Sunday, December 18, 2011

Action VII: Help the pet-store animals!

How long would you expect animals to stay in a pet store before being bought? A few days? A week, maybe? Animals can actually stay there for much longer. I know a parrot at a pet store who has been around for weeks and weeks! One can only imagine the boredom that they find there, with no playmates to play with, no wide-open spaces to fly over, and no excursions to go on. It must be awfully boring, even depressing!
But please, don't go out and buy them all-- that only fuels the industry.
Helping the animals at a pet store can be tricky. After all, we can not buy them, as this supports the cruel breeding industry. However, there are a few ways to help them endure the boredom of glass cages.
1. Visit the pet store-- and don't bring your money, so that you aren't tempted to buy-- just to visit the animals. Sometimes they have dogs in an open playpen where you can interact with them! Or you can simply "stroke" the animals through the glass; I've tried this, and some of them actually like it. Sometimes being near them is enough. It might help to read up on the species beforehand. For example, cats will not trust you if you stare at them, but birds won't trust you if you blink too much! Helping them now is important because nobody knows what sorts of lives they will live after they are bought, so the time that they spend with you in the pet stores could be one of the only good memories they'll possess! (By the way, animals do have memories!)
2. Report anything wrong with an animal or their cages to a pet-store staff. For example, if a hamster wheel is knocked down, tell someone!
3. Ask the pet-store if you could be a volunteer to take the puppies out on walks or socialize with them. Let them expend some energy, have fun, and get used to humans. This doesn't help the business at all, but it does help the animals!
4. Write a letter to the pet-store chain director and say that you are concerned for the well-being of the animals being sold. For example, you could ask them to start selling animals from shelters instead. Tell them that you won't be buying any of their pet products (eg. hamster wheels and pet food) until they start bringing more ethically-sourced animals to their store. Be polite, but assertive.
5. Support shelters by buying supplies from them, if they sell any. Or at least buy supplies from a store that sells animals from shelters. None of them in my city are perfect, I know, but it is good to support the most humane ones.
There really are so many ways to help animals, when you think about it. So much can be done!

1 comment:

  1. A little bit of kindness goes a long way. It can change one's perspective of humanity. It can brighten someone's day. It can give someone a reason to do their best. It can give someone hope.