Would you shop in a pet store that buys its animals from pet mills?

@Pigglies (9339)
United States
January 10, 2007 8:06pm CST
A lot of people think just puppies come from mills, so many people don't shop in pet stores that sell puppies (if puppies are in the store, it's pretty much guaranteed they came from a pet mill, as no respectable breeder would ever put their puppies in a pet store). But what about other animals as well? The large chain store "where the pets go" used to buy their animals from a pet mill less than 10 miles from my house. That mill got shut down by the USDA, and the pet store of course found another mill (out of state). Mills aren't just nice little operations that pump out pets. They are horrible places where animals live in squalor. Crowded, dirty, eating a poor diet. These animals often come to the pet store already disease ridden. Even if you aren't buying animals from such stores (you can even adopt "exotic" pets at animal shelters, or go to a reputable breeder instead of getting a pet mill animal), buying anything in their store supports it. They don't make much more off the animals. The animals draw people in, the supplies people buy with their animals get them their money. I will only shop in stores that don't sell animals, otherwise I feel like I just gave the store blood money.
3 people like this
11 responses
@misskatonic (3727)
• United States
11 Jan 07
I am very, very picky about pet shopping. All of my animals are rescue cases. I did used to work for a pet store, but it was a tiny independent run shop and the owners bred the animals themselves. We didn't have much - hamsters and rabbits and guinea pigs mostly, but we had a deal with the local shelter and provided them space in our shop. I've seen a few other places like that and I have no problem with them. But I tend to stay away from the chain stores.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
11 Jan 07
I've seen one small shop about 45 minutes from here that breed birds but had rescued rabbits, hamsters, rats, and guinea pigs. However, there are a lot of birds in this area that need homes, so I'm not really sure why they didn't rescue those as well. But it was much better than the chain stores. Unfortunately, they went out of business. But the good news is, a nice supply store is moving in there. They won't carry pets, only supplies. All of my animals (even the finches!) are rescues as well. I shop at supply stores that don't sell animals, just the supplies that I need. I've found the large chain stores don't even carry the stuff I want anyway.
• United States
11 Jan 07
My mother was actually complaining today about the lack of actual supplies at a certain well known chain. We use a lot of natural supplies for our animals, and she couldn't find the food she gets or a real rock for our hedgehog - just synthetic plastic stuff. Luckily there's a little supply store not too far from my place where we can get the stuff we need.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
11 Jan 07
For years I couldn't even find adult rabbit and guinea pig pellets at the chain stores. All they had was alfalfa pellets (for under 1 year olds). I guess they didn't expect the animals to live longer than that. But yeah, a lot of the natural stuff especially, not in stores! I am jealous that you have a hedgehog! Those are illegal here. :(
@freak369 (5024)
• United States
5 Feb 07
I don't think that people realize what goes on there. I saw a documentary where I guy went undercover to one of these mills and worked there; all the time he was recoding things and making notes. He had to live like he was a spy, windows covered, always having to keep secret about his life. I knew about puppy mills and the stores that would buy from them; I refuse to shop at one of these places for anything. If I have to pay more for guinea pig food and supplies elsewhere and know that the store is legit then so be it. I asked a clerk what they did with the animals that got too big to be sold - like when the guinea pigs are no longer babies - she couldn't give me an answer. I know what happens to them, they are sold for snake food.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
5 Feb 07
Snake food shops frequently breed their own animals actually. Or they'll order them from mills. They usually have babies/young adults though. The girls I spoke to who worked at a mill told me they gased animals that came back once they got too big. Sometimes the gas leaked out of their crude chamber. Then they had to gas the animals twice. :( It definitely can take more effort to shop somewhere that doesn't support these cruel practices, but I think it is worth it. I've found that I still spend less than I would at PetsMart or Petco just because I'm buying things in bulk (and you can't do that there).
• United States
31 Jan 07
Nope! I get my pets from shelters. And when I buy food I buy from companies/stores that only sell food and not pets.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
1 Feb 07
Good to hear! My pets all came from either shelters, rescues, people giving them away, or they found me (I think I have a "sucker" sticker on my forehead that only animals can see).
@winky73 (1396)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I have seen the inside of one of those puppy mills....no way would I buy a puppy from one of those places or any place that supports that kind of thing.I got my Boxer from a rescue place....for me that's the only way to go.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Exactly. Once you've seen it, you could never buy from there. What amazes me though, is sometimes even people who have adopted their dogs and would never buy from a puppy mill, will still buy their guinea pig at Petco, and it also came from a pet mill, which was no less worse. Glad to hear you adopted! Boxers are such sweeties!
• United States
11 Jan 07
While I prefer shopping at a local store that does not sell animals I have had to go to chain stores that do. Luckily have a found ways of purchasing the items I need for my guinea pigs without having to support the cruelty that I know goes on in super pet store chains. Hay and pellets I get from http://www.kmshayloft.com and for bedding I can get at a local farm supply store.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
11 Jan 07
Great idea! If there aren't supply only stores near you, shopping online is a great option.
@blackbriar (9080)
• United States
28 Feb 07
Not sure about your ppls' Petcos/Petsmarts but the Petco/Petsmart near me don't support pet mills. Even their rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, mice, rats, hampsters come from responsible breeders, not pet mills. They are the result of culling is all. Responsible breeders choose the best babies out of the litters and sell the rest cheap to Petco/Petsmart here for pets cause they aren't breed quality. The 2 stores here also hold regular adoption days with the local shelters. All the animals they do carry are kept in very clean cages with food/water available at all times and they aren't overcrowded. I know cause I used to work at both stores.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
1 Mar 07
Those still aren't always responsible, but that's better than pet mills. I've taken animals from a couple seizes where the animals had to be taken from breeders that breed for pet stores due to the condition. That's not responsible breeding in my book, but yes, better than pet mills so long as the conditions are better. Our stores also regularly hold adoption days. But only for the types of animals that they do not sell.
@Melizzy (1381)
• United States
18 Feb 07
Nope. I would take my business to a Mom & Pop pet shop. They still exist. I got my Eleanor from the pound (no-kill shelter), got two of my three piggies from rescue and the one I did get at a pet shop, was a mom & pop and they only carried piggies when someone would come in with a litter their piggie had had. They didn't buy from mills of ANY sort.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
18 Feb 07
Those have pretty much gone out of business out here. There used to be one where I got a few animals when I was younger, and they'd actually refuse to let you buy an animal if they didn't think you could at least sort of properly care for it. And if they were treating a rat for a URI or something, you couldn't buy it until later. But treating sick animals probably took up too much of their money, because they were gone after awhile. That's something large chain stores claim to do, but in reality, they never do it unless forced. I know a couple people have gotten money for vet bills out of them, but in the stores they just send animals back to the mill. Some breeders aren't much of a step up from mills, so to me I kind of wonder what kind of breeder would even sell their animals to a pet shop, rather than make sure that they knew what kind of homes their animals went to.
@Signal20 (2281)
• United States
25 Jan 07
Somebody mentioned above about Pet Supermarket, I've seen a few adult cats in their stores before, think they were from the shelter, but they do have small animals. I pretty much have to shop at a "chain store", where I'm at, that's all there is here a Petsmart. There is 1 itsy bitsy pet store, but they don't have anything that I need there. I thought about opening up a small pet store, but then I thought, they've gone this long without one(we're kinda in the country here). Maybe if I get more financially secure lol....
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
5 Feb 07
Yeah, it can be hard unfortunately in some areas. For awhile when I didn't have a car, I had to order stuff online instead. Because a PetsMart is 5 miles from my house, and then the other places are about 15 to 20 miles.
• United States
25 Jan 07
That doesn't make sense to me! One time, years before I became a slave to my guinea pigs I would take my daughter into the local PetCo because she loved to look at the hamsters. A sales person came up and asked if we needed any help and I asked if they had cats and dogs there too. They said, "No, we don't support dog or cat mills." I questioned them as to where do they get their small animals then. "Well from a breeder." I told them so they don't support cat or dog mills but they do for their mice and hamsters? The sales person actually just walked away from me.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
25 Jan 07
A lot of them genuinely think that their animals come from breeders. But many know the truth and still won't tell you. When they had that adoption first thing, I would tell people, "Think adoption first! There is a hamster/rat/guinea pig in X shelter Y miles from here. Go adopt instead!" And they would leave. And Petco people would be so mad. But it was their own program.
• United States
12 Jan 07
Hey, I'll do anything to nix off any extra errands!
@bcc23488 (883)
• Thailand
11 Jan 07
no I never buy pets