Thursday, April 19, 2012

Daily Karma

Reap the rewards of doing something good today!
As you possibly well know, I adore all animals of any shape or size, and rats happen to have a special place in my heart. So when I moved back to my home town and took a trip to the local pet store I was totally shocked and dismayed at what I saw. In this little town there is only one pet store/garden center that everyone has to go to because there is no other place to shop, and what I saw was tragic. There were rats crammed with up to 25-30 animals per 2x2 feet plexiglass containers, litters of hamsters with wet tail (which is a lethal disease which is caused by improper diet, dirty environment and improper bedding), and fish tanks with glass so dirty you can barely see the fish swimming inside. I also noticed a 10 gallon glass tank filled with about 30-40 mice, several of which were pregnant. I was appalled and figured, "well, I'll just tell someone, most of their business is focused on gardening, so they hire people who know gardening instead of animals. Not a big deal." So I went in a few days later and spoke to the manger, explaining how you shouldn't keep so many animals in one container and that males and females should be separated and breeding should really be monitored (yes, females and males were mixed and breeding uncontrolled, pregnant and nursing females were kept in the general population). All the while he just stood there smiling at me and said "Well, these are just feeders sooooooooo...." and that was the extent of our conversation.

So as any concerned customer would do I decided to call the corporate office, where I talked to a lovely Ms. French, who took my distress in stride and assured I'd be contacted by the regional manager. After which I called the local animal control and spoke to an also very courteous and patient Officer Kelly, who assured me that she would go and check out the location but urged me to realize "This may not change anything" during our conversation. Almost Immediately after I receved a phone call from Mr. Bill Kruse, Regional Manager, and I can tell you this man was utterly rude and hostile to me. I explained to him the hazards that I knew of improperly handling rats. To which he responded "Well, I've been a manger for 40 years and no one has ever said anything to me about rats and I don't know anything about them and I'm not interested in hearing it now", and after my insistence he responded "*SIIIGHHHHHH* FINE! Tell me". Which as a professional retail manger, is simply NOT how you treat your customers.
I can honestly say I was disgruntled by my experiences and intend to drive to the city to Petco or Petsmart to do my shopping from now on.

I totally understand that these animals at this store were intended for feeder animals, but in a town where there are only 12 registered exotic pet owners, I feel these conditions were excessive. Plus, any well informed, self-respecting reptile owner knows that feeding your pet live food is a unnessesary risk, as aggressivly bred rodents can attack and kill your pet (generally snakes), and that you can buy humanely euthanized, frozen rats and mice from any large pet food chain or online. Buying sick or diseased feeder animals can also in turn make your own pets sick too! Personally I feel that anyone who feeds their reptile live food, for no other purpose than they like it better, is a sick puppy.

To earn your karma, please call the Earl May's Corporate Office and (politely) request better standards and educated employees for the sake of the poor, mistreated animals in their stores today. Also remember to write your local senators, govenors, etc, to request Rats and Mice be added to the Animal Welfare Act, this could help prevent pet store cruelty as well as labratory!

Earl May's Corporate number> 1-800-843-9608 (Ms. French's ext 1114) PLEASE BE COURTEOUS, she's a nice lady who will listen.