place, throw down a credit card and leave with a pet no questions asked. regardless of where that animal came from.
     
  18. SizzleDog

    SizzleDog Lord Cynical

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    Snakes, no. Especially not when you're dealing with species not native to this country, as most of those are wild-caught. Captive bred snakes are generally healthier and more adaptable to habitat conditions and feeding. Not to mention less parasites!

    I do feel bad for snakes at most pet stores. Improper husbandry seems to be the norm... and that's a sad sight to see. :(
     
  19. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Somebody who used to be a member with the rescue moved her ferrets to Canada from the UK, and she just carried them on with her. I believe you may have to specifically ask about them, though.

    They're stupid easy to get through, as long as they look healthy, they're good to go.

    *disclaimer*: I've never actually brought a ferret on a plane, let alone to another country, but this is what I understand from people who have done it and from breeders in the UK
     
  20. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    Yeah I think when I checked I used that horrid long thing on the Canada Border Services Website and my impression was it was ridiculously easy as well.
     

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