Why you Should NOT Save the Sick Snake from the Pet Store

Why you Should NOT Save the Sick Snake from the Pet Store


Have you ever been to a pet store and you’ve noticed a sick or neglected reptile in one of the habitats? You may want to buy that reptile to rescue it and get it out of that situation. However, doing so may not be the best thing for the reptiles in the long run. Today I’m going to be sharing with you how you should respond and what you should do if you do see a sick reptile in a pet store. [Intro music] Common health issues you may see in reptiles at pet stores include stuck shed when it comes to snakes and lizards. It can get stuck on, like, geckos quite often if their humidity levels aren’t right. Or, you may see skinny or malnourished reptiles. Either way, it’s not a good thing to see that, especially on the sales floor. So, if you notice an animal that is sick or neglected, the first thing you should do is notify management. Get–find management in the store and talk to them and politely make them aware of the situation and that the animal looks sick or that it’s unhealthy in general and see what the management does. See if they improve the conditions. Give the store about a week to straighten things out and improve the enclosure. And if things haven’t improved after that week, then the next thing you should do is contact the corporate office of the business, if they have one. A lot of the big chain retail stores have a customer support line that you can call and you can report concerns over animal health. And that should be your next step. Again, give them a week afterwards. Many retail stores will actually call you if you talk to cooperate and report something wrong with their enclosures and they will tell you what they are going to do to fix it. Not all retail stores will do this, it’s really just the two big chain stores in the United States anyway that will call you back if you contact corporate. But, then again, give them a whole week to fix the enclosures and check back again. If things still haven’t improved in the animal’s enclosure, then, I would suggest taking it to the next level and take a picture of the living conditions the animal is being kept in and post it on social media Get the word out there that that store is not properly taking care of their animals. You can post your observations and concerns on their Facebook page and you can actually tag the business as well so that they see the post. You can post it on Twitter on Instagram, any social media platform you can think of. Basically just spread awareness and make the public aware of what they’re doing to their animals. Another thing you can do is review the business on Google. Look up their Google business listing and insert your review and share your opinion and include pictures if at all possible. The company will likely see this because lots of companies will check regularly their own Google reviews to see how things are looking. And if they notice there’s a lot of negative reviews that, uh, involve animal care, they will likely improve their animal care to not only improve their own self image but therefore to improve business. As tough as it may be, don’t feel obligated to buy the animal and rescue it and get it out of that situation because that sadly only supports the business and encourages them to purchase another animal to take its place and therefore be subjected too the same mistreatment as the previous one. But, if you don’t purchase that animal and it just doesn’t sell because it’s sick and so nobody wants to buy it or if it passes away in the store’s care then the company is out the money that it cost to buy the animal and care for it during the time they had it in the store and they have less incentive to replace it then afterwards. This is especially true with more expensive species of reptiles. Sadly the more common species like ball pythons, bearded dragons, and leopard geckos are so cheap at a wholesale price that even if one or two passes away the company’s likely not to change their habits on what animals they care for and how they take care of them they’re just gonna buy another one and replace it. That’s why it’s -so important- to get the word out there of any mistreatment that you see that hasn’t been improved on and post pictures on social media platforms. Of course keep in mind that not all pet stores are going to neglect their pets. Not even the big chain pet stores are all going to, like, neglect or mistreat their animals. Uh, if you don’t already know, I worked at PetSmart. I was at one of the big retail pet stores for over nine years and I was in management there I was in charge of the pet care department. And I made sure my team took excellent care of the reptiles, because of course they were my favorites. So I made sure they were properly cared for along with all the other animals in the department. The tough part of a pet store employee is that there are certain protocols you have to follow and if you do not follow them you can get in trouble and possibly lose your job. An example of this would be giving ball pythons live rodents if they refuse frozen-thawed rodents. The policy when i worked at PetSmart was that you could only feed snakes frozen-thawed rodents and if they refused it you could not try to feed them live. That was just against policy. So what we did was instead of letting the snake starve to death cause it would refuse frozen-thawed we would adopt it out to a customer that could take good care of it and could offer it live rodents and thats kind of a good compromise. Another one of the policies there is that if any animal whether it be a reptile, small animal, bird, or other has any physical deformities or any chronic health issues that have been cleared by the vet as something thats just gonna be with the animal, like a hamster with diabetes. It’s not something you can cure it’s just something the animal’s going to have for the rest of it’s life. In any of those sorts of instances the animal gets adopted for free to a customer that has the experience to properly take care of that special needs animal. So where I worked at least, at my location, uh, we made sure the animals had really good care, but I can’t say the same for all locations out there and all pet stores of course. It all depends on their pet care team and their dedication to the animal’s welfare. Another thing to keep in mind is that there are multiple ways to properly take care of reptiles and the animals at pet stores are in temporary set ups. They’re only there until they’re sold and then they are moved to a permanent enclosure at their new owners house. Of course if the animal has stuck shed or it’s severely dehydrated or it’s malnourished that’s one thing. Obviously there’s something wrong in the enclosure, something seriously wrong. But, if say the store houses a ball python in kind of a smaller enclosure, that’s not necessarily something that you need to report to corporate, or spread on social media because again, the animal is just in there temporarily until its sold. So overall, the best thing thing to do is to notify the proper people whether it be management, corporate, or the public about the care of the animals that the pet store is providing. And that will likely be the most effective thing you can do when it comes to the care of that animal and future animals. And of course if you are bringing it to the public level make sure you take pictures of it to make people aware of what’s really going on. Anyway, I hope today’s video kinda helped explain how you should approach a mistreated animal in a pet store, so that you can not only improve that animals care, but you can also improve the care of all the other animals they have in the future. As always, thank you for watching and thank you to all of our Patreon supporters for backing this channel. And we’ll see you next time! [Outro music]

13 thoughts on “Why you Should NOT Save the Sick Snake from the Pet Store

  1. Often when i see an animal in a pet store with a deformity or chronic ilness i ask the atore manager if i can adopt it and care for it, so far it has worked and ive adopted 5 animals for free from pet stores, mostly birds :). Even though they may have special needs i love caring for them

  2. I was very good friends with a couple who owned a pet store. Everytime they got a sick animal it came to my house and they would let me keep them.

  3. I completely agree. I got my leopard gecko from a petsmart and there was a chance that he was malnourished because his tale was skinny, not to mention they didn’t know his age or gender. It is my first and still my only reptile and I couldn’t really tell how healthy he was. I’m glad that I gave him a better life, but I’ll always suggest people go find a breeder or a private pet store.

  4. Never thought I'd be guilty of having compassion lolBut it's all so true what you've said.
    It struck me when you mentioned how with the more common species that if one or two die, the business won't really take much notice of it.Now imagine a childcare program, out of 1000 kids maybe 'only' 2 die a year. Now, that sinking feeling you've all just had reading that, unfortunately, not enough people have anywhere near that same concern for reptiles. Why is it so different? There would be outrage if it were cats and dogs. And I believe a crucial factor in this is that reptiles do not communicate audibly like cats and dogs, and so people often give them less attention, and attribute less feelings to their species. People often ask me "how can you tell" something to do with my snakes or geckos, and I would never claim to be an expert at all, but like many of us I've just learned to read their body language and behavior as best as I can. It can be just as obvious as a baby screaming for food or a dog barking and scratching on the door to get outside.
    Another big problem is the market value of these animals. I mean $50 for a ball python? How has that even happened. Sadly, it does make them seem disposable in some people's eyes.

  5. Totally agree with this! I work in a pet store and I do my best to keep the animals healthy, calcium dusting all the crickets, keeping an eye on the fish if they get ich, hole in head syndrome etc, but employees don’t know everything! I can personally attest that everyone that works there loves animals and we want to see them happy and healthy as much as consumers ! We do listen to our customers and we do take everything you say into account! Just be kind to us because I can promise we’re doing our best 🙂 thank you so much for caring about the animals !! Love this community 💚

  6. There’s two pet stores I know about near me with horrible standards. One finally closed down but the other is still open. Hundreds of 1 star reviews and calls to local politicians and nothing has been done.

  7. You saw a snake at PetSmart.
    The Snake was hurt.
    You pointed your gun at it.
    "I am sorry.." You say.
    "No." I appeared from behind. "No. No."
    I shot.
    The bullet flight.
    It hit your heart.
    The bullet slided through your heart,
    It hit the snake's container.
    It broke.
    The blood of yours spilled on the floor.
    People stopped walking by.
    They looked.
    They called help.
    The police arrived as i standed here Frozen.
    "Hands up, ma'am! Drop your weapon!" They shouted at me.
    I was frozen.
    "Ma'am, drop the weapon!.."
    "What's the matter sir?" I say.
    I turn around and point at him with my gun.
    "I am only saving a life."
    "But you killed a person! Now drop the gun or i shoot!" He shouted at me.
    "As you want."
    I point the gun on my head.
    "Shall i drop it?"
    "Drop it. Ma'am, drop it."
    I drop it. It falls.
    I stay frozen for a few seconds,
    Then i head to the container.
    "Ma'am. Stay or i shoot.."
    But i put the Snake on my neck. A young female green Anaconda.
    "I aint going to jail until this poor girl gets into her habitat."
    "Ma'am.. I'll sho-"
    I shoot him. More Police burst into PetSmart.
    They shoot me, But i run.
    I keep on going.
    "Little snake, little snake, swam under a bridge,"
    I sang for the Snake.
    I ran to the closest river.
    But..
    The police shot again.
    Miss.
    I kept on running even if my hand was shot.
    I made it.
    I ran under the bridge that was at the river,
    It was Night.
    The police just found me and surrounded me.
    I released the girl.
    They almost got me when i jumped into the river.
    A giant Green Anaconda literally pulled up.
    One of the Police officers shot. Miss.
    I held onto the giant Anaconda as we swam somewhere.
    We reached a swampy-forest-like landscape.
    "Thank you."
    The anaconda's langue was a voice to me.
    "Thank you for saving my child.. girl."
    "I love you."
    I said I love you.
    I fainted and woke up in a Hospital.
    "What.. where i am?!"
    I say.
    "You were found in a forest being devoured by an Anaconda."
    A person says.
    "N-no.. i saved them..!"
    "No. They attempted to kill you."
    "That isnt true…"
    I see a gun laying on my table.
    What happens next..?

  8. YES. I work at an aquatics store in my city and while we always keep up with our fish and their care, it's really difficult when people try to replicate the amount of fish that we house in our tanks, or try to keep that betta in the cup they buy it in. I always tell people that the absolute bare minimum for a betta is 2.5 gallons and ideally the smallest would be 5 gallons. We have to overstock our tanks because we don't have room in the store for more aquariums. We do water changes and clean the filters more often because of this. We always treat sick fish and yes, every so often there might be a dead fish in one of our tanks. It comes with the hobby. Thank you for making this video. While I myself did rescue a ball python from a pet store, the store was closing and I knew that they wouldn't replace it. Very informative and helpful!

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