For me. Rescuing is to save something for imminent danger. Unless you buy a fish that is days away from death purchasing a fish from a pet store is not a rescue because you cannot say with most certainty that a healthy fish from a pet store will wither away in its cup.
To buy an animal because you don't like the chance that it could possibly end up in a bad situation is a sympathy buy. My VT female with the crooked spine is a sympathy buy.. I was afraid no one would think she was pretty and wouldn't buy her so I took her home to fill a space in my sorority.
As for paying for an animal vs adoption fee, for me they are two very separate things. If anyone knows anything about rescues and shelters is they are virtual money pits. They barely cover the costs of upkeep on the animals and keeping facilities open which is why donations are so heavily relied upon.
When you adopt a dog (for example) it usually comes spayed or neutered, microchipped (in most cases nowadays), and up to date on all shots and preventative medications. If anyone knows anything about costs of veterinary care you'll know that the things I mentioned are NOT cheap. Add into that food, toys, shelter, supplies and the shelter is not profiting off the adoption of that animal.
Pet stores on the other hand take a fish that they buy for at most $1 (and that's pushing it) and turn it around and sell it for $5+. Big profit.
I still don't refer to my dog as a 'rescue'. She's adopted. She was not in dire straights when I adopted her so IMO she is not a rescue. Dogs on death row, dogs rescued off the streets, etc.. those are rescues. Happy healthy dogs and puppies from no kill shelters are adoptions.
As far as stealing fish. I've heard of people that have done that and to be honest I find that despicable. You wouldn't steal milk or bread from a store so why is stealing a fish ok? Stealing is never ok and debasing yourself just for one or two fish which WILL be replaced and will NOT be missed by the store is disgusting. Instead why not save up your money and buy a fish from a hardworking hobbyist who has put countless hours and dollars into their fish.
1fish2fish, I completely agree. Though in a way, when you adopt a dog from a no kill shelter, you are in a way rescuing a dog. You might argue that no, the dog you just adopted was not in need of being rescued, but in taking that dog out of the shelter they can go and rescue another dog that is at a kill shelter. In fact, one of our dogs was rescued from a kill shelter, we just happened to adopt him from a no kill shelter. But in adopting him they were then able to go and get another dog from the kill shelter. I would say that it was a win-win-win!
We got a great dog, the dog got a great home (he is now 10-12 years old and still young!), and the shelter can help another dog (even though this was 8 years ago...).
But since there simply are not that many rescues for bettas, I try to buy from the places that keep their fish the best. My rational for this is yes, I can buy ONE fish in horrible conditions. But then I just gave them a profit and an excuse to keep all the rest in horrible conditions because someone else just like me will come along and do the same. Instead, if I choose not to buy the poor fish kept in horrible conditions, and if no one else did either, they will literally start just throwing money away. They had to buy the fish in the first place, if it doesn't get sold they lose money. Eventually they will lose enough money that it won't be worth them selling them any more. When I go and buy a fish kept in healthier conditions, displayed nicely, etc, and pay top dollar for that fish, the person/company/etc that sells them will have incentive to keep their fish healthier because they get the most profit. I have no problem paying $14 for a fish at my local Petco because they actually do a really good job of taking care of them and take pride in keeping them looking amazing (and it is torture going in and looking at them when I can't get any more. :'( ). Yes, one fish really appreciates being "rescued", but all of the others that don't get rescued and have to sit and die in those little cups don't appreciate it.
What I would strongly recommend is filling out a comment card or writing the store. Tell them you simply could not buy fish from them because you were appalled by their conditions. Go on to a site like Yelp and write about the sub-par conditions of their animals. Dropping profits is the only thing that will get their attention.
Yes, this forum isn't a place where people should be encouraged to break the law and possibly get caught. I understand that some stores upset people and make them want to steal the live animals on stock, but we must remember that stealing is wrong even if it's a fish. People get in trouble for stealing and it's not pretty when it happens. I don't want anyone on here doing anything that will get them into deep trouble.
My opinion matches the OP. Would you buy every puppy from a guy obviously selling dogs from a puppy mill? I sure would not. That's just encouraging the puppy mill. Now, would I rescue a dog confiscated by animal control/police from a pupply mill? I have and I would again.
No worries, sorry....that post wasn't directed at just you.....that was directed at everyone as a general rule.......stealing is wrong...Period......... and as a family friendly forum we should not encourage, suggest or give direction on how to do it.......fish or anything........
Holy mackerel, I can't believe I missed this! I agree with OFL 100%. I've read where some people buy a betta then when another one dies they take the receipt and the dead one and go get a new one for free.That is extremely dishonest. I hope our members are better than that.
I agree with 1fish2fish as well and several others on this thread. I do believe it is important to support local fish stores that treat their pets humanely when possible.
But I do want to caution you 1fish2fish that I did the exact same thing as you, purchase a red veil tale male to be exact with some deformities becuase he looked very close to death. And I have reported what happened on another thread so forgive me for being a broken record, but the fish lived for years but died with a severely bent spine as well.
That and other symptoms led me to believe he had fish tuberculosis (which because he never lived with other inhabitants, he had when I purchased him). The fish can live for a while under ideal conditions, but it is highly contagious to other fish, contractable and dangerous to humans, and very very difficult to eradicate fully from your tank save breaking it all down and using pool grade bleach. I called vets to try to get an autopsy but the cost was $375, but I am nearly 100% certain with the symptoms he displayed it was fish tuberculosis. Apparently a disease that is more common than not these days in poorly run pet stores.
Not trying to hijack, but thought I should warn you since you are a breeder. And thought I would post this as caution to those who want to save dying fish from high volume stores. And please be careful in quarantining these animals before introducing them to community or divided tanks or it is possible that you may save one fish to the detriment of others.
well, I call mine rescues because I am almost 100% positive the "rescue" ones would of died if I did not take them home with me. Lucky is a VT but looked like a CT with holes all over his fins and sever ammonia burns (you can watch his music video in my siggy to see his original condition) and Sushi literally looked like 1/2 a fish floating in her cup because her tail was gone completly. tasuki is the newest walmart rescue. He is a CT with a bad case of fin rot.
FYI: I dont go for the ones at deaths door. The fish needs to be active and responsive. Fin rot, SBD and ammonia burns I can handle but I dont want to mess with actual fish diseases like ich, fungus, ect.
The ones from petco all looked OK but when i tested the ammonia levels they were all between 2 - 4.0 I don't consider them rescues as they may if been bought by someone else but with ammonia levels so high I dont think they had much time left to fins homes.
Maybe not so much for petco since they are a petstore but in the case of walmart, i doubt it would make much difference weather we buy fish there or not. The price of a $6 fish compared to other items like TV's and food..I dont see it making a dent in their profit margin.
There is a local fish store here called fishtopia but they are worse then both walmart and petco put together. other then that, the nearest place would be 400 miles south in anchorage.
as for the walmart barcode thing - my walmart just has the UPC number on the cup AND the cashiers tell all people buying fish to raise the cups/bags above the security gates at the entrance. Supposedly the radiation or whatever it gives off can kill the fish.