Local Pet Store is nasty, anything I can do?
In my county we have two privately owned pet shops that are so completely different. One is clean and has an owner that really appreciates her pets and the other is so aweful, I'm not sure how it is still open. My husband and I went in to check it out to get a few new fish. The smell when you go in the door will knock you down. The tanks are covered with algea, some of them you couldn't hardly see into. And I couldn't bare to go in the room with the small animals. I saw in the ferret cage there was feces left from days at least in the cage.
I feel so badly for these animals. There are health inspections for restaurants, but what is there for pet shops? I don't want them to be shut down, I just want some way for them to have to clean their cages better. It is just neglect and it breaks my heart.
These situations are very difficult to deal with, but it is excellent that you are trying to be apart of the solution, rather then ignore the problem.There is a sticky around here discussing this sort of thing, but I don't quite remember where it is! Anyway...
1) Complain. Complain.Complain.Complain. Also, whatever you do, don't give them your business! Since these are privately owned, there is no 'head office' to contact to get them in trouble. Email,phone or speak to the owner and manager about the situation. Warn people on websites by writing reviews, blog it, post it on facebook. When I say this, I don't mean be rude, but be honest. Exactly as you've described here is just as good.
2) Report them to the local authorities. The conditions you describe are considered animal abuse, and these people can get into a whole host of problems for it. Contacting animal control(or it's equivalent where you are) and telling them will suffice.A health and safety board would also want to come and check out the premises- especially if the smell is as bad as you described. Find out how to contact these boards and raise a fuss.
3) Follow through. Call in to make sure things were filed correctly, that the issue has been looked into and people have done their jobs. Give it some time, but don't be afraid to call. I also recommended visiting the store again to see if their act has cleaned up. Now, it's likely that they'll be spooked for awhile and have things right- they will most likely start to slip again. If this happens, do not speak to management- just go straight to reporting them.Encourage other to as well. With repeat offenses and reports, the people you call will be more prone to visiting faster and will lay down the law.
ITA with Giri - following those suggestions can work, but it can take time. Here is a recent news story from my area where this played out:
Pet store shut down after health inspectors discover hundreds of animals dead in cages | kens5.com San Antonio
A lot of the issue can come down to identifying the resopnsible agency(ies) - Dept of Ag, A/C, Health Dept, etc - which can vary from one locality to the next as to how they decide to assign this sort of issue. If you have a "trouble shooter" type media personality in your area (our local news stations each have one that investigates consumer concerns, tips from viewers etc about different things), they can be a great resource to reach out to.
Thank you all for your helpful responses. I have been researching online some actions I can take. I searched animal control and only found termite control for my area (I live in a small town). I did find a humane society website for the county about 40 miles away and emailed them about what actions I could take. I will keep you all posted.
Contact the non-emergency number for your local police department and ask for animal control - they will either transfer you directly (if they are in the same building) or giveyou contact information.
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