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I'm in the process of looking for a pair of new babies to adopt, and I wanted to get from a breeder this time for reasons other than, "pet stores should never be an option." but it seems there are no available ratteries in san diego right now, and petco is undergoing a lawsuit and are not allowed to carry rats right now. this is because, a few years ago, some kid supposedly died from rat fever from a rat he got at petco. the circumstances were suspicious, though; the kid showed no symptoms until the night before he died. rat fever in humans shows symptoms MONTHS beforehand, and a death from it is EXTREMELY rare. I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I feel like there's more to the story than that, and that it might not've been the rat's fault at all.

besides that, the search for two ratties has got me thinking, "if I can't find a breeder, I will just adopt from a pet store like I always have with every single one of my pets," which have mostly been rodents. however, the "no pet store" rule bothers me. the ONLY problem I've had with a pet store animal was a hamster who had developed wet tail before I adopted it, and the poor thing died about two days later. wet tail is something only hamsters can get, and it's not fun. anyway, I know that the reasoning is that pet store pets come from mills that are trying to meet a demand. both pet store AND pets from breeders will have problems, especially rodents, but here's the thing...

THEY ARE STILL A LIVING CREATURE.

not many people know, understand, or even care about not getting them from a pet store, and no amount of spreading the information will keep mills from breeding rats to supply to pet stores. whenever I adopt an animal, I always think, "I might be saving this little creature from a real sicko." not just people who only intend on feeding the rat to their reptiles... that's why pet stores sell FROZEN rats, the live ones are to be loved... but not just that, there are sick people out there who like to torture little animals, and I'm not going to get into the horrific things that people are in to...

the point is, the demand is never going to go away, so mills are never going to go away. but animals aren't toys! some people don't like buying things that are made in china... this isn't the same. are you not going to adopt a child from a certain orphanage just because it has a bad reputation? these rats are still living beings with thoughts, feelings, and the desire for love. if you DON'T adopt from a pet store, aren't you being a bit shallow? you're either leaving that rat to go without a family so that they either die at the store, or get put down because no one wanted it... or worse; adopted to a psychopath or fetishist. the pet store rats are still someone, and they deserve to be adopted just as much as any rat from a breeder. if you do consider these living things as objects, I feel like you shouldn't be allowed to have them.

if YOU have a bad experience with a pet store, it's not the rat's fault, it's the store's. my petco takes extremely good care of these animals, and from this particular one, I've never had a problem. they make sure you're not buying them for food, they encourage holding them before adoption to see which one clicks with you, they keep them clean, feed them a proper diet, etc. yet, they're being denied a loving home because of this "no pet store" rule. I think this forum should know better than to say, "adopting from a pet store should never be an option." I say, if you can't find a good breeder in your area, or even if you don't WANT to find a breeder, yeah, adopt from the pet store. they're STILL going to have a few problems either way, right? but that shouldn't mean these fellow mammals don't deserve our love, because they're not someTHING, they're someONE.

I believe humans are too involved with themselves and don't think about the needs of another species before their own. "oh, I don't want that rat because it comes from a mill." but the rat wonders, "what makes me so different?" it's basically bigotry. we need to get over ourselves and realize we're not the top species, but are in fact intrusive to the lives that don't deserve us. but for those of us who know our place, we will love another species as if they were our own flesh and blood, because we are equals, we just speak different languages. sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who understands animals, but I know I'm not, there just aren't many of us.

that's just my two cents on the matter, and I hope it helps people understand the consequences of being picky. love is love, no matter what you are or where you come from. let's not forget that.
 

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Everyone has to make their own choices and their own moral decisions.

In the end do what you feel is best.

But... hopeless thinking that so what it will never chance is just wrong and sad IMO. Things are very possible to change, there is always hope! Not only that but we have already seen change happen....
By far most pet stores do not sell cats or dogs anymore. Because people stood up and said hey pet mills suck and are wrong.

And on top of that you are what you support. I can choose where my money goes. i can choose what I support and do not support.
You may be saving one rat and give it a nice life but what about the one that takes its place? What about its mom and many other females that will be kept in small cages its entire life and bred again and again until it dies.

When I think of that one rat in a pet store, I think of its mom and that makes me sad. I can't support that.

Too many people say they can't do anything but if we all stopped saying that and actually did something... there would be change.

If I really want to save an animal, I'd go to a rescue. Pick up a rat who is in dire need and being helped by someone who actually cares and is trying to find it a loving home not make a profit.
Maybe a rat that once knew love and now is just afraid and sad because it doesn't understand why it is not in its old home. Give that rat another chance at love.


And when you support a good breeder you are supporting someone who loves rats and is passionate about them. Who wants to see healthy, long living, sweet rats in the world and is striving for that.
You are going to get a rat that has had a good start in life, there is a much better chance at getting a healthier animal. I posted a huge long reply here that explains some of the health issues related to pet rats and why breeding matters. And a friendly rat that you do not have to work at getting it to trust or love you.

So many people say rats are prone to health issues and they have to be tamed or have trust training or hormonal aggression issues.... this is NOT how rats should be. This is because of bad breeding- mills & BYBs & bad care. I imagine a better world where someday all of that is long gone and we see rats as healthy and wonderful sweet pets.


The truth is, no one can save every rat in the world. But we all have choices we can make. My choice can make a huge difference or a little difference. I want to be the change that I want to see in the world. I support those that make a difference - good breeders and rescues instead of those who just want to make a profit off animals suffering.

But yes everyone should make their own choices....
 

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I believe humans are too involved with themselves and don't think about the needs of another species before their own. "oh, I don't want that rat because it comes from a mill." but the rat wonders, "what makes me so different?" it's basically bigotry. we need to get over ourselves and realize we're not the top species, but are in fact intrusive to the lives that don't deserve us. but for those of us who know our place, we will love another species as if they were our own flesh and blood, because we are equals, we just speak different languages. sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who understands animals, but I know I'm not, there just aren't many of us.
I'm not going to get into the ethics of pet stores, but I'll muse on the idea of 'if responsible breeders didn't exist would I get a rat at petsmart/co'? I'd be extremely tempted, it would depend.

I've gotten my earliest rats from petsmart and rescues but now I just get them from ethical breeders. My sweetest rat was a female from petsmart (I guess I got lucky?). My decision to now just use a good breeder stems from many things; I don't know if 'bigotry' is the right word, but certainly it's a judgement call on my part. But that decision doesn't stem from believing that mill rats aren't deserving of love or good care. I'm making the conclusion that by using a good breeder, I will more likely own a healthier rat of a temperament that will thrive and enjoy my company and care for the entirety of its life.

I believe many who are against buying from pet stores are simply calling for a change in unethical mass breeding. However, I have seen some very opinionated posts where people are condescending and extremely rude to people who choose to buy from a pet store. This is unacceptable and against the forum rules- and I've seen the moderators work hard to take these down.

I do disagree with you on your point that 'mills are never going to go away'. I think this is possible (but not easy or timely).
 

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Saying people are shallow because they don't buy from petstores is ridiculous. It shouldn't matter where you get your pets from, what matters is how you treat the pets you have.
 

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Saying people are shallow because they don't buy from petstores is ridiculous. It shouldn't matter where you get your pets from, what matters is how you treat the pets you have.
I agree with this wholeheartedly. People who are against pet store adoptions are not 'shallow' or 'view living animals as objects'. They just see the BIGGER PICTURE rather than just individuals. You say the demand for pet mill animals (especially rats) will always be there? Thats true. But not buying a mill rat as a pet does decrease the number of rats the pet store will need to order from the rat mill next time they order. Especially if numerous people follow this principle. Less order from pet stores = less producing of animals at the pet mill (as long as they are doing it right, i.e. forecasting demand and adjusting breeding accordingly, to maximize profit).
 

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However, I have seen some very opinionated posts where people are condescending and extremely rude to people who choose to buy from a pet store.
It can be a very heated and passionate issue.

I fully admit I have gotten from pet stores in the past myself.

I think truly everyone has to make the decision for themselves.

I do not feel anyone should be bashed for buying from a petstore, but I do try to push people away from it though.
 

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I agree with Moonkissed. No one should be shamed for getting rats at pets stores but showing them there are better options is fine. I truly think forums should be used to debate and discuss better options and alternatives. I never ever want to be rude to anyone. I don't think people hear your point as well when you treat them that way. Now when writing it could come off as rude but not meant that way. It's tough to read intent and understand emotion.
 

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I recognize that I got super, extreme, perhaps once in a lifetime lucky with my pet store rats. They were handled from the beginning, were friendly and inquisitive and had only spent ~ a week in the pet store itself and were isolated from the other, bred to be feeder rats. I fully recognize that. However, the fact of the matter is that there are no breeders anywhere near me. Five to eight hours from here is the nearest. Same with rescues. I, personally, do not have the time nor the ability to travel 300 miles each way to pick up a pet, no matter how much better they can be than the pet store version. I understand that there are some trains or whatever and maybe if the time comes, I'll consider it. I will never buy dogs, cats, etc, from a pet store because there are rescues and breeders here at reasonable prices. I will also never buy dogs from breeders because the issues created for purebred breeds combined with all the rescues who need homes makes it a bad decision for me. That said, I am just a little defensive towards the whole 'supporting unethical breeding practices/feeder industries' because any time you buy something from a pet store or an online store, you are, directly or otherwise, supporting the industry in pursuit of caring for your pets. So, it's a thorny issue for me.
 

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Eh yeah to be honest some of my worst rats have come from breeders and some of my best have been feeders (though I've had great breeder rats too, usually from great breeders! Imagine that). When in doubt look for a rescue near you, check local ads for rats in need of homes, etc.

I understand why some people don't want to support pet shops although I'm of the opinion that you can't just "restock" a single rat like it's a bag of rice without creating 7-20 more babies at once (!) and the majority of their income is really just from owners of picky reptiles, so they'll always be around. It isn't through rat people refusing pet store rats that they'll leave stores, it's through exclusive frozen/thawed reptile feeding that they'll lose their business. And I'll add that I had a snake who as a baby came an inch from starving to death before I forced myself to give her a live mouse. It took 2 painful years before I could convince her to take frozen and she, the pet I was obligated to care for, would have died had I done differently. So yeah, the same rats will still be around whether in pet store windows or feeder bins.

I don't think I'd get a rat from a store myself when I have the option to rescue or check the locals but I have no reason to judge someone based on where their rat came from. And if nobody close to me carried rats besides the pet store (I've gone 3 hours for a rat before) I'd honestly just get one from the store, myself. Anyways that's all my opinion and I don't expect people to have to agree with me since I understand the other side to it. As long as I give a rat a good life I'm chill. :cool:
 

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It's already been said, but this is always a heated topic, some folks forget their tone online and will, unfortunately, hurt others with their words. I find that there's no point in telling someone who got their rats from a pet store that they should have gotten them elsewhere. Where is the point in that other than to make that person feel bad?
 

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There is absolutely no breeders within 50 miles of me, so both our pairs came from big chain pet stores.
1st pair are now 2 years old, never had a health problem in their life and are the sweetest tempered rats you'd meet.
Our second pair are a year old now, adopted from a different store, completely plagued with health problems lol, I'm convinced they were left-over "food" stock they just put in the adoption tank. But they're still going strong, mental as they are I wouldn't have them any other way :D

It's not about supporting an industry, it's about bringing joy to your life and theirs :/
 

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Moved this to Rants & Raves. This topic's been beaten to death and beyond...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
there are no breeders in southern California right now, so I just got two babies from a kahoots. I was so happy that they had two males (I prefer male rodents), and I held both of them. they did not pee or poop on me, and they seemed interested in whatever I was as opposed to frightened. the people who worked at the pet store could not stop telling me how sweet they were, and they were so right. I've had Jerry and Orbit for a week now, and they are SO good, they play with me, take food from my hand, and we're really learning about each other. then again, I've always had the ability to make friends with animals extremely quickly. some people refer to it as "animal sense." it's true I get along better with animals than humans due to social anxiety. I'm hoping that I will be able to introduce Jerry and Orbit to my older rat, Tommy, who just lost his brother a couple weeks ago. he's a love bug, so aggression won't be a problem, I just don't want the babies to perhaps pass on a little sickness that an older rat can't handle. Jerry has already stopped sneezing, but Orbie needs a little more time.

indeed, when I talked about the shallowness of some who believe adopting from pet stores is wrong, I was talking about those who shame others for it. the "pet stores should never be an option" thing comes off as extremely ostracizing and accusatory, like people should be ashamed of even considering it. and despite the poor ratties that have to stay in the mills for breeding purposes, unfortunately, that's not going to change. dogs and cats got out of the mills because they are widely loved. rats have a horribly bad reputation due to the black plague myth, as well as their portrayal in the media. people don't understand the difference between wild rats and domesticated rats. not enough people love them to actually cause a stir with rat mills, nor many other mills that multiple species come from. sure, we'd love for it to change, but this is when optimism puts a blindfold over your eyes to block out the reality of it. supply will always meet demand if there's money involved, even with the lives of innocent creatures. I cannot say I am happy about these mills, but I am using common sense, and it's just not going to change.

there's too many instances in history where speaking up has done nothing to change something of this level of importance. politics is a prime example, though that's another controversial subject that's not appropriate for discussion here. there are things we use every day that we shouldn't have due to business winning over people's opinions and attempts to fight it. this will also never change, which is why the reality of it is so easy to predict. it's like our strive to help the environment; most people don't know there's literally NOTHING we can do, and that what we're doing is actually making things worse.

but I am glad that people in this thread have expressed their respect for people making their own choices. I never said people should stop adopting from breeders, merely making a point on why pet stores CAN be an option, instead of people trying to convince others to abandon the very thought, which could keep from pet store rats finding loving homes. too many times have I seen a lone, adult rat sitting in its tank at the pet store because no one wants it. if my financial situation was better, I'd take these guys home and give them the love they need, but it's like couples that already have children, want to adopt more, but can't afford it, or don't have the accommodations. I'm also glad that no one has replied here doing exactly that: insulting and bashing me for believing pet stores are just as good as breeders, especially now when the importance of making sure their animals are healthy has risen so much, and will rise even more for rodents if the case in march rules in the family's favor (at least it will in the US). the pet stores in my area always take really good care of their animals.

I just hope people realize that this is a discussion for DEBATE, and not for argument. also note that I am personally against humanity, so I'm pretty harsh on our species as a whole. XD
 

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Totally, not all pet stores are created equal. Just last week I picked up a new mink-hooded baby from a mom and pop small shop- the rats they had were rescued days earlier from a hoarding situation. Of course I took her home. Named her Squid. She's amazing. :D They loved all the animals in that store, walked around with birds on their shoulder, had little hand-made hammocks etc for their bunnies and piggies. Gave their dogs a good pet. Very nice little place. It's definitely not a black and white debate.
 

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i agree !! im like borderline offended. mine are "mall rats" from the mall pet store . they used to not sell the feeders as pets so when i asked to buy one i lied n said it was for a feeder just so they wouldnt tell me i couldnt save it. i started out with one and he felt special to me cuz i was like hey now he wont be eaten. so i have two hooded rat brothers and a white red eyed rat who is most likely thier bro too cuz they were from the same nest but he is the most friendly laid back thing ever. and hes the one they were cringing at like asking if "eww are you ok with this ugly one were all out of ones with nice markings want me to grab another one" and i was like no we dont care. some people really dpont care about anything other than the little creature itself . mine were $3.24 each :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
i agree !! im like borderline offended. mine are "mall rats" from the mall pet store . they used to not sell the feeders as pets so when i asked to buy one i lied n said it was for a feeder just so they wouldnt tell me i couldnt save it. i started out with one and he felt special to me cuz i was like hey now he wont be eaten. so i have two hooded rat brothers and a white red eyed rat who is most likely thier bro too cuz they were from the same nest but he is the most friendly laid back thing ever. and hes the one they were cringing at like asking if "eww are you ok with this ugly one were all out of ones with nice markings want me to grab another one" and i was like no we dont care. some people really dpont care about anything other than the little creature itself . mine were $3.24 each :)
that's awful. "are you okay with this ugly one?" I feel like people shouldn't work in pet stores unless they love animals no matter what, but then again, I have a pretty extreme opinion about species equality. :p

there was something specific I was gonna say about this topic.............. but I don't remember what it was. T_T
 

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See I got mine from a feeder bin at a reptile store. I got them there because the breeder had nothing available and wanted to charge $50 for a trio when did they have something. I'm sorry, I love rats, but I am not paying that much plus gas to drive 50 miles to them to go get a small animal unless it's something truly exotic. And I am no longer involved with animal rescue, so I don't do shelter animals for numerous personal reasons. I got all 5 of mine for $15.99. Call me desensitized or whatnot, but the pet store label doesn't bother me anymore. And it shouldn't. Where someone gets their pet is their decision and their's alone. Health issues or not, my pet store rats have been just as good temperament wise as my shelter and breeder rats.
 

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See I got mine from a feeder bin at a reptile store. I got them there because the breeder had nothing available and wanted to charge $50 for a trio when did they have something. I'm sorry, I love rats, but I am not paying that much plus gas to drive 50 miles to them to go get a small animal unless it's something truly exotic. And I am no longer involved with animal rescue, so I don't do shelter animals for numerous personal reasons. I got all 5 of mine for $15.99. Call me desensitized or whatnot, but the pet store label doesn't bother me anymore. And it shouldn't. Where someone gets their pet is their decision and their's alone. Health issues or not, my pet store rats have been just as good temperament wise as my shelter and breeder rats.
50 miles away from a responsible breeder is not far,and $50 is cheap for some breeders.Ive heard stories of rats from responsible breeders( some for more than $25 each) costing less than petstore rats because of vet bills.*note that I am not trying to be rude and I don't mean to aim this at any one person *It is not only because of health and temperament,but because if you save one rats the store will buy several more from bybs or mills which are sometimes somehow worse than the stores.In the mills/bybs/stores rats are not pets,but stock.They are treated like stock.By saving that one rat several more will come into a life of torture and neglect.By saving that one rat you are supporting the people who cause all of that pain and are sometimes neglectful.In my opinion that is not something that anyone should be supporting.
 
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