Originally Posted by Lion Mom
I understand people wanting to go to Wal-Mart & other places to rescue fish in general and Bettas in particular. Your hearts are in the right place.
HOWEVER, you are NOT helping by doing it. The more they sell, the more they will order and MORE will suffer!!!!
When you purchase these "rescue" bettas you may be saving ONE, but THREE more will be taking his place, IMO.
The BEST way to eliminate the poor treatment of bettas (and fish) is NOT to buy from disreputable places and ONLY support good quality breeders/LFS, etc.
It is simply the law of supply & demand. If they aren't selling, they won't carry an item/fish/bettas.
While this is typically true, it doesn't work for betta's, or most inexpensive fish in general.
I've worked with animal rescues for years, and one thing we preach is to never buy from a backyard breeder or puppymill. Don't support it. And in doing so, many backyard breeders have closed up shop when they couldn't get $500 and more for cute puppies, or $1,000 more in pet stores.
However, it's not nearly as easy with fish, and simply refusing to buy the fish, will never make the problem go away. Walmarts here get their betta fish shipment on Wednesdays. Usually around 20-25 betta cups. By the weekend, they are completely sold out each and every time.
I worked at a pet store for years as the pet department manager. We'd order 50 betta's at a time. By the next week, we'd be sold out before our new shipment even arrived. Betta's we sold for $3.50, we were only paying 50 or 75 cents for wholesale. If someone didn't buy the betta we payed 50 cents for, someone else would. And if betta's got sick, and died, the manager only lost 50 cents. Not a $500 puppy.
So while I understand that line of thinking with fish, it doesn't work nearly as easily as it does with backyard breeder and pet store puppies. Someone refusing to buy a $500 puppy from a pet store, will have a bigger impact than someone walking away from a $3 fish that the store only payed 50 cents for.
And I do consider, personally, buying a sick fish in order to save its life and help it, rescuing. All of mine were in pitiful shape when I got them. And had I not, they would've been dead in a day or two. Or in Taco's case, an hour or two. And the stores would've never blinked an eye at a 50 cent fish floating dead in its cup. I can't see letting an obviously sick animal die to prove a point to a store that pays mere change for the animal, and couldn't care less if they lose a few.