Well I went to the pet store tonight to pick up so yogies for my girls when I saw this one black and white hooded(like my fiona) who was ginormous. he looked so sweet but he looked so sad. (don't ask how i know this I just have a way with animals where i felt drawn to ones that need love) gosh that sounds lame. but anyways. The people know me as "the rat girl" in there because i got my 2 girls from there because the nearest breeder/rescue is 6 hours away. Well tonight I have never witnessed such a sight. I know how strongly people feel about pet shop animals on here but at this pet shop i never witnessed any neglect. Tonight I was furious. The one hooded rat had thin hair and I met you could see his skin showing through almost to the point of bald patches. His cagemate hadabout an inch by inch gash on his side that was open. and the hooded had proephrin all around his little eyes. I was so mad. I was really careful with them petting them both, and it was obvious they got no human contact what so ever and it was obvious they were not a good match for eachother. At first when I petted the hooded boy he squeeked but soon warmed up to me one i let him sniff around me and i gave him a yogie. I have never seen a rat brux so much in my life. I guess I'm so used to seeing happy animals it was a huge shock. I mean fiona actually looks like she smiles! and lola is still young but is so much more socialble. Fiona comes to the door of her cage if she just hears my voice! and what really got to me was when i told the lady her exact words were "Oh they're very agressive over females thats why we had to move her. They fight all the time theres nothing we can do." Instead of putting the boys in seperate cages they put her in a cage by herself instead of one with the other females they put her in a cage by herself . Why would they put both sexes together anyway? I don't understand how they could keep them together while in that shape. I seriously am sick to my stomach about it. I have been thinking of opening a rescue from my home for awhile now and now it's settled. My boyfriend who will be 18 next month(i'll be 16 in january) told me that when he gets his house I can keep them there. I know what you're thinking *gasp* 16 thats too young! But I have researched rats and rat care since I first got Fiona and I would get a job where 100% of earnings will go to the rats care. And if they were at my boyfriends they would get PLENTY of socialization from both of us. (My boyfriend loves my ratties, and is just as educated =]) But I wouldnt be starting anything until probably next year. I've thought about it and I probably would only have 10 at the most rats at a time. That way we wouldn't be over run. I am just so ready to make a change with this. I am mad that these peoples dogs are kept up so well and sold for 1000 dollars even though they're from a puppy mill and not even show registered while their other animals are suffering. Tonight I'm making shirts to support pet rescues and pet rats. This has opened my eyes so much and I will never purchase pet store animals again. Unless injured.