To stop the cruelty and selling of "Sugar Bears" aka "Sugar Gliders".
To stop the cruelty and selling of "Sugar Bears" aka "Sugar Gliders".
This company is giving false information how to care for you're little glider, by giving you diets that cause malnutrition, and make them ill.
Not only do they give out false information about these little creatures. The process of getting them into the states from where they came from is appalling.
( This article was taken from the facebook group called "Stop PPP (Perfect Pocket Pets)".
PPP (Perfect Pocket Pets) is a mill broker that buys and sells sugar gliders from unknown mill breeders. These gliders are inbred, kept in tiny cages, and sold at trade shows, gun shows, malls, and flea markets at exorbitant prices. These gliders often die not long after they arrive at their new home, because PPP tells new owners to feed them diets that result in extreme malnutrition and conditions such as HLP (hind leg paralysis, a condition that happens VERY easily from a lack of calcium).
Gliders actually can't produce more than 3 joeys at a time (and usually the number is one or two), and even a glider mommy who is being fed a healthy diet and is living in a happy, comfortable home can be prone to cannibalizing her joeys if she isn't 100% healthy or if she is stressed. Can you imagine what it must be like for a glider mommy who is kept in horrible conditions and is being fed absolute crap? That's right. She probably winds up eating most of her babies -- it's not her fault... it's just that she probably doesn't see any way for her to provide nutrients to her children, and the stress she's under may lead her to kill her babies. Now, picture that, on a grand scale -- thousands upon thousands of moms somehow managing to have joeys and not kill them. The odds are pretty low the babies will even survive under those conditions. That said, read on...)
Most vets who are well-versed in sugar gliders ask new owners if their glider came from PPP because they have become so familiar with the end results.
These websites all reference one another and are designed to appear as though owned and operated by multiple, independent groups. As you might guess, the self-referencing gives the appearance of a trustworthy knowledge-base, but the reality is, this organization does everything it can to dissuade people interested in sugar gliders from learning about the species outside of their own information. They even have a veterinarian on their payroll who publishes videos about glider care, videos which include barbaric "training" practices such as how to punish a glider for biting by shoving your thumb in its mouth and holding it for upwards of 30 minutes.
(For some insight: if a glider bites you, the reality is that either a) it has been abused or neglected and needs a patient, calm process of bonding that will take weeks, months, or years of coaxing and comfort to get over or b) you must take it slower and do the bonding on the glider's time. Just as with humans, gliders need to know they can trust you, and ANY form of punishment will only take you back 100 steps. People who "punish" their gliders absolutely obliterate any chance of bonding with the animal, a pet that is known for bonding to you and latching itself onto you 24/7 once it knows it can trust you. Shoving your finger in its mouth is NOT a way to make that happen.)
PPP also uses a neutering process known as "banding". This is a process in which the glider's testicles are "banded" and left to go necrotic and to be pulled off. Banding is incredibly dangerous. While the necrotic tissue is sitting there, it feeds bad, poisoned blood into the animal's bloodstream. Legitimate "pom-on" neutering of a glider uses a laser and doesn't require any stitches. Why does PPP use banding? Because it's cheap, that's why. They're trying to sell off thousands of animals. Would you spend $75-$150 per glider if you didn't have to, and if you had no heart? Of course you wouldn't. It's actually hard to find any online documentation of PPP's use of banding, because they (smartly) keep it pretty-well hidden.
Unfortunately, the untrained potential glider owner can see these websites and videos and has no idea that this information is dangerous. I was one of these people before I kept doing my research. Even the smartest of us can fall victim to this kind of misinformation, and that's why it's so important that we put a stop to it.
To give you an example: this group even took it upon themselves to "rename" the species to "sugar bears". What this does is simple: people learn about the species directly from them, Google "sugar bears", and thus only receive information that links back to THEIR websites. There is no such thing as a "sugar bear". PPP controls a great deal of the search engine results for "sugar gliders", unfortunately, but when a person Googles "sugar bears", the top hits are all from pages owned by PPP.
Buyers have told stories about buying from PPP -- they've spent $2000 for two gliders (to give you a good range, I'm paying $400 for mine from a trusted, kind breeder) only to be directed to a skeevy motel with a 30 minute window, told to come through a back door, and been given their gliders in tiny 2x2 foot cages and ordered to leave immediately. If that doesn't smack of untrustworthy, I don't know what does!) When the owner inevitably needs help with their glider, PPP is unavailable -- they provide no contact information, and are next to impossible to get a hold of. People who buy gliders from PPP wind up at a loss, and if their gliders don't die, they end up trying to sell their gliders on CraigsList, forced to make up a story in an effort to pass off their sick or "mean" gliders to an unsuspecting potential owner to make up the loss of their cash.
* You don't need to own more than one glider. (This is totally false. While there are the rare gliders who, like humans, like being "loners", in general they are COLONY animals and are happiest if they have at least ONE buddy -- and they are better off in large groups!)
* You should have a heat rock in the cage. (They do this because they sell joeys who are too underaged to be taken from their parents. These gliders usually get their heat from their mother. Not only is the heat rock unsafe by itself, the glider can chew on the cord and get electrocuted.)
* The glider doesn't need vet visits. (This is bogus! A glider needs a yearly check-up for fecal/float tests. They have very sensitive systems and should be checked for health problems.)
* A glider only needs to eat a piece of apple, a piece of bread, and a diet of kibble. (Oh my god. You have no idea how bogus this is. Approved diets for gliders require an INCREDIBLY balanced Calcium:Phosphorus ratio, taking the amount of oxalates and other vitamins into consideration. The diet I am feeding, HPW, requires high protein wombaroo powder, water, honey, eggs, australian bee pollen, and vitamins, as well as a varied diet of fruits and vegetables that need to be kept to a daily Ca:P ratio of 2:1! it's 100x more complicated than any other pet I've ever owned.)
* Gliders shouldn't be given pouches, as they will bond to the pouch and not to you. (FALSE!!! Gliders require pouches or a padded box to feel safe. Without this, their stress levels will skyrocket and you will end up with an unhealthy, bitey glider who will likely not live very long.)
* Gliders can be potty trained. (Absolutely false. While you can develop a routine with your glider upon waking, there's no such thing as potty-training a glider.)
* Gliders will get along with the family pet, because they are marsupials and don't smell like "prey". (100% false. While there are gliders who have gotten along with family pets, in general they are completely unsafe around dogs, cats, or ferrets, and many gliders have been killed by family pets. You need only browse the GliderCentral.net forums to see HUNDREDS of stories from glider owners who have lost a glider to a cat, dog, ferret, or other pet, or had a glider kill a bird!)