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Old 04-09-2013, 09:26 PM   #1 
JadeAngel
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It's official, our local Petco is the WORST in the area for Betta care

I was trying to kill time today since I got to wilkes barre half an hour too early to meet my mom, so I went to Petco since I was at petsmart (same plaza) only 2 days ago.

ok... they normally suck for betta care, but this was ridiculous!!! Forget the dozen or so bettas with swim bladder desease and fin rott... you had bettas thin enough to make a european run way model look fat, the tiny cups were not even 1/2 full with water, and there were at least half a dozen fish with so much fin missing I just teared up.

There was an elephant ear halfmoon (mislabeled just a halfmoon) that was missing entire chunks of it's pectoral fins on the tops and bottoms saving only enough in the middle to see it's an EE... and a couple of other little guys with half their tails missing, or with bad ammonia burns.

They shouldn't even sell them if they are just going to let them suffer! It was such a pity, and there were some beautiful ones in a sorry state to add to that. A black super delta butterfly, a metalic blue halfmoon with red and black buttefly tail and fins, and his brother was nearly identical but metalic greenish and just a touch less black.
I really shouldn't go in there again I suppose, it makes me sooo angry.

You know what would be awesome? If they could set up a volunteer organization to randomly do water quality and facility checks on the aquariums and betta cups at pet stores. So an unannounced and random check... the certified volunteer goes in, takes note of how the fish are kept, temperatures, crowding issues or bad stocking, food opened and available for the employees to give the fish at the time of the visit for the fish, and a quality test.

Then, anyone that gets a low score on the random check will have to pay a hefty fine. Let's improve the care of the aquatic animals... since pet stores only seem to give any real effort to the furry pets! (sometimes not even, but who speaks for the fish? The aspca and PETA certainly don't live up to their animal loving reputations when fish get involved)
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:35 AM   #2 
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Do you think you would be up to something along these lines?:

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=141705

It would of course be expensive and time-consuming and it would scrape your heart to see such mistreatment and neglect, and you might in some sense be supporting the evil empire of cruel petstores by acquiring their inventory--but, you'd definitely be doing your part for those poor bettas, and your feeling of powerlessness in the face of such awful malfeasance might be softened.

Or perhaps--and I can understand all sorts of reasons why this might not work, but--could you volunteer (do you have the time/patience?) to change the water for the bettas at that PetCo? You might start a conversation with a higher-up at the store, about deplorable conditions--only don't make your criticism so pointed; you might say something like, "I see that you have a lot of bettas on the sales floor, and it doesn't look as though their water is changed very frequently. Could I perform that task/provide that service for you gratis? Your fishes would enjoy better living conditions and expire with less regularity, so you would make more money with more sales." They may not accept the offer, but your sincerity might make them look again at how they are treating their bettas; at least it would alert them that someone took notice. I would be reticent to push for a voluntary oversight organization, because on the face of it there is no way a big retailer like PetCo would submit to those kinds of checks. And no prospective fine would have any teeth unless PetCo gave it the teeth. But I may well be wrong about the influence of groundswell/grassroots activism. Good for you! Honor your outrage, and see what you can come up with, by way of solution. (And please let us know what you decide to do.)
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:23 PM   #3 
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Originally Posted by ZubinBetta View Post
Do you think you would be up to something along these lines?:

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=141705

It would of course be expensive and time-consuming and it would scrape your heart to see such mistreatment and neglect, and you might in some sense be supporting the evil empire of cruel petstores by acquiring their inventory--but, you'd definitely be doing your part for those poor bettas, and your feeling of powerlessness in the face of such awful malfeasance might be softened.

Or perhaps--and I can understand all sorts of reasons why this might not work, but--could you volunteer (do you have the time/patience?) to change the water for the bettas at that PetCo? You might start a conversation with a higher-up at the store, about deplorable conditions--only don't make your criticism so pointed; you might say something like, "I see that you have a lot of bettas on the sales floor, and it doesn't look as though their water is changed very frequently. Could I perform that task/provide that service for you gratis? Your fishes would enjoy better living conditions and expire with less regularity, so you would make more money with more sales." They may not accept the offer, but your sincerity might make them look again at how they are treating their bettas; at least it would alert them that someone took notice. I would be reticent to push for a voluntary oversight organization, because on the face of it there is no way a big retailer like PetCo would submit to those kinds of checks. And no prospective fine would have any teeth unless PetCo gave it the teeth. But I may well be wrong about the influence of groundswell/grassroots activism. Good for you! Honor your outrage, and see what you can come up with, by way of solution. (And please let us know what you decide to do.)

My husband won't even let me adopt a healthy 5th betta because he wants no more tanks of any size, so I wouldn't be able to. We can barely afford what we have now. Though time... I have plenty of as I'm a stay at home mom (at least for another year, then I'll be job hunting)

but I was thinking of writing them about their extraordinarily high ratio of sick bettas. It might not do good, but if I do, and someone else writes them, and they get more than a few complaints about it, they may just do something.
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:46 PM   #4 
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Absolutely write to them, and to the parent company, and to the president/board of directors. No, it may not do any good, but seeing that you cc'd all the higher ups might make them change things.

Good for you for trying! It is heartbreaking.

It's odd that care varies so much, store to store. My Petco has really good care (a few dead bettas occasionally, but usually all are in spotless cups and no fin rot in sight). I still don't buy fish there, and avoid buying anything else from them.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:00 PM   #5 
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Absolutely write to them, and to the parent company, and to the president/board of directors. No, it may not do any good, but seeing that you cc'd all the higher ups might make them change things.

Good for you for trying! It is heartbreaking.

It's odd that care varies so much, store to store. My Petco has really good care (a few dead bettas occasionally, but usually all are in spotless cups and no fin rot in sight). I still don't buy fish there, and avoid buying anything else from them.
You're right, as I've heard some people complain endlessly about petsmart too. But our local petsmart never has any dead fish, fin rott, or dirty water. Walmart is another story... but still, this petco has managed to even outdo... or underdo? them

There is another local store down the road that also keeps their bettas in nice clean water, and they put a little bit of rainbow gravel at the bottom of each and every cup. I think that's so sweet, even if their cups aren't big. But their prices for supplies are higher, their selection is smaller, and it's a little more out of my way so I only have been there a few times. Still, it's nice to see a pet store that does something extra for their bettas It's not a chain store either, I can't remember the name... I'll have to pay attention to the name next time I'm in the area.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:31 PM   #6 
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Is your local fish store, the one that takes good care of the bettas, one of these?:

http://fishstorefinder.com/fish-stores/pennsylvania

My local PetCo and PetSmart seem to do a good job of caring for their bettas (and other living entities), but I imagine that if I were in your position, it would be well worth the extra expense and extra time it takes to get there, to go to the better fish store. PetCo's and PetSmart's prices are hard to beat, as any local fish store or pet store can tell you, and this is of course where they have us.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:02 PM   #7 
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Originally Posted by ZubinBetta View Post
Is your local fish store, the one that takes good care of the bettas, one of these?:

http://fishstorefinder.com/fish-stores/pennsylvania

My local PetCo and PetSmart seem to do a good job of caring for their bettas (and other living entities), but I imagine that if I were in your position, it would be well worth the extra expense and extra time it takes to get there, to go to the better fish store. PetCo's and PetSmart's prices are hard to beat, as any local fish store or pet store can tell you, and this is of course where they have us.
the one I'm talking about no, but the pet zone in pittston is only a few miles from here. I've been there a few times, and they seem to take good care of their aquatic animals as well... though they do encourage those betta bowls that are no bigger than the cup they come in then again... where doesn't? I only get a few things there though, as they are also more costly. OOOOOOH, but their salt water set ups are to die for! My daughter calls it the nemo and dory store
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:10 PM   #8 
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Petco takes the care of their fish and animals seriously. If they have a bad egg store out there, they need to know about it. Please call them and make it as dire as you can with the explanations, in fact call AND email.

I was in our Wal-Mart a few weeks ago and the poor fish were so eaten up with Ick, the bettas were in nasty water - I came home and emailed. A few days later - on EASTER no less I get a phone call asking for details and giving me very, very apologeticness from the manager. It was not enough, they kill to many fish in that store but i brought it to their attention that people were watching. I got to lecture the guy for a good 30 minutes on the fact that those fish were living creatures and didn't deserve to be treated badly. Those tanks got cleaned the next day, the pet guy got over time to come in on his day off to do it and all the Oscars that were extremely close to death without treatment got to live another day, and were still alive a week later.

Never under estimate the power of pictures, clipped to an email and the amount of people who read the emails of customer complaints that come in online.

We were in a Petco about 3 weeks ago, the cups were all nasty. The bettas were all sad and I complained. The general manager was on vacation that week and the bettas got over looked. We came back 3 or 4 hours later and they all had nice, new clean water and looked a bit happier.

Complain any time you see it. Some times it helps and sometimes it doesn't but once pointed out, usually they take action.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:31 AM   #9 
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I think a lot of it has to do with the interest level of the employees, sad as it is to say...

I was in a local Petsmart yesterday, one that I always have good luck with, and unfortunately, found a little blue female with mycobacteria (the "mystery disease"). I took her over to the pet care associate, and he KNEW WHAT IT WAS!

I was so thrilled! We checked the rest of the cups together, and it gave me hope that if we can get knowledgeable people in these positions, everyone will benefit.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:43 AM   #10 
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I think a lot of it has to do with the interest level of the employees, sad as it is to say...
I agree. Also my Pco seems to be understaffed so of course the fish, especially the betta, get short shrift. They mostly get sold or die off within 2 weeks when the next shipment comes in.

When the time comes to get my next 2 betta I hope a new LFS has some interesting ones. They sell them out of vases (no lillies). But they are all kind of average as far as color, probably above average as far as form and I hope, quality/health.
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