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Why!? Why do people feel the necessity to "rescue" the lone adult rat from Petco?

Actually, don't answer that. I know why - most of them have never had rats or are super impulsive. But really? People get these nippy, secluded, shy, anti-social rats from Big-Chain-Pet-Store and then freak out when they start biting or bullying or whatever. It's irritating.
But let's ignore the "I want to save the cutie" and move on to the fact that "saving" one ill-bred, ill-fated, unsocialized, probably isolated and bred to death rat just opens up a spot for tens more to fill its place.

Like, if you want to save a rat, go to a rescue. Or even a shelter. Just please, please stop trying to save the poor ratty in the window. You're most likely doing it and thousands of other rats that don't even exist yet, not to mention yourself, a huge disservice.



...Time to get my leather gloves on. I've got four biters to get back to taming.
 

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Yeah because rescuing a rat there just sopports the horrid industry. Kinda like buying non organic and non free range meats, which means the animal was forced to eat fattening antibiotics and stay in a very small cage living in its own muck. Don't support either ghastly industries!
 

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Also, buying from a good breeder is a solid option when getting a pet rat... I wish responsible breeding was more encouraged so that there would be more breeders and more available well-raised and bred rats for people to buy... When I first got into rats, I had to buy mine from a chain store.. no rescues and no good breeders in my area. I later rescued from a litter dropped off at petco, and then bought stock from a good breeder. Buying from a rescue, especially if you can get pups or very friendly adults, is a great option too. It is unfortunate that there are so few good rescues out there.

I don't think buying a rat from petco really effects much though (if you're talking about discouraging them from carrying rats), as they sell mainly as "feeders". It is likely that rats not purchased as a pet will be purchased as feeders anyway so i don't think it makes much of a difference in the long run. I would discourage buying from there from a health / temperament standpoint though. Buying from a chainstore that only sells "pet" rats would give them an incentive to order more.

None of my initial rats from petco had decent temperaments and all died of health issues before 1.5 years of age. My rescued pups turned out better temperament wise but also all died (save one) before 2 years of age from cancer, stroke, etc.
 

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Believe it or not, my petco doesn't sell feeders. You do make good points. Unlike what is probably the majority here, I am not completely against buying rats from chain stores. They can hide hidden gems as far as temperment. I do not agree with people buying rats who are clearly unstable trying to 'rescue' the rat, but if they have taken the time to get to know the animal and think it is a good match, then they should go for it. The thing here is that a lot of people think that buying the rat from the stores encourages overbreeding, and that boycotting the stores will stop it. Just because that worked for dogs and cats doesn't mean anything here. Even if we stop buying them as pets, people will still buy them as feeders. No one is going to buy a dog or cat as a feeder. You can't fight the breeders head on either because the laws regarding treatment of rats is handled differently due to their presence in labs. Do I know what the answer is then? No I don't. I try to always know where my rats come from, but what matters to me in the long run is temperment. I want a rat whose personality matches what I'm looking for. If that rat comes from a breeder or just happens to come out of a feeder bin is irrelevant to me.
 

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Believe it or not, my petco doesn't sell feeders. You do make good points. Unlike what is probably the majority here, I am not completely against buying rats from chain stores. They can hide hidden gems as far as temperment. I do not agree with people buying rats who are clearly unstable trying to 'rescue' the rat, but if they have taken the time to get to know the animal and think it is a good match, then they should go for it. The thing here is that a lot of people think that buying the rat from the stores encourages overbreeding, and that boycotting the stores will stop it. Just because that worked for dogs and cats doesn't mean anything here. Even if we stop buying them as pets, people will still buy them as feeders. No one is going to buy a dog or cat as a feeder. You can't fight the breeders head on either because the laws regarding treatment of rats is handled differently due to their presence in labs. Do I know what the answer is then? No I don't. I try to always know where my rats come from, but what matters to me in the long run is temperment. I want a rat whose personality matches what I'm looking for. If that rat comes from a breeder or just happens to come out of a feeder bin is irrelevant to me.
It also worked for rabbits. Petco isn't selling rabbits for over 10 years now. And yes, buying feeder rats as pets encourage more breeding. There is no denying that. If less people want to buy a rat from a pet store, less is produced. Period. If I produce 1,000purple with yellow dots sweaters a day and only 23 people in the world buy such a sweater, what am I going to do? 1) continue to produce 1,000 sweaters a day that pretty much no one is buying OR produce less or quit producing them all together? Well, same with pet store rats. Saying that if you buy a feeder isn't changing anything is incorrect. The ONLY way this is true is if you somehow have a magic incantation that makes the snake who would have fed on the rat skip his weekly/monthly meal! Do you have such an incantation? If not, the snake will just feed on another rat. No net rat gets saved, but more are produced.
 

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I don't think buying a rat from petco really effects much though (if you're talking about discouraging them from carrying rats), as they sell mainly as "feeders". It is likely that rats not purchased as a pet will be purchased as feeders anyway so i don't think it makes much of a difference in the long run.
Yes it DOES make a difference in the long run! Pet stores are in to make a profit, period. If they stop making a profit selling rats, they will stop selling rats. What would make a difference for you? Someone who wants to buy 1,000 rats all at once and decide not to do it? It doesn't work that way. No one is buying 1,000 rats; but there are 500 people buying 2 rats, hence the difference if they don't do it.
 

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I know gribouilli, this is one area we will probably never agree. I just wanted to put my opinion out there despite knowing how few people agree with me and the fact that more than one person will be arguing against me.
 

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I share your opinion, InuLing. This is the most ridiculously annoying controversy in the rat community. I will never agree that NOT buying PET rats at the petstore will change anything, people will be buying FEEDER rats regardless. Thousands of feeder rats are going to be produced, gassed, and shoved in a freezer. Big whoop if PET rats aren't being bought, you stop buying them and the same amount of rats will be produced, but more will be going to the freezer. I believe there are significantly more snake owners than pet rat owners, and so many snake owners own LOTS of snakes, so this is always going to be happening and the small community of rat owners boycotting per stores is not going to change the huge amount of snake owners buying feeders who are being raised en mass in poor conditions.

I get that most people do not share this opinion at all.
 

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Yes and the thing is, that reason right there is why boycotting is in no way a guarantee of positive change. I am not going to condemn what could be an amazing pet to a life of suffering and an undignified death on an imperfect premise. I feel that this reaction is fueled by emotion and the business model makes no sense to me. I agree that this is an annoying controversy and it is an endless cycle. There is no right answer and as long as people think there is we will continue to go round and round in a circle like a dog chasing its own tail. There is no point and when we finally catch it all we get is hurt.
 

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And to be honest, I find that most pet stores keep their rats in better conditions than a feeder breeder place. I have not come across an overly bad petstore, the cages are small but kept in good condition.
I do think that just because of where the rat came from doesn't mean they should be denied a loving home. To get a little more on topic with the original post, I don't think buying a pet rat from a pet store is rescuing, but if someone wants to feel like they're doing a good deed like so by buying one, let them have their joy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
To get a little more on topic with the original post, I don't think buying a pet rat from a pet store is rescuing, but if someone wants to feel like they're doing a good deed like so by buying one, let them have their joy.
I honestly don't care much if they're carried in pet stores or not; I just want to stop getting store-bought surrenders that murder your fingers.

Two of the four rehab rats I have were a case of, "It's the last rat in the cage, the poor wittle stinker. Let's save it." I understand why, but jeez, did anyone at least check to make sure there's not a reason they're the last one left? Both of the people who surrendered were good animal lovers making ultimately impulse decisions.

It's painful to watch and painful to deal with. (And I'm just insane for cleaning up after it.)
 

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This is a silly argument that's been re-hashed a thousand times... People should only purchase the rats they can socialize... Newbies shouldn't adopt screwed up and biting rats out of compassion or any other reason. People with experience, time and that special combination of crazy, determination and compassion are best suited to provide the best forever homes for screwed up pet shop rats... and screwed up rats in general.

But by not rescuing a healthy and friendly rat from a feeder bin or pet shop all you are doing is denying yourself a new furry best friend and condemning a wonderful rat to death or worse.
 

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Of course you shouldn't get a rat you can't handle, I completely agree with that. You should always interact with a rat before buying, and know when it's something you can't handle.
 

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My biggest issue with pet stores besides the whole cruel abusive mills.... is that overall pet rats are not quite so hardy or well tempered.

MANY MANY rats out there are prone to serious health issues and do not have stellar temperaments. I've noticed some people even thinking that their rat is wonderful and friendly but if you compared it to a rat that was truly well bred for temperament it would be a huge difference! And so often these days people say that all these health issues are the norm.

That all makes me want to cry :(

Mills & BYBs are ruining our fancy.

We need to care about creating better rats. People should be supporting legit responsible breeders who are working to better rats.

I long for a day when hearing about a rat being aggressive, biting or sick is rare!

The truth is people are lazy & selfish though. They don't care about the animals. They need instant gratification. They would rather just run to the local pet store rather than search and hunt down a rescue or breeder. I've literally seen people not willing to wait for 2 weeks! Like seriously?? And while I understand people who do not have transportation, others are not willing to spend alittle gas money or time to travel a bit to get a rat. Really you can't take a saturday and make a little trip? And the people who think spending $20 for a rat is crazy and god forbid if it is more than that! But no, people see rats as disposable cheap pets so they do not care about getting a healthy awesome rat.

IDK it upsets me alot.
 

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I waited over 4 months to get my rats from a breeder after I decided to try rats (I had rabbits before). I could have gone to Petsmart the same day and have some instant gratification. I knew better than doing that. Yes, people are selfish- they want instant gratification. I would have driven 5+ hours to find a reputable breeder if I didn't have one near by. Whatever gas spent on that trip would have been worth it. Yes, I know a few people don't have a car but they most certainly know someone who does and can help. I mean come on there is another way in 99% of the cases.
 

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I could never disagree with someone more. Nobody should be made to feel bad about purchasing their rat at a pet store, it doesn't make them lazy, it doesn't make them selfish.
 

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I could never disagree with someone more. Nobody should be made to feel bad about purchasing their rat at a pet store, it doesn't make them lazy, it doesn't make them selfish.
No one made anyone feels bad. If anyone feels bad that is on them- and I suspect that deep down they know it wasns't a good idea to get a pet (any pet) from a pet store. I bet over 80% of the health problems and behavioral problems we try to help people fix here every single day on RatForum are issues with pet store rats. Then there are all those thousands of people who come to RatForum through search engines each day and read about all those problems and get the wrong idea that rats aren't great pets. Not helping the rat cause at all.
 

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I would hardly agree that anyone who gets their rats at a petstore is lazy and selfish.
Agree to disagree I guess.

If I walked up to you with three identical rats and said one is from a breeder, one is from a rescue and one is from a pet store, I can not imagine a single person going oh the pet store one is the best choice. I will take that one!
People act like they MUST shop at a pet store, as if they have no choice. But we all do have the choice. So what is the reason someone would choose to go to a pet store over other options?

I bet almost always it is because the other options take more time, take effort, or cost more.


I have 3 rats currently that I purchased from a pet store. My very first rats were from a pet store as well. It is not about making someone feel bad, I think no one can make you feel bad except yourself.... no one is perfect. But let's not pretend it is anything other than the truth. Was it a good decision? I could have taken the time and waited and got rats from better sources. I love my rats dearly. I am glad I got them. But I still purchased and supported a horrible practice.
 

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Yes, agreeing to disagree is really the only good outcome here.

However, by saying that the people who go and buy their rats from a pet store are lazy, selfish, and don't care about the animals, you are making them feel bad. So what, verbal abuse doesn't exist because the only person who can make you feel bad is yourself? I can't agree with that either. But oh well, it is probably best that this debate ends now, lol.
 
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