Pet Store Neglect

Meet Mr. Monocle!

The rat who survived!
The rat who survived!

Monocle just after arriving home

Monocle, just after being rescued from the pet store
Monocle, just after being rescued from the pet store | Source
Notice the over grown teeth and how they are puncturing his upper jaw beneath his nose.
Notice the over grown teeth and how they are puncturing his upper jaw beneath his nose.
Here you can see where the teeth had punctured his jaw as well as the terrible infection in his eye.
Here you can see where the teeth had punctured his jaw as well as the terrible infection in his eye.

trimmed teeth

Although they still aren't pretty, his teeth have now been trimmed and he is able to eat food. AND BOY DID HE EAT!
Although they still aren't pretty, his teeth have now been trimmed and he is able to eat food. AND BOY DID HE EAT!

Teeth

These are the teeth remnants that had been trimmed from Mr. Monocle's mouth.
These are the teeth remnants that had been trimmed from Mr. Monocle's mouth.
Mr. Monocle enjoying his new life as a saved rattie!
Mr. Monocle enjoying his new life as a saved rattie!

The Story of Mr. Monocle

Remember how I referred to the pet store as if it were some type of wonderland full of wonderful little creatures? Then I proved how terribly wrong that description was by explaining just where those pets came from? Well today, I would like to introduce to you the story of an extraordinary rat who came from one of these pet stores in Ohio. The images you see were provided to me through an 18 year old girl named Alisha who has an extreme passion for rats. She found this little guy and felt the need to take responsibility for saving the rat into her own hands. Little did she know that this rescue would turn out to be disastrous.

Meet Mr. Monocle. Mr. Monocle is a hairless rat found in a pet store in Ohio during March 2011 by Alisha, a young girl who came to the pet store to buy some food for her current pet rats. Not seeing any available on the shelf, she walked to the back of the store to ask the employee on duty if there was any rat food available. But instead of the employee, she found a rat with extremely over grown teeth and a terrible eye infection. At the sight of him, she began to cry hysterically and decided to ask the manager how they could let that happen to such an innocent creature. The manager told the girl to report the store if she had a problem, which is precisely what she did.

Despite the fact she knew she would be supporting “back yard breeders,” the girl bought the rat, taking it home to figure out what she could do to help it. She gave the rat Infants Tylenol for pain and fed him soft foods such as pasta and yogurt. Alisha’s vet was closed for the weekend and waiting for her vet’s office to open again could mean life or death for the sick rat. Its bottom teeth were puncturing its cheek and eating was nearly impossible. She had to act right away. Another popular member of Goosemoose.com suggested that she trim the rat’s teeth, but it could be slightly dangerous, especially if the rat was unwilling to let her. But yet again, despite Alisha’s fear, she took the chance and trimmed the rat’s teeth.

What about the pet store responsible for this? Alisha went through with her threat of reporting the store, reporting them to PETA, The Humane Society and other rescues. However, all of them refused to take action unless a vet would say the injuries and infections were direct causes of the pet stores neglect. Her vet refused to get involved with a legal dispute and after explaining his decision to PETA, they denied her claim. The Humane Society also offered her no help at all. Meanwhile, Alisha and her family named the little man Mr. Monocle, after the way his eyes looked when he first arrived home from the terrible pet store. Mr. Monocle also had another problem which lied invisible inside the rat, a highly contagious and fatal disease to other animals. The disease quickly spread amongst Alisha’s rat colony and within a week, 4 of her pet rats had died. Within 2 months, another 3 rats had. Alisha says she feels as though she has failed not only herself, but Mr. Monocle and the rest of her fallen colony.

Did she fail? I think not. Alisha rescued a helpless animal who was suffering from severe neglect. Mr. Monocle needed immediate Vet attention and without it was going to die very soon! Mr. Monocle is now living a healthy life with the girl and has given the girl knowledge of what pet stores are really here for. MONEY! Not to find homes for innocent animals. They do not care about their animals, but only the revenue they generate! Remember to never adopt from a pet store unless they are holding a rescue adoption, in which case you will be asked to fill out an application and submit to a background check. You will not be bringing home your new best friend that day, but the wait is worth it not to support the terrible back yard breeders. This does not only go for rats, but all pets, including cats, dogs, reptiles and rodents!

Share this story with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and help end the Back Yard Breeding and Pet Mill terror! For more information on how to adopt a pet without supporting Pet Mills please visit my article on adopting pets the RIGHT way!

For more information on Mr. Monocle or to read more about the story, visit his thread at Goosemoose.com


What Alisha, Mr. Monocle's Owner, Has to Say.

"I'm the owner of Monocle.

I wanted to talk about why you shouldnt get rats from pet stores.

99% of pet stores get their rats from mills. Whats a rat mill? - Exactly like a puppy mill. Rats in filthy, disgusting, over crowded cages. These rats do not get any vet care what so ever.

Now the pet store- pretty much the same as the mill. has disgusting, filthy, over crowded cages that do not receive any vet care. If a rat is sick or injured they're left to die. Do not think your local pet store is different UNLESS you have seen for yourself that their animals are not kept in these conditions. In order to do that you would have to see every room of the pet store. Pet stores do not leave this out in the open, they hide it behind closed doors so you will not see it, even if it is happening.

SO, by buying a rat from a pet store you are supporting the pet store for how they keep their animals, AND supporting how the mills that they got their rats from are kept. How? By giving them money you are giving them money for how they, and the mills, treat their animals. There's no way around it, its FACT. You're giving them money for the animal; there for supporting them.

Not only would you be supporting them by buying an animal, even though you may be "saving" it, you're only dooming another rat to go in its place. You're sacrificing one rats life for another. Its NOT that the animal in the pet store doesnt deserve a loving home, it does, but it comes down to this; Do you want to support horrible breeders, or no? In the end its just better to not buy from pet stores.

Why did I buy him? I admit it wasnt smart, I put money into pockets of animal abusers. I just couldnt leave him there like that, and thought for sure I'd have enough evidence to shut down that crap hole for good. I dont regret getting him, as I love him, but that doesnt make what I did right.

On to another reason you dont want to get animals from pet stores-

Their animals are often sick. Wither its a respiratory infection, mites, or a virus. With mites or a virus it can easily and quickly infect your other animals (these do NOT effect humans)

- Monocle was sick. He was sick with a very contagious, deadly virus. A few days after he arrived every single one of my rats got sick. It acted like a serious respiratory infection but with it effecting so many rats at once it couldnt be that. All my rats got his virus. They were taken to the vet and put on antibiotics, but it wasnt that simple. In the first week I had lost 4 rats to it. With in the next 2 1/2 months I had lost another 3. I lost 7 of my rats, my babies, to this virus. With losing 7 of my rats with in 3 months it also cost me a good $300. For vet visits, antibiotics, and having to put a rat to sleep.

It was a terrible, terrible mistake that's completely my fault. I should have quarantined Monocle before bringing him home, but wasnt thinking. (QT is having the new animal in a completely different house (HAS to be a different airspace) for 3 weeks so sickness, if present, has time to show up WITHOUT effecting other animals)

If you're going to get an animal, please, dont support pet stores and dont risk the lives of your other animals by not doing quarantine. There are PLENTY of animals in rescues, shelters, on craigslist, ect that need homes.

I wish, so bad, that this situation could have gone differently. Dont make mistakes like I did."


What do you think?

Would you have rescued this little guy? Please explain your answer in the comments.

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Comments 22 comments

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

I adopted my cat from The Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven Society. They run a thorough check on people wanting to adopt their animals and they don't put anyone down unless there is a terminal illness and nothing can be done.


Crobin28 profile image

Crobin28 5 years ago from Pelham, Alabama Author

That is awesome!! A lot of people never consider Humane Societies or Rescues simply because they normally do not have kittens or puppies for adoption! Thank you for adopting the right way!!


Ben Graves profile image

Ben Graves 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

Glad this animal could be saved. Sounds like that manager didn't feel bad at all about what was going on. Even if it is a rat (a pet most don't see as a "pet") it's still an animal that should deserve every right to be treated humanely.

I'll tell you, though, Save-A-Pet was horrible when my family tried to adopt a kitten from there. My mom was about to adopt the cat a couple years ago, when the employee helping us pick our cat out told us we weren't allowed to adopt the cat because she didn't think we were a "good fit". Our family has owned four cats in over fifteen years and they were all treated with nothing but the best love and care until they passed naturally from old age, and yet this place denied this pet a good home, supposedly because my mom didn't react horrified enough when they talked to her about the negative effects of de-clawing!

We wound up adopting another kitten somewhere else, a small home where a woman took in some strays and gave them a nice home. And to top it off, we haven't de-clawed our cat. I'll never go to Save-A-Pet again.


loveforrats 5 years ago

I'm the owner of Monocle.

I wanted to talk about why you shouldnt get rats from pet stores.

99% of pet stores get their rats from mills. Whats a rat mill? - Exactly like a puppy mill. Rats in filthy, disgusting, over crowded cages. These rats do not get any vet care what so ever.

Now the pet store- pretty much the same as the mill. Kept is disgusting, filthy, over crowded cages that do not receive any vet care. If a rat is sick or injured they're left to die. Dont think your local pet store is different UNLESS you have seen for yourself that their animals are not kept in these conditions. In order to do that you'd have to see every room of the pet store. Pet stores dont leave this out in the open, they hide it behind closed door so you wont see it, even if it is happening.

SO, by buying a rat from a pet store you are supporting the pet store for how they keep their animals, AND supporting how the mills that they got their rats from are kept. How? By giving them money you are giving them money for how they, and the mills, treat their animals. There's no way around it, its FACT. You're giving them money for the animal; there for supporting them.

Not only would you be supporting them by buying an animal, even though you may be "saving" it, you're only dooming another rat to go in its place. You're sacrificing one rats life for another. Its NOT that the animal in the pet store doesnt deserve a loving home, it does, but it comes down to this; Do you want to support horrible breeders, or no? In the end its just better to not buy from pet stores.

Why did I buy him? I admit it wasnt smart, I put money into pockets of animal abusers. I just couldnt leave him there like that, and thought for sure I'd have enough evidence to shut down that crap hole for good. I dont regret getting him, as I love him, but that doesnt make what I did right.

On to another reason you dont want to get animals from pet stores-

Their animals are often sick. Wither its a respiratory infection, mites, or a virus. With mites or a virus it can easily and quickly infect your other animals (these do NOT effect humans)

- Monocle was sick. He was sick with a very contagious, deadly virus. A few days after he arrived every single one of my rats got sick. It acted like a serious respiratory infection but with it effecting so many rats at once it couldnt be that. All my rats got his virus. They were taken to the vet and put on antibiotics, but it wasnt that simple. In the first week I had lost 4 rats to it. With in the next 2 1/2 months I had lost another 3. I lost 7 of my rats, my babies, to this virus. With losing 7 of my rats with in 3 months it also cost me a good $300. For vet visits, antibiotics, and having to put a rat to sleep.

It was a terrible, terrible mistake that's completely my fault. I should have quarantined Monocle before bringing him home, but wasnt thinking. (QT is having the new animal in a completely different house (HAS to be a different airspace) for 3 weeks so sickness, if present, has time to show up WITHOUT effecting other animals)

If you're going to get an animal, please, dont support pet stores and dont risk the lives of your other animals by not doing quarantine. There are PLENTY of animals in rescues, shelters, on craigslist, ect that need homes.

I wish, so bad, that this situation could have gone differently. Dont make mistakes like I did.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY

Hello Corbin28,

I remember hearing that some pet stores really did not take care of their animals. This story is sad.

I doubt if I would have adopted a rat, because one I have rodent repellants, and two they scare me.

Still, cats scare me also, and I once brought a litter of kittens into my basement apartment to protect them from a dog who wanted to actually eat them.

Yeah, the owners stopped feeding their dog. They no longer wanted it, and he would get into everyone garbage cans to find food. For some reason the kitten's mother gave birth to them in my family's yard, and the dog seemed to have killed her in our yard ....

So, again, I do not know if I would adopt a rat, but I have a habit of protecting helpless animals .... LOL.

This was a very good read. I shared it with my other followers, and also on Facebook.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Take Care,

N.E.


Crobin28 profile image

Crobin28 5 years ago from Pelham, Alabama Author

Alisha, thank you for that testimony on Mr. Monocle. As you can now see, I added the entire thing to the article so that everyone could easily see what you have to say about the situation!

N.E. Pet rats aren't for everyone and that is understandable. A lot of people fear them for many different reasons and that is not something I or any other rat owner will judge you for as long as you are accepting of them as pets and do not criticise those of us who have them. (Trust me it happens a lot!) I'm happy that you found it in your heart to save the kittins! I hope you found homes for them!! Thank you again!!


Summer Foovay 5 years ago

I have worked in pet stores as an animal care tech for many years. Some were great, some were terrible. I never worked at the terrible ones for long unless I really thought I could make a difference in teaching them to care about - and for - their animals.

Most of them do, however, get their animals from some sort of wholesaler. That is to say, a breeder who breeds hundreds of animals and probably doesn't bother to name them - if they're LUCKY they'll have a number. With small mammals, this often means they are not well socialized and will not make a good pet.

If you want a pet, look at rescue societies first (if you are able and prepared to take an animal that may have problems after neglect or abuse). Then check with friends, family, and local papers and ads - there may be a mouse or rat enthusiast living near you who has babies they'd love to give or sell inexpensively to good homes. Ask to see the parents - then you'll get to see and judge for yourself whether this is a pet enthusiast who loves their animals, or a wholesaler making a bit on the side. I hate to say this - I know we are all softies who want to save abused pets - but buying an animal to save it only encourages the person selling it to breed (and neglect or abuse) more animals.

There are a few mom and pop pet stores that breed their own animals. Not many, because they can't compete with the big stores. You can tell they love their animals and you can buy from them knowing you're supporting a small business person who works their passion.

Not ALL pet stores are BAD. But go in with your eyes open and be mindful of the care the animals are receiving, of their origins (BTW pet store employees are told to lie to you and say they are all from nice homes), and of the fact that most pet stores are about profit, not loving animals.


Crobin28 profile image

Crobin28 5 years ago from Pelham, Alabama Author

Thank you Summer for helping prove my point. Pet stores do not WANT you to know this and will lie to your face. I was considering working at PetSmart as a pet care associate, but I think it would feel so horrible to sell something I don't believe in! Smiling through the whole process, keeping a straight face, knowing that this little guys sister is in the back room missing part of her tail and has a missing eye ball! I just couldn't do it!


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines

Hello Crobin28, this is a very good article. It was quite an eye-opener. I used to have hamsters, and I love them very much. Hamsters and rats are very much the same. I'm glad that Alisha rescued Monocle. She was able to save a little helpless creature from the cruel pet shop owner. It's sad that most pet stores sell animals only for profit. If I were in Alisha's place, I'm not sure though if I would do the same thing. Adopting Monocle would be difficult, especially because we didn't have local vets specialized for rodents. I mainly relied on information from the Internet to care for my hamsters. Sadly, some of my hamsters did not survive due to my lack of resources. Some lived short lives, some however lived to their full 2-year life span. But I'm still sad for those who died young. That is why I stopped caring for hamsters. If ever I'm going to adopt a new pet, it would be a dog or a cat from an animal rescue shelter. Many vets specializing in these animals are available, so I'm sure I'll be able to give them a good life.


Crobin28 profile image

Crobin28 5 years ago from Pelham, Alabama Author

Thank you! I have had hamsters before as well and not to sound mean but I have to disagree with you on how much rats and hamsters are alike. Rats tend to have wonderful personalities and love to be with their owners. They enjoy being trained very much and the more you interact with them the more like dogs they become! So many people that own rats cannot stop owning rats. They engross your life and you just completely fall head over heals for them. My partner felt the same way. He had a Chinchilla which wasn't very socialized. I'm not sure if all Chinchilla's act in the same way but he just couldn't become attached to it because it was so wild!! During the same time, I started my rat colony. He wasn't too crazy about the rats and certainly didn't want them on him. THEN!! He moved in with me and I told him he had to get over his fear of the rats because they had to get out! So he got to know them a little better. He helped me with their training and they got to know him really well! They began to come to him and love on him and give him kisses! Needless to say he fell head over heals with them! I had been talking to a breeder about adopting one of her rats since April. I only wanted one until Chris decided he wants one of his own to add to the colony! SO now I have 5 girls one of which is his new baby and 2 of them can't keep their little paws off of him!


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines

That's amazing! I guess it was too early for me to say that hamsters and rats are so much alike! except that they are both rodents. LOL. Very very intelligent creatures. It's great that your partner learned to love them. :)


Crobin28 profile image

Crobin28 5 years ago from Pelham, Alabama Author

Yeah, they are both rodents, but there are a lot of mammals that are completely different too! XD I'm going to follow you and check out some of your hubs!! Looking forward to it! Thanks again for commenting!


Yofi profile image

Yofi 5 years ago from Indonesia

Hi Crobin28. Greetings from Indonesia. Thanks for sharing this article. I'm one of the pet lover. I also had a couple of hamster which I gave them name: Mr. Pitzi and Mrs. Mitzi. I love them so much but they are in heaven now. They're died 'cause of old. Mitzi first and followed by her husband, Pitzi, after 2 months later. I hope in my next hub I will share some pictures and video of Pitzi and Mitzi when they were still alive. Now I have another new pet, my cute but naughty dog named Buddy.


Crobin28 profile image

Crobin28 5 years ago from Pelham, Alabama Author

Hi Yofi!

I find it exciting to have a reader from Indonesia! That's just really cool!! I'm sorry to hear about Pitze and Mitzi but I'm happy they got to live their full life span! What kind of dog is Mr. Buddy??? You should show some pictuers of him!!


teresa nicolini 5 years ago

i once brought in a stray kitten which gave my other cat a nearly fatal virus. no,it wasn't smart , but my heart was in the right place. live and learn, i would have gotten that rat and quarantined him now cuz i learned from my mistake.


Crobin28 profile image

Crobin28 5 years ago from Pelham, Alabama Author

Just so everyone knows, Alisha and myself both understand that she DID indeed give money to the pet store. She regrets that decision but it can't be taken back. She wouldn't do it again and neither would I. It's not a matter of what has ALREADY happened, but the steps you will take to avoid the same situation in the future! And YES!!! Big Pet Chain store Pet Mills DO exist! Those of you who think I haven't done my research... think again. I could show you some things that would BLOW YOUR MINDS but it would be removed immediately by Hubpages.

Thank you everyone for your great comments. If you have something negative to say... feel free to share it with me but I can't guarantee it will be published. Thanks!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

This is such an important message to share with anyone considering purchasing a pet of any kind. We have rescued animals that were abandoned and left on the streets. How anyone can move away and leave their animal to fare for itself is beyond my comprehension...but it happens. Animal shelters would be my first choice of a place to go when seeking a pet. They have purebreds as well as mixed breeds, kittens as well as full grown cats, etc. There are also rescue organizations that keep certain breeds and have them up for adoption. There is NO REASON at all to support pet mills who put out unsocialized and often sick animals!

This hub is voted up and useful and will be tweeted and added to FB so that more people can become educated. Good work and good luck with your chosen career!


Heidi 5 years ago

Hi, Peggy--

I just wanted to say how much this post touched me. Good job, Alisha!! I am the proud mom of two beautiful boy rats--Stanley and Russell, who will turn two years old in 9 days. As someone who has had TONS of different kinds of pets over the years (including other rats in the past) I can say that rats are among the most rewarding animals to share your life with. They are incredibly intelligent, social, and loving. My boys are litter-box trained, and they come when I call their names, they shake hands, they spin in a circle on command, and they beg on command. They are easy to train (it only takes a few repetitions before they learn new tricks) and they are also very clean animals, always bathing themselves much like cats do.

It breaks my heart that there is still such a social stigma against these amazing animals, and I do everything I can to make sure people know just how wonderful they truly are. Backyard breeders are entirely unethical and have no respect for these beautiful creatures. Pet stores should NOT sell animals--not even the tiniest mouse or rat. The vast majority of them come from BYBs and are horribly neglected during their entire lives, only to end up in pet stores where the employees most often know nothing about the proper care of them. I urge people to consider this before buying pets from stores. Ask the store manager where the animals come from--normally they do not even know. That is your indication that they are coming from BYBs whose only care is to make money by breeding as many animals as possible with hardly any money invested in their care and well-being. Rats--and ALL animals--deserve MUCH better than that.


Crobin28 profile image

Crobin28 5 years ago from Pelham, Alabama Author

Thank you Heidi for that kind comment! I strongly agree with what you said! I hate that when people come to my house and happen to spot my rats they are always like, "WHY DO YOU HAVE RATS!?" I want to be like... ok... So I see you didn't take Willard seriously enough! LOL!!


Victoria 5 years ago

I wish more people would read stuff like this. I sadfully have bought a guinea pig from a petstore but thankfully she is good and healthy but i will never buy another animal from a pet store again. I wish my sister's ex-boyfriend could have read this before he bought an 800 dollar dog for my sister who was deathly afraid to even step on grass before. He's healthy though he has some issue's we are all working very hard to get him over all his issue's. Most of my other animals have come in as rescue's and me and my husband have done so rescuing ourselves and it completely beat's out ever getting a pet from a horrible pet store again.


MARY JANETOS 5 years ago

I HAD MANY RATS IN MY LIFE. AT THIS TIME I HAVE NONE. I WOULD HAVE RESCUED HIM, BUT.. I WOULD HAVE QUARANTINED HIM. I WOULD HAVE KEPT HIM IN THE GARAGE IF I HAD TO. I HAVE BOUGHT RATS FROM PETCO AND THEY WERE WONDERFUL. LIVED A LONG HAPPY LIFE. OUR PETCO HAS VERY VERY CLEAN CAGES AND THE RATS ARE ALL GOOD. QUARANTINE IS NECESSARY IF YOU BRING IN A NEW RAT. THANK YOU.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hello, Crobin! How are things in Pelham? It's rainy and damp way up here in Hamilton, in northwest Alabama. I loved this hub. Very intersting and humane. There is NOT enough humane people in our society today. This is so sad to see defenseless animals suffer. On your hub, I voted up and away. Enjoyed it. And your writing is excellent. Have a wonderful Christmas and Roll Tide! Your friend, Kenneth

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