I know this is kind of a wierd sounding thread, but I've been looking for my next betta to be a rescue. So what do you guys think is "worthy" of a rescue, not trying to sound harsh. Things I would consider would be severe fin rot, pop eye, or maybe SBD. What do you guys think?
I'm going to try to not sound like I'm on a soap box...
When it comes to buying/ rescuing a betta from a store you (hereafter speaking of the general public) have two obligations. 1 is to the fish that you want to save, 2 is to making that store PAY for what they do to their fish.
If a person wants to be serious about rescue they HAVE to REPORT, REPORT, REPORT. Buying a sick fish is honorable but its not going to solve anything except put money in the store's pocket to replace with another fish. When you see that special fish that is near death tell the employee AND the manager. If they seem reluctant to fix the situation then report them to corporate if they are a chain store. If they are not a chain (even if they are) threaten to contact PETA and the HSUS along with the media if things aren't improved. Usually a threat of PETA is enough to scare any pet store.
When you see a betta in need try to get the store to give it to you for free or discounted if possible. If they don't offer a discount than its ok to still buy it but make it be known that the store is going to have .... to pay for mistreating their animals.
Now as for what constitutes a rescue: unclean cups, any noticeable illness, lethargy.. anything that is visibly wrong that you can show the store and say "this is unacceptable".
Sorry if that sounded too much like a rant. I get a lot of flack for how I handled my wal-mart rescues but most people don't know I'm still working towards closing the fish section down in that place. Rescuing in its true form is more than buying a sick fish IMO,
My best suggestion is to use the complaint form on the actual website and lay out your complaints there, saying that you won't shop at that store again until the conditions are improved. I'm not a confrontational person, so I can never really go up and complain to a manager, and I've worked in retail too long to ever complain to a standard employee because I know that there are some things they would like to do, but are not allowed to. Also, if you complain over-much, that's the point when people working in retail start nodding and apologizing--and once you leave, they go find whatever other worker isn't doing anything and start talking. The conversation usually begins with "You wouldn't believe this customer I just had..." Even managers will do this sometimes, though they talk about it after the store's closed for the night.
Now, I know that there's a big, BIG difference between the guy who complained to me for ten minutes that there was an erotica section in the chain bookstore and someone genuinely protesting the treatment of live animals. But most employees won't care. Even those that work at a pet store might not like fish, so they might look at the fish as not being any different from books. Also, threatening someone with reporting it to corporate might not be the best idea, because (a) if you get too worked up, they will remember you when a complaint comes in, and (b) threats to report things don't have a lot of weight. I had one woman tell me that she was going to make sure I got fired when she misunderstood something I said to another employee, and I never even got a cursory "watch what you say to customers" note from my boss. No write-up, no nothing. I'd just report the fish treatment, and if it doesn't get better or the problems start occurring again, report again and get some of your friends to do the same. Not only is the volume of complaints important, but reporting something online means that your age doesn't matter--which it does in-store, unless you look over 25 or so (i.e. out of college).
I'm sorry, 1fish2fish, I'm not trying to undermine your suggestion, because I applaud what you're doing and how much gusto with which you're doing it! I just wanted to offer a different opinion based on how the average employee or young manager (and I swear, I'm actually a very conscientious employee) will handle customer complaints that they see as "unrealistic." I'm actually heading out to the Petco I submitted a complaint to about a week ago, just to see if they're treating their fish any better. So it'll be a good field test... It's definitely not to look at another girl for my sorority. Why would you get that idea? *shifty*
But on a more positive note, good job deciding to pick a rescue! They're very rewarding, because you can look at the fish in the bowl and say "it would've died without me!" Or something of the sort. :P
I understand you lastbook. I always try to go to the store management first but after that I always go to corporate (which is usually in the form of a letter or a 1-800 number). Writing letter's helps too and somewhere floating around the internet is a draft of a letter you can use to send to managers etc.
As far as age.. don't let that stop you. I'm only 19 so many people are inclined not to listen to me. Rehearse your argument and try to sound not emotional but tactful and firm. If your eloquent with your words people will be more inclined to believe you.
saying that you won't shop at that store again until the conditions are improved
Wish I could do that...but what if you only have one store that sells bettas? The other day I found a dead betta floating in its cup covered in fungus. I simply gave it to the employee and said, "You'd probably better dispose of this." They can be completely clueless-once I heard two saying that "all the bettas seem to be dying." Well what do you know-I looked and they almost all had Ick/Ich.
Hmmm...does a betta that jumped out of its cup count as a rescue? I also found one of those once. Wish I could rescue some but I have no room-I am working on making it though!