Chain stores don't have the monopoly on ignorance. There was a fellow in our local mall, (there is only one where I live), who was selling hermit crabs. He knew nothing about them. Several times a day, he would run a rake over them to "wake them up" and give them the appearance of health because they were moving around
. The poor things are nocturnal. Half the time the poor things would not even make it to someone's home alive.
Fortunately, the mall just had a PetCo move in, so every other pet shop in the mall lost their contract. Our PetCo is so new that they have imported some "specialists." We only have three other pet stores of any consequence in our county, and the people who own them make sure that the animals are cared for and that patrons go home with accurate information. The population of our county is small enough that if they don't, EVERYONE knows and a lot of business is lost.
My mother and I sell some of our guinea pigs to one of them. So we want to make sure that they will end up in good hands.
As for the comments about folk with mental health issues, there are better ways to deal with it. Some are very teachable, and should not be given up on so easily. I have a niece with downs syndrome. Her parents adopted her at 10 months and was told that she would never amount to anything. She is now 14 and in regular classrooms. I, myself, have several issues that I need to deal with on a daily basis. One in Obsessive-compulsive disorder. This acutely comes in handy in that when I get interested in a new pet (or any subject for that matter), I get books, look up Internet sites, and consult about everyone that I know that might have any information that I can glean from them. Afterwards, I sort out everything that I can use. So don't give up on people. They might surprise you.