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Old 02-20-2013, 05:35 PM   #21 
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I am going to try and say this with great carefulness, because animal rights is something I feel very strongly about. Please forgive me if I don't do this perfectly.
This always is brought up in rescue threads and I totally agree. But fish aren't puppies or kittens so I highly doubt there will ever be a big outcry about their treatment and changes made. So fish rescues will go on, paid for or free. There are folks who I lovingly refer to as the "betta police" who have written blogs and articles about "true rescues" versus "sympathy purchases".

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But if I started rescuing again I would only go to buy the fish, not the accessories since that is how they really make their money.
BINGO! If you really feel a store is that negligent, boycotting them is the way to go. I have read on this forum where "true rescuers" will still buy supplies at the store they rescue from. In their mind as long as the fish was given to them for free they are doing the good deed, yet they will plunk down $$ for all kinds of supplies.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:36 PM   #22 
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Thank you! I really didn't want to offend anyone.

It's a hard issue. My personal solution has been to look for bettas on craigslist that are being rehomed. I won't pay for the fish, but I will buy a tank at fair market value (no sneaking a "fish fee" into the tank price). That way, I am helping an animal that needs a home, but not supporting the continued abuse and exploitation.

I have noticed that conditions can be just as dire, if not more so, for bettas whose owners have run out of interest or funds.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:00 PM   #23 
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registereduser, the fact that they are (in the opinion of most people) "just fish" is definitely something that contributed to my choice to get them from the store. Most people are outraged when a dog/cat/other cute furry pet is mistreated, but if a Betta is suffering and dying not many people even give it a second thought. I mean, trying to get people to care about cows, chickens, pigs, and other "farm" animals is an uphill battle (as a vegan I have been fighting this fight without much success, although some people are slowly starting to come around), so trying to get some respect for an inexpensive fish is going to be next to impossible. I don't expect stores to stop selling Bettas any time soon (if ever), and so taking in the sick ones is definitely not the worst thing you could do.

VJM, Craigslist is a great alternative! There are almost always people trying to get rid of their Bettas, and none of the money goes to the big companies. Although it's still hard giving money to individuals who don't care about their animals.

Last edited by LinkLover; 02-20-2013 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:29 PM   #24 
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I'm far from offended VJM. I was torn about my "rescue" betta. For all the reasons you mentioned. I hate that I gave money and possibly showed them a market for bettas, but it was walmart. People have been fighting walmart over so many things over the years and they just get stronger. I've seen fish taken in and out of there for years. I think the main reason I got Phoenix is because I grew attached to him that added with his conditions just put me over the edge. So while I'm not proud to say I bought this poor fish from walmart I am glad that he's doing better and hopefully on the road to recovery.

I totally see your point. It's just a hard subject to discuss.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:09 PM   #25 
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No offence taken, VJM. lol No problem with healthy discussion as long as no one starts in with the "OMG You're obviously wrong and are a horrible person for it!" mentality, all is well

I agree that if you pay full price for a betta, it isn't really a rescue - it's a sympathy thing. And I'm not overly fond of buying stuff or fish from pet stores - unfortunately for me, the only real option if I need something right away for my pets while I'm at school is to get it from Petmart/co :-/ They don't like me very much, though... I have a tendancy to mention to associates how the betta cups are stacked on top of each other and after I'm there any dead fish end up in plain view for all to see. Otherwise there's a pretty good LFS near where I live that gets my buisness whenever possible.

But I also have a more difficult time comparing fish to dogs and cats - like the others have said, people see puppies (or other furry animal, for that matter) neglected and in obviously bad shape, they freak out and there's a good chance that the local athorities are going to get involved. When the bettas are in sub-par conditions, hardly anyone cares because "its just a fish." Try to get locals or the athorities worked up about it, and they laugh at you - I've tried. I'd also be interested to see the profit made by a store off of a puppy as opposed to that of a betta (honestly don't know either of them - just thinking out loud that it'd be interesting to see and compare).

I do like the Craigslist idea - may need to start checking the local listings now...
Edit: Oh goodness. Just checked Craigslist. No bettas in the area, but there is a guy looking to buy pet snakes and pet rats in the same add and 10 gallon tank for sale with three female mollies, a snail, a fish that sounds like a Chinese Algae Eater, and a "large pleco." This is depressing.

Last edited by pittipuppylove; 02-20-2013 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:05 AM   #26 
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Thanks for being awesome people, you guys!

I strongly agree that people (speaking generally) care less about the conditions fish are kept in, sadly. But, because of the arbitrary line between "pets" and "food animals", care less about pigs than dogs. Yet we have seen such amazing movement recently on the pig gestational crate issue. I never thought I would see that in my lifetime. It makes me feel that individual action and advocacy can really change the world, albeit not at the pace I would like to see.

I don't have a problem with shopping at Petsmart or Petco, but it is certainly something to think about. Stores know where every dollar coming was spent, and if they see that live fish aren't bringing in money, they stop carrying them. It's like the grocery store. I have to get food somewhere, but they sell tons of animal products. If I only buy food that isn't animal based, and encourage them to carry a wider selection of animal free products, I am doing what I can to change the situation. I totally respect anyone who decides that a boycott is more ethical. There are certainly a lot of reasons to do so.

In the perfect world, pet stores would only carry supplies and rescue animals that need to be adopted. And they would provide excellent care for these animals while in their care. Imagine how cool it would be if Betta keepers who were going to kill their fish to get rid if them knew that they could just take them down to Petsmart and drop them off? And then I would adopt them all and become the crazy lady with a million tanks.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:22 AM   #27 
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In the perfect world, pet stores would only carry supplies and rescue animals that need to be adopted. And they would provide excellent care for these animals while in their care. Imagine how cool it would be if Betta keepers who were going to kill their fish to get rid if them knew that they could just take them down to Petsmart and drop them off? And then I would adopt them all and become the crazy lady with a million tanks.
IMO that's the one thing Petco and Petsmart have going for them. They do promote rescue and give grants to shelters all the time. The shelter I volunteer for has cats in the local Petco and that's how I got to know the folks there. I volunteer to clean the Petco cat cages for the shelter.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:30 PM   #28 
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I agree that more places should be willing to take in and adopt out fish. The problem is that they are so inexpensive that most people just toss them when they get tired of them, and wouldn't even think about trying to find someone to adopt it. Luckily there are some Betta rescue groups out there, but not very many. The reason they don't do well or last long is that instead of looking for a fish that needs a home, people just go spend a few bucks at the pet store to get a new one. Plus, when you tell people how to ACTUALLY care for a Betta it can make them change their minds, since it's more work than they originally planned on.

It's great that Petco does rescues, and they should continue doing so. But unfortunately it's mainly focused on dogs and cats. They will on occasion adopt out rodents and some reptiles, but it isn't that often and isn't promoted very well in my opinion. I just wish that more people would understand that dogs and cats aren't the only animals that can bring you happiness. There are so many great things about so many different kinds of animals, but the majority of people don't even give them a chance.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:54 PM   #29 
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Hey there,

I too am vegan and totally agree, by buying products that do not contain animal products you are supporting cruelty free companies and not giving the companies that use animal products any business, it is all about supply and demand.

The same thing goes with purchasing animals from pet shops, if no one buys them then they are not going to stock them, I must say that I would not like to see bettas disappear altogether from pet shops because we have no breeders locally where I live so it would mean I would need to ship them to me. I have rescued bettas in the past but generally I buy from the new pet shop in town.... she only sells the odd animal, most of her business comes from selling products for pets. She also has the best range of fancy fighters in town and although they are kept in tiny containers they are generally kept pretty clean and it is obvious that the bettas well being does matter to her (the manager). I rarely buy from anywhere else because they are so neglected........... I really think that it is important to educate people about fish being important and having feelings too but no doubt to a lot of people they will always be 'just fish' just as 'farm animals' will never be looked upon with the same compassion that 'pets' are (at least not by most people).
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:29 PM   #30 
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Just saw the same thread so i though may be you can guys get more idea...

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=159338
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