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Why is it?

428 Views 20 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Jess
I've always wondered...

Why is it that people will boycott stores that sell puppies and kittens, but won't boycott stores like Petsmart that sell small animals. They come from small animal mills too. One of the guinea pig mills in the SE recently closed, and the couple there had 500 guinea pigs, that they were selling to whoever else wanted to continue "the business".

Sorry, just a depressing day for me today. So many small animals that need rescuing, and we don't have room because people would rather support Petsmart or backyard breeders.
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PETA boycotted Petco a few years ago. They used to have their mice and rats labeled as feeders. Petco wanted them to change that. Now they just say Small, Medium and it's really different from saying they are feeders.

Also PETA boycotted Petsmart for selling large birds.

I HATE Peta but that is the only organization I know that has boycotted chain pet stores.

If you search there is a website out there that has all the terrible things that have been done to animals at PetLand. There is a group that boycotts them probably every weekend around DC and Virginia.
60-80% of the small animals I deal with in rescue come from Petco and Petsmart. And they give dog and cat rescues LOTS of money, but they've never yet donated money to small animal rescues. I've been told flat-out by their managers that they are not to cause of small animal overpopulation, and it's not their fault.

Luckily, we have several good pet stores around here that sell no animals whatsoever! Only supplies and adoption days, even for small animals!
our chainpetstore has a rescue\rehoming section wer they have advertisment and animls who really need a home i thought that was kinda cool
The difference between pet stores selling puppies and kittens, and small animals like mice, is ALL puppy store puppies come from mills, and only a few pet store rodents are stores actually get a fair amount of small pets dumped on them. A lot of the time their stock consists of accidental litters, where one mouse or gerbil was sexed wrong. (In Houston locations of petco only carry one sex each, trying to prevent un wanted litters. I'm actually very gratefull to our local non chain pet store.. I once adopted a gerbil who was pregnant (we didn't know about when we bought her) and they very willingly took the babies off our hands.
And besides that, there really is a huge difference between dogs and cats, and mice/rats/guinea pigs. Especially in the eyes of rodent phobes. As for "feeder mice" snakes need food too.... if it weren't for snakes our cities would be over filled with mice and rats....And just like people who like to keep rats as pets, people like to keep snakes... and those people have just as much of a right to feed their pet as a rat lover has to walk into a pet store and buy rat food. (sorry rant over, and I apologize if I offended anyone, I had a really long day, with some really dumb dog owners.)
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The non-chain stores here are even worse, if that's possible. They just don't bother to separate the animals that people dump on them, and they breed rampantly. One gives away baby rabbits if you buy a free cage. It's disgusting. I don't know why people insist on shopping at places that treat animals as merchandise and not living creatures.

I also have no problem with people feeding rats to snakes, though it should be done humanely and prekilled (if possible).

"And besides that, there really is a huge difference between dogs and cats, and mice/rats/guinea pigs. Especially in the eyes of rodent phobes."

That sort of implies that only cute fluffy animals that people really like deserve not to be abused, overbred, and then left to die?
I don't think there is a difference between rodents and dogs and cats. I love my rats just as much as my boyfriend's sister loves her dog.

Also in chain pet stores ALL their animals are milled. Every single one of them. One of the suppliers to petsmart is called Rainbow Exotics. They run the same as puppy mills.

It is true that a lot of small animals get dumped onto petstores. Even though that happens though, the petstore doesn't keep them. They give them to a rescue. Like the OP said a lot of her animals come from petco and petsmart. I'm sure the bulk of them are the ones that are dumped at the store.

A lot of smaller petstores are horrid but some aren't that bad. I find it sad that they only see animals as money.
"And besides that, there really is a huge difference between dogs and cats, and mice/rats/guinea pigs. Especially in the eyes of rodent phobes."

They are not left to die, they are either sold as pets or used as food. They serve their natural purpose.
I didn't mean to imply that one deserves to be better treated... i was implying more that there are huge cultural differences (I"m sorry I didnt make that clear) Things like rats and mice, (remember, to the eyes of non rodent lovers) really are just a pest. Where as in some countries, dogs are considered food and also pests. Rabbits are used as food in America and many other countries as well. Also dogs and cats tend to seem like more substantial animals. If left on their own they would have a chance at survival, where as any pet rat or mouse would not last a day in the modern world.

I guess the non chain stores really vary depending on where you are, here generally the people who work at them are more knowledgeable and treat animals well.
as for why people shop for animals like merchandise, when buying from a breeder, are you not shopping for your perfect pet? would you not pay an outlandish price for a well bred animal? In my book, "buying" from a breeder, is the same as shopping, only perhaps a little higher class.
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I dont hate pet stores for selling small animals unless they are neglectint them. But I dont buy pet store animals cuz there are so many needing homes. All my animals exept my fish and 13 of my hermies are rescues. :D
We don't have Petco or Petsmart here.The only big chain we have is Pets Unlimited and they are HORRIBLE.We also have a small chain of stores called Pet City and some are decent,while others are horrible...depending on where you go.Then there is the best pet store here - Petcetera.There are also a few locally owned ones that are really decent!

It really depends on where you go.You get some good places and some bad ones...usually the big chains are the worse,but many of the small ones are just as bad.

I have no problem with rodents being fed as food either,as one member mentioned...snake owners love their animals,just as we love our furries and need to feed them.I have no problem with that at all.The problem is the way the "feeders" are treated.Many stores treat them like disposable "things" because they are just going for food anyway - in their eyes.

Okay it seems I am rambling and not making much sense tonite...looong day.I will come back after.

I have no problem with that at all.The problem is the way the "feeders" are treated.Many stores treat them like disposable "things" because they are just going for food anyway - in their eyes.

Personally I think if I worked at a pet store I think I'd have to make myself think of "feeder" critters as just that. As a person who becomes attached very easily, it would be too hard to know that they are really just there to be eaten, so in that, I can understand why they do not obtain the same respect.... but on that note, that does not mean I think they should not be treated well, I think the eaters deserve well taken care of food too, and while the food is alive, it should live well. But the thing is, when you take good care of an animal, at least a small eliment of care turns into feelings for the thing. Which turns into attachment.
Not nessiscarily.I know people who breed feeders and those feeders are really well taken care of,but they (people) don't get attached.They simply do it because it is cheaper and healthier.

I want a snake in the future and will be breeding my own feeders,because I rather feed my snake a healthy animal thats gets some care and love,just as my PETS do.I do not want to feed my snake bad quality,unhealthy animals,just as I won't feed my current animals a bad diet.

Thats NOT an excuse.Those feeder animals in the stores need much better care then what they get.
I understand what your saying, but knowing that because I PERSONALLY, not necessarily you or anyone else here, can feel that way, there are bound to be more people like that out there. When I take care of my own pets, I really do feel closer to them.. but like I said, they don't deserve any less care.Anyways back to the ORIGINAL question...It's really not fair to say that an entire chain is bad. There there ARE petcos and pet smarts that take good care of their animals. (even if they are comming from mills) My friend used to work at one. At the same time, I'll agree, there are ones who don't take as good care, but the care the animals get really depends on the management of the store, not the chain itself. I think instead of boycotting a chain, people should just demand better management.
I also don't understand why so many people seem to feel like the small animal overpopulation isn't that big a deal. Rabbits are now the 3rd most surrendered animal in the US.

At one point, cats and dogs were on this cusp. There was a time when they were overpopulated, but not grossly so like now. And we didn't do anything. And now we're killing 9 of them a minute in the US. It seems like people only care when the problem is disturbingly out of control, and not at a point where it's much more managable if people would just put their foot down to these retailers!

In the past few months, I've read about horrible dumps.

700 ferrets from a ferret miller
500 guinea pigs from a guinea pig miller

Show breeders dumping off 20-50 animals at the time on local AC isn't even surprising anymore. We're getting euth calls for guinea pigs and rabbits regularly from the local AC, we just don't have the room to take them.
Well I don't know about other small animals but people have been boycotting the sales of rabbits at PetSmarts.
Petcetera doesn't sell bunnies near or around thats a good thing.I know that ONE store out of a million doesn't make a huge difference,but it does make a small one.
Petco doesnt sell buns around easter either. And all the bunnies they do sell are fixed. Another thing thats good is they have a book on top of their cage with bunnies that are up for adoption and signs that say "think adoption first". My Petco acually take pretty decent care of their animals.
Sadly, we've had a lot of "fixed" male rabbits that came in which turned out to be unfixed females. Marshall Farms, the same people who mill ferrets for Petco, mill the Petsmart bunnies. They neuter them pediatrically, and it's said they have a huge mortality rate.
Sadly, we've had a lot of "fixed" male rabbits that came in which turned out to be unfixed females. Marshall Farms, the same people who mill ferrets for Petco, mill the Petsmart bunnies. They neuter them pediatrically, and it's said they have a huge mortality rate.
That's just horrible.

The petco here has signs all over the place that say think adoption first.

The other day I was in there and they had a table of about 10 tanks with hamsters. There was a family that went over, looked at all the hamsters in the tank then walked over to the store tanks and bought a hamster from them. I just hate pet stores anymore. I can get my food from a feed store (for horses), they said they would keep ordering it if I kept buying it, and I get my bedding from a rescue. I really have no reason to ever go into petstores. I know a lot of people are the same way.
Yeah I wouldn't buy rabbits from PetSmart because they are milled, and are spayed/neutered way to young - which is part of the reason why rabbit lovers are boycotting PetSmart now.

I think a big part of all this just has to do with education of the public who go into petstores and buy small animals. Honestly, I didn't know that their were so many rabbits in shelters until after I had gotten Zeus and started getting more into rabbits again. I didn't know that all, or at least most, rabbits in pet stores came from mills. I don't think that most people going into the stores know these things. And of course, not knowing, they buy the animals at pet stores which helps the stores and encourages them to offer more and more milled small animals for pets. I think if people were educated about where these animals are coming from, that they would think twice before buying them and maybe consider a breeder or a shelter first.

And of course you can do research before you get a pet and get an idea as to why it's usually not a good idea to buy from pet stores - but you will always have the people who, unfortuantly, think of small pets as more 'disposable' then say a dog or a cat, and people who just buy these animals on a whim without knowing much about them - which of course is supporting the sales of small animals, and as long as you have people buying the animals, you will have stores selling them.

It's sad really. What can you do? Everytime I talk to someone who asks about my bunnies I make sure to tell them how much work they really are, which the pet stores won't tell you,that they need vet care just like a cat or dog would- and that if they want one their are millions of perfectly healthy, sweet ones in shelters. It's actually cheaper to get rabbits in a shelter then it is to get it from a pet store most times, because your getting a healthy animal that was fixed at the appropiate age, so you don't have to pay hundreds of dollers to get it fixed.
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