Skip to the end for bunny stuffs!
In this entire area we have surprisingly few pet shops, mainly because crappy Pets At Home has wiped them all out 😦
There are four pet shops close enough that we visit them regularly:
1) Clean and new shop
This pet shop immediately presents itself as being good, because it has a very nice appearance.
Stock is organised, shelves are clean, pet cages are clean etc.
There’s not that many animals (no more than 4 small cages of rodents – Syrians, gerbils etc, two small cages packed with birds, usually one group of guinea pigs, and one group of rabbits), and the animals are kept in extremely small but nice-looking enclosures, eg. Qute style.
The staff member is friendly and obviously loves animals, a lot.
The animals are well cared for, but many of the animals we have bought from there have been ill – we’ve had four, I think, groups of mice from there over the years, and I believe all had URIs.
Out of the five most recent pigs we bought from there: one died from a brain defect, one died from illness, and two had URIs!
The pet shop likes to say that all the animals are extremely confident and well handled (and I don’t think they’re lying, I just think they believe they are) but I’ve never had a pet from there that has impressed me with their confidence.
In fact all the mice have been surprisingly skittish, even the 8 month old girls we bought that had been at the shop for almost 6 months!
2) Doesn’t really sell pets shop
This pet shop only recently started selling livestock (birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, that’s it).
Stock is limited, extremely expensive, and I don’t have much to say as we don’t go there much and have never bought a pet from there.
I will say the animals look healthy & well cared for, eg. rabbits get time out the hutch in a large run.
3) Specialist reptile shop
The main purpose of this shop is reptiles and reptile extras, but there’s a small room where they have a rotating stock – from gerbils, sometimes male mice, hamsters, to pygmy hedgehogs, rats and rabbits.
Pets from here are totally unhandled, and range from skittish to surprisingly confident. Cages are clean, a good size, and always clean.
We did see mice at this shop with URIs once, but nothing else, and our pets from there have always been healthy.
4) The Tristan shop
This is an old, old pet shop, and it shows.
Stock inside is covered in dust and unorganised, you have to hunt through everything and wipe through the dust to find bargains.
The back room is where almost all the livestock is kept; it’s quite dim and overflowing with animals, mostly birds (budgies, finches etc). There are also rabbits and guinea pigs in small hutches, and to the front there are gerbils and Syrians in glass tanks.
This pet gives the overall feeling of neglect and abuse, because of its’ appearance and because there are SO MANY animals…but when you look close and think about it, it’s far from that
The pet shop owner knows each and every one of his stock; he knows their likes, dislikes, how long they’ve been there, and who they get on with.
He feeds the animals extras every day (even the birds and hamsters get small portions of fresh veg) and he is passionate about rescues. I’ve seen A LOT of rescues at his shop., and every time we go in he tells us about various animals.
Quite often we do see animals that are ill (in every case it has been small birds) and he does put them in a cage on their own. He has his own parrot that lives at the shop, and is in two small Cockatiel cages conjoined.
He is passionate about rescue, loves animals, cares for the animals well, but isn’t up-to-date on their needs in terms of cage sizes.
We have always thought of shop number 4 as being the worst…but we talked about it yesterday, and is it?
I think the appearance makes it seem worse than it is, and we have had many pets from there (birds, guinea pigs, hamsters, and Tristan) and not only has every single one been entirely healthy their whole life, but they have all handled brilliantly – Lydia the guinea pig in particular was totally bomb proof, and she was a guinea pig, and Tristan is incredible too!
We always thought pet shop number 1 was best, because it looks nice and the animals are so clearly loved…but there’s no excuse for so many of the animals being not only ill, but skittish too.
I don’t agree with selling animals as well handled when they are that nervous, and their livestock is extremely expensive too.
It’s not always the pet shops that seem the best that truly are, or that talk the talk.
In our area pet shops are all we have to get our smaller pets from – we adopt when we can, but the rehoming sites around here never have much, and we don’t qualify for the rescue centre. Pet shops it will be, and I refuse point blank to buy from P@H.
Several small pet shops have closed down this area after P@H opened and stole their business, we have just four left and I’m hoping they can survive!
Speaking of Tristan and pet shop #4, we think we have found at least part of what he is 😀
When we bought Tristan, he was with two brothers – one looked very similar to him, and the other was white with black speckles and ‘eyeliner’.
When I mentioned to my mum over video chat that we didn’t know what breed mix Trist is, she looked up literally every breed of rabbit, and the one she said looked very much like Tristan was the English Spot.
I searched google, and yes! English Spot looks not only incredibly similar to Tristan (in body shape, tail length etc), but that’s exactly what Tristan’s brother looked like!!!
English Spot from google image:
And baby Tristan:
If he is a hefty chunk of English Spot that would be awesome, as they sound like fantastic rabbits!
Can’t wait for him to grow 🙂