More RES ignorance. :( - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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More RES ignorance. :(

I get so tired of pet store owners that think they know everything just because they have a pet store. There are many, many pet store owners/workers out there who do a wonderful job providing for the animals but you all know what I am talking about ... the ones that think that just because they own the store that entitles them to be right over their customers no matter what experience they have.

I was in a pet store today that had a very, very sick juvenile Red Eared Slider. He was out of water and very, very dry. His skin was cracked and he didn't seem strong enough to move. His eyes were very swollen and it was obvious that they were either infected or he was suffering from an advanced vitamin A deficiency.

In any case, matters weren't helped by the environment he was kept in ... it was totally wrong. He was kept in an aquarium with a tub of water that was too high for him to climb into even when healthy. The rest of his aquarium was covered in a bark substrate -- which I found him laying in.

I inquired about him to the manager ... I explained that I was from a local rescue society and the environment that he was in was detrimental to his health and she maintained adamently that this was how they were supposed to be kept because they were "marshland" turtles. She explained that she had done research herself and a book told her this was how they were supposed to be setup. Either she has her species confused or she was just outright lying. Either way, she didn't care. She had no intention of even entertaining what I had to say. All I know is that if she had truly done research as she said she would never have found that these turtles are kept this way. Even the most liberal interpretations of RES care don't provide for bark substrate and a small tub of water.

It really makes me sick and I'm going back tomorrow with every book in my library about RES care as arsenal against this woman. Still, I doubt even books will sway her. They never seem to -- the store owners are always right, remember? So that means that I'll have to threaten her with calling an agency ... like DHEC for animal cruelty since it is a turtle. They won't do anything for one lone turtle ... but she doesn't know that.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 09:53 PM
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Yeah thats obvious the woman has no idea what she is talking bout and is lieing through her teeth. Even i know you need to slope the land so the animal can actually have access to the water and vice versa. GO FOR IT i wish you all the luck. and for the sake of the poor turtle i hope you talk some sense into that utterly ignorant woman.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 10:04 PM
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Thats terrible! I'm so glad that your going back again. I hope she listens to you. Yeah, you should threaten her if you have to! Let us know what happens!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 10:12 PM
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Yes i totally know what you mean about store owners,just because they have the shop,that automatically makes them an expert .
For the turtles sake and the ignorance of this dim witted woman,i hope you can help the situation.Though she sounds like she's already convinced she's got the know all.I think pictures of habitats that are for this species would be your best defence.She might fight you on it but pictures clearly showing how the turtle is accustom to liveing,she cant deni.Hopefully she will see the light,that your not looking to argue who's right or wrong,you just want whats in best intrest for the turtle,and that obviously he isnt healthy at the moment. She sounds like someone's who's gotta be right even if she knows she's wrong,everyone knows that type.I wish you the best of luck!!
Let us know how it goes!!!!!
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-10-2004, 12:45 AM
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Elf, I wish you the best of luck with your endeavor. I too hope that she will listen to reason. And yes, please keep us posted. We hope to hear a good ending, but will be here for you if it isn't.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2004, 11:48 AM
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What happened with this? I just came back from camp and saw this and my heart went out to the turtle. I hope your voice will be heard.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2004, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I went back to the pet store on Monday (they are closed Sundays) and talked with the manager again. I brought her a care sheet on RES care and offered to have the state herpetologist call her personally if she didn't believe what I had to say. I was nice and polite. I was professional as well -- I didn't say anything in front of customers, etc. She told me that, quite frankly, she didn't care what the state herpetologist or I had to say. She had kept these turtles in these conditions for years and she would continue to do so and not change a thing. Then she asked me to never come back to the store again.

I told her that if that was the way that she wanted to handle it I had no choice but to file a complaint against her for animal cruelty. And I left.

When I got home I contacted everyone who might be able to help: the local Sheriff's office, my local senator, DNR, and even the governor's office at one point. Everyone was completely understanding and sympathetic towards the turtle but no one could advise me of what I could do legally. Not even the governor's office was sure if there was any legal backing for animal cruelty charges when a non-domesticated animal is involved.

The senator offered to have his legal team look up any law regarding it and he came up with law 47-1-40. It is a misdemeanor offense regarding the "deprivy of an animal of proper care and shelter." He said that this was the closed thing to a law regarding animal cruelty when a nondomesticated animal is involved.

This brings up a bigger issue to me: What does happen to nondomesticated animals who are abused in this state?

In South Carolina, a non-domesticated animal is anything other than a cat, dog, or horse. The local Sheriff's office and the state offices had no idea how to handle a case against any other species of animal ... so, what about them?

The senator said he would be happy to put forth a piece of legislation about it at the next Assembly meeting ... whether he does so or not remains to be seen but it was nice to see a politician actually care for a change.

In the end, it was recommended to me to contact the humane society through the SPCA. We don't have SPCA affiliated police in this state. In fact, there aren't any law enforcement officers in this state trained to handle animal cruelty cases. But the humane society does have a contact that is afforded the ability of handling charges of animal cruelty officially. She has the ability to go in to the pet store and check on the conditions of the animals. The pet store does not have the legal right to kick her out. She also contacts experts in animal care and has the ability to make pet shop owners and individuals follow their recommendations if they feel that the animal is being compromised.

Unfortunately, she is out of town until Tuesday. There is nothing I can do until then ... althought the Sheriff's office was kind enough to send a deputy to the store. All in all, everyone was extremely attentive and understanding when I told them about what was happening to the turtle. It is just the pet store owner who is actually in a position to make a difference that is being hard-headed.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-26-2004, 08:02 PM
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Any updates on this?? I would really like for that woman to be put in her place! Sliders definately need a better habitat than that, including water deep enough to dive in, etc... but I hope you did get something to happen from this. Any chance you would private message me with the address and name of the pet store owner? I would like to send them a professionally written letter about what I think of their pet-keeping practices!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry there has been no update but until recently there has been nothing to report.

I have been trying repeatedly to call the SPCA to speak to their Humane Society liason. None of my messages have been returned. So last week I went there in person to see if I could speak to someone.

As it turns out the person who answers the phones has not been relaying any messages -- I don't know how or why. She was fired the day before I came in-person after it came back to the office that some SPCA bigwig had tried to get through and failed.

After finally speaking to the Humane Society liason in person, she was more than happy to address my concerns. She seemed genuinely concerned -- especially after I was able to prove that I could back up my claims with a few professional references.

She is supposed to call me sometime today to let me know how things are progressing. She is required -- since I filed an official complaint -- to visit the store in person and speak to the manager. So, at the very least, the store is going to have that complaint on record and someone with a little more clout then myself may have a chance to sway this manager.

I am also going to file complaints with the Better Business Bureau and a few other offices.

I learned the other day that the store in question is under a seperate lawsuit for slander ... because of this same manager that I spoke to. It furthers my opinion that she is not very professional at all and probably shouldn't be operating a pet shop.

I am thankful for the support that I have received from this board. Some of you who read this might think that I am going awfully far for one lone turtle but please try to understand that this is serious and can be classified as abuse. If this woman is not willing to listen to reason for a turtle and is willing to be this hard-headed even when she is wrong then she is probably willing to do so for other animals as well. It is sad that it has come to this but none of this would have been necessary if she had just been willing to open a book and change how she kept the turtle.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Talking Great News!

The lady from the SPCA just called me back to say that she did a follow-up visit today (apparently she also visited on Saturday) and the RES was being kept in an aquarium complete with a basking spot, and heater, etc.

I'm so happy everything worked out! It is great to know the little guy is finally being taken care of properly.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 01:58 PM
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Great news! I'm so glad you were persistant enough to prevail! One lone turtle could have easily turned into thousands and you didn't save just one, but every turtle that will come through there in the future!
Now, how about tackling Petsmart with me about the chinchillas?
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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If there is a way I could help I would. Do they not treat them right?
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 04:22 PM
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They give them oranges for vitamin C (which isn't good, the oranges I mean) and don't give them unlimited hay, and they leave the dust in there 24/7. I wrote them a letter to the corporate office and they forwarded it to their vets, but so far, nothing has been done
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 07:54 PM
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I am so glad to hear the turtle is doing better!!!!

Mandie that's awful, ORANGES????? How long ago was the letter sent??

Owned by 26 chins, 7 cats, 2 dogs, and 7 aquariums

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 08:21 PM
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doesn't oranges, leave a scent that the animals can't stand?
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animal care, animal cruelty, dust bath, eared slider, humane society, litter box, pet shop, pet store, red eared slider

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