Breeders & Rescues VS Petstores   1 comment

This is another post I made on a forum, that I thought would be good to copy over here, since it summerizes some of my opinions on the whole debate of where to get our pets (not just rats either, but ANY type of pet, be it a rat, dog, cat, gecko, bird, etc). I think that it is very important for people to really consider who they are supporting, and WHAT they are willing to give their money to support.


Honestly…I can’t really believe there is a need for an explanation of this…but I’ve seen it repeated several times recently. Rather than hijacking several other threads, I wanted to post.

Supporting GOOD breeders and GOOD rescues IS better than buying from a petstore. Period. No exceptions.

There is NO SUCH THING as a good breeder who supplies a pet store. A GOOD breeder wants to screen every adopter personally, and that is impossible if they sell their babies to a petstore. They NEED to know all their adopters personally, and have that contact information, so that they can monitor their lines, the health of the animals, etc. Without that information, they can’t really breed to improve the species. Selling to a petstore demonstrates they are in it for profit ONLY.

YES, its true, there are no guarantees about living things in life. A rat from a breeder or rescue could get sick and die young, and a rat from a petstore could live a long time. Or not. There are never guarantees.

The DIFFERENCE is who you are supporting.

By adopting from a good breeder or rescue, your money is going to support what they do. Its supporting good caging, clean conditions, health care, socialization, TLC, etc.

When you buy a rat from a store, you are supporting mills and BYBs who are only in it for the money. You are supporting abusive conditions, where animals are treated as factories used for income. You are paying the people to keep animals in overcrowded tanks, use them to pump as many babies out as possible, etc. Even the ‘good’ commercial breeders are still more interested in income than the animals – otherwise they wouldn’t be breeding for profit, because you CAN’T breed for profit and really give the animals what they need. (See this article on profit/loss of AKC breeders: ). Whether its a mill or ‘local breeder’ (which corporations generally cannot use due to contracts with large commercial breeders!!!), if its from a store, it is NOT a good breeder.

Breeding correctly costs money. Lots of it. Even breaking even is a miracle for most litters for a good breeder, and normally, every litter is a financial loss – they breed for the love of the species, not the money.  A rescue realistically will NEVER make a financial profit, they are taking in animals and investing lots of money into seeing those animals get the care they need and find good homes. They do it because they want to help the animals, not to make money. Stores have to make money. Its a commercial operation, its what they do. This means cutting corners on care, time spent with the animals, housing , enrichment, etc. This also means getting animals that are sold at a low cost, so that they can sell them for more (meaning that $5 rat was probably bought for $1…by someone who was ok and just handing it off and not ever knowing what happened).
This is not an argument of which animals ‘deserve’ a good home. They all do, no doubt. But its a matter of who you are paying, what practices you are supporting.

So who do you want to give your money to. Really. Because your money is going to go to someone.

Are you going to give money to those who mill breed, just so you can get the instant gratification of walking out right then with the animal? Because its ‘easier’? Because they gave you a cute face and you couldn’t say no?

Or will you give your money to those who are putting their all into trying to do things right and give the animals the care and love they deserve? The good, responsible rescues and breeders, who work hard to try and do everything they can for the animals.

And yes, sadly, there are bad ‘rescues’ and breeders…and those should probably be lumped with the petstores. Thats where doing your homework matters. Its up to you to find out who you are supporting, and decide if you really want to pay to let them do what they do.

When you hand over money for an animal, you ARE supporting where that animal comes from. When its a store, you ARE SUPPORTING MILLS AND BYBs. You are saying its ok for that rat’s parents to be mistreated, kept as baby making machines and nothing more, never be loved, never be pet, etc. You might be giving that rat a good home, but others are condemned to a life of misery as baby producers in a mill, because you have shown that it makes money to do so. There is no way around it. Even stores that breed their own animals do not give the love and care a responsible breeder does, or put in the work an ethical rescue does in saving the animals. A store breeding to sell animals is just a small scale mill.

EVERYONE starts to learn somewhere, and some people come here for the first time having already purchased animals from a petstore. Its done, the best you can do now is to give that animal all the care and love you can – it does deserve it! Being uninformed is not a crime, and no one should feel guilty for loving a rat at a store and taking it home, not knowing what has happened to cause it to be there.

But once you’ve been informed there is no excuse. If you continue to buy from stores, and advocate buying from stores, you are KNOWINGLY supporting mills. I’d love to see those rats get out of there too – by having them handed over (free of charge!) to a proper rescue for needed care and adoption. But you can NOT rescue an animal by paying a store for it – you are just supporting a mill when you give them money for their ‘products.’

As a side note, you cannot ever RESCUE an animal from someone by paying for it. When you pay for an animal you are supporting the situation it was in by giving them money. You are telling them they can get money for that animal in that condition. Whether its a ‘rehoming’ on craigslist, or taking it out of a dirty cage at a store, if you hand over money to ‘save’ that animal, you are actually supporting the conditions it was in and where it came from. A good rescue will NOT pay someone to save the animal from them. They have enough expenses in taking care of the animals they’ve taken in from people, getting vet care, getting them placed, etc. (This does not mean you can’t adopt a rat from a good rescue with an adoption fee, or that a good rescue shouldn’t charge adoption fees – they NEED to charge those fees to make up for just a BIT of the expense of taking care of those animals, but you are adopting from the rescue, not RESCUING the animal from a bad situation by paying for that situation).

So please…again…who are YOU supporting? Who are you funding?

Are you funding mills and BYBs who treat animals as objects and products, and don’t care at all for their well being, as long as they make money?

Or are you funding ethical breeders, responsible rescues, and those who are doing their best for their animals, who do this because they love the animals, who often sink much of their own resources into keeping them happy and well cared for, because that is what is right?

Things happen before people know better….but you are here now – you now know better. Please stop supporting abuse and neglect and don’t buy animals from stores! The animals deserve better than to continue to be treated the way those supplying stores treat them.




Posted September 8, 2011 by betuana in Uncategorized

One response to “Breeders & Rescues VS Petstores

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  1. Pingback: Contacting Breeders – An important thing to remember « moonlitwatersrattery

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