Here are 9 disturbing things that’ll make you never want to go to a pet store again:
1. Most dogs and cats in pet stores come from atrocious breeding facilities where animals are kept in cramped and filthy cages and deprived of exercise, socialization, and veterinary care.
2. Dogs and cats aren’t the only animals who are bred in disgusting and cruel facilities. Birds, rabbits, mice, reptiles, amphibians, and other small animals come from severely crowded and dirty mills, too. These animals have specialized needs, and they suffer terribly at the hands of people who don’t care for them properly.
3. Exotic animals like chinchillas, tarantulas, reptiles, sugar gliders, and some birds are kidnapped from their homes in places like Australia, Africa, and Brazil and are shipped thousands of miles to warehouse distributors and pet stores in different countries.
4. Fish and hermit crabs are also taken from their homes in the wild to be sold in pet stores. An estimated 95 percent of saltwater fish sold in pet shops come from waters surrounding the Philippines, Fiji, and other Pacific islands. Compared to their vast ocean habitats, the cramped tanks that they end up in are like prison cells.
5. Freshwater fish don’t have it any better. Ninety percent of freshwater fish sold in pet stores are raised on dirty, cramped farms. Goldfish, for instance, are bred in giant tubs in facilities that produce as many as 250 million fish per year. Most fish sold in pet stores will spend the rest of their lives in miserably tiny bowls or tanks after they are purchased.
6. Pet shops don’t screen people who take animals home like responsible shelters do. Instead, they sell living beings to anybody willing to pay for them. Animals are often sold to people who have no idea how to care for them, so they get bounced around from home to home, end up at shelters, are confined to small tanks, are abandoned, or even die from neglect.
7. Pet store suppliers are notorious for abusing and neglecting animals before they’re shipped to pet stores. At one supplier that PETA investigated, animals sustained severe injuries while fighting over food, escaped from bins only to die slowly on glue traps, and were put into freezers to freeze to death or were gassed en masse in filthy, waste-smeared boxes. PETA has conducted nine investigations of pet trade suppliers and found systemic neglect and abuse in every case. This cruelty is “normal” treatment for reptiles and other animals in the pet industry.
8. Many pet stores fail to provide animals with proper veterinary care, leaving those who are sick or injured to suffer and even die.
9. Every year, more than 6 million animals in the U.S. enter shelters, and about half of them must be euthanized because there aren’t enough good homes for them. Whenever someone buys an animal from a pet store, they take away a chance at adoption from an animal waiting in a shelter.
So how can you help? It’s simple: NEVER purchase an animal or even supplies from a pet store that sells live animals. If you’re ready to take on the responsibility of caring for an animal, adopt one from a shelter.