Place Tighter Restrictions On Pet Stores

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Every year pet stores both big and small receive animals from large-scale breeding operations that often lead to animals that are inbred, sick or injured in some way. Some corporate pet stores promise that the animals are checked over by a vet. If this were true problems like emaciation, poor dental health, heart health and other illness/injuries would be caught.

As the writer of this petition, I will share my personal experience with the neglect of Petco which has inspired me to step up. Last July I purchased my guinea pigs Finn and Jasper. They appeared to be the very picture of health. But as the months passed Finn grew but Jasper hardly grew at all. I thought nothing of it. I didn't know much about guinea pig growth. I thought that since they were different types their gains were also different. But one day Jasper stopped eating. It's not that he had no appetite, he did, it's just that he couldn't eat. As it turns out Jasper's jaw was severely misaligned and at the point where he stopped eating he had developed severe molar disease. We fought hard for Jasper but unfortunately, this was just something that he could not overcome. We ended up making the decision to euthanize him. The point of sharing this is to say that had a veterinarian TRULY checked over Jasper they would have caught his misalignment. Instead they probably just took a cursory glance at him thought he was just small. Which is what happens with corporations. If it's sellable it will be put up for sale matter what as long as it doesn't cost the corporation too much to do it.

That being said we the undersigned demand that the following changes be made:

  1. . All pet shops must receive their animals from local breeders and if there are no local breeders for the animal they seek to sell than that pet shop just won't sell that type of animal.
  2. Breeders must undergo a background check and must demonstrate knowledge of the animal and its care before breeding for pet stores.
  3. Breeders must be inspected regularly to ensure that conditions comply with the Animal Welfare Act
  4. Breeders must be required to keep records of all breedings which includes pedigrees in order to prevent inbreeding.
  5. In addition to the 1-month health guarantee, pet shops must issue a lifetime guarantee that the animal is free of genetic defects. Should the animal be diagnosed with a genetic disease after the purchase then the pet shop from which the animal was purchased should be responsible for the veterinary bills of that animal where the disease is concerned.  
  6. With regards to the health guarantee, pet stores must allow the pet's owner to keep their ill pet and choose the veterinarian who will treat their pet. The pet store will then responsible for the bill or replacing the value of the pet if it has passed away.
  7. Pet stores will keep their animals in proper containment for that animal that includes the proper space, food, and exercise (i.e mammals shall not be kept in tanks, in general fish will not be overcrowded, bettas will not be kept in small plastic containers and allowed to rot etc,).
  8. Pet stores will not sell cage/enclosures that do not meet the recommended size requirement.
  9. In the same spirit as number 8; toys, accessories, and food will not be advertised for the wrong animal.
  10. Unsold pet store animals must be kept until sold. They cannot be dumped in a shelter, released, abandoned to die or euthanized without a legitimate health reason.

I honestly don't think that this is too much to ask. These pet stores that claim to be about the animals should have no problem complying with these regulations. If they do, then the next question should be; why?