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EasternNewtLove 24th April 2012 02:47

Pet Supplies Plus
This happene last year, but I decided I should probably post it anyway. I went in one night and saw some leopard geckos. I fell in love with the three and my mom go me them as an early birthday gift. They were housed on ground walnut shells. They asked if I needed a tank and I said I had an extra 20 gallon at home. They told me this would be enough room for all three. They asked if I needed sand and I said I would be using newspaper as substrate which they said was a bad idea and sand as better. They also told me to buy UVB and heating lamps instead of a heating pad. Now I had read up on these before because I had wanted some for a while, but I assumed they must have known what try we're talki about since I was a newbie to the herp world at the time. Within a week, one of them was so bad it couldn't lift itself do we went in for a refun and they said that he would die by the next day and gave me a refun since it was in the 2 week refund period. Realizing that impaction was the cause, I took the substrate out. By then however, it was too late my other Leopard geckp had been impacted. I tried warm baths, massaging the belly, and other common treatments. By the time he passed all the sand and was no longer blocked up, he was beyond healing and passed away the next day. This is where I got very upset. I realized I had been lied to in the store and lost 2 of my lizard sbecause they wanted to make a buck off of two amateur reptile owners. I went back to te store and went in with an article on impaction. They said that "that's just one article" to which I unhappily responded "there were plenty of other articles saying the same thing." When we said the walnut shells caused it they said that it's standard practice to house desert reptiles on that. He interrupted me before I could reply saying that Leopard geckos live in rocky deserts. He said that he offered to take him back when I went in with the two that weren't eating (the one go died and the one who I still have that survived) and I replied saying that he offere to take back the one that was beginning to eating again and that the one who died looked fine at the time I brought the other one in. The manager then went on to say he resold the one I had returned with another leopard gecko. The one he said would die. Oddly enough, there hadn't been any other leopard geckos in the store other than the 3 I bought. Overall, I was lied to, the manager was very rude to me and came off as a know it all (who in fact knew very little,) and I was very unsatisfied by the quality of their service and the tanks and Che's there animals were in. They had dead fish floating in some of the tanks. This store has completely turned me off from chain pet stores and avoid them whenever possible. I know this isn't about caudates, but I feel it still is valid to warn people about this chain store.

Linus 24th April 2012 13:02

Re: Pet Supplies Plus
There is a Pet Supplies Plus here in Providence RI. I was tipped off they were carrying larval tigers and when I went to inspect they had them in 79F tanks with heavy lighting and were labeled as "COMMUNAL EGG LAYERS." I shook my head, tried educating the staff but I never went back to see if my advice had fallen upon deaf ears. The larvae I got from their had some unidentified bumps all over their bodies (probably from being in the tropical fish tank) for months.

EasternNewtLove 25th April 2012 04:04

Re: Pet Supplies Plus
It's such a pity that people care more about profit than the animals. Those poor togers. I went to PetCo once and they had an adult tiger salamander in a tank full of water they labeled it as a water dog. I wanted to buy it to save the poor thing but didn't have the money or space and i would just be supporting them. I luckily have an exotic pet store 30 minutes or so away and they take fantastic care of their animals. I only buy from them now, they even have a jungle setup with a caiman in it. The staff is great too.

esn 25th April 2012 09:48

Re: Pet Supplies Plus
I started seriously buying from just one specialty reptile store only thirty minutes away. The only animals I was disappointed in was their axolotls, but they took my advice and immediately switched the the proper way of things, unlike the other local store I was at. They got their axolotls from a local breeder here that told them to throw in some feeder goldfish and that would be fine! I can't believe it. Anyway, I had to yell at the other store multiple times, and finally speak to their manager and show them that their axolotl was about to die from swallowing a large stone in their tank before they removed the stone. Yet they won't listen to me about feeding crickets. Anyway, I am no longer a patron of their store.

Aside from the local ones, the petsmarts are doable for their capitalist short-term animal keeping policies. Meaning, they keep them in too small of tanks on cheaper materials and food (which are never good enough, even though just using paper towels would be better and cheaper!), for the idea that they will be sold quickly. I bought a poor snake there that was getting way too crowded because it had been there for 3 years. Yeah. Three years in an 8 inch square tank for a 3 foot fat cornsnake. Ridiculous. But I guess they use these awful substrates to sell up things like the "desert" and "rainforest" decorative appeal of terrariums. Like parents would be ok with the kids having them in the house because they're attractive to the eye, or some such. Paper towels doesn't sell well... Though newspaper works well enough for puppies.

Recently I went by a petco to get some fresh aspen and saw that they had so many open display cases, yet still insisted on cohabiting snakes! One of their leopard geckos had an eye infection, and there was sand in the tank. The geckos, anoles, and blue tongue skink all had dead (I mean, completely dead and black) mealworms in their food dishes, like some idiot thought "What a waste to throw these dead rotting carcasses away. They'll eat them." or "They haven't eaten. Let's leave them for a week until they eat these same dead worms." The skink was being fed only a diet of mealworms and had completely undigested mealworm-feces in the tank - skinks should be fed softer foods and greens! There were no greens! One pacman frog had a skin infection, there were three ball pythons to a tank and they all had bad shed spots from too low humidity. All the animal's humidity levels were the same, from desert to rainforest animal. And there was a water dragon with coco fiber that was getting into its eyes.

I told the manager every single one of these things, and made him look at the problems. He said "I'll take that into consideration and ask our reptile specialist and vet about it." Clearly if these people had any idea about any animals, they wouldn't be in this bad of condition. I didn't say it, though. I think they hire these managers to be completely stoic and unable to understand anything. Like drones. Probably makes sense, since it's the company that decides care policies. I just tried in vain to maybe spur at least a diet change.

Anyway, I ended up asking to see the skink. It had the starts of MBD, uneven scales, too skinny, etc. I made a horrible decision, and I took him home. Either I took the animal home, or he was going to die in a few months, either from the store, or from the next idiot who saw a cool thing to buy and followed their caresheet without any double-checking.

It's a nice thing to say that the industry will go away if we boycott it, but for every person who knows a thing or two about animals, just enough, there's at least ten idiots out there that don't bother to check a thing. It's a capitalist market, the trade isn't going to change at all. Awareness won't work - it's like all the media advocacy to adopt dogs from shelters first before buying, but the first time someone sees a cute puppy in a store they want it. It's not going to happen. The only thing that can change it is regulation, but even that won't work, since the highest payed lobbyists will be those working for the companies. We may ask for things like USDA guidelines, but those are what allows the inhumane treatment of a lot of lab animals (think beauty supply corporations testing on animals - those conditions are usually worse than, say, a laboratory devoted to the study of rat behavior). The government isn't in the favor of animals, consumers just want what's attractive and easy, as well as to be told what to do, and we all just have to sit and suffer, and watch the animals sit and suffer.

So what do I do? I'm the idiot who buys an animal and gives at least one a good home. The trade isn't going to stop anytime soon - and I don't think I could look at the next ill-treated animal and not take it from their hands. How many pet store rescues do I have? At least 10 animals. But I feel better about what I'm doing after studying economics, environmental science, and animal law. I'm just one supporter among the many who don't even know what they're supporting. Does it make a difference? No, not at all. But at least I won't be going back to that store and asking "So where did the skink go?" "Oh, he died from some bug a while ago."

I'm still an idiot for it - but no more than any other consumer.

EasternNewtLove 25th April 2012 22:49

Re: Pet Supplies Plus

Originally Posted by asfouts (Post 333424)
It bugs me how people can look at a leopard gecko skeleton and think its perfectly normal. At pet-pourri (fish specialist)their axies are amazingly healthy. I recall the white one glowing, its skin was so radiant. In Washington we have a huge amount of restricted animals, you would think since they only have to take care of a couple species they would be healthy, but as far as I have seen, nope. I once bought tiger barbs, and the moment I walked out of the store they flipped over and died. I want something to change, we once boycotted a home builder. He was going to build 116 homes and destroy mountain beaver habitat, which as far as we know are indegenous to the pacific northwest and their populations are declining rapidly. I can't just sit here and watch it. If we don't stop it no one will. This thread made me realize the magnitude of animal deprivation... Im going to try and insight change. Hey what do you know I sound like a PETA member... Change might be miles away but, we need something to spark the fire. PETA and animal activists get a bad rap, but if we hit them logically and to their benefit then they will change (they have no choice). Instead of saying "STOP" and losing their profit, we need to give them a cake and let them eat it too... Anyway I know what I am going to do...

How did you go about that boycott? They are going to be doin construction in the woods behind my house and they may be going to tear down a beaver dam back there. They would also be devastating the spotted salamander and bullfrog population. There is a vernal pool that the bullfrogs hang put in and that the spotted salamanders breed in. I feel so helpless to stop them. I have some friends who are going to banding together with me though and I hope to get more help through my friends list on Facebook.

EasternNewtLove 26th April 2012 15:18

Re: Pet Supplies Plus
Thanks so much! I hope me and my friends can do something about this. With 60-80 new houses going in, I'm sure quite a few people will be persuaded to sign the petition. Most people in my town like it small and don't want more houses which often means higher crime rates.

Hayden 23rd May 2012 05:43

Re: Pet Supplies Plus
Just saw this, had to add. I love taking my pit bull on trips to the "toy store." He has the best time and is a supremely trained, well behaved dog. Leash trained, obedience trained, etc. The last time I was in a Pet Supplies Plus, a small child (5 or so) was "walking" his adult black lab. The lab came after me and my dog. I tried to pull the dog off by the collar, but it only had a thin strip of nylon slip knotted around its neck so it pulled straight off. Not a single staff member came to assist me, even though I was screaming for help. The dog ended up biting my dog, and ripping the sleeve off my shirt. After the ordeal, the staff allowed the parents to hand the dog back to the child and continue shopping. I will never in my life shop at a Pet Supplies Plus ever again.

EasternNewtLove 23rd May 2012 10:55

Re: Pet Supplies Plus
That is awful. You'd think someone woul have the common sense to help or at least try to get help!

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