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Old 12-20-02, 06:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
rattekonigin
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Join Date: Apr-2002
Posts: 412
On the topic of disposable pets...

To take this on a bit of a tangent...reptiles are not anywhere near being the hardest hit by the "disposable pet syndrome"...consider small rodents which usually retail for under 10$ and are THE pet to get for children to teach them "responsibility"... then this kid forgets to feed and water it and mishandles it...and at best, the animal is housed in a cage that's too small and doesn't have cagemates (should it be a social species) and has to put up with infrequent harrassment, but at worst, the animal gets to sit in it's own filth and starve to death...or is actually injured purposefully (there really are some sick, sadistic kids out there)

I've seen this stuff first hand and, to me, this kind of mistreatment is all the worse when applied to mammals because of the fact that many are very intelligent and operate at higher sensory levels than reptiles (with regards to pain perception, etc). In the case of rats, they have an equivalent intelligence to dogs...and I'm not even getting into how people treat fish...
So, what I'm saying is, you can complain about cheap reptiles being considered "disposable" because they go for 20$-30$ (which, might I add, they do NOT go for in most pet stores where the markup is ridiculous)...but then you have a 5 dollar hamster, that's going to suffer much more when it's mistreated and is going to be mistreated 10 times more often, not only because of the fact that it's cheap, but also because it's a more popular pet...

I'm not trying to justify mistreatment of reptiles at all, I'm just saying this is something else to consider...another thing to consider is, should people be "buying and selling" animals at all? In the case of hobbyist breeders, selling offspring to cover costs is probably more ethical than your big chain pet stores which buy the cheapest animals they can get, mark them up 300%, make a huge profit, and people buy the animals on impulse. I personally think they need to make some laws governing what pet stores are allowed to sell, this might put an end to puppy/kitty mills and WC reptiles being sold retail. (I'm not against keeping WC animals, provided they aren't being depleted in their natural habitat for the sake of the pet trade, but pet stores shouldn't be selling them)
Theoretically, one would think breeders are more likely to sell their animals to someone who is fully prepared to take on the responsibility and knows how to go about it...but I wonder how many reptile breeders actually know if their animals go to "good" homes...

Wow, I babbled on a lot more than I meant to... :P
But I am interested to hear people's opinions regarding this stuff...
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