I think the OP is forgetting that puppies aren't the main sufferers of puppy mills. The breeding dogs are. They are the ones who spend their lives making babies with little to no vet care and living in squalid conditions. THIS is MUCH different from bettas... unhealthy fish will probably not spawn.. bettas in petstores come from well cared for fish some where.
I don't consider 99% of people that buy bettas from wal-mart etc "rescuers".. the one with the red fish.. you def are ;)... to actually be rescuing you must be saving from immediate danger.. most fish bought from LPS aren't in immediate danger.. just bad conditions.
Like I said... there is a fine line between boycotting bettas in stores and completely outlawing pet fish. There are already extremist groups who would like to ban 'non-native' species (saving dogs, cats, horses, and other livestock) and PETA who wants to ban having pets altogether. IF you have a problem try for better care...not for bans.
Alright you need to realize something else too. I live out in the Oklahoma Panhandle and the closest pet store is 100 miles away!!! So your tellin me instead of geting a "puppymill" betta i should drive all that way to get to a store that may not even have any, or i could order one that costs 30 some dollars on top of a hefty shipping fee???? What you preachin may be alright for city folk but i'm not a city dweller! This is the only affordible way to keep these great fish and i consider myself a rescuer!!! I save these fantastic fish and I will continue to buy fish there!!! Thank You Very Much!!!!
I really hate to point this out.. but for places like Walmart that sell bettas for 4-5 bucks each... It doesn't matter if the whole shipment dies one week.. they're going to get more in the next week. They're buying these things for a buck a pop, and just selling one covers the shipment. Unless they go a good 6-8 months with no sales.. nothing's going to change. And I'm sorry, but that's not realistic at all. Someone WILL buy them. Probably someone who has no idea what they're doing (Like my mother in law) and when that one dies, they'll go back and buy another. I wouldn't be surprised if large chain pet stores like Petsmart do the same thing.
And local pet shops? little ma and pop places.. the one here takes really good care of it's fish. All of it's animals in fact. We went in last week for a heater and I was showing my daughter a bubble nest. The fish had been there so long (in a 1 gallon.. they try to sell them as packages in 1 gallon tanks) that it had built a nest. And it makes sense to me. They have to watch spending and income, they're more likely to keep the fish healthy.
My point is, you're not "saving the many" at all. Even if every person on this forums decided never to buy a lps or walmart fish again.. they would still sell them. You have to be vocal, not passive.
Even ma' and pop (as they say) shops don't all take care of bettas.. the one near me has their bettas in cups smaller than the ones at petsmart and MUCH smaller than the big ones of wal-mart. They were even advertising small tanks by having a betta in one of these on the counter....
That's really little.. I know my local pet store isn't like most. You can tell they take care of the animals, as most of them can be handled and are very social (snakes, rats, birds, all of them), but rather then boycott places like that, with the tiny bowls, it might be more effective to ask them to change; Ask them to put out information sheets where they keep the fish. You can't expect them to stop selling items like that, they probably bring in good money, so they won't listen, but it's not unreasonable to ask them to inform buyers on what they're buying.. and pointing out that customers will probably spend more money on a 5 gallon and all the fixings then that novelty bowl isn't a bad idea.
I think you guys are misunderstanding something here. I am not pro-'sympathy purchase'. This does not mean you are forbidden from buying all LFS bettas-- it just means that you don't give your business to stores who take awful care of their bettas.
If the cups are clean and the bettas look okay, you are doing the right thing by supporting them whether they are Wal-Mart, Petco, Mom & Pops or Aquabid. And if they aren't, take the betta to the manager and give 'em an earful. If they are fully competent at their job they have no reason to neglect these bettas... it's a catch-22 for them. If they don't comply with either giving you an obviously dying fish as a rescue or treating the betta themselves (and THEN giving the fish department a makeover), just go to their boss.
So therefore I would have to say you are doing as much of a service to betta welfare by buying at a pet store who treats their bettas acceptably as you are by refusing to support sub-standard fish departments.
I don't disagree with that, but the OP basically said buying a fish from any store is bad, and they should all be bought online (which I don't really agree with, because how do I KNOW they're being cared for online?) or a shelter. Not ALL stores are bad.
MJ... this place doesn't sell the bowl.. just the fish.. as far as I could tell and it makes sense to me that they would try to push bigger tanks but for some reason they don't. I haven't been back to that place since they ridiculously over charged me for a 10 gallon and hood ($65.... just for the empty tank, hood, and a divider) but I'm going this week to see how much they price their plants at and I might look at their bettas and try to ask about why they keep them. The ones I saw last time were in horrendous conditions in tiny tiny cups. I doubt they'll do anything as they are an aquarium shop and their main income is from built-in tanks and salt water fish... not bettas.
I just always try to talk to people I see looking at bettas and explain how to properly care for them.. One lady had me show her all the right stuff to get like I was a petsmart employee LOL
I just think that it is not appropriate to attack someone with your own views and say theirs are wrong...Everyone has different views and I think there are a lot of intelligent betta owners on here that highly care about bettas in their own way. I read everyone's comments and they all have great aspects to them, I would not say anyone's is right or wrong.
I don't think attacking is the right way to go about things, people don't respond well to that.