Some of these stories are really horrible! The poor fish..It IS animal abuse, but of course fish are seen as "lesser" animals because they're not cute and fuzzy..And "Oh they're just fish." -.-
It's strange how some stores take very good care of their fish, but a lot of them act like they're not even living creatures. My Petco is wonderful and I buy all of my bettas and aquarium supplies from there - I've only seen one dead betta and their cups are always kept clean. I can't speak on the sales associates because I don't need to talk to them most of the time, but they seem friendly. I'm actually looking to get a job there.
The closest Walmart is over half an hour away, so I haven't been there in quite a while to look at their bettas. Next time I'm in there, I'll probably rescue one..Hopefully their conditions aren't too bad.