I never, ever go to Walmart...usually...but I went the other day and since I'd heard all these horror stories I had to go check out their bettas.
BIG SURPRISE! The water was relatively clean, no dead bettas, very very few unhealthy bettas and a really pretty yellow VT. The had CTs and VTs and VT females.
My LPS, when I went yesterday, had a ton of "females" and over half of them were PK males. They had 4 white ones but one had a deformed spine :( There's one I might get if I go and he's still there. But they keep their bettas in the smallest cups I've ever seen.
Petsmart is basically the same as Walmart but just with bigger quantities. The had a really deformed female the other day though.
I live in an area with about 4 pet stores that sell fish, Petco, 2 Petsmarts and Uncle Bill's. My favorite is Uncle Bill's hand down. They take excellent care of their fish. Even though the bettas are in small jars (a little smaller then the cups at petco or petsmart) they change the water daily, it's always clean and I mean crystal clear clean. The bettas are brightly colored and healthy. Petco and Petsmart rank about the same though Petco has a bigger variety of fish they aren't so good with the water quality. Petsmart has that irritating blue water, you can't see the fish well. Both stores are hit and miss with their fish :/
Here we have a brand new petsmart and they take real good care of their fish, they are in blue water which is caused by the medicated treatment they use due to the fact they are not in a filter system. A locally owned petstore has better choice of supplies(only place that carries bine eggs here)but dosent carry to many bettas. Walmarts fish section ticked me off, its pretty bad when my 2 yr old turned to his momma and asked "mommy whats wrong with fishies?"
Well as I'm in a "new" area I'll list the stores in my home town vacinity:
Petsmart>Walmart (No PetCo)
Petsmart was actually pretty on par with walmart though. They had tiny little "filtered" compartments to live in but they current from the drip system was too strong and didn't reach half the compartments. Also they CONSTANTLY had bettas that had jumped into other compartments with other bettas! I had to start a fuss to get anything done! >=[
The walmart is awful though. They put the food RIGHT BESIDE the bettas and everyone feeds them!!!!!!! >=[ They're all bloated after being there 2 days and they all die quickly in the store because they aren't maintained!
I usually go to petsmart, they seem to take care of their fish well and the workers usually know fair amount about the fish, they do their job well. I think that if you are going to work with animals, you need to know the basics of them so you will be selling them to good homes.
Sometimes I do find a sick fish there though or a dying one.
Last time I went was the first time I ever found a dead fish, it was a betta just lying in its cup lifeless. :(
Walmart actually appears to take care of there fish, when i've gone there some look pretty healthy and happy, but I still see more sick or dead ones there than other places. I noticed recently that they don't get rid of fish that die, they let the other fish live in the waste and pick at the dead ones. Very gross and unneeded. There bettas looked well, I haven't seen any unhealthy looking ones except they looked sad or bored.
I haven't been to petco because it is alot farther away than the others, I hope I can go sometime though.
we have bettas from petco, walmart, and petland. we have been to petsmart but they had an overstock of bettas and they we're all on a shelf in the dark and didn't look all that good . the walmart i work in is a coin toss when there look bad i start yalling at management (i don't work that department, thought about changing departments tho) but so far petco had the nicest bettas but petsmart had better tanks for there other fish.
PetSmart definately rules out of PetSmart, PetCo, and LPS. I've never been to walmart, and have no desire to go. PetSmart has limited tail types, but usually has some nice colors. I saw a dalmation the other day, and I got my Yellow and Blue VT there. PetCo has many tail types, but the employees there were annoying me (they were telling me that bettas should live in small tanks,and they don't like heaters) , and the water was dirty. LPS lets you take orders (I comtemplated ordering a pure white halfmoon male, but I saw Louie, my blue and yellow VT at petsmart and bought him. =P) but the bettas are kept in glass jars smaller than petco's, and they don't have lids. One of the small containers has 6 peices of uneaten food in it. The poor betta wasn't looking too hot either.