Warning: the following video shows some
graphic examples of abuse and neglect.
This story showed up in my newsfeed this morning: http://www.inquisitr.com/864989/20000-rats-and-reptiles-found-dying-in-warehouse/. The video and the investigation were done by PeTA back in the fall/winter of 2012, and I do not personally support their extreme agenda, which actually calls for an end to all human-animal relationships. However, I do believe it is important for people to understand why we should not buy animals from a pet store.
The large chain pet stores can only do business with operations that can supply animals in large quantities. They are not supplied by local breeders, they are supplied by large scale mills who have contracts with the chain. Even though the case illustrated above is likely an example of the worst of the worst, it is still impossible for any large scale operation that has to deliver animals in bulk (and make a profit doing so) to provide the kind of care and attention those animals need to live a good life.
Even though the animal you see in front of you looks happy and healthy, you have no way of knowing what conditions this animal was produced in. Buying him and bringing him home means another mill-bred animal will be bred to replace him. Spending your money on a pet store animal puts money in the pocket of mill breeders and gives them incentive to keep doing what they are doing.
Buying a pet store animal is not "rescuing" that animal. It is allowing the mill operation to continue operating the way it always has operated and replacing the animal you rescued with yet another. I make it a point never to look at the animals in a pet store. If I don't see them, I don't get attached and I can't feel bad for them.
There are rescues today for everything. Any kind of animal you are interested in can be found through a rescue. Petfinder includes listings for all types of animals. Rather than support a pet store and its associated mill operations, we strongly urge everyone to support a rescue whose volunteers work solely in the best interest of the animals in their care.