Hermit Crabs Aren’t Souvenirs

Hermit Crabs Aren’t Souvenirs

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     When I go on vacation without fail I see hermit crabs being sold in beach shops. Not pet stores, BEACH SHOPS. Hermit crabs aren’t  "easy pets" and in my opinion they have more complex needs than a dog or cat. The people buying them are rarely equipped to properly care for them.

     Hermit crabs that are sold in beach shops are wild caught. They go into a shell crusher, which tears away their only form of protection. They are forced into a toxic painted shell, then stuffed in a burlap bag. They go to the beach shop where more mistreatment awaits. They go into a wire cage, lacking the humidity they need to breathe through their modified gills. That would be like us trying to breathe with 10% humidity. They are given a sponge, which they physically cannot drink from and pellets full of metals not legal for human consumption. No human could survive that. A handful of unlucky crabs make it through those horrors to go home with a kid whose stressed parents impulse bought this "quite, easy to care for” pet. Because these people rarely do research they have no clue how to care for their new prisoner. Most crabs are never properly cared for. Hermit crabs need at minimum 10 gallons per crab, a friend, 6 inches of bedding, high heat and humidity, freshwater and saltwater, no pellets, at least 3 unpainted shells and plenty of climbing and hiding opportunities. That means at MINIMUM you need a twenty gallon tank, two hermit crabs, six shells, a heater, hides and saltwater mix. That isn’t cheap. If this sounds like a lot than hermit crabs aren’t the pet for you. Most hermit crabs never know proper care, and the crabs that die early are the lucky ones. Rescue crabs are left with PERMANENT gill damage, making it hard for them to breathe. Every crab you see has been neglected at some point in it’s life. Crabs live 25 to 40 years with proper care. Most beach shop crabs live between 1 week to 3 months. In the end you’re left with an upset child, an even more stressed parent and a dead crab that never knew anything but neglect. Stick with the robotic fish.

     The reason beach shops can sell hermit crabs is a legal loophole. They legally can’t sell wild caught hermit crabs, but they find a way around that law. They say that if you buy a cage and accessories you get a free hermit crab. You aren’t buying the hermit crab, but rather the cage. We need a new law that makes it illegal to sell anything that comes with a live animal. Live animals aren’t souvenirs. If we can’t stop this thousands, if not millions, of hermit crabs will die a horrific and painful death. I watched a hermit crab rip another apart due to stress. The number of hermit crabs that die from pure neglect is so high that there is no definite amount. I am not saying that beach shops should close. I love getting souvenirs from shops, such as a necklace or a pretty dress. Not a living animal with feelings and needs. Please don’t support any business that sells any live souvenir and please NEVER buy a hermit crab anywhere.

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