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I know there have been several of these lately, but I have some specific questions. Went by Walmart with my roommate tonight to do our regular shopping, and it dawned on me "hey, I wonder if this Walmart sells bettas." Sure enough, on the very back aisle of the store where NO ONE can see them, there were maybe five or six cups of bettas. Very dirty cups, very cold fishies, and some had bad fin rot. I know it sounds crazy to think a fish can look sad, but they all looked sad to me. Some would start moving a little when I picked up their cups, other just lie there. There was one orange guy that I wanted to bring home SO BAD. It made me feel guilty that I just bought my fish at Petsmart last weekend, when all these guys had clearly been on the shelf for a long time and probably do not have many prospective buyers. I feel like that even betta newbies (like myself) typically go to some kind of chain pet store like Petsmart or Petco for their fish, and the poor little guys at Walmart get overlooked. I mean, how many people are doing their grocery shopping at Walmart and think, "hey, I think I'll get a fish today?" I mean, I have owned a few bettas and have one now, but until tonight, I don't think it ever occurred to me to even check out Walmart when selecting a fish for purchase. I remember when Walmart used to sell all kinds of fish about ten years ago and I don't know if some still do, but this one only sells bettas. Clearly no fish handlers present on the staff because these guys were in bad shape. I wanted to find the store manager and shake him! I wish I could bring all the bettas home with me, but I really don't have the room in my dorm for even one other small tank. Like, I honestly don't think I'd have the room for a gallon tank in here and 2.5 is the smallest I'm willing to go anyway.

What do you all think about the Walmart fish? How can we, as betta keepers, begin to solve these problems? Is there anyone to contact?

I know that buying them only means the store will order more. :( It seems like an overwhelming problem. My big heart wants to buy solely from Walmart now because I feel like the fish there are much less likely to go to happy homes and seem to be treated even more poorly than the ones in similar cup-conditions at real pet stores. :cry:
 

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They will always order more... if they die, they have lost the stock as if it had been bough anyway. I know exactly how you feel. I feel like three groups are at fault here: 1) Walmart executive, who value money more than they value morals or the welfare of anything, 2) breeders who CHOOSE to supply stores they KNOW will abuse their fish. I feel like it is a breeder's responsibility to ensure the welfare of beings they created on purpose, and 3) the ignorant public. I think the first thing we can do is to make a change in the people at the bottom of this chain by educating them. Those of us that have the privilege of knowledge and experience in proper betta care are the only people that can make a difference; we are often the only ones that realize there is even a problem. Then, we confront those who are threatening the morals of pet ownership. There are many ways this can be done, and a lot of it goes back to promoting awareness. Last but not least, we must prove to the "big guy" that we're not okay with this. I have wanted to shake my store manager so many times, but he is basically akin the nazi soldier who was forced into service.

Just know you can't save every life, but you can do all in your power to reverse the cycle.
 

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I know how you feel. I do not shop at Wal-Mart for other reasons, but I happened to stop by to look for something and ended up taking home a fish with SBD. It took a couple days, but after treatment he is now healthy. This was just a week ago. My boyfriend and me are getting a house soon, and I already told him I am setting up a betta sanctuary there.
 
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