Action Alerts, Cruelty-Free Living
Resources: Information, Laws, Prosecuting
Abuse (reporting cruelty, contact options, report sites that promote
Violence Connection: Animal Cruelty and Sociopaths
Stores and Making a Difference (resource links, usda, pet store "rescue"?
success stories, educating pet stores, a pet store shut down)
Matilde's Mission is
a 501(c)3 non-profit registered charity and the only chinchilla charity
in the U.S that focuses on saving both rescue and ranch chinchillas.
For proactive information on how to be "fur-free," see MM's
"Change by Choice," which advocates educational, positive
PETITIONS, ACTION ALERTS, CRUELTY-FREE
for Animals: UK Campaigns
For Animals: Cruelty-Free Shopping
Abuse Crime Database & Pet-Abuse.com
Animal Aid: Fighting Abuse,
Alliance of Canada
Protection Institute (API)
Animal Welfare Institute:
Animal Protection (AAPN)
Care for the Wild International
Citizens to End Animal
Suffering & Exploitation
Consumer Information on Cosmetics
Compassion Action Institute
Compassion Over Killing (COK)
Doris Day Animal League: Legislation/ DDAF
Ethical Consumer Magazine
Havahart: Caring control
for pets and wildlife
Society of the United States (HSUS)
Defense of Animals (IDA)
In Memory of Magic (IMOM): Pets
Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
Chance For Animals: Campaigns and Action
Models With Conscience: Cruelty
National Wildlife Federation
NetPets.Org: Disaster Assistance,
Military Pets Fostering
What's New, Take Action
Passport by WWF
Pets In Need:
What You Can Do & Rescue Centers
& Gamble Kills
Animal Welfare Soc.(PAWS): Orphaned Wildlife
Conscientous Consumer, Current
Society for Protective
Animal Legislation: Urgent Alerts
The Animal Spirit
Fund For Animals
Consumer Links Page
Compassionate Living Guide
Wildlife Federation (WWF): Global Challenges
World Society for
the Protection of Animals, (WSPA)
| Also see:
CIWF in the UK, Factory
Rescue and Refuge Programs,
animals are the most exploited and least protected group
of animals in the world. 27 million are killed in the
United States alone each day, nearly 19,000 per minute
– equating to a tragic total of 10 billion animals per
"Over the past 50 years, animal agriculture has evolved
from small, family farms to large corporate factory farming
systems. Modern agribusiness corporations are built upon
the cutthroat attitude of increasing profit margins at
all costs – which has had devastating consequences for
the animals in their care."
ANTI-ABUSE RESOURCES: INFORMATION,
sites that promote animal abuse)
Report abuse and don't sell
to abusers, check first with the Animal
Abuse Crime Database and National
Additional Articles: American
Reporting Cruelty FAQ, HSUS,
The Animal Spirit
Reporting Animal Cruelty
Society, Silicon Valley Also see: Identifying
If you witness an act of animal cruelty
or an animal-related emergency in progress call 911. If the abuse
is not an emergency, please call your city's animal control department.
They can do their best investigative work when they have as much information
as possible. Please provide the following information
when you call:
||The nature of the
abuse (see Identifying
Animal Abuse if you are uncertain).
||A description of
the animal, as detailed as possible. Include the species, color,
age, gender, name, unusual identifying marks, and any other
important identifying information.
||The precise location
of the animal. Include the street address, location of the animal
on the property (inside, backyard, etc.), and a description
of the property and any buildings on it (in rural areas –
trees, outbuildings, etc. In urban areas – the color of the
||Name, address, phone
numbers, vehicle description and license plate, physical description
(as detailed as possible) of the suspect.
and phone numbers of witnesses.
Often times callers are concerned
over retribution for making a complaint, and wish to remain anonymous.
Many departments will take anonymous complaints. However, they often
need to repeatedly contact complainants for clarification of facts
or for further information.
HOW TO BE A GOOD WITNESS
Since animals can’t speak to tell
us what happened to them, we rely on human witnesses to provide us
with necessary information. Your actions as a witness can help make
a solid case for education, intervention, or enforcement action to
protect the animals. Follow these guidelines to be the most effective
||Pay attention to
important details, such as license plates, addresses, and suspect
||Report your complaint
as soon as possible. The sooner we can begin a case, the better
their chance for success.
||Don’t place yourself,
or the animal, in danger. Provoking the suspect can cause injury
to you, or retribution to the animal.
||Don’t break any laws
to gather information or intervene.
||Be willing to testify,
identify suspects, or participate in the prosecution of a case,
if needed. Your eyewitness statements can be the key to whether
a case can be pursued.
||Be patient. The investigative
and legal processes can take what seems to be a long time. However,
it is critical that we do the job right the first time, and
some information may be difficult to obtain.
||Contact Animal Control
department and follow-up on your complaint if you continue to
see that situation exist.
Options for Information, Prosecution or Assistance
Animal Control/ ASPCA/
or your local Sherrif's office or Police Department
The ChinCare webmasters are not members of
PETA and we strongly resent the way they have betrayed ranch chinchillas
in the past.
Nevertheless, they may be helpful as a last
resort if there are pet chinchillas being subjected to abuse
or neglect but PETA's help should only be called upon if they can
be used in a completely legal and ethical capacity.
This IS preferable compared to walking away and dooming the
chinchilla/s to unrequited suffering or death. There have been times
when we've helped others prosecute pet chinchilla abuse cases and
PETA has pressed for justice whereas the "regular authorities,"
who were contacted first as the more preferable option, refused to
bother with anything besides dogs and cats because they have
political lobbying groups backing their welfare and thus far chinchillas
It is important to see the big picture on the PETA issue, it's not
as clear-cut as some people choose to believe. Big business interests
regularly conflict with animal rights, environmental rights and
even human rights but the reason they've had such roaring success
in villifying PETA- the mad diva by which all animal rights advocates
are typecast- is that PETA has made a very nasty spectacle of themselves
by hate-mongering, issuing contemptible public relations statements
and putting on publicity stunts that do more to create a self-righteous
image for themselves than to help the animals they claim
to put first.
PETA's self-destructive ways have reinforced all the fear propaganda,
the "us or them" ideology that big business has worked hard
to instill in the gullible masses, they've inadvertently helped reinforce
paranoid reactionism so that people are scared stupid of anything
animal activist-related because they're convinced it constitutes a
direct threat to their very existence. That's where big business steps
in under the pretense of being crusaders "for the public good,"
and thanks to PETA's assinine conduct, people immediately rush to
support these detractors and thereafter become dupes for big business
to exploit and manipulate.
If PETA can be regarded as the drastic extreme of animal rights, big
business interests are simply the flip side of that coin. For
instance, the "war on PETA" is almost entirely the work
of one man, Rick Berman (ref-
sourcewatch.com), who simultaneously runs a nonprofit "consumer
advocacy" group and a Washington lobbying firm (.doc).
The sole purpose of the nonprofit is to launch smear campaigns against
those who get in the way of the businesses that back the lobbying
"From his offices a block from the White House, Berman wages
a never-ending public-relations assault on doctors, health advocates,
scientists, food researchers, and just about anyone else who highlights
the health downsides of eating junk food or being obese. He also targets
groups that want animal-treatment standards for the meat industry,
such as PETA, and trial lawyers who want to sue the food industry...
Such people, Berman notes on the center's Web site, are 'food cops,
health care enforcers, militant activists, meddling bureaucrats and
violent radicals who think they know what's best for you.' However,
while Berman presents himself as a defender of consumers against overbearing
bureaucrats and health zealots, he's really defending the interests
of another group: restaurant chains, food and beverage companies,
meat producers, and others who stand to see profits hampered by government
regulations, or even by increased health awareness on the part of
prospect.org, also see additional links and articles, .doc)
A prime example of Berman's total
disregard for the truth can be found in his website devoted to the
claim that "PETA Kills Animals" (ref-
petakillsanimals.com). It attempts to capitalize on the 2005 scandal
that involved PETA members dumping euthanized animals; PETA doesn't
"kill" animals any more than the Humane Society or Animal
Control, they euthanize our country's unwanted pets and that's BEEN
common knowledge. Berman has no use for the whole truth because in
his world of greed and power he knows that a lie told often enough
will spread, carried forward by ignorance and others who stand to
gain from it and that's enough to do the job- to discredit and destroy
People need to take a good look at where their
information is coming from, investigate the source before drawing
a conclusion or choosing sides. That's the only way to make
educated, informed decisions because it would be moronic to give a
vote of blind allegiance based on the fascade of either PETA or Berman's
"Center for Consumer Freedom" (ref-
sourcewatch.com). We need to insist on what's positive, decent,
humane and kind and object to what's not; ultimately we can make the
good win out, if we persist. PETA is definitely not above reproach
but they're still capable of doing good for animals in a reputable,
honest capacity. Seeking their assistance in such a capacity when
there is a case of chinchilla neglect or abuse hanging in the balance
should not be discouraged, it can save lives while encouraging good
conduct on the part of animal right's "mad diva."
Report Sites That Promote Animal
To Report: Hugs4HomelessAnimals,
and their email
"Even though this site appears
to be a spoof and everyone says it is, some young people are going
to take it seriously,' Jeff Kocian, executive director of the The
Animal Protective League in Cleveland, said."
"Bonsai Kittens Causing Worldwide Uproar" from NewsNet5,
Cleveland news site, also see Snopes
of Hoaxes. The site was real, contents a hoax, it promoted animal
cruelty all the same)
When a site makes light of animal abuse, it's STILL no laughing matter.
Sociopaths enjoy the idea of inflicting pain and torture on other
living beings, when they share those thoughts with others on a website
that promotes animal cruelty, it should NEVER be excused or ignored
as harmless, "fun."
It is a fact that there are people who abuse and torture animals.
A site that pays tribute to that provides abusers with recognition,
encouragement and ways to indulge in cruelty in a more mainstream,
"acceptable" fashion. When the mutilation and torture of
animals is made light of, the removal of societal disapproval releases
the abuser from his inhibitions, making it that much easier to act
on sadistic inclinations.
We should ask ourselves if the
sanitizing of animal cruelty is acceptable under any guise. Should
we turn a blind eye to sites that promote sadistic torture and abuse
and clearly demonstrate contempt for living beings... just because
the sick mind behind is trying to pass it of as a "spoof,"
Animal abuse is NOT humourous, cruelty is NOT "funny," period.
Websites that try to depict otherwise need to be addressed for the
serious problem that they pose to any modern society that is coping
with violence; there IS an innate connection
between animal abuse and human violence. When a site sends the message
that animals are ours to torture and abuse for AMUSEMENT, we need
it for the protection of both animals AND people.
the scenes of the fight for animal rights and preservation of
the environment - my experiences as a slaughterhouse worker
turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil
THE VIOLENCE CONNECTION: ANIMAL
CRUELTY AND SOCIOPATHS
Society: Understanding the Connection Between Violence Toward Human
and Nonhuman Animals (.doc)
"The FBI has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one
of the traits that regularly appears in its computer records of serial
rapists and murderers, and the standard diagnostic and treatment manual
for psychiatric and emotional disorders lists cruelty to animals as
a diagnostic criterion for conduct disorders. (1) "History is
replete with notorious examples: Patrick Sherrill, who killed 14 coworkers
at a post office and then shot himself, had a history of stealing
local pets and allowing his own dog to attack and mutilate them.
(5) Earl Kenneth Shriner, who raped, stabbed, and mutilated a 7-year-old
boy, had been widely known in his neighborhood as the man who put
firecrackers in dogs' rectums and strung up cats.(6) Brenda Spencer,
who opened fire at a San Diego school, killing two children and injuring
nine others, had repeatedly abused cats and dogs, often by setting
their tails on fire.(7) Albert DeSalvo, the "Boston Strangler" who
killed 13 women, trapped dogs and cats in orange crates and shot arrows
through the boxes in his youth.(8) Carroll Edward Cole, executed for
five of 35 murders of which he was accused, said his first act of
violence as a child was to strangle a puppy..."
"The Link between violence to people and animals has now been
well-established. Child and animal protection professionals have recognized
that abuse of both animals and children is linked within a self-perpetuating
cycle. Statistics nationwide indicate that this Link is a problem
of national concern, and breaking this cycle of violence has become
a top priority for thousands of communities nationwide."
Animal Abuse and Human Violence
"Acts of abuse are about power and control, regardless of the
species of the victim. When a violent offender physically lashes out,
any living being may become a victim. It isn’t important to the abuser
if the victim has two legs or four."
Justice Bulletin: Animal Abuse and Youth Violence articles
Library: Serial Killers
"But Paul Denyer, the John Candy look-a-like serial killer was
no funny man. He was a pudgy, dysfunctional misfit, an oafish character
and self-confessed misogynist who was always going to be a monster.
As a child he slit the throats of his sister's toy bears and grew
up obsessed with blood and gore movies such as The Stepfather, Fear
and Halloween, which he watched over and over. Paul Denyer was a beast
who slit the throat of the family kitten with his brother's pocketknife
and hung the dead animal from a tree branch. After his arrest for
murder it was discovered that it was Denyer who had disemboweled a
friend's cat and slit the throats of its kittens. Killing human beings
was only a matter of time."
"One of the most
dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture
an animal and get away with it."
~ Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
The Abuse Connection
"Virtually every serious violent offender has a history of animal
abuse in their past, and since there's no way to know which animal
abuser is going to continue on to commit violent human crimes, they
should ALL be taken that seriously. FBI Supervisory Special Agent
Allen Brantley was quoted as saying 'Animal cruelty... is not a harmless
venting of emotion in a healthy individual; this is a warning sign...'
It should be looked at as exactly that. Its a clear indicator of psychological
issues that can and often DO lead to more violent human crimes."
Committee for Responsible Medicine: The Psychology of Abuse by
Neal D. Barnard, M.D.
Society & Animals
Forum: AniCare Model, First-Ever Psychological Intervention Program
For Treatment of Animal Abuse
"Children should from the beginning be brought up in an abhorrence
of killing or tormenting living beings. They who delight in the suffering
and destruction of inferior creatures will not be apt to be very compassionate
or benign to their own kind."
~ John Locke, 17th century Medical Researcher, Philosopher, Political
Society: Understanding the Connection Between Violence Toward Human
and Nonhuman Animals (.doc)
Animal Wellness: Character Education + Kindness to Animals = Violence
"Arson and cruelty to animals are 2 of 3 childhood warning signs
regarding the potential to be a serial killer."
~ John Douglas, profiler of serial killers for the FBI
Expert Links Animal Abuse to Human Violence
Australian news coverage, abc.net.au,
Saturday, 22 July , 2006 Reporter: Sarah Hawke
HAMISH ROBERTSON: Here at
home, an international expert on the link between abusing animals
and abusing humans is urging stronger reporting systems between police
and animal welfare agencies in order to help reduce violence. Professor
Frank Ascione, from Utah State University in the United States, says
people charged with animal abuse offences are more likely to inflict
violence on humans than people who've never abused an animal. Speaking
in Darwin this week, Professor Ascione says stronger relations between
the New South Wales Police and the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals) are an example for the rest of Australia. Sarah
SARAH HAWKE: Professor Frank Ascione has been involved in extensive
research into links between animal cruelty and other crimes like violence
and drug abuse. Professor Ascione says children who are mistreated
are up to three times more likely to abuse animals. He cites studies
in the U.S., Canada and Australia where over half the victims who
have gone to women's shelters have reported that their pet has been
either hurt or killed by their partners. Professor Ascione says people
prosecuted for serious animal abuse are up to five times more likely
to have been arrested for other serious crimes.
FRANK ASCIONE: So very clearly, knowing that someone has a history
of animal abuse is a red flag that there may be other criminal activity
separate from animal abuse present in that person's background.
SARAH HAWKE: Professor Ascione advocates laws allowing vets to report
animal injuries to authorities when they suspect child abuse or domestic
violence is also involved. And this is happening in New South Wales.
Last year community anger over viscous attacks on kittens in Sydney
prompted the formation of a police and animal welfare taskforce and
tougher laws for animal cruelty. Chief vet with the RSPCA, Mark Lawrie,
says an increase in the flow of information between police and the
organisation is paying off.
MARK LAWRIE: We provide information to their intelligence system,
called COPS, and that information can be used. I'll give you an example
of it. It goes into the general intelligence; if they're looking for
a suspect for a certain crime, they'll go and look at the information
that they have, say, within a given area, and if they have it flagged
that there's violence to animals there and concomitant violence to
people is the crime that's occurring, they can get a list of suspects
and then they can rank those people. So someone with a history of
violence to animals might go higher up the list.
SARAH HAWKE: Do you think in the future you could get to the extent
of preventing crimes?
MARK LAWRIE: Well, I think we're doing that now.
SARAH HAWKE: Police commissioners and animal welfare agencies in other
states and territories are looking at the New South Wales model. Professor
Ascione says it's the right move to reducing animal and human abuse.
HAMISH ROBERTSON: Sarah Hawke reporting.
PET STORES AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE
success stories, educating
pet store, a
pet store shut down)
The USDA On Pocket Pet Welfare
"On January 21, 1998,
the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant
Health Inspection Service (APHIS) gave notice through Vol. 63, No.
13 of the Federal Register that in order to ensure the humane care
and treatment of pocket pets in the commercial pet trade, they are
now regulating the handling, care, treatment, and transportation of
such animals by retail pet stores under the Animal Welfare Act (7
U.S.C. 2131 et seq.) (AWA).
"They are also now requiring that any retail pet stores dealing
in these animals be licensed under the AWA. The AWA authorizes the
Secretary of Agriculture to promulgate standards and other requirements
governing the humane handling, housing, care, treatment, and transportation
of certain animals by dealers and other regulated businesses. The
Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the responsibility of enforcing
the AWA to the Administrator of APHIS. APHIS regulates animal dealers
by issuing them annual licenses and conducting unannounced inspections
of their premises to check for compliance with the AWA standards and
"In recent years, several species of small, generally non-dangerous
mammals, including but not limited to hedgehogs, spiny mice, prairie
dogs and flying squirrels, have increasingly been sold at retail pet
stores in the United States. These and other small mammals are collectively
and commonly referred to as "pocket pets". None of these species have
been domesticated as pets in the U.S. like dogs and cats. Therefore,
the USDA, APHIS considers pocket pets to be wild or exotic animals
under the AWA regulations and any pet store that sells a pocket pet
is then subject to the AWA regulations. In general, retail pet stores
are exempt from the AWA regulation unless they sell animals to a research
facility, an exhibitor, or a dealer.
"The USDA’s policy had been the effort needed to identify and
regulate retail pet stores that sold pocket pets did not appear to
be a prudent use of the AWA enforcement resources. However, they continued
to reevaluate that policy as the popularity of pocket pets grew among
U.S. consumers. Because many retail pet stores are now selling pocket
pets on a regular basis, the USDA has determined that it is feasible
and necessary to identify and regulate the stores.
"Therefore, in order to ensure the humane care and treatment
of pocket pets in the commercial pet trade, the USDA, APHIS will now
be regulating the handling, care, treatment, and transportation provided
to such animals by retail pet stores and requiring that retail pet
stores dealing in these animals be licensed under the AWA. The AWA
licensing requirements for animal dealers are specified in 9 CFR part
2, subpart A, and the care standards for pocket pets are covered in
9 CFR part 3, subpart F."
Should You "Rescue"
That Forlorn Pet Store Chinchilla?
chins from a bad pet store situation, get them the heck out
rescuing the chins, DO NOT just walk away or you will have just
made matters worse. That store will believe they have a customer
demand to fill and they'll continue to supply chins and keep
them in an aquarium instead of a cage in the noisiest section
of the pet store, with
the wrong litter/
bedding, not seperated by gender,
no dustbath, hay or chew toys, etc.
UP, act to correct the situation! Try these steps to confront
the situation directly, there are also resources
that can assist or intervene and informative links
to help you address the problem specifically:
FOR ADDRESSING PET STORE ABUSE/ NEGLECT
By Rabbitwise, Memphis, on Petfinder
an animal is in actual danger, it's best to be polite
but firm, and call in the law if possible. Civilized behavior
on your part reinforces your cause. You're supposed to
be the good guy!
the fact sheet on chinchillas that the store provides.
There should be a rack in the store with fact sheets for
all the kinds of animals they do or might sell. It's usually
somewhere near the critters, or it might also be on their
If the store doesn't have fact sheets, look for books
in the store, or bring in a good book, a fact sheet from
another store, or a printout from a respectable website.
You need documentation to support your cause. However
you get hold of it, make sure you have it in your hand
when you talk to the manager. Not in a confrontational
"look here!" way, but in an "I'm sorry, I'm confused,
please help" way.
nicely to see the exotics manager, and wait patiently
until the manager is free.
yourself. Be pleasant, not confrontational. I always find
that people respond better if you are a bit apologetic
you are a little concerned and hope the manager can help.
that you were reading the chinchilla fact sheet and it
seemed like the chinchillas' cage (or other feature)
might be smaller than what the fact sheet is recommending.
Is it a temporary cage?
this point, depending on the response, you might be able
to ask if the manager could consider setting up a larger
(or more appropriate) habitat for them.
the conditions are acceptable, but flawed, cajoling works
much better than complaining. I've had very good success
in four pet stores- a Petco, two Petsmarts, and an independent
store- using this method to obtain better conditions for
all pet store are bad news, but for the most part, consider
a chin bought there as a rescue that will need immediate
examination by an exotics specialist vet
and lots of extra love, patience
and time to bond with you, since pet store chins are sometimes
in need of behavioral
rehabilitation. Also, realize that rescue, pet store and
most rehomed chins are NFB,
Not For Breeding.
Pet Store Success Stories and Improvements at Petsmart
All from large, well-known chains as told by
Rabbitwise, Memphis, on Petfinder
THE PREGNANT HAMSTER
While buying supplies for
my foster hamsters, I stopped to have a look at the hamsters for sale.
There were three in one cage. Two looked happy, but the third was
acting rather aggressively toward the others, and when she moved out
enough for me to see her properly, she looked like she might be pregnant.
I took my hamster supplies up to the checkout desk, bought them, and
then said I thought there might be a problem with one of the hamsters.
She summoned the manager for me. The manager and I went back look
at the hamsters. I pointed out the cranky hamster. He agreed that
she looked pregnant, and he resolved the situation by moving her to
her own cage.
THE CHINCHILLA NOTES
The pet store had a chinchilla for sale. The cage wasn't ideal,
but it was tolerable. However, the informational tag said that chinchillas
are diurnal [Diurnal means "active chiefly in the daytime."
Chinchillas are chiefly nocturnal but can be crepuscular, i.e., active
at twilight in morning and evening]. So I asked the clerk if I could
talk to the exotics manager. This was a very friendly helpful person.
I showed him the sign and explained the problem. He took notes and
said he would contact the corporate veterinarian. He said the signs
were issued nationally from a central service, but if they were wrong,
they would be changed. I explained my concern and said that I fostered
small-and-furries, and I would hate for animals to end up at the shelter
because people don't understand their nature and are disappointed
in their purchase. He said they hadn't had a chinchilla brought back
to the store, and if he found out that any were ending up at shelters,
the store would stop selling them. I returned to the same store a
few weeks later. The clerk remembered me and said that the manager
was definitely working on having the changes made, but because it
had to come from the corporate head office, it would take some time.
--Later-- There is a new banner up about the animals, and I pointed
out that while that banner correctly identifies chins as nocturnal,
the tag on the cage says diurnal. They checked and discovered that
it was an old tag. Also, they are rolling out new display units that
are adjustable, like those drawers in which you can change the section
sizes. So they will be able to create larger (taller) cages
for the chinnies.
THE CROWDED PARAKEETS
The store had apparently received a new flock of parakeets. The
cage was so full that they couldn't sit comfortably on the perches.
But it was a marginal situation, and the manager of this particular
store tended to be harassed and not very cooperative, so I decided
to let it go. However, the manager spoke to me as I was staring at
the shelves, and asked if I was finding what I wanted. I told her
what I was looking for, and she said no, they were out. Was there
anything else she could help me with? "Well", I said, "I was wondering
- do you think maybe the parakeets could have another perch or two?
They look kind of crowded." "Sure," she said, "I'll have some more
perches put in." It never hurts to ask!
There is a country-wide change in the way Petsmart
displays animals and provides information about them. They should
get credit for the fact that the regional manager travels around inspecting
the stores, is concerned about providing a good environment for the
animals, and was very willing to take twenty minutes to talk to a
customer. We may wish that pet stores didn't sell animals, but they
do, and that isn't going to change any time soon. So let's encourage
the ones that make an effort to do things right!
*You* Can Educate
Pet Stores About Chins!
Just print out this document: Care
Sheet .doc and the following ChinCare pages, staple them together,
and take a dozen or more sets to every pet store that you know of
that sells chinchillas: Safety
and Suppliers, Exercise
and Play, Nutrition
and both Dental
Health pages. Let the store manager know that for every chinchilla
they sell, they should provide one stapled set of these pages. Then
add that by helping customers to understand and provide for their
new pet, they are ensuring customer satisfaction as well as helping
guarantee that the chinchilla goes to a competent, caring home!
Chinchilla Club also has Pet Shop & Shelter Programs.
When A Pet Store
Should Be Shut Down
submitted to ChinCare, "A Tribute
I did some baby-sitting for the owner
of this pet shop. The shop owner was always busy and couldn't even
keep the store open for the hours posted on the door. She couldn't
afford to hire help, so her kids, aged 10 and 14, fed the animals.
I remember I would take them to the store at night and I watched them
dump dog food in for the dogs AND cats, all the small animals and
birds got hamster food! It smelled horrible there and I would ask
the kids if we should clean the cages for their mom, they'd say no,
she'll do that in the morning.
I decided to try volunteering my time to give some relief to the animals.
I asked the shop owner and she agreed, I was to stop by in the morning.
What I saw by daylight was terrible: the puppies all had diarrhea,
the rabbits were emaciated, the birds were pulling out their feathers
and all the animals were sitting in their own waste. There was a rat
with an eye infection, a dog with bordetella, and that was just in
the front room. I asked the shop owner if she wanted me to clean the
puppies' cages first, but she said no, the kids will do it when they
get home from school. I was left alone in the store while she ran
I cleaned the rabbit cage first and when that was done, I went to
the back to get some fresh wood chips, and that's when I saw her!
In a tiny hamster cage with no room to move, with a bowl of hamster
food and poo stuck everywhere, there sat a little gray chinchilla.
She had poo stuck to her skin and no fur on her legs, tummy and head.
Her eyes were wet and gooey. When the shop owner returned, I asked
about the chinchilla and she told me that it was sold to her that
way and she didn't know why the chinchilla was sick. I asked to take
the chin home to give her special care and the shop owner agreed.
She gave me the card of the lady she bought the chin from, too.
I named the chin "Stitch" and the following morning made
a call to the breeder who had sold the chinchilla to the pet shop.
She was horrified to hear about what had happened and offered to give
me a huge cage, feed and the card for her vet. Stitch went to the
vet that very day. She had eye infections, calcium deficiency,
malnourishment and an inner ear infection. I told my local animal
rescue about the situation at the pet shop, they have contacts at
the city pound and the Humane Society. Although it took a few weeks,
we got them to investigate and the pet shop owner was charged with
animal neglect and abuse, the list of violations was pages long. On
the check-back inspection she had fixed all the problems but by the
second check-back she was fined again for the same violations as the
original inspection. The city took away all her licenses for carrying
animals and she is prohibited from selling any living animals in her
The store closed its doors two months from the day I brought Stitch
home! By then she was at a healthy weight, almost all her fur had
grown back, her infections were cleared up and the last thing to improve
was her calcium deficiency. It's amazing what good food, antibiotics
and a calcium supplement can do! I think the food and living conditions
made the biggest difference, she never chewed her fur again and eventually
came to weigh a pound and a half. She lived happily for nine months
before finally passing away from a ruptured tumor. Rest in peace,
sweet little Stitch!