It is never a good sign when you see animals being sold in pet stores. You don't know where they came from, they can be bought by anyone (no home checks needed) and the staff rarely know what information to give regarding the care of these animals. They are kept in small confined spaces in the stores and are sold as products.
When I walked into Petworld XXL I was overwhelmed and appalled by all the animals they sold and the living conditions that they were confined to.
When you walk into the store you can see fishtanks in good condition, but as you go deeper you come across such an array of animals, that you can't seem to think it is legal to keep some of them. I saw guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, fancy rats, a tank for a hedgehog (which I couldn't see properly), snakes and baby bunnies.
The rabbits were given to one of the workers by two clients, which, when I asked, was giving them to the petstore to sell and in exchange they get vouchers to use in-store. The two clients told met that they will be bringing more rabbits later, as one of their females will be pregnant again soon. When a petstore allows backyard-breeders to bring in their pets to be sold, they open up a whole network where everybody starts breeding animals to make a profit for themselves. This breeding leads to the problem of overpopulation of some pets and leaving rescues overflowing with animals, like rabbits, in need of homes.
The rabbits had too little water, only water feeders, that could lead to dehydration in rabbits and only pellets to eat. When I informed the worker, that took the rabbits from the breeders, he casually replied he doesn't know much about rabbits and that he is a snake handler. Thus confirming that the workers are not fit to take care of all the different types of animals that the store is clearly only selling for profit, no matter where they come from.
Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I moved more to the back of the store. Now I was seeing an array of birds in small glass display cases, with bright lights illuminating the birds, some with dirty water and definitely NOT enough space. There were Quails, Cockatiels, Zebra finches, Lovebirds, a type of Francolin, a White Macaw and a very lonely Blue-and-yellow Macaw. The Blue-and-yellow Macaw was priced at around R23000,00 and has been in that store for a long time. None of the birds had enough space or enrichment.
I saw one enclosure with two male and a female Quail. The two male Quails were chasing and pecking at each other and I had to make the workers aware that they could hurt each other if not separated. The Quail's water was also green and did not look healthy. When asked if they switch off the lights for the birds at night, one of the workers replied no and it is also to keep them warm. SO LIGHTS ARE KEPT ON ALL THE TIME. My first thought is that ALL ANIMALS need night and day. Imagine living with constant bright light in your eyes and no proper rest, as all birds need darkness to sleep. I was absolutely shocked at what I heard.
I am starting this petition to urge the Petworld headquarters to stop selling animals. There are quite enough reasons for this including: animals are not products to be sold, the staff are not qualified to give prospective owners proper information regarding the care of the animal, you don't know where they will end up and their acceptance of animals from any customer to sell, encourages backyard-breeding.
The fact is that there are multiple rescues in South Africa that are OVERFLOWING with animals in need of homes and having this chain of stores in the country selling animals takes away the chance for rescue animals to find homes.
I am urging every person that signs my petition to add a comment regarding why this is upsetting news. Please Petworld headquarters reconsider your choice and help be a prime example to rather support rescues when a customer is looking for a pet.