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Should pets be sold at supermarkets?

Tokis-Phoenix

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Numerous supermarkets these days sell live fish as pets. And as this becoming more commonplace, it is probably only a matter of time before other animals like frogs, mice, small birds, rabbits etc start getting sold in supermarkets as pets.

But should supermarkets sell pets? Do you think it is a good idea or a bad idea?

Personally i am against supermarkets selling live pets, whether they are fish or other types of animals.
I believe that buying any animal as a pet is a commitment and needs a high level of responsibility, but in the world of supermarkets where everything is marketed to make people buy it the most and business is run on a ruthless profit scale, i don't think supermarkets should ever be the place where people start this long-term commitment. How often do you walk out of a supermarket after a long shopping trip with more than you originally planned to buy?

Not to mention, i have heard of the horrors of the fish sections at Wal-Mart, and almost no matter where the particular store is the conditions of the fish are almost always abysmal. And no matter how much customers complain, nothing is ever done about it (i've been a member of a particular fish forum for years).

So personally i am against supermarkets selling live animals in general. I have nothing against pet supplies, however i think live animals are a bad idea and are likely to end up being poorly treated either at the store (due to a lack of knowledge over care, limited resources and budget management etc) or by their new owners (spur of the moment purchase, poor planning, lack of knowledge over how to look after animal properly etc).

What do you think?
 

Emoni

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Are you sure they are selling them as pets and not food? :D
 

Shizuka142

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pets shouldn't be sold in supermarkets...pets aren't something like food or so...they're living creatures and people should take a good care of them. I think that pets should be sold in specialized shops...or whatever it's called...where the staff know how to care of pets.
 

Emoni

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I think that pets should be sold in specialized shops...or whatever it's called...where the staff know how to care of pets.

You mean like... "pet stores?" You should create this. It would make a fortune. No one has ever thought of this idea before.
 

Shizuka142

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well...where staff would be somehow educated in care of animals and so...but there already are these types of stores.
 

Derfel

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You mean like... "pet stores?" You should create this. It would make a fortune. No one has ever thought of this idea before.

Holy shat! I'm gonna go and patent that now!
 

justin

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They should only be sold at supermarkets if they include the perfect seasonings and garnish.
 

bakaKanadajin

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Pets shouldn't be sold period, in my humble opinion.

I think owning an animal itself, the term 'owning', isn't quite the right way to look at it from the very beginning. I am an animal lover so take what I say with a grain of salt, mind you.

But yea, personally speaking, I feel that the choice to have an animal in your life is big, and that it should not be taken lightly.

Now that's easy to preach about and I understand things change as the relationship continues on; some people find that even with the best of intentions they weren't up to the task of pet ownership, the loss of freedom, the money, vet bills, etc. (This also happens with children, which are harder to give away/sell.) So the bottom line is keeping that commitment is key, even if it's tough at times.

Selling pets, especially at supermarkets but even at pet stores, really commercializes the whole thing and makes a pet into a product, something you buy, sell, even possibly return if you're unsatisfied. I try to give people more credit than this but (especially after coming to Japan) I think a lot of people unfortunately think this way.

There are of course good pet-owners out there, but what I mean is, that first pet, it's as I said not a decision to be made lightly and putting pets into glass boxes and selling them as products dramatically reduces the gravity of the 'purchase'. So you have people who shouldn't or normally wouldn't own pets being duped into thinking "Hey, that'd be fun, a pet, I'm gonna do it, why not?".

It becomes the same thought process as when buying other junk you don't need like exercise machines and whatnot.

I just don't agree with any of it. I think animal companionship should involve the person going to a professional or a shelter, that is, getting an animal from someone whose life is dedicated to raising/helping animals. I would stop short of saying going to a breeder because they mainly work to create puppies/kittens, albeit humanely, but still, there are already enough animals such that we don't need more and more.

Rather than a puppy for example (and this is the hardest part) those who are willing and able to should adopt older animals or with the help of a local shelter that will provide medicine and free assistance (many do this) a sick animal or special-needs animal. There are already tons of animals out there that need loving homes. This is why I don't really like breeders. I mentioned professional above - I guess I envision someone like The Dog Whisperer guy, who takes in animals and runs a decent, humane kennel. There are others like him I'm sure.

Pets are domesticated and need us, but we should realize that in many ways we need or can come to need them too, and it's a relationship of respect and equality. It's a pure relationship. A pet will never judge you, spite you, deceive you, you could become horribly disfigured in an accident or lose a limb or become HIV positive or any list of life-altering changes and your pet would never keep you at arms length or change their attitude. The love they give you is pure like the love of a child before it knows anything. Abusing an animal and abusing that pure trust and love is to me one of the most horrible things someone could do.

But I digress.

Bottom line, selling pets at supermarkets is, I think, disgusting.

Just my 2 cents as an animal lover.
 

Tsuyoiko

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I think there should be tighter control over who can sell and buy animals. I've bought all my rabbits from pet shops, and the conditions there seem fine. The animals look healthy, they have plenty of room to run around and the staff seem to be animal lovers. That's the public face though, and I have no idea what the shops are like behind the scenes.

What happens to the animals after they are sold also worries me. When I bought my first rabbit ten years ago you could just walk into the shop and buy one, no questions asked. Nowadays, the assistant gives you advice on how to care for the pet you're buying, but there's nothing to ensure that people take that advice. I wonder how many people buy a rabbit that then spends its life confined to a hutch.
 

Elizabeth

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I think there should be tighter control over who can sell and buy animals. I've bought all my rabbits from pet shops, and the conditions there seem fine. The animals look healthy, they have plenty of room to run around and the staff seem to be animal lovers. That's the public face though, and I have no idea what the shops are like behind the scenes.
What happens to the animals after they are sold also worries me. When I bought my first rabbit ten years ago you could just walk into the shop and buy one, no questions asked. Nowadays, the assistant gives you advice on how to care for the pet you're buying, but there's nothing to ensure that people take that advice. I wonder how many people buy a rabbit that then spends its life confined to a hutch.
Exactly. I can't count the number of very nice humans I know who wax eloquent about their love for animals but who follow a "whatever" plan for their pet's care and are most definitely NOT responsible owners. Friends who don't spay/neuter, clean the litter everyday, follow a nutritionally-sound (at least non-junk) diet, do get their cats declawed, do let their cats roam free (even at night !) etc.


And yes - people are lame - lazy, cheap, easily tired of the commitment, callous... on and on. The more I work in animal welfare, the less I like people, by and large. :eek:
 

Nuala

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I only buy pets from animal shelters that euthanize. I adopted a Siberian Husky back in October. D: In regards to animals being sold in super markets, are people really that insane? Maybe you can buy a human baby at a super market within the next century.
 
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I keep tropical freshwater fish myself. Have a 115-gallon W. African (Congo River) tank, and a 65-gallon S. American tank. But I face a dilemma now.

If you set up your tank as an authentic biotrope, and keep the fish in good conditions, they almost inevitably spawn. Right now I have two spawning pairs of Steatocranus causarius, and they are filling the tank with their young. Even three adult Hemmichromis lifallili can't pick them all off.

I've given some away, and have no space for more tanks. I'd gladly deal some off to super-markets, if they had any interest in selling them (supermarkets here aren't selling fish). I'm at the point where I think I'll have to euthanize some of them. I don't hesitate to put down killer fish, but would rather not have to dispatch these young buffaloheads. Maybe I need to add a few more piscivores.
 

Tokis-Phoenix

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I keep tropical freshwater fish myself. Have a 115-gallon W. African (Congo River) tank, and a 65-gallon S. American tank. But I face a dilemma now.

If you set up your tank as an authentic biotrope, and keep the fish in good conditions, they almost inevitably spawn. Right now I have two spawning pairs of Steatocranus causarius, and they are filling the tank with their young. Even three adult Hemmichromis lifallili can't pick them all off.

I've given some away, and have no space for more tanks. I'd gladly deal some off to super-markets, if they had any interest in selling them (supermarkets here aren't selling fish). I'm at the point where I think I'll have to euthanize some of them. I don't hesitate to put down killer fish, but would rather not have to dispatch these young buffaloheads. Maybe I need to add a few more piscivores.

Ways to deal with unwanted fry;

1. Fish Forums: There are lots of fish forums out there and many have rehoming/buying/selling sections on them where members of the forum can give or sell unwanted fish to other members. I am a member of a fish forum called TFF and they do this here, here is the link to the forum;

http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?/index/page__s__bcb05bd4f742919d3cded509941e7fe2

^ Rehoming unwanted fish to people you know can look after them properly is always by far the best option when it comes to dealing with unwanted fish 👍 .

2. Give them free to a local pet shop. Most pet shops won't buy fish off customers, but quite a few will accept them for free (its usually the private/family run petshops that accept fish off customers).

3. Use the fry as "feeder fish" (i.e. if you have a predatory fish that does best on live fish, raising your own feeder fish is a much better option than buying them at pet shops, where such feeder fish tend to be diseased & underfed etc). This is a controversial option though, and i can understand why many choose not to go down this route as feeder fish in general (wether bought or self-raised) are a controversial topic in general.

4. Don't raise the fry at all- humanely euthanise the fry while they are tiny. There are many ways to humanely euthanise fish depending on their size & type. Sometimes it is better to euthanise a fish humanely than to allow it to live a life of suffering (which inevitably kills it anyway, just not in a humane way).
When i used to keep guppys they were always breeding out of control, during times when i got too many fry i humanely euthanised them when they were only a day or 2 old. I also rehomed large/semi-adult fry to my local petshop though, which does a good job of looking after & selling its fish as far as pet shops go.

I don't think supermarkets would accept fish from customers due to regulations, but even if they did, such fish would propably have the least chance of ending up with someone who would look after them properly (probably the same chance as a fairground goldfish has of ending up in anything other than a bowl and then slowly suffering to death through inadequate conditions & owner ignorance). You can also sell fish on Ebay, but i expect this is very hit & miss when it comes to whether the fish end up in a good home or not etc (i would personally never use this option).

The other option is to simply not keep breeding pairs or groups of fish altogether, avoiding the situation completely.
 
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I've disposed of some to pet shops, but there isn't much interest. They're not familiar with this species, and have managed to convince themselves that all African cichlids are wildly aggressive.

I live in a small market for tropical fish, and shipping costs to anywhere else are prohibitive.

I keep these fish for my own interest and amusement, and find the breeding/fry-raising behavior of these fish fascinating. But I don't believe in animal rights and don't share all your concerns. I'd give them to a supermarket if that option were available; the fish would have at least a better chance of survival than if I euthanized them.
 

Tokis-Phoenix

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^ lol you can't really blame the petshop staff for thinking that when most African cichlids are wildly aggressive lol :p !

Anyways, its not about animal rights its about animal welfare (big difference). And i personally don't see the point in allowing an animal to live a life if it is destined to live a life of suffering that will be cut short anyway at some point. This is why i think fairground goldfish are fundamentally wrong.

Some supermarkets do sell fish, and those that do have all being proven to have horrible fish conditions records etc. And i don't think this is unique, i think this would be the case with any supermarket selling any live animal. Supermarket staff are only paid the minimum wage, they are very disposable workers, and are not going to be given any decent training whatsoever as to the care of fish other than possibly how to catch one in a net and blag some info about fish to a customer.
And i do think it would be highly unlikely that a supermarket would accept fish from a random customer that have not been bought at the store.
 

Pandora

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This reminds me of when Wal-Mart came into selling 'Spotted Green Puffer Fish' (that is one of the common names they've been sold under). It makes me so mad because the card with the care info on them is even wrong and the employees care nothing about them so they go on killing them with or without realizing it because to them they don't care whether they live or die, they get paid either way. Those fish need a tablespoon full of non-iodized sea salt per 5gal of water (NOT the aquarium salt, because it damages their immune system). The employees are too lazy to even fix that when all they have to do is walk to the grocery section to find the damned sea-salt they need there. They are NOT compatable with any other kind of fish unless you plan to put a divider in the tank (the only exception is if you buy a good sized group of their own kind). Mine killed it's tank mate withing two hours and the mate was a bigger fish. What Wal-Mart says their diet consists of is also false. True, they can eat tropical fish flakes, but not for long as their teeth do not stop growing and will overgrow to the point where they can no longer open their mouth to eat and will starve to death. They eat snails, and their teeth are the way tehy are biologically so that they can crack the snails shell and in turn, the shell files their teeth down, hence why their teeth constantly grow. Wal-Mart does not have said snails and in order to keep these fish alive, you'd need to buy a separate tank to breed these snails as a food supply (or be lucky enough to live close to a pet shop that sells the right snails because they can only eat certain kinds). Wal-Mart exposes the puffer fish to the wrong type of water (which leads to sickness in some cases) and they allow them to starve to death because they cannot feed them properly (I've seen one that was so pale and so thin, that it looked like someone squished the center of the fish down flat. The only part that even looked like it had shape was it's head and I bet if the fish didn't have a skull naturally bigger than the rest of it's body [when it isn't puffed up], that would be flat too). It is so sad to watch them die, so I don't go over to the fish section anymore and I can't rescue them because I can't find the snails in my area, nor can I afford to get a tank for the fish and the food supply. On top of that, I have been told there is nothing I can do about it because people tell me animal rights organizations do not count fish as animals, hence people can do with them what they like. I don't believe that is true, but people keep telling me it isn't animal abuse/neglect if it is being done to fish. I don't agree. Wal-Mart doesn't care anyway as long as they can make a quick buck. I once had a letter written for Wal-Mart's manager but didn't send it because I was told that one of the lower employees would intercept it and dispose of it for fear of their jobs whether it had something to do with them or not.

Supermarkets should not carry pets unless they are prepared to educate their employees on everything about the animals they are going to sell, they have all the things you need to care for the pet sold in the store at all times, and they are inspected by the same organizations that inspect liscensed pet stores.
 

The Dunadan

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I work at Walmart (photo specialist) and, from my own personal experience, very few people there know anything about caring for fish. I've had to deal with customers wanting to get fish before, and I refuse to do it since I'm not trained on how to properly get them out of the tanks.
 
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