Eddie, that's cool. I wish more places could do that, but unfortunately, your situation is not so easy to come by. I just felt the need to point out that making arrangements BEFORE buying is important. Our store got a lot of people dropping off fish (and not always nicely) because they "assumed" we would take them. We had 2000 gallon ponds, a 300 gallon tide pool, and many 175 and 92 display tanks set up. While we were able to take some animals, and even to sell a few... the sting ray they have right now has been there for over 3 yrs now, and the red tailed cat is suffering because there is nowhere to go with it now that it has grown to almost 2 ft in a 92 gallon corner bow. They do what they can to keep it healthy, but it's likely going to die before they can resell it. It has been for sale of almost 2 yrs. and priced mostly according to it's eating habits so the store doesn't take a loss on something they took in as an orphan. Either way, someone's gonna lose that battle. When I first read through this thread, I got the feel that dropping animals off without prior arrangements was being suggested and/or encouraged. I know from other forums and from shocked customers of years past, many people have no idea what happens to these animals. Our store had 3 leopard shark pups in our tide pool. They were with us for almost 3 yrs before they all died. People insisted on throwing coins into the saltwater, which poisoned everything in it, the sharks were first to go. We had posted signs not to throw coins, explaining that it was toxic to the animals, but they did it anyway. One afternoon about a year later a man and his kids were looking down into the pool, discussing the animals in there. The little boy wanted to know where the sharks were, and rather than ask, the dad told him they'd probably found a new home. After hearing that, I came around the corner and politely informed them of what REALLY happened. One of the other kids had been about to toss in a penny when I started talking. (was a smug little thing when I'd asked him not to) As I talked his arm went down to his side, and by the time I was finished, he was turning that penny in his fingers like it was on fire. Telling these things to people helps them, they should know. I believe that's the only way to ever see an end to the enormous number of fish that are unwanted and orphaned every day. Our store used to take oscars... until we were getting 5+ in a week. The average Oscar
over 5 inches around here stays in the store about 2 - 4 months. The average 3 inch Oscar
stays in the store about 2 - 4 days. Price difference & profit: A 5 inch Oscar
eats how much food in a 3 month period, which the store is paying for. A 3 inch Oscar
is eating how much during 3 days? If you average it out, you're not paying for much more than care of the animal while it was there, or the store is taking some kind of loss. There are a few stores around the country who are set up for this sort of thing, but even those prefer if you ask first. How much space would 1 place need to provide for three 8 inch oscars each week? Even if they were only there a week or 2, they start to add up. If you ask, I'm sure even these stores will tell stories of having to turn someone away.
But, point made... if you ask first, make arrangements for someone who will take the animals later, then there's nothing wrong with raising babies to give or trade to someone else.