As some of you may know, I have started a betta fish care awareness group on Facebook dedicated to educating people on proper betta care and raising awareness of betta abuse. The group is called Betta Fish Awareness Day.
There is a planned actual awareness day by the same name scheduled for June 21, 2012 that will be used to try and change harmful and abusive betta practices conducted in pet stores such as PetCo, PetSmart, Walmart, etc., by actively sending mass complaints to these companies by utilizing their company headquarter contact forms, posting horror stories on their FaceBook walls, handing informational Myth VS fact fliers outside their locations, and so forth. Spamming and harassment is not supported by the group, however, but creative methods for awareness are.
This is not the only goal of the group. The main goal is to educate new and old betta owners in order to destroy harmful practices perpetuated by companies, such as the use of less than 1 gallon tanks. Education is the best way to end abuse and when more people become aware of the abuse, the sooner it will stop. Just like with puppy mills, awareness of the problem is the best plan of action for the time being.
If anyone would like to join, please do so! I would also like some critical feedback and suggestions. So far the page has a resource guide for betta care that includes a list of forums (such as this one), ebooks/books/magazines, informational websites, and a PDF on creative ways to entertain your betta. I also have a series of Myth VS Fact "fliers" highlighting popular myths that are harmful to bettas and tackling them with the correct information.
I feel like my work is done at my Petco. they love me an enjoy talking with me. They will talk to me about adopting there sick bettas at times and I recently had a discussion with them about betta genetics
I am so glad someone is doing something like this (I already liked it)! I have only been a betta lover for a few weeks now, but as soon as I found out the truth about their care I felt the same way about them as I do about all other animals. Hopefully this will bring attention to the horrible treatment of these amazing creatures. You rock! :)
I know I will probably get a lot of people hating me for saying this, but realistically I doubt the size of their cups will change in the stores to 1 gallon+ containers.... They can be cared for properly in stores in their jars.
I think what you guys are doing means your hearts are in the right place but contacting corporate maybe with pictures of filthy conditions of their cups (A picture with the store location, date, etc.) would get corporate to come down on managers/employees to take better care of them might have a good effect? Maybe get them to change their care sheets from 1+quart to 1+gallon and stop the company from buying the small novelty aquariums (less then 1 gallon)- which would in turn force the tank companies to stop making them?? Somehow get permission from corporate to film their managers- backing up the "quality care" of their bettas by asking the store to test the water in the cups for ammonia etc. and post the results on youtube? (Kind of like betta secret shoppers that pop in and ask for random tests?)- For that idea you DO need permission to film, take pictures, and post them. (You would have to do more research on the legal aspects of pictures and film on private property.) Petsmart at least DOES have a aquarium water care guide, and I am sure corporate does take this seriously... (The high school kid who got the job to play with animals may not. <-example!!!!)
- Just ideas anyway.
As soon as just one person turns into an animal terrorist, that one person can ruin any progress made. (I know you stated clearly you don't condone crazy people.) Just like customer service though, if you are nice, state your problem in detail and are calm and in some cases persistent, you can go pretty far.
Better cup care would be a good thing
Last edited by Twilight Storm; 04-18-2012 at 02:00 AM.
Reason: oopsie can't phrase a sentence LOL
It's less about the size of the cups they are kept in at the stores, something that hasn't really been the issue so far and is not likely to change no matter how many people complain, it's more about the care they receive IN the cups; lack of proper water changes and feeding while they are in the store waiting to be bought, that is the problem. Big chain pet stores care for their other fish with regular feedings and proper water conditions, but because of misconceptions about the care of Betta, their water is not changed for days and they are not fed as they should be. Much of the time, they are left in an isle away from other pets and forgotten. The point is to raise awareness about the proper care of betta, and part of that is by contacting corporate pet stores and local betta sellers and telling them what they are doing is wrong, and the betta they sell are suffering for their ignorance. Laws from state to state are all different, and for the most part, it's impossible to take pictures, but that isn't really the point, either. Informing the public on the correct care for betta is one more way of pushing this care on corporations. How many people have we seen come to these forums looking for help and discovered the information from the pet store was all wrong? How many people have changed their outlook on Bettas and how they are treated just through this site? The point of the Facebook page, the awareness day, all of it, is to inform people, and hopefully our passion for Betta will spread with every new betta owners. The more of us, the louder the voice.
The other part is to inform the buying public that those "micro mini betta condo" type tanks, some holding a liter of water or less, are not suitable for a betta. The point of this.. well yes, push the companies into marketing larger tanks. Leaving fliers and reminders, posting on forums like this, or local city to city forums, about the proper care of a betta serves this goal. A betta is traditionally a "Throw away" pet, and the only way to change this is one store, one person, one betta at a time.
Its not so much about the cup treatment as it is the false information and deadly products they sell. Also, while in the UK I saw firsthand how a pet store CAN treat their bettas in proper tanks. Not to mention, I have seen videos of bettas being properly taken care of in MASS numbers, way more than what any store can hold, in Thailand on betta farms. They have much better conditions and tanks, so I do not see why it would be impossible to stop using cups when other places have.
Again, the cups are not necessarily the issue.
Lately I have seen the return of betta vases, a push for tiny, less than a gallon, tanks being sold, and false information being distributed not inly by employees at the store but on the care section of Petco's website as well. A while back, I saw their betta care fliers stating that the fish should be fed sparingly, about 4-6 pellets a week. It also said they should live in small tanks and water changes should take place about once a month. So I believe that fixing these problems is a first step in resolving poor treatment of these animals.
I would also like to state that I am 100% anti-PETA and 100% anti-ALF. I will NOT condone any acts of sabotage, harassment, or threats against pet stores or pet distributors. Education the way to fixing problems. Peaceful, creative, means work well too. Nobody should take out their frustrations on the employees or members of customer service, especially since they have no power over the betta conditions.