Another big store horror story.

maxttu

New Member
I very rarely go to big box stores like Petco and Petsmart, but I needed some crickets to get me by until today.

I've seen many a story on here about sick animals, but never saw any for myself until yesterday. This breaks my heart.

3 chams, of similar size, in the little box they call an enclosure. The one on the background (on the right) has poop on its head and then there's the guy in the middle. He's barely clinging to life with both eyes shut. Couldn't move and I was expecting him to drop dead before my eyes.

I immediately went to get someone and when they saw him they assured me that they would address the issue. I couldn't stick around to find out. I'm a big, tough guy, but I was almost in tears. :(

Why??

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mychamtini112012

New Member
When I had Tini I went to a Petco and saw that they had two baby veiled. The female was far past gone? Kinda like that one but she wandered through the bottom stumbling with her eyes closed. I tried to save her tank mate, but sadly he unexpectedly passed away three months later. I have no idea what happened to him, but I did try my best to save him. :( it's sad. And now my local petsmart has chameleons. It angers me.
 

Tyaeda

Member
Those poor little babies :mad:

I found this site that details animal cruelty law in your State.
http://law.onecle.com/texas/penal/42.09.00.html

They define animal cruelty (illegal activity) as:
(2) fails unreasonably (it's a pet store, there's no reason why they can't provide the correct care, even if it's temporary) to provide necessary food,
care, or shelter for an animal in the person's custody;

(4) transports or confines an animal in a cruel
manner;


Nowhere does it say that retail stores are exempt from those laws. However these are only misdemeanor charges unless the person is convicted for a third time, and in that case it is a felony.

If I were you, I would do a follow up visit. If nothing has changed, I would email the local animal control offices, and send them those pictures.
 

Tyaeda

Member
When I had Tini I went to a Petco and saw that they had two baby veiled. The female was far past gone? Kinda like that one but she wandered through the bottom stumbling with her eyes closed. I tried to save her tank mate, but sadly he unexpectedly passed away three months later. I have no idea what happened to him, but I did try my best to save him. :( it's sad. And now my local petsmart has chameleons. It angers me.


That's the thing. Rescuing an animal is good to do, but in the case of pet store animals, they will only be replaced by another chameleon that will have to suffer through the same circumstances. All they want is the purchase, and if you buy it, you're giving them what they want, and they are not likely to make changes, if what they do is giving them the sales they want. (If it ain't broke, why fix it? Mentality)
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
Big box stores suck in many ways (not just pet stores). Besides ruining mainstreet, driving prices so low that goods must be produced overseas, employing people at poverty wages and not offering healthcare, etc. they also treat animals like a commodity and not a living thing.

I am of two minds on rescuing chameleons from these circumstances. I feel that if the folks on this forum all made a commitment to stop purchasing from the big box retailers it wouldn't put a dent in their chameleon revenue. Most of their sales go to people who walk in, buy the neat lizzard, and keep it until it dies a few months later. Also, I can't imagine they profit on chameleons much at all, but rather have them there to sell all the gear to the walk ins. Since our boycott would not make an iota of difference, I think rescue is a valid option. JannB's Luie was a resuce, and also one of the most beautiful veileds ever.

The main argument against rescue from my perspective is that one is probably setting themselves up for some early heartbreak. The chams at the big boxes were likely raised with only cost in mind, and shortcuts were likely taken with their nutrition and treatment before they even showed up at the store (to be further mistreated). It is likely that the chameleon will never be as healthy as one that you buy from a caring breeder and those health problems are bound to catch up with the cham. That is what happened to my Reggie.
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
I have never been able to post this before. Last week a friend and I drove up to Medicine Hat, Canada for the day. I needed dripper parts. I go in, see a panther and get the sales person. I am ready to rip him a new one as I do in every big box store.

He came over took the Cham out and I held a healthy Cham! As far as I could see there were only two things I found problems with, it was in the small cube and had bark substrate.

The Cham had the right lighting, the correct temps, correct humidity, leaves of live plants were still damp from watering, and cricket size was appropate. Now this was only the work of one person who cared but it made a big difference in the life of one tiny Cham. This all happened at a Petsmart!!! Yes he bent rules, live plants were from fish area, correct UVB was borrowed from a package and was new, and the guy fed and watered correctly while he was working. He only works 5 days a week, but his care for the month this tiny panther had been there made a world of difference. The panther looked to be about 3 months old, and had been there a month . . . .
 

GabeCastro

Established Member
Man. That's nothing compared to what I seen the other week. I should have taken pictures. There were 3 veileds dead in one enclosure. 4 others were super skinny, dark in color, and eyes sunken in. Another enclosure has 3 sub-adult males inside and they all looked like they had MBD.

It's terrible how chameleons are kept and it should be against the law to sell chameleons in big chain pet stores. Or be required to have a license to care for chameleons. Gets me pissed everytime I see improperly treated chameleons.
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have never been able to post this before. Now this was only the work of one person who cared but it made a big difference in the life of one tiny Cham. This all happened at a Petsmart!!!

I don't see why you couldn't post this. There are exceptions to everything we say about pet shops. Not all small mom & pop stores are good, not all big box stores are bad. Their corporate policies may be terrible but they still need to employ individuals who may choose to follow their hearts (and use their brains). The first thing I would do is send a letter to every level of that store commending this employee for his efforts, creativity, and dedication. And, I would ask for this employee every time I went in to the store and make it clear I only buy goods from them because of the knowledge and quality of their staff.

I used to get my supplies from a small aging family shop that was short on style, but tended to have experienced staff, the correct supplies for herps, and was ready and eager to talk about care issues. Everyone there kept herps, lived herps, liked herps and enjoyed learning about them. I ended up working for them part time setting up displays for their high humidity species. It was great until the retiring owner hired a store manager who used to be the manager of a mall chain pet shop that was closed down. That place was a death trap.

So much of what we see is more than corporate attitude...it is the attitude of the employees too.
 
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PattyCake

Member
That is totally cruel. The only thing I'm trying to figure out is how the heck that poor little dude in the back got poop on his head!
 

absolutbill

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am also against "rescuing" chams from the big box stores, but I had a recent experience where it wasn't the Petsmart, or Petcos, but instead private breeders being irresponsible. I went to a large reptile show recently, and while they had the usual plethora of ball python morphs they also had a bunch of veileds and jacksons.

One breeder had a cage with both species in there at the same time. Two other breeders (separate from each other) were selling veileds that could have only been 2 weeks old if even that!!! I was shocked and sickened. My husband had to remind me that to some people these wonderful creatures are simply inventory to be moved, not pets and members of the family. It was a well known reptile show but it makes me not want to ever visit one again. :mad:
 

biffle

Avid Member
I've taken the time to talk to and get to know the kids running my local Petco. They are good kids with little experience. They listen and have made a difference in the care at that store.


Jason.
 

Trace

Captain Awesome
Once again I’m going to take up the contrary position.

Hands up everybody who has raised a litter of babies in a Rubbermaid or even a cage for that matter and one hasn’t been accidentally pooped on by a sibling. I’m sorry it happens, particularly when they are a little.

Those three Veileds in the first picture look fat and healthy, their eyes are bulgy and they are brightly coloured. They are not emaciated and close to death. I can’t explain why one of them has his eyes closed but maybe it was just stress of the moment. Are those ideal conditions they are in? No. Is it cruel? No.

Let’s try to get over the assumption that just because a chameleon is being sold in a pet store that they are always on the verge of death.
 

PattyCake

Member
Hands up everybody who has raised a litter of babies in a Rubbermaid or even a cage for that matter and one hasn’t been accidentally pooped on by a sibling. I’m sorry it happens, particularly when they are a little.

Those three Veileds in the first picture look fat and healthy, their eyes are bulgy and they are brightly coloured. They are not emaciated and close to death. I can’t explain why one of them has his eyes closed but maybe it was just stress of the moment. Are those ideal conditions they are in? No. Is it cruel? No.

Let’s try to get over the assumption that just because a chameleon is being sold in a pet store that they are always on the verge of death.

Ah, I see how the little chap got poop on his head now. Never tried to breed chameleons myself but it's definitely something I'll consider when I have the time and money later on.

Also, I have to agree with you on the pet store part. The chameleons do look pretty strong and healthy with no signs of sickness such as sunken eyes or looking emaciated. The one with the closed eyes could have been stressed from all the people passing by and possibly knocking on the glass.
 
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