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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
p.s.: can maybe someone with experience with this kind of thing make a sticky or something so that people like me know where to go to get help in doing this in the future?

so i always see random people on ratforum talk about a nasty local pet store and inquiring as to what actions can be taken, and although i commend them, i've never personally encountered one quite as terrible as this one. yesterday i went to a "pet ranch" by my old house as i had some time to kill. now, i went in there knowing that it's a rather grubby little pet store, but what i saw in there seriously bothered me and made me a little sick. i took a few pictures with my camera-phone, so they're not great, but here's a general idea:

7 large adults (males and females, i'm pretty sure, but they didn't move much) in one aquarium, *less than 10 gal* in size:


4 large adult PEWs, one with about 15 eyes-closed babies in one corner, another with prominent nipples showing (they're a little hard to see, sorry):


7 or 8 adult hamsters in another less than 10 gal tank:


1 large momma rat (left side) with her 4 or 5 babies (6 weekers-ish) in a cage with hamsters (right side)!:


another shot of the mixed breed cage -- hamster is drinking from water bottle, rat is under hamster:


cages stacked 3 high with 2 to 5 puppies in each cage:


9 puppies in this 3 foot by 3 foot pen:


all animals had water and were on aspen bedding (i think), but most had little or no food. they seemed generally bright-eyed and healthy, but i didn't dare touch any of them to be sure. they all seemed bored/agitated (puppies especially) as well.

HERE'S WHERE YOU CAN HELP: i've never tried reporting anything like this and i don't know where to start. pet ranch has been in that same location for YEARS i'm sure, i remember it being there as a child, i just never went in there. where do i start? what else can i tell the animal control people or whatever to get this place shut down or seriously revamped?!
 

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Wow. Start by filing a report with your local SPCA. If you can do it by email to include those pictures it's even better. Something NEEDS to be done.

That's even worse than my local petstore, and I thought IT was bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
what kind of things should i mention? rather, what kind of things do they even care about? i'm sure if i mentioned starving puppies, they would send agents out asap, but how do i get them to understand how important it is for ratties to have ventilation and decent food (if any) and proper cages?
 

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The small rodents will be a passing thought for the SPCA but the puppies all crammed in to small cages might make them spring into action. I would definitely be honest and talk about the overcrowding and animals in same cages.
 

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what kind of things should i mention? rather, what kind of things do they even care about? i'm sure if i mentioned starving puppies, they would send agents out asap, but how do i get them to understand how important it is for ratties to have ventilation and decent food (if any) and proper cages?
I think you mentioned same sex paired in the same aquarium. I would definitely mentioned that since potential owner might be bringing home a pregnant rat. The last thing the SPCA wants is more unwanted animals to have to place or unfortunately euthanize.
 

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focus mostly on the puppies, because unfortunately, rats (and mice) are not protected by the AWA (Animal Welfare Act)

be sure to include all the pictures, though, to help aid your case. hopefully conditions will improve for all of the animals involved.
 

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Also, if there are any rat rescues in your area let them know as well as the SPCA. Some rescues or people involved with them are either also involved in the SPCA or know people who are, and they can put some pressure on to make sure things get changed (and not only for the dogs)
 

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Ugh.. that makes me sick.
I made the mistake of getting my girls from a local pet store. I don't regret getting them, because they're very, VERY sweet babies, but I'm already paying a lot of money for my decision, and needless to say I'll never get rats from there again.

This "Pet Ranch" makes our pet store look like an animal haven though...
How could someone be so stupid to keep rats and hamsters in the same cage? Hamsters are anti-social. Rats are bigger and could probably end any fight that a hamster starts.

9 puppies in a tiny cage? I wouldn't be surprised if those puppies ended up growing into dogs with mental issues caused by being kept in such a place.
 

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I think you might have better luck involving the SPCA if you talk to the owner about the conditions, and they refuse to correct it. Perhaps even bring in a small vid camera. Maybe even talk to them on camera (I dunno). I really hope something is done but it's going to be a lot of persistence on your part. Check up on the store weekly perhaps, and keep pushing the SPCA to be involved! Much luck to you Ono! Let us know how it's going!
 

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I agree with what everyone else has said. Make sure to contact the SPCA as well as a rat rescue if there's one around.

Definitely keep us posted!
 

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OnlyOno said:
what kind of things should i mention? rather, what kind of things do they even care about? i'm sure if i mentioned starving puppies, they would send agents out asap, but how do i get them to understand how important it is for ratties to have ventilation and decent food (if any) and proper cages?
I would mention more along the lines of the overcrowding. Every pet shop I've seen uses aquariums, so I don't think you'll make much of an impact with the whole proper cages argument. The fact that they are keeping adult males and females together is insane, and the sheer amount of animals crammed into those cages is ridiculous. Keeping rats and hamsters together I would think should be against some kind of regulation - if not that's just crazy!

I've never seen a pet shop half as bad as this one, it's a total disgrace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
okay well i'll have to stop by the petstore again and talk to the owners or something because i think that's the general consensus on the best way to go about this. and rat rescues seems like a good idea but i haven't had any luck finding any close in colorado (i've been looking for one for myself). this definitely *will* be a project, especially since the pet ranch itself is about 50 miles from my school-year home, so i am only in the vicinity about once a month. i know this pet store has been like this for a long time though, so i'll keep on it.
 

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Good luck getting the manager to listen. You're a hero if you get their attention without involving the SPCA.

I tried to tell the people at the pet store I got my girls from to take their animals off pine bedding, and they insisted that pine is not harmful. They said cedar is the only one that hurts little lungs. After we got back from the vet the other day I almost had the nerve to go back to the pet store and shove the bill in their face while I say "This is what happens when you keep rats on pine!" >_<

Maybe you could get some of your friends and family to join you in protesting. If there's one thing that scares store-owners more than one severely disappointed customer, it's a whole group of severely disappointed customers. Also, it would really help to bring proof with you that you're right and they're wrong. Shouldn't be too hard to find solid proof that it's bad to house animals in such a way as they are.
 

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Good luck, I can't even imagine them doing that. Those pictures are horrible.

Anyways, I don't know if you're a PETA supporter or not, but I've spent a lot of time on their website and you have 2 options with them.

1. You can see if there are any PETA groups in your area and ask them for help, because there are more local based branches than you would think.

2.I know somewhere on the website is some sort of request form for there help, if the police or the spca ignores you.

I hope you get it shut down, keep us updated!
 

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To be honest... first picture... not nearly the worst I have seen. That is not going to spring anyone into action. Second picture... feeders, rats are food as well as pets... deal with it. (seriously... feeder breeding isn't going to stop, I seriously doubt people are buying those pews for pets)

Ok... I hate dogs, but I will say that if there is one thing that gets the SPCA into action it is dog and cat mistreatment. Especially puppy mills and pet stores that obtain from them and house them in these conditions.

The biggest rat related problem I see here is the mix of species. Hamsters and rats cannot live together safely. That IS negligence, but not sure what to do about it. Your best plan of attack is to focus on the dogs, general overcrowding, and not on JUST the rodents, and not on the aquariums. Just about every pet store around uses aquariums... even the good ones. That argument is not even worth bringing up. You have to approach this as someone mature that knows the situation at hand, and knows what strings to pull and what strings to leave be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
digging up an old post here, i know, but here is a sort of update:

i found out shortly after my appalling visit that the pet ranch was under new management, so i waited it out. conditions seem to have gotten better, hamster mommas with babies were in their own tiny cages, rats and hamsters were no longer together. anyway, someone posted this in response to the review of pet ranch that i put up on zootoo.com:

http://www.zootoo.com/stores/zip80233_petranchesamericainc3/horribleanimalconditinsnewowne

their response downright angered me. how can some people be so ignorant?
 

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She needs to shut her mouth. If that pet store was any good, they wouldn't have to mixing species. Yes Hamsters and Rats go PERFECTLY together. **** idiot. I heard that supposedly its getting better. But that's just disgusting. I wish there was ignorant people, but you know...life can't be all sunny and what-not. The babies with the mommy and the other rats looks really bad. I hope everything works out. A lot of people use aquariums. Petsmart especially. I have yet to see a pet-store use barred cages. It would be great if they did.
 
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