It makes me so mad. . .

sahoyaref(Alberta z3a)July 8, 2004

It was pouring rain here today, so I took the bus to the mall with my little son to get some excercise, and I stopped in the pet shop while I was there. Bad idea. They had just gotten in a new shipment of animals from the looks of things. This is the kind of place that encourages puppy mills. They keep the puppies in plastic boxes along the wall, and charge absolutely outragous prices for them, especially since most of them are not purebreds. How the puppies get enough fresh air in those plastic boxes is beyond me. Anyways, so I went into the fish/reptile/amphibian section. This is the only pet store in the city (even though this is the capital city of Alberta) that carries a good variety of herps, so I thought I'd see what they had. The first thing I saw was this big 'paludrium' that had been made in a huge bowfront tank. The water was actually separated from the land by a piece of glass, which I thought could be a good idea. The plants were lovely. The kind that never fade, you know what I mean. Yep, plastic. Anyways, I understand that some people need to sterilize everything and aren't good with real plants, but the thing that really got me were the frogs they had gotten in. There were a few I've never heard of, a PacMan, a fire-belly toad (whose enclosure had almost no water), and a 'blue poinson dart frog' and a 'green and black poison dart frog.' Yes, that is how their tank was labelled. And yes, they were both in the same tank, and from the sound of things, there was one of each. Hello!! Why get animals that you don't know jack about? I mean really, if you don't even know the proper names of two of the most common PDFs, what are you going to tell people who want to buy them? Their tank was only at 70% humidity because it had a screen top, not a glass one, and the substrate was dry moss. Lovely. On top of all that, they were feeding them crickets. Yes, crickets. They were small crickets, but not small enough for a PDF! Stupid people. . . that makes me so mad! I really wanted to tell someone off, but I know it's probably not the sales girl's fault that the owners/managers of the store set things up the way they did, or even that such animals were brought in in the first place. Oh, they were also selling them for $130 each. Oh goodie, can I please pay way too much for a frog that will probably die a few days after I bring it home from malnutrition and terrible living conditions? Seriously, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. . . I will make a point of it to never buy from that store again (I bought my 'sphagnum' (NOT) moss for my terrarium there) as long as I live. I would like to do more, though. Does anyone have any ideas? This place sells books on how to take care of the animals, so they really should know better. I think they really don't care. Is there anything one can do in this situation? I don't think a tersely worded letter to the owner would do any good at all. And thank you all for letting me vent and being so understanding. =)

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The fire belly toad should of had more water. The pet store I go to that sells them has them in a tank that has a lot of water and a floating thing for them to go on. I have a black with 2 orange stripes on her back poison dart frog whose name is Rain, a shortened version of rainforest (I do know the name but its sort of hard to remember, Epidendrates--excuse me if the spelling is a bit off--trivattus "Red"). Also, don't different types of poison dart frogs fight if put in the same tank (or could poison each other accidently, I heard). One hundred thirty dollars is too much for one frog (I got mine at an exotic pet fair for eight dollars).

    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 9:23PM
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mrbreeze(z6/7 OK)

You go girl !!!!!

I think your best bet would be to contact the local media. Or maybe some ministry in the government? Ministry of animal welfare? Call PETA and arrange a demonstration. Call the newspapers...they're bound to be starving for stories. good luck!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 10:52PM
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The other day i was at a local pet store and i passed by a 10 gallon tank with 2 small newts that were dead and completely black and dried out, it was awful, and the owner had just left them in there!, for what seemed like a long time!! i also saw some way over crowded tanks with fire bellied toads and green anoles. When i see stuff like this, i know the animals are unhealthy, but i feel like maybe i could save their lives if i bought but this would probably just trigger the store owner to buy more.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2004 at 12:25AM
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macropora(z5 ME)

Hello all, sad but true there are alot of flesh peddlers out there disguised as pet store's. First of all you write that letter and inform them of there improper tank design etc. Second you tell people that you talk with, you dont shop there anymore and why. Inform them of what you saw. Word of mouth is a good thing for biz, works just as well the other way. The darts you are talking about, D.auratus and D.azureus can be housed together in a 30 or bigger tank. With proper planting etc. These frogs are captive bred and are not toxic. I have been working/breeding darts since 1991. The price is on the high side of retail, the $8.00 one paid is wholesale. I worked with 24 types of darts and several types of tree frogs. The fire bellies (B. orientalis ? there are two types common to import in the pet trade.) These are a very aquatic amphibian, and need a bit of clean water to just float in. Also, Alexis did you get your frog from one of the reptile shows in florida? I was a vendor for a couple years at the one in Ft. Lauderdale, also the old Orlando show before it moved to Daytona. But enough about the old times! Remember you have a voice...they dont. Dont be afraid to use it.
ps. Alexis your frog is Epipedobates Trivittatus, maybe?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2004 at 11:55AM
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That Pac man frog will eat anything that fits into its mouth, including other frogs. They are the South American equivalent of our Bullfrogs.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2004 at 11:03AM
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Thanks macropora for providing me with the correct name of my frog. I would of been upset if I saw dead newts or other animals in a tank that were just left there to rot. They should of taken the dead animals out of the tank.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2004 at 9:51PM
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sahoyaref(Alberta z3a)

MrB: I don't think that alerting the media will do anything. First, I'm not trying to draw attention to myself, and second, they could possibly try to sue me for libel. And also, people probably wouldn't really care that frogs were being mistreated. They also wouldn't realize how important high humidity is to these frogs, so they might fail to see how these frogs are even being mistreated. It's not like piles of dead frogs are littering the aisles. Now if I bought one of the frogs and it died within a few days, and I tried to get my money back because they had sold me an unhealthy animal and they didn't give it to me, THEN I would alert one of the local news-stations here that has a consumer alert feature. PETA *might* do something, but since most people dismiss them as a bunch of zealots and freaks, I don't think that would do much. And mall security would probably throw them out anyways. =P

I think I will write a letter to the management. If things don't improve, then I will trash them to everyone I talk to. =) There is a reptile and amphibian society here (TARAS) in Alberta, and they have a forum that I am a part of, but I don't think you are allowed to mention places by name and say how bad they are. Someone did that once, and he got in huge trouble. The bottom line was that the owner of that store was 100% sure that they were right, and knew everything about pets, and was taking care of these animals just fine (even though there were about 20 leopard geckos in one 10 gal enlcosure, and at least one of them was dead and had not been removed). I'm worried that the same thing will happen here. That is, nothing. My letter will get no response, and other people won't really care that rare and endangered animals are being mistreated. I'll still try, and hope for the best, but I'm not too hopeful.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2004 at 6:27PM
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macropora(z5 ME)

If only frogs and other reptiles had fuzz and cute whiskers etc, life for them would be a bit easier (in the public eye). Its true you most likely wont get any positive results but at least you will know that you did something and didnt sit back and ignore it. I think that reptiles are just under the order of house plants in the minds of most people. But good luck, you got the ball rolling.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2004 at 10:12AM
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what bugs me is that when you try to educate the owner/manager, maybe you are being a know-it-all but it is for the welfare of the creatures involved. i have tried to talk to some and they give you a rude look and pretty much ignore what you say.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2004 at 7:29PM
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