Heres an article I wrote up for the website that I'm working on, I decided to post it here as well!! I hope you enjoy it!!!
Knowing the Difference Between a Rescue and a Sympathy Purchase
The first step to rescuing bettas is being able to tell the difference between a rescue and a sympathy purchase. A sympathy purchase is really nothing more then seeing a sick fish on a shelf and buying it because you feel bad for it and you want to help.
There is nothing wrong with this, but remember, it can't really be called a rescue, because in paying for the fish you are in a way saying to the pet store "Hey you take really bad care of your fish, but I don't care and I'm going to give you money anyway."
So in reality you're paying the store to take bad care of the fish, and they're not going to try and improve anything because they're making money off of the way things already are.
A real rescue involves paying no money at all for a fish in need of help. Most pet stores are willing to give you a sick fish that will obviously die on the shelf otherwise, if you're just willing to ask for it. Some won't.
Some stores, such as walmart, are willing to discount for "damaged goods" while this isn't as good as getting the betta for free, it still sends out a message that they will lose money if the bettas are not well taken care of.
So You Want To Help But Can't Take In Another Betta?
No Problem! There are plenty of other things that you can do!
Start an online petition
- Get a ton of signature and begin mailing or emailing the petitions to your local petstores.
Print out Flyers
- Create and print out an eye catching informational flyer about the proper care of bettas. Leave a stack next to the betta cups at a local petstore or carry them with you when you know you'll be going to a pet store and hand them to people who look like they may be interested in purchasing a betta.
- Make business cards with a couple quick, but important betta care facts, and add a link to your favorite betta specific website or forum. And do the same as listed above for the fliers.
Word of Mouth
- If you go to a petstore and see someone looking at bettas, strike up a conversation, see what they know and don't know about bettas and try and point them in a positive direction.
Proper Care Sheets in Pet Store
s - Approach the manager at your local petstores and ask if they have betta care sheets, if they don't ask them if they would be interested in having you write one up for them. If they do, see if they look good, If some information seems off try and explain to the manager what information is wrong, and tell them you would be willing to help them fix it. Big chain stores like petco and petsmart aren't allowed to change their care sheets as they are made by the corporate office and sent out to all of the stores. But local stores my be happy for your help.
Write a letter
- Write a letter to your local petstore and explain to them whats wrong with the bettas, explain that they need the water in those cups changed daily, explain that they need heaters, explain everything, provide facts, don't stop trying.
On our own we are no more then a whisper, but if we all take a stand, all do these things, we will grow to a roar, we will be a force to be reckoned with, and they will have to listen to us!