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Should Walmart sell pets?
03-09-2012, 10:02 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-10-2012, 02:14 AM by Ram.)
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Ram Offline
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Should Walmart sell pets?
Every time I go to the super Walmart in my town, I see dirty fish tanks with dead fish. In the shrimp tank, ghost shrimps are feeding on dead tank mates. In the snail tank, there are more snail shells than actual snails. I don't think Walmart hired anyone who knows how to take care of the fish, but I guess they don't really care because they get those fish for really cheap. They sell live fish like a product instead of live things.

I also heard that PetSmart and Petco are not great at taking care of their pets either, especially fish. I've never had an experience with them on live pets though, since none of them exist in my town, and I only bought equipments from them online.

In my opinion, mom and pop shops are much better at taking care of their animals, and they are also easier to get to personally know the customers.
Although I did have one bad experience when I was at Buffalo NY, where a shop owner didn't even bother to explain to the newbie me how to take care of fish, and sold me a water pump while I thought it was a filter.


What is your opinion on chain stores selling pets?
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03-10-2012, 01:07 AM,
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OriJas Offline
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
Ooh boy. Now we're getting into an area where I can rant and rave a bit. I don't agree with pet chains or pet stores selling pets, period. Whether it be fish, birds, puppies kittens, or even hermit crabs.

Most would probably know that most pet stores get their "pet stock" from BYBs or puppymills but I just don't agree with them selling anything live at all. I've had a particularly bad run-in with my local one in the past before I really knew what I was doing wrong, and sadly I had to learn the hard way that pet stores no matter how seemingly "caring" they are, are not vets and I kind of shiver to think that my usual vet has some weird business relationship with them. A few years back before my two Goldies came home, let alone were born, I wasn't aware of the BYB and puppymill situation. Mainly because in Australia, it's not really cared or talked about. My mother still insists that a Labradoodle and a Cavocker is an actual breed! I purchased a small puppy, "miniature" Jack Russel X Chihuahua. They advised me on the food to feed (didn't know much about that either) which was what he was being fed in store, and that I should feed him 3 times a day with X amount of the food.

Fine, I was all set...even though I'd never really "raised" a puppy at that point as it's only been in my older years I've been able to have pets via my own choice, I've barely ever had to take an animal to the vet due to sickness. Heck, at that point, I'd only ever taken my cat once when she was pining after a vacation I went on. Two weeks later he started to go downhill. He developed a weird eye infection that had me spending all of my shopping money on a vet bill plus medication, which I didn't complain about, my mom helped me as it was unforseen. Until when the medication was done, the infection came back and he could hardly walk. He had his vaccinations, so I knew it wasn't parvo. My mother rushed him to the emergency vet one night when he could barely walk over to her, and it turns out he was starving. I was supposed to be feeding him three TIMES as much as the store had told me, that, and the food was completely crap. I can't even remember the name of it now. Sadly, he didn't come home, but he went to another family of a friend, but that part is an even longer story and a lot more complicated. It honestly has caused a permanent tension between me and my mother and we try to avoid any discussion of it at all because I tend to be extremely angry by the end of it, and initially we stopped speaking to each other for months.

I avoid the store like the plague now, unless I'm getting accessories. Kongs, food dishes, brushes etc. I don't ask for advice anymore and I'm a hell of a lot more stringent when it comes to caring for my dogs and any other pets in my home. I ring the vet constantly, and I've even thought of changing vets due to the fact they're in liaison with the store and that makes me nervous. Plus, the other vet I've had experience with is cheaper, and their people skills are a LOT more pleasant. When Ori had his hip X-rayed and diagnosed last year, they were a lot less commercial about it, explained things to me like a proper vet SHOULD, and were even concerned about how he behaves at home, whether I was getting him neutered or Jasmine spayed etc. Not for business purposes either, but out of concern. They even are aware about BYB and puppymill scams. Unfortunately, I haven't switched yet due to the fact my current vet, while questionable, is closer.

So what do I think about pet stores or stores in general selling pets? I think it should be banned and illegal. Around here, BYBs give puppies to pet stores when they've had an "oops" litter or their litters don't sell and the store PAYS them. So it encourages people who use their dogs or cats to breed as a "back-up" if they can't sell the litter, and it certainly doesn't encourage those to spay/neuter because either way, the puppies can just be sold to the pet store. It's ridiculous. I think pet stores should just stick to selling items and accessories. Leave the business of breeding to the experts and maybe then BYBs won't find it so easy if they can't find neighborhood suckers.
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03-10-2012, 02:11 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-10-2012, 02:21 AM by bw.)
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
I tend to stay totally away from ANY pet shop pets. As my friend OriJas said, they are supplied by backyard breeder/puppy mill types. Of course we are looking at it from the dog/cat perspective, not so much fish or birds. As for the dogs, which is where my
knowledge is, I would never buy from a breeder. Not a backyard breeder/puppy mill or a reputable breeder. There is not a problem with reputable breeders, they do a fine job. BUT, as there are 3-4 MILLION dogs/puppies in this country killed each year because of too many dogs, not enough homes all my dogs have been rescues. Some off the streets, some from shelters. The guy we have now was abandoned about 12 years ago when his loving family moved away and left him behind!
While on the subject, never mind, I will post the question on my mind for discussion.
Anyway, "Should Wal-Mart sell pets? H E double hockey sticks NO.

BTW, one day while shopping for dog and cat food I hunted up the store manager (pet supplies plus) to let him know many of his birds were without water. Not just clean water, any water. The water dishes were bone dry.
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03-10-2012, 02:24 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-10-2012, 02:27 AM by Ram.)
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
Well since you mentioned about those not so good breeders, it is really the same with fish farms. Many fish farms use hormone to force fish to breed at such young age, the offspring are weak and can easily die. Walmart fish are mostly such weaker breed, and weaker fish can just drop dead at any time. Many people would tell you certain species of fish are so "fragile", but that's really not the case. It is all because of poorly quality fish mass produced by fish farms. Some of the reputable pet store such as drsfostersmith.com sell high quality fish, on their web site they also have different prices for different sources of the same species based on the quality. I'd rather pay more for better quality fish. For example, many many people say German Blue Ram drop like flies, but mine are still there after a year and half.
Although, , it would be hard to get all kinds of fish if the fish stores don't sell them lol. They get their fish from fish farm anyway, there are poor fish farms, decent fish farms, and high quality fish farms. I know the best source of fish would still be local breeders who are basically other hobbyists.


So what source of dogs and cats do you suggest to be the best if you against the sale from all pet stores?

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03-10-2012, 04:48 AM,
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bw Offline
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
Funny you asked, a few of us were just talking about that in the dog section. It depends. If you want to know a dogs background, if you want to show dogs, even if you want to do the research and become a proper breeder, you must go through a reputable breeder. To do this you have to be very careful as some puppy mills and back yard breeders can fool you. The best way to find a reputable breeder is to find the NATIONAL BREED CLUB for the breed of your choice. They will have a list of good breeders. If you are like me and just want a dog to hang with, RESCUE! Shelters & breed rescues. You can get some great pets through these places. Some might say, but these animals come from the back yard breeders and puppy mills so why not buy from them in the first place? Well, then we get into the whole dog/cat over population problem. You buy from these kinds of breeders it just encourages them to keep on breeding. If people stopped supporting them they would stop breeding. They don't want all those pup, they want to sell them. No buyers, no reason to breed. Because of their over breeding our shelters are full. Do you know...wait, another question to post. Oh, forgot to say. Not all dogs in shelters are mutts, they DO get pure breeds also. That part just never mattered to me.
I usually talk dog because dogs are my passion. But it works the same for cats as well.
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03-10-2012, 05:24 AM,
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OriJas Offline
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
Another thing I should add for BW, is that regarding the whole debate people bring up about BYB, puppymills and rescues is that you aren't that likely to find even a purebred in a shelter or rescue that was properly bred. Yes, they may be pure however reputable breeders have a take back policy which means at any time in the dogs life, for ANY reason if you need to find it a new home or can no longer care for him/her, you are required by legal contract to return the puppy to the breeder to either be kept by them, or found a new home. People who are aware of the BYB/puppymill situation usually do not going looking for a reputable breeder puppy and then surrender it to a shelter. At least I hope most wouldn't.

So in a lot of cases, BYBs and puppymills are the cause for the need of shelters and rescues (that and stupid owners) yes, but as said, the more people go to the source of the problem, the more the source will keep finding a reason to stay around, increasing the need for more shelter and rescues, decreasing the availability for all dogs or cats to have homes, etc. It's a supply and demand thing really. BYBs and puppymills are aware the most of the world's population just "want a dog" and so they make a supply for them and do it in such a way where it seems more "convenient" to the buyer. Reputable breeders screen for the right owners, BYBs and puppymills screen for the right dollar sign. The same with pet stores.

While some rescues and shelters do get puppies or kittens in, you'll find a lot of their population is dogs that have passed that age because they weren't "cute" anymore, or someone didn't realize how much work and responsibility goes into raising and properly caring for an animal. I still believe that I think a new requirement to apply for a license to own an animal would curb a lot of issues... "I want to buy one of your puppies Mr. Backyard Breeder." "I have to ask by law, where's your license?" "Um..." "Come back when you get one." *kid leaves* "This isn't worth the trouble anymore...I quit." *animal lovers rejoice*
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03-10-2012, 05:51 AM,
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bw Offline
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
OriJas is right. Also I should add that reputable breeders make as sure as they possibly can that where their pups are going they will be well cared for. A back yard breeder/puppy mill could not care less. If you have cash in hand to pay for the dog that is ALL they require. If the pup gets sick tomorrow and you can not afford a vet, they do not care.
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06-10-2012, 07:16 AM,
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RuthieB Offline
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
I agree with everybody about no selling dogs or cats at Walmart or anywhere else for that matter, except for reliable breeders, because there's so many pets available at the shelters that need homes.

But I do wish Walmart and similar big box stores would do more for hosting pet adoptions from the local shelters. In my area, most of the big pet stores sponsor adopt-a-thons and the like, but their store traffic doesn't get anywhere near the traffic that Walmart does. I just think Walmart stores would be so much more effective at placing pets in homes that don't already have pets, if they hosted a pet shelter or rescue group on a monthly basis.
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06-10-2012, 08:50 AM,
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
I was just thinking the same thing when I was in Wal-Mart yesterday. There were tons of dead fish in those tanks. I wouldn't trust buying fish from them if that is how they take care of their tanks. Half the time I can't even find a worker in the store to tell me something is, or they don't have a clue what I am talking about. I sure would not depend on them to talk to me about keeping a fish.
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06-14-2012, 01:43 PM,
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
I don't think it's good for stores like these to sell any type of animals. I think it leads to spontaneous buying. See animal = buy animal. People need to plan these things out to really see if a pet fits their lifestyle.

If the fish are dead in the tanks like some have mentioned, you know you are getting something unhealthy. It would be a waste of money to buy them at that store.

The Petsmart where I live doesn't sell animals. They do host dog, cat, and small animal adoption days. I think this is a better way to do it.
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06-21-2012, 10:41 PM, (This post was last modified: 06-21-2012, 10:43 PM by tajnz.)
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
If Walmart took responsibility of the animals in it's care I'd have no issue with them selling pets. However it sounds as if they are negligent and only sell pets to make a quick buck.

I disagree with the notion that mom and pop stores are better than larger chains and franchises. In New Zealand the bigger pet stores have staff who are passionate about animals and their care and spend a lot of time interacting with the animals and making sure they have everything they need. Including walks and exercise outside of the store. The bigger chains seem to be more careful about who they hire. Some of the mom and pop stores here are also very untidy and often the puppies are sitting in their own excriment which obviously hasn't been changed for hours.

For me its not so much of a case of where animals are sold but what care is taken to provide the animals a healthy, safe and enriching environment.
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06-22-2012, 05:19 AM,
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andrew320 Offline
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
Good question. If there is a market for it and they are not abusing animals then sure. However, if Wal-Mart is conducting this practice then that's abuse and neglect and should be grounds for a criminal offence, which is in line with the libertarian principles.

I think a lot of these pet stores do a terrible job looking after the pets they sell. Ever see a Beta fish? They're always swimming in their own poop and stacked up in the back of a shelf. It's despicable.
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06-22-2012, 01:30 PM,
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
I poetry much asher with Andrew 100%. If any store is going top sell animals, they should bee required to train their employees in 1, the care of whatever animals they are selling, & 2, how to reach that care top customers and answer questions. I personally think that if you can't do that, it should be against the law to allow these public businesses to sell animals. Of course, if this were law, walmart, petco, & petsmart would all be in legal violation, so it'll never happen. So obviously, I don't think walmart should sell any live animals.
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06-22-2012, 02:28 PM,
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Thor Online
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
(06-22-2012, 01:30 PM)Fishbone Wrote: they should bee required to train their employees in 1, the care of whatever animals they are selling, & 2, how to reach that care top customers and answer questions.

They do. The standard suggestion for any fish selling employee is "let the fish tank run for 48 hours before adding fish". They were taught to say so by the store. It is the worse possible advice, and most fish die from that. I have also heard that it is against store policy for the employees to give different advices than what the store told them so. The store isn't going to wait for a month or more before you buy the actual animals, they want you to get them as soon as possible so they can have your money in their pocket. Profit always come before the well being of the animals.
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06-22-2012, 04:08 PM,
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haopee Offline
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
(06-14-2012, 01:43 PM)TreeClimber Wrote: I don't think it's good for stores like these to sell any type of animals. I think it leads to spontaneous buying. See animal = buy animal. People need to plan these things out to really see if a pet fits their lifestyle.

If the fish are dead in the tanks like some have mentioned, you know you are getting something unhealthy. It would be a waste of money to buy them at that store.

The Petsmart where I live doesn't sell animals. They do host dog, cat, and small animal adoption days. I think this is a better way to do it.

I remember reading about an article saying Petsmart is no longer selling pets. In fact, they've started an advocacy in adopting of them. Buying from a pet store is never a great idea.

For one, you will never know what you are getting. You wouldn't have an idea what living conditions it came from and what kind of diseases it may bring (probably endangering the lives of your healthy pets once introduced to them).

As for fishes, I think it's essential that their tanks are clean and dead fishes aren't found in the water.
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06-22-2012, 04:35 PM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
(06-22-2012, 02:28 PM)Admin Wrote: They do. The standard suggestion for any fish selling employee is "let the fish tank run for 48 hours before adding fish". They were taught to say so by the store. It is the worse possible advice, and most fish die from that. I have also heard that it is against store policy for the employees to give different advices than what the store told them so. The store isn't going to wait for a month or more before you buy the actual animals, they want you to get them as soon as possible so they can have your money in their pocket. Profit always come before the well being of the animals.

Touche. Big Grin

Let me clarify.1. They should be trained in a proper way to care for the animals they are selling, and have at least Rudimentary knowledge of their care, and how to resolve problems.

On a somewhat off note, petco had a "reptile weekend"a few weeks ago, where they wanted people with reptile pets to bring them to the store, and talk about them, and their care. I really, really, really, really, wanted to go. But I'm still not sure how conversions that ended with "if you actually buy a live animal here, I will record your tag number, pay for the record search myself, get your address, and report you to the SPCA.", would actually go over with corporate management.

I was pretty sure I wouldn't be welcomed, so I avoided it. Big Grin
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06-22-2012, 06:05 PM,
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Victor Leigh Offline
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
Chain store selling pets? I haven't seen anything like that yet, where I live. What I have seen are pet shops which rent a small outlet in a shopping complex to sell pets. This, I suppose, is quite different from the chain stores selling pets. The pet shop owners do know how to take care of the pets.

As for chain stores, I think it's more a matter of management. With proper management, they can sell anything. Even dragons, if dragons exist.
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06-23-2012, 07:19 AM,
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
It is not about management, it's the store policy. They are in it for profit, not really for the love for pets. Just look at how many dead fish they have in every tank. They don't treat them as live creatures. It is simply another shelf item for them.

The problem isn't just with chain stores, although the chain stores probably have it the worst. Mom and pop shops can be bad too if they aren't really into pet hobbies themselves, or worse they know their stuff but they don't bother to tell you.
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06-23-2012, 12:32 PM,
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
Will with the chain stores, it is the management, the upper, corporate management, in my opinion. Most of the employees are young, and very willing, and wanting, to help. And most of them love animals. But the stores seem to offer no training whatsoever, much less require it. I mean, to keep the american corporate analogy, could you imagine going into home depot, and ask about an electrical outlet, and none knew a damn thing about electricity, but they read you shouldn't stand in water while changing it, and their uncles friend told them our was alright to just guess on which breaker to turn off. They answer your question, admit if they don't know, &b our find someone who does.

The mom & pop places are a complete crap shoot. I think most of them start out with good intentions, and then get overwhelmed. They may be experts on one thing, fish, or reptiles, or birds, etc... Or maybe two, then try to sell things they don't know much about. It would cost allot of money to staff a privat pet store with knowledgeable people in every area all the time.
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06-23-2012, 05:14 PM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
It is true that the best pet stores are specialized pet stores. I have done some reading on store reviews a few years ago. The best reviews I have ever seen was a fish store specialized in Cichlids (a type of fish). They truly know their stuff as the customers put it and they were extremely into the hobby themselves.

I totally agree there are very few people who can know every pet species or every pet product. Even less likely one of these "all knowing" people would be running a pet store. Tongue

The store policies are set by the upper management from corporal level. I do not know why they set such policies, but I am sure they somehow determined it is the best way for more profit.
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06-23-2012, 05:20 PM,
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Victor Leigh Offline
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
I have been a regular customer of a one-man aquarium shop before. He's really into rearing aquarium fish and I had spent many entertaining and educational hours listening to him talk about fish. I am not saying that all mom and pop pet shops are good but there are many which are.
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07-12-2012, 07:39 AM,
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ACSAPA Offline
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
My local Walmart only sells fish and the tanks look pretty clean and the fish look okay. BUT the Bettas are sad and pathetic to look at. They're kept in tiny clear plastic containers like the ones you order Chinese takeout soup in and they just look sad and tired.

It's such a waste to see a beautiful red Crowntail Betta floating in a few ounces of dirty water in a plastic cup. Cf2

I think Bettas are the most neglected of all pet store animals because even in a high end expensive pet store that sells huge tanks to fish enthusiasts, I saw that the Bettas were on a small shelf in Coca Cola cups like the ones on American Idol. Mad

Why do pet store owners have no love for Bettas? They are beautiful and easy to care for. I know they have to be separated, but surely there must be a better solution than takeout soup containers and Coke cups.
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07-12-2012, 03:41 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-12-2012, 03:44 PM by Ram.)
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Ram Offline
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
(07-12-2012, 07:39 AM)ACSAPA Wrote: Why do pet store owners have no love for Bettas? They are beautiful and easy to care for. I know they have to be separated, but surely there must be a better solution than takeout soup containers and Coke cups.

Because betta are territorial toward each other. They must be separated. It is not economical for pet stores to provide one full setup (proper sized tank, filter system, heater, etc.) for each individual betta at the store. Aside the budget, there is also room issue. You saw how many betta cups are there on the top of each other. If there is one tank for each betta, a lot of room is needed for those tanks. Pet stores are in the business for profit, not for animal welfare. So it goes the same for walmart, petsmart, and any other pet stores. I have not yet seen any pet store with betta in proper tank for sale. It's basically not possible.
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07-26-2012, 03:48 AM,
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
I think it would be great if places like Pet-Smart were required by law to only sell dogs and cats that came from a kennel. That way the animals that need a home would get one. Very few people think of going to a kennel to get an animal, but people flock to chain stores everyday for such a thing.
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07-27-2012, 04:10 AM,
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RE: Should Walmart sell pets?
(07-26-2012, 03:48 AM)s120450 Wrote: I think it would be great if places like PetSmart were required by law to only sell dogs and cats that came from a kennel. That way the animals that need a home would get one. Very few people think of going to a kennel to get an animal, but people flock to chain stores everyday for such a thing.

The source of dogs and cats isn't the only problem. Yes, chain stores like to order from mass produced mills and farms, since they are cheaper. You also need to realize that the other half the problem is the chain store often isn't equipped or the staff aren't properly trained to take care of the live pets once they are inside the stores. Even if they get high quality pets from good breeders, the pets can still get sick or die inside store due to poor care there.
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