Goldfish and Tropicals Dead and Dying at Ravenna, Ohio Walmart Store

At Walmart you can find pretty much anything you need.  You can buy tires for your car, a television for your home, or a crib and mattress for your baby.  You can even find toys for your dog, as well as for your cat.  In addition you can buy seed for wild birds, and treats for squirrels.  You can even buy food for your turtle, and that brings us to the pet department at Walmart in Ravenna, Ohio.

walmart dead goldfish

Dead goldfish piled in corner of tank at Ravenna, Ohio Walmart. Read more at

The pet department contains live tropical and goldfish.  At least they are supposed to be alive, but that’s not the case with the critters at this Ohio Walmart.  On three separate occasions I found dozens of dead and dying fish.  Some were trapped in the filters, others floated at the top, gasping for air, or simply lay dying at the bottom of the tanks.  The sight of the poor, beautiful Bettas, in tiny containers filled with rotting food, and smelling to the heavens, stirred me to rescue one, which now has its own 5 gallon tank at home.

I am a hobbyist, and have kept tropical fish for decades and I know what it takes to keep them alive and make certain they thrive.  Over the last several weeks I’ve been setting up some small tanks in my “northern home,” and, because their prices are generally better than the local fish shop, I’ve been spending time in the pet department of the nearest Walmart.

When I first started patronizing the store I was shocked at the number of dead fish I found.   There were several in most of the tropical tanks, and many in the goldfish tanks, so many that the few surviving fish were actually feeding on them.  I managed to find an “associate” and told them about the deplorable condition of the fish, and was told that they would “pass on” the message.

Dead fish float at top of Ravenna, Ohio Walmart goldfish tanks.  Read more at

Dead fish float at top of Ravenna, Ohio Walmart goldfish tanks. Read more at

A week later I returned to the store to find even more dead fish, and an actual pile of them in the goldfish tanks, which sported a sign saying no goldfish were for sale, which was puzzling as they seemed disease free.  Clearly the management of this particular Walmart wasn’t concerned by the sight of dead and dying fish, all open to public view. I made several trips over a period of weeks and the pile of dead goldfish just got higher.

The point is there shouldn’t be that many dead fish.  While a small percentage will die as a result of transport and relocation trauma, most will survive and if properly cared for, even in grossly overcrowded retail tanks, they will remain healthy until sold.  What I saw at the Walmart in Ravenna, Ohio sickened me, as it was clear no one cared about these poor creatures, and they were simply left to die.

The sight of so many fish being fed upon by others, in tanks that were clearly not well maintained, is disturbing.  This level of cruelty is unforgivable and those responsible, the management of this Walmart and all others that fail to care for the poor creatures in their care, should be taken to task and steps must be taken by corporate bosses to prevent such abuse in the future.  Quite frankly it boggles the mind to think of those thousands of stores that keep a live fish department.  One has to wonder how many are in as poor a condition as the one in Ravenna, Ohio, or, perish the thought, in even worse conditions.

Should you find that your Walmart is abusing its live animals by failing to provide them with proper care please take pictures and contact your local animal welfare department if you should be so fortunate to have one in your community, and consumer affairs advocates such as this one which contains dozens of complaints about Walmart’s cruel treatment of the animals in their care.  By all means report the abuse to:  1-800-WALMART (925-6278)or Email customer service to tell them about stores that abuse their fish.  To contact the Walmart named in this article so as to speak to the manager about these abuses call (330) 677-0338.


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Posted by on March 11, 2015. Filed under CRITTER TALK. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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17 Responses to Goldfish and Tropicals Dead and Dying at Ravenna, Ohio Walmart Store

  1. Marsha Woerner Reply

    March 9, 2015 at 10:59 am

    It’s so easy in our society to forget that fish are animals! Even some big religions (I’m thinking Catholicism and Judaism with which I am more familiar than others) don’t consider it as “meat”. And yet, fish are living, breathing, creatures just like people, cats, dogs, cows. Fish aren’t mammals. They’re not “even” birds. It’s so easy to ignore their “animalness”. And while we are doing things like doing away with bullfights and rodeos, the cable network “Animal Planet” promotes such shows as “Hillbilly Handfishing” (I don’t even know if that’s still around; I saw ads for it and was totally disgusted).
    Thank you for pointing out the problem at at least one Walmart store. I do hope that everybody notices the fish departments! They are every bit as much responsible for animals and the health and well-being thereof as are other pet departments!

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      March 9, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      They are every bit as responsible Marsha. I did a quick Google search on this issue and found hundreds of complaints, including YouTube videos speaking to this issue. It seems that some stores no longer carry fish, while others still hang in there, unfortunately there are still lots of them treating these poor animals cruelly.

  2. Rachael Reply

    March 9, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    This is just terrible. I don’t shop at Walmart because I don’t have to, but if I did I would be crazy over this. There is one about 20 miles from us and I’m tempted to check it out. If I find fish I’ll let you know Mike. Thanks for this.

  3. Norman Rampart Reply

    March 9, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    This will continue until we boycott stores such as Walmart and their ilk.

    We won’t though will we?

    Well, I will but will you?


  4. Mark R. Willis Reply

    March 9, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Good piece Mike. Someone needs to stop this shit.

  5. Bill Formby Reply

    March 10, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Good post Mike. Things like pets, including fish need to be left to true pet stores that properly (at least some what) care for the animals.

  6. Bob P. Reply

    March 11, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Mike you should make sure the management knows about this, by that I mean the corporate management. I would find out their email and send them this link. There is no excuse for this. At least two full-time knowledgeable associates should be charged with the care of these fish. I hope you check back Mike and make sure they are cleaning things up.

  7. Peggy Reyez22 Reply

    March 11, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Shame on you Walmart!!

  8. Mary C. Reply

    March 11, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I still can’t believe this is allowed to go on. Who can’t see piles of deadfish? This mgr needs to be fired.

  9. Anonymous Reply

    March 11, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Disgusting. Fucking walmart.

  10. harry Reply

    March 12, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Someone needs to be charged with animala abuse for this.

  11. Anonymous Reply

    March 12, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Do you people realize fish live in their own poop on ponda and oceans? You don’t even know the whole story behind this issue. These people are not bad people. This isn’t the workers fault.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      March 12, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      No one said it was the worker’s fault and you could have stopped right there and incurred sympathy. Your comment about fish living in their own poop however, just goes to show you don’t have a clue as to what you are talking about. I hope you aren’t one of those workers who takes care of fish, because your appalling lack of knowledge about how fish live is shocking.

    • Cherry Reply

      March 12, 2015 at 8:16 pm

      Do we people realize? Are you bloody stupid? What a silly thing to say. Fish don’t live in their own poop anymore that people do. Not up on your biology are you? I agree with Mike here. No one blamed the worker and you made a good point but your silly poop comment took all of that out.

  12. David Reico Reply

    March 12, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Anonymous you are right that it isn’t the clerk’s fault, and no one said or believes that. Walmart gives their associates too much responsibility and one or two clerks may have to manage a whole section including the fish. Secondly, they know next to nothing about taking care of fish. I once saw a Walmart worker dump half a container of food in a goldfish tank because “they” looked hungry. The one at Ravenna isn’t selling goldfish because the associate claims they have “Ich.” They do not. I looked closely at those fish, and not a one is sick, and I’ve been keeping fish for over 30 years. When a fish has Ich it looks like it has been sprinkled with salt, and without treatment they will all catch it and die. The fact is these goldfish need to be sold, because they aren’t going to survive long in these overcrowded tanks that get little proper attention. This is just one example of why Walmart needs to get out of the fish business. They are putting people in charge of living creatures when they know nothing about caring for them, much less telling others how to care for them. That, in and of itself, is abuse.

  13. Michael John Scott Reply

    March 13, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I’ve been raising and keeping tropicals for about 40 years, if not more David, and you are right. Once you see Ich on a fish you know what it is. As you said it looks like someone sprinkled salt over the fish. Its body, gills, and fins are covered with what looks like grains of salt. I also didn’t see that at the Ravenna Store. There was a sign that said goldfish weren’t for sale … sorry for the inconvance (sic) … but none appeared sick. That sign has been up there for weeks.

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