- CRITTER TALK
- NEWS I FIND INTERESTING
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.
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.