Hey everybody, I have a rather random question on a somewhat touchy subject. If you have resuced bettas from a pet shop, how do you approach the people who are working there? It may sound horrible, but I'd rather not pay full price for a fish that isn't in the best of health that I may have to treat with salts and/or medications if they don't come around with just warm, clean water. There have been a couple bettas with relatively minor health issues that aren't going to get better by themselves in the shop cups that I've considered taking in, see if I can nurse them back to health, and then try to adopt them out to responsable homes (however, if I can't find a good home, they'd be able to stay with me for as long as is needed).
Please note - I'm not trying to do this to change the system. I know that helping one fish isn't going to cause pet shops to start treating their bettas better, because they don't make a whole lot of profit off of the bettas themselves anyway. It'd be about helping an animal in need and possibly helping to educate people (including potential adopters) about proper care.
I can't personally give any advise as to try to get sick bettas cheaper. Like you said, one fish doesn't really make a difference, so I took the high road and wrote to the company (Petco) when I saw the conditions go downhill at one of my local stores.
Here was their response......
We have shared the copy of your concern to the upper management of the store in addressing your concern. CJ, one of the store manager, confirmed that all fish in the store are n good living conditions. She also added she will be monitoring the aquatic animals and make sure that they are given proper care. Animals are our top priority and we would never intentionally risk their lives and health.
If we can be of any further assistance, please feel free to reply to this email or call us at 1-888-824-Pals (7257)
I'm pretty well known at my local Petco so I have been able to get 2 fish for free (one was a baby, doing fine, one was so sick it passed within a day). I was able to get them from certain managers I know at the store. If I were to ask one of the top managers I would get a big NO.
You probably won't know a manager if you see one. Don't ask a cashier. Look for someone stocking shelves and ask them, they might be a manager. If they are a manager and say yes, then always look for the same person to deal with. If they say NO make sure they are not on duty when you try again
It may also help if you have a cart with items you plan to buy with you. This shows you are a paying customer.
I think it depends on the pet shop/people who run it. I have offered to take sick fish as a discounted price when they were literally dying and all I got was blatant denial that the fish was sick........ it could not swim, was covered in lesions, had horrible fin rot and was lying on it's side in a filthy cup gasping. They shook the cup, poked the fish with their finger a few times and when it still failed to move shoved the cup back on the shelf and said it was fine.
I could not stop thinking of the poor fish but could not afford to spend $30 on a fish that would probably die within a day or so. I couldn't help but go back to the shop to check him the next day and somehow unsurprisingly I found him dead in his cup. If I were a more outspoken person I would have grabbed the cup and taken it to the women I asked about it the day before and tell her that I though you said it was fine! I only buy stuff from there when I can't get it anywhere else. They look after all of their animals really well........... except the bettas that are terribly neglected!!!!!!
On the other hand I have my new Fave pet shop that offers a huge range of fancy bettas asking for my opinion on diagnosis and treatment should any of their bettas become unwell........ I would say if you ask someone for a discount and they say no go and find someone else and ask them.......... sometimes they will always refuse to acknowledge that there is even anything wrong but I have also heard of people being given perfectly healthy fish simply because they had been in the store a while and did not seem popular so it is always worth asking.
That is just horrible veggiegirl! The way betta are treated at some not all pet stores is disgusting. My family wont even go the the betta area with me as Ive had a few blowouts with what I saw. Sales telling a 5 yr old girl and Mom that betta do not need heaters and very seldom a water change, nothing to do really other than just watch the fish, then sell her a fish with no hope of making it even a few days with the advanced disease. Fish will die, girl will for sure cry thinking it must have been her fault...so I had to speak my mind. The staff knew next to nothing about betta. Mom and daughter left to another store I mentioned that takes good care of the betta. Needless to say I am not very popular at Petland. PS I warn anyone who rescues these poor fish from bad stores to be very careful and QT the fish. You dont want whatever is killing the poor little fellows to spread to your other fish which has been happening too often recently.
Unfortunately telling people that bettas do not need heaters and can survive poor water quality is a common thing for pet shop staff to tell customers around here...... I have even heard them tell people that bettas love to live in tiny cups and dirty water and they will stay healthier and live longer when kept in these conditions It just disgusts me so much!!!!! Good on you for speaking your mind people need to know the truth and it is much better that the pet shops that actually take decent care of their bettas get the business.
I have even heard them tell people that bettas love to live in tiny cups and dirty water and they will stay healthier and live longer when kept in these conditions
Wait... What? How on Earth does that even make sense? It'd seem that that'd just defy normal logic. How does living in a tiny space filled with your own poo lend itself to good health and quality of life?
Yeah, the couple times I've tried asking if I could "adopt" a sick fish (pretty much said that I'd buy the fish, actually) at two seperate Petcos that are three hours away from each other and in different states, they said they couldn't let me take them. Apparently they give them to the aquatics specialist, and while I'm sure there are some that are very good fishkeepers, I don't trust that the fish is getting anything other than being moved away from the public eye.
The fish that made me ask this was an absolutely gorgeous cello and blue HMDT boy who looked to have a bit of a swim bladder disorder - nothing too bad, but something that probably won't get any better in a nasty little cup on the shelf. I'm fairly sure the guy I talked to was a manager, and he took the fish and gave it to the aquatics guy, who told me he'd put him in a warm tank in the back with some salt. I had to go back yesterday (forgot to get what I originally needed -.-), and the same fish was sitting on a shelf behind the cash register - which is next to the door where it's really cold and drafty - and he looked worse than the day before. The same aquatics specialist mistook half a dozen female CTs as males and a lovely HM male as a VT.
And, somewhat unfortunately, they and the Petsmart across the street get a lot of my buisness since they're the only pet stores in the area while I'm at school. Granted, I never really buy a lot of stuff at a time, but all the little stuff that I have to pick up for my fish and dog from time to time adds up pretty quickly. I'm thinking that if I want to help some of the sick bettas, I'm just going to have to pick my battles and pay for the ones that I feel "called" to help out - and then if they don't make it, bring them back to the store for credit.
And jeez, just realized that I misspelled "rescuing." My apologies!
Last edited by pittipuppylove; 02-19-2013 at 11:49 PM.
I think they just tell customers this to make bettas seem like the perfect pretty much self maintaining pet! The worst thing is some people actually believe them!!!
I agree that if you wish to rescue bettas 90% of the time you will probably have to pay full price for them. The worst thing is here is that live animals are only replaced or refunded if they die within 24 hours which I find a bit ridiculous. I once bought a catfish that would not eat and died with 48 hours of purchase and the petshop refused to do anything! I offered to bring in the fish as proof along with some aquarium water that they could test to prove it was not my fault it died but they would not hear of it!!!
Because of this ridiculous policy I have heard that people will buy a sick betta and if it dies after 24 hours and is therefore not covered by refund or whatever they will freeze the one that died, go and rescue another sick betta and then ring up the petstore (within the 24 hours) and tell them it died and take in the frozen fish.........
I think it is a shame that most petshops will not reduce the price of sick fish because in 99% of cases is they ring their suppliers and let them know that the fish has arrived sick or dead they will get credit for the fish anyway so technically it costs them nothing....... obviously this is only viable if the fish arrives from the supplier unwell/dead not if it is due to lack of care by the pet store......
My current sick fish was from walmart. I got him Sunday because I couldn't stand to see him in those conditions and he just spoke to my heart I guess you could say. He didn't look too bad in the store, but he was in hardly any water so I couldn't get a good look at his fins. Yesterday a good part of his bottom fin fell off so now I'm trying to treat him for possible septicemia thanks to the help of members here.
I paid full price for him, $4 and some change, I didn't even bother asking about a discount. I don't like that I kind of supported them selling bettas especially if that's how they're going to take care of them. When one of those little bettas get to you it's hard to walk away.
Goodness, I didn't realize that it's only 24 hours. Even if they didn't make it in that time period, there's a good chance that I couldn't make it back to the store because my class schedule can be insane and the store is half an hour away. Darn it...
Angus, I totally get what you're saying - hat's how I was with my Walmart girl too. Sometimes there's that one betta that just "clicks" and you can't leave them there. I just have to keep reminding myself that they really don't make much money on the fish themselves anyway - the bulk of the profit is in the supplies like the decorations, tanks, heaters, etc. Best of luck treating him!
Last edited by pittipuppylove; 02-20-2013 at 12:38 AM.