no to pet stores

peppermint saga

ok so. it starts with a baby albino corn snake that i got from our local pet store. i was. young. not sure how young. 8? idk. i named him peppermint.

we had him for about three years until he escaped, i think (i know he escaped but i’m not sure how old he was when he did escape. he escaped by pushing the (locked) lid off of the second smaller tank we fed him in). and for a good nine months we assumed he was dead. and then at the end of the nine months we found him.

alive.

but he was cagey and angry n not happy (but way way way bigger he’d been eatin well) so we took him to a different pet store who promised they would rehabilitate him! yay! and then a few weeks later we go to our friends house.

n they go.

wanna meet our new snake.

n i’m , a snake kid so i say Yeah and then i see him n i’m like, why did u name that snake homer simpson. that’s peppermint. he loves me and remembers me. (they had gotten him from the same place as we had given peppermint to so it wasn’t a guess that it was him.)

and so whenever we go to their house i take him out n put him in their bathtub and have fun with him and stuff. n they’re not taking good care of him! so. they try to give him back to us.

but we can’t take care of him and my dad wouldn’t let us take him back anyways so it doesn’t matter.

so we give him to my classmate (at the time. this was abt 7th grade) vlad who has a Lot of animals and takes good care of them. and for awhile we assume hes still there.

and then last year i’m doing my thing and chris my math tutor (who was my 7/8th grade math teacher which is how we kno him) comes to my house to Do The Tutoring.

and goes “wanna guess who my class pet is?”

currently he’s still there. who knows where peppermint will go next. what wonders he will see.

peppermint u handsome bastard. i love you.

Here’s a story about “disposable pets”. Granted this was like 40 years ago but still. My mom was on a youth swim team and at the end of their season, the coach bought literally hundreds of pet store gold fish and dumped them in the pool. The kids could chase them and catch them with party cups. You could keep them, if they weren’t dead…

Update post!

Lyras doing better now that her water is getting darker. I’m also getting blackwater extract on Monday, so I’m hoping that will help. I also might look around the pet stores for a light colored background. She’s by far the most crazy aggressive betta I’ve ever had! A fly landed on the outside of her tank and she lost her mind for a solid ten minutes after I started it away.

And the boy has a name! He’s officially Chinchou!

mindless-insight  asked:

Hi! Sorry if you've answered this before, but I'm looking into getting some Madagascar hissing cockroaches (I'm not sure exactly which species the pet store has bc they're feeders) and I'm curious if I can co-house isopods with hissers? I know that isopods need more humidity than hissers, so would this be a bad idea? I've tried to figure this out on my own but you seem like you really know your inverts so I thought I'd ask! Thanks in advance 😃

Hi! Yes, you can keep isopods with hissers. I have Giant Oranges in with my Halloween hissers (they match).

You should not keep isopods with roaches that lay eggs if you want to breed the roaches, as isopods have been known to eat the egg cases. But hissing cockroaches are oviparous (give birth to live babies that hatched inside their body), so they can have isopods as clean up crew.

Some good choices of isopods for hissing cockroach enclosures include Giant Canyons (Porcellio dilatatus) and Powder Blues (Porcellionides pruinosus). They tolerate drier conditions. I keep my hissers just humid enough for the Giant Orange (Porcellio sp.) to do very well. 

The isopods will do just fine as long as you have leaf litter or other biodegradables to create humid microclimates under them. The leaf litter is supplementary food for the isopods (my hissers nibble them too), and also keeps the soil moist and humidity up underneath, without raising the general humidity of the enclosure. 

I also have springtails in with my hissers. Because of the leaf litter, they can survive.

Seriously though, the number of grown adults who pitch a WHINY HISSY FIT when I tell them that they can’t take an animal home is astounding.

My favorite one from this holiday season was a man with a young girl (about 5 or 6 years old) and a teenage boy.  The man approaches me and, without me even asking what I can help them with, says:

Man: So we had a goldfish in a bowl and my son changed the food and it died!
Son: (clearly offended, yet texting) It wasn’t MY fault!
Me: Actually the reason it more than likely died is because goldfish REALLY shouldn’t be kept in bowls.
Man: Well it’s a big bowl, like this! (mimes about a gallon-sized bowl shape)
Me: Yeah, that’s actually pretty darn tiny.
Man: Well anyway, we want to get another one.
Girl: I want three!
Me: Unfortunately I can’t sell you a fish today– your setup really isn’t going to work for a goldfish.  You’re going to need at least 10 gallons for just ONE and even then you’re going to have to upgrade within a month or so.  Goldfish really aren’t a beginner fish…

As I say that I brace myself knowing what’s coming up.  Almost every time I refuse sale of a fish, I get the same reaction: outrage and demanding to talk to the manager, etc.

Man: Well I HAVE a tank.
Me: …I really don’t feel comfortable selling you the fish since I really feel like you’re not going to give it the proper care it needs for a long and healthy life.
Man: What?! I said I have a tank!  Why won’t you sell me the fish?!
Me: How big is the tank?
Man: 10 gallons!
Me: I still don’t feel comfortable selling you the fish.  I’m going to have to refuse the sale, I’m very sorry.
Man: What do you mean?!
Me: I’m not going to sell you fish today, I’m very sorry.
Man: I demand to talk to your manager!!!
Me: -points to nametag- Sir, I AM the manager.
Man: -takes a full pause, not expecting this-
Man: So you’re not going to sell me a fish, really?  These 15-cent fish that you feed to turtles, you’d sell it for that but not to me??
Me: If you had the setup for it, I would be more than happy to.
Man: I told you I have a tank!
Me: You told me you had your fish in a bowl.  I honestly believe you are just saying this to get the fish at this point, sir, I’m sorry.
Man: What do you I have to do, bring in a picture to prove I have it??
Me: -calling his bluff in a cheerful tone-  Absolutely!  I would love to see pictures of your tank and I would be more than happy to help you stock it after seeing your setup!
Man: (He takes another full pause) I’m going to call the company and COMPLAIN about you!  This is ridiculous, what’s the number to complain??
Me: I’m afraid I don’t know that off the top of my head sir.
Man: You don’t know the company number???
Me: No sir, but I believe it’s on our website.

While this was going on, the teenage boy was in the reptiles aisle texting and the girl was watching the turtles swim around in our tank nearby.  The man then grabs his daughter by the hand and does this in front of other customers:

Man: Let’s go– the lady’s not going to sell us fish.  She’s a MEAN LADY. (he’s staring directly at me as I stand there with no expression on my face)
Girl: Oh we’re not getting fish?  -not even upset-
Man: Yeah because she’s a MEAN LADY. (he says these words at a higher volume and with more emphasis)

He continues to repeat that phrase as he exits down the reptile aisle, making customers uncomfortable and I just shrug and go back to what I was doing before this scene.

An hour later I get a call from corporate.

NC: Hi, this is the national center, we just wanted to ask about the conditions surrounding a complaint we received about you.  A customer has complained that you wouldn’t sell him a fish even after stating he had the correct setup.  We just would like to hear your side of the story.
Me: (I tell him about the fact the guy had a goldfish in a bowl and then changed his story saying he had a tank and that I refused sale because I didn’t feel he was being honest or would care for the animal)
Me: And then he left the store, calling me a “mean lady” several times in a loud voice and said he would call you guys.
NC: Ok Christina, I just wanted to let you know that we agree with you 100% and that you did everything you were supposed to.  We wish you a very happy holiday season and I hope your shift goes well!
Me: Thank you!  You too!

I did a little happy dance and told the other manager on duty, who didn’t believe me when I said the company would have my back on the issue (he thought the company would bend over backwards for the guy and it would bite me in the butt)

BUT WAIT IT GETS BETTER

The next day I come in for work at 2PM to find out from my general manager that the guy had called the store (after the nat center told him I was correct, mind you) to complain about me and saying that my behavior was “irresponsible” and that I was “unprofessional” and that I should be reprimanded or fired.

My general manager just said “Well I’m sorry to hear that sir but you see, she has NEVER gotten a complaint as long as she has worked for the company and the national center has already stated that she has done everything according to policy.  Sorry you feel that way, man, but there’s nothing I’m going to do against her in this situation.”

Made my week.

So, yeah, my company defended the life of a 15-cent “feeder” goldfish.

I’m pretty damn happy about that.

A Pet store PSA

Don’t put your hands in cages!

Dont put your hands in cages!

Dont let your kids put their hands in the cages!

This also applies to aquariums, and In one case I saved someone from losing a finger

Here’s how it happened:

It all started with this little guy

(In this picture he was pissed off because I gave him two mussels, but I gave the remaining ones to other fish)

Hes a porcupine puffer, a notoriously food oriented saltwater fish.

Our tanks have black wooden ‘flaps’ that the employees can lift up to get inside the tanks. This keeps customers from reaching into them, and also keeps jumping fish Inside the tanks. 

Enter stage left- sorority girl and dudebro boyfriend. 

I walk back to the tanks to ask if they need anything, and lo and behold, sorority girl had lifted up the flap and is starting to reach into the tank towards a puffer that is snapping at the glass and swimming back and forth so quickly that water is splashing out of the tank and onto the floor.

So naturally I yell “STOP, DONT TOUCH THAT”  and she retracts her hand. And I quickly explain that puffers, and especially 12 inch basketball sized puffers have incredibly strong jaws and sharp teeth, and he can easily mangle, break, or eat a finger thinking it was food. 

Then I have to listen to her boyfriend yell at me for fifteen minutes about how we shouldn’t have dangerous animals and he would have sued if his girlfriend was hurt. 

And I just calmly walk him over to the sign (posted five feet away) that says “do not touch tanks or tap on glass. An Employee would be happy to assist you!”, before telling him that In all of the years I have worked in pet stores I have never had a child attempt to open a tank, much less someone who was supposed to be an adult. 

TL;DR Bird, fish, reptile, whatever- DO NOT OPEN THE CAGES IN A PET STORE OR REACH INSIDE THEM. 

I love all animals, but I’ve never thought about having a snake as a pet. Until now! I just spent 20 minutes trying to convince my husband that we needed to go get this guy!

His name is Pumpkin, and he is a pied ball python. One of his markings is a nearly perfectly formed jack-o’-lantern!

If you are interested, and he hasn’t already found a home, he is at the Zoo Creatures Pet Store in Plaistow, New Hampshire!

Myths About Betta Fish

I’m sick of the pet industry always fucking animals like the betta over so let’s get some things straight
—————
MYTH: bettas like small spaces, they live in small rice paddies in the wild
REALITY: No they absolutely do not, sure some survive this, but it’s a cruel life to live. Rice paddies are actually quite big although shallow, the average male betta has about 3 feet of its own territory in the wild. Bettas need AT LEAST 2.5 gallons, but a 5-10 g is even better. You can get a 3 g tank from petco for like $10
————–
MYTH: you should feed your betta whenever it is hungry
REALITY: a bettas stomach is the size of its eyeball, it is very easy to overfeed. I feed my betta 3 pellets twice a day, but lots of people feed at different times with different food so I suggest doing some research and deciding what works best for you.
————–
MYTH: bettas are lazy
REALITY: bettas are inactive in small tanks because they’re aware that they have no space to swim and will hit walls, in larger tanks bettas are very active
————–
MYTH: bettas can only be kept alone
REALITY: it is true that male betta fish cannot be kept with any other betta, but (depending on the bettas personality) bettas can be kept with fish that are smaller and drab looking that won’t bite your bettas tail. I keep my betta with 2 snails and 5 ghost shrimp and he rarely bothers them. Female bettas can be kept in groups of 5 which is called a sorority. Keep in mind that these options are only possible in large tanks with lots of hiding spots.
————–
MYTH: bettas will eat live plants so you don’t have to feed them if you have plants in the tank
REALITY: bettas are CARNIVORES. They won’t eat plants, they will eat blood worms and brine shrimp which you can buy frozen. In fact feeding real prey is good along with pellets or flakes.
————–
MYTH: bettas don’t need filtration or heat
REALITY: they need both. As far as filtration goes, strong currents don’t mix well with bettas so a sponge filter is best.
————–
MYTH: bettas only live a couple months anyway, why should I be doing all this?
REALITY: with proper care, bettas can live 5 years.
————–
MYTH: bettas and all other fish are dumb
REALITY: bettas are actually very smart and trainable. Mine was taught to jump out of the water on command and come when called (by wiggling fingers). Some people have taught bettas harder tricks such as going through a hoop. They can even learn when meal time is and be ready for it.
————–
MYTH: My child will take care of the betta
REALITY: your child will lose interest within a week, YOU will be taking care of their fish. If you’re not okay with that don’t buy your kid a fish.
————–
MYTH: I should completely change the tank each time I clean it
REALITY: you should instead do frequent partial water changes of about 40% of the water
—————
MYTH: bettas are throw away pets
REALITY: there is no such thing as a throw away pet and if you think there is you shouldn’t own pets

Please always read care sheets before buying a pet because -newsflash- PET STORES LIE.
*drops mic*

Pet Store Ettiquite

I figured I’d write this as a little guide, because I see people every day who don’t know or understand these things that make my job really tough or frustrating. Maybe you already knew them, maybe you didn’t, either way I hope at least a few people will learn!

Fish:
If someone is getting you fish, please stand off to the side (not behind them) and not in front of the tank your fish is in. I know you want to watch them catch the fish but employees need to stand right in front of the tank they’re getting into and probably need some big elbow room too. Stand back!

If you want a specific fish, absolutely say so . But! Remember that for some fish this will be impossible to do. Or, the fish are for all intents and purposes identical so don’t try to pick a specific one please. Or at least, don’t get mad or think the employee is incompetent because they tell you they can’t.

Do not ask for help with a fish problem, receive an answer, then tell the employee there is no problem and you did nothing wrong. Please, 99% of the time, you did something wrong. Just fix it.

Do NOT open lids or stick your hand into the tanks!! For any reason!

Birds:
Do not put your hands near or into the cage. Just don’t! 90% of the time you are scaring the bird and giving them lifelong behavioral problems. Remember, they have had around a dozen people try to poke them, scare them, maybe even yell at them or hit their cage. The public is stupid, don’t be a part of that. Politely admire the birds from a distance unless the bird is asking for physical touch.

DO NOT TRY TO OPEN THE BIRD CAGES. I CAN’T BELIEVE I HAVE TO SAY THIS.

This includes going into any employees only areas related to cleaning cages.

Do NOT feed the birds ANYTHING!! PLEASE YOU COULD KILL THEM.

Mammals:
Do NOT open the cages.

Understand that you might not be able to handle the animal. This is, honestly, for the animals protection more than anything. Many people, including those who genuinely think they can competently hold the animal, cannot, and will drop or injure them. I’ve been doing this for 8 years. Chances are, you will drop that hamster so no, you can’t hold it.

If there is an open top type of enclosure, ASK if you may touch the animals inside.

Reptiles:
Same as with mammals, you probably won’t be allowed to hold the animal. It’s just a safety thing, nothing personal. Please respect it and the animal.

Do not crowd the employee as they get you an animal. Lots of reptiles are fast and flighty and having you breathing down their neck will do one of a few things; distract them, make them uncomfortable, or get in their way.

Do not scream or jump if a reptile jumps or runs. I know this might be difficult, but try to expect it so it doesn’t startle you. If you react this way you can startle the employee, which may make them make mistakes or become nervous, which leads to more dropping/failure to catch the animal. Especially if they are new.

General:
Do not take things from the top shelf! It’s dangerous, let an employee help you.

Please give your kids ground rules BEFORE taking them into the store. So many kids, every single day, come in and wreck the place or hit things because they had no idea they weren’t supposed to. If your child is old enough, before going into the store give the following rules

1. Do not touch the cages or tanks. (Look but don’t touch)

2. Stay with me/don’t walk away.

3. No running.

4. Put things back.

Will they listen? Maybe not, but you can’t get mad at them for getting excited to see a hamster and hitting the cage to get it’s attention because hey, no one said anything about that and you’re a kid so why would you think twice before doing it?

This is more for you than anyone but if you are STARTING to run out of cat/dog food, write down the brand/type (Or take a picture) and get some before you’re totally out. Many, many people actually forget what brand of food they feed and get frustrated when they can’t remember or I can’t figure it out (It’s a YELLOW bag. It’s chicken? Maybe beef. Small breed.). Having that picture will help you a lot! And employees. Heck, to save you even more trouble, call first and ask if they carry it and if it’s in stock!

If your dog is aggressive with strangers, small animals, or other dogs… Please do not bring them into a pet store.

On that note please do not bring animals to the pet store that would be in danger because of it. Like a bird without a harness, a hamster or mouse without a carrying case, or a baby ball python you got 3 days ago (please… stop).

I’m so tired of people getting pets without learning how to take care of them

Dogs are omnivorous, cats are carnivorous.


If you don’t feed your cat meat, it will die.


Dogs need exercise every single day, not just when you feel like it.


Betta fish need a MINIMUM of 2.5 gallons sized tank.


Most pet fish you’ll see are tropical and need heaters.


Most reptiles need a humid environment. Your living room is neither warm enough nor humid enough.


Rats and budgies are highly social animals and need to live with others of their kind. Read: always get more than one.


Rats like to climb and need a cage taller than it is wider.


Goldfish grow to be 10"-12" and live to be 10-20 years. Yes even that cheap $0.50 one. They’re pond fish. And yes, their bodies actually do stay small if they’re kept in a small environment but their organs will continue to grow and will eventually crush each other, killing the fish prematurely.


Some fish will fight, kill, or eat each other and it’s not “just a fact of nature” it’s you not doing your research and putting the wrong species together.


It takes a few google searches and maybe twenty minutes of link clicking to learn the basics.


It’s not the responsibility of the pet store employee to teach you everything you need to know. The pet store employee might not even need to know what you need to know. All it takes to be a pet store employee is to be more than 18 years old.


I’m just tired of seeing uninformed people put their pets in poor situations. Just. Research. Just a little bit. One google search. Please.

How the Hogwarts houses flirt
  • Gryffindor: But is it morally okay for me to secretly wish your relationship doesn't work out?
  • Hufflepuff: WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU AREN'T AN ANIMAL PERSON WE ARE GOING TO A PET STORE RIGHT NOW AND ADOPTING ONE
  • Ravenclaw: Let's be work out buddies. Marathons count even if they're for movies, right?
  • Slytherin: I don't like your clothes. Take them off.