Pet stores improving?

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Cheshire Catfish

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:17 am


Well, I think this argument has gotten to the point where we're all repeating ourselves, so I'm going to go ahead and bow out now.


One last thing though : I would like to remind all of you that I have said multiple times that I am looking into working with a rescue or shelter and adopting animals from the store. While I think that what we're doing now does improve conditions somewhat, I think in-store adoptions instead would be wonderful, better then what we're doing now, and I really hope I can make it work.

If we get that going, I'll be sure to post here and let you all know.

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Cheshire Catfish

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:20 am


"The 20% mortality rate holds true for every pregnant sow. Mass or small breeder."

Oh, that's a biological probability, as opposed to a statistic reflective of the care taken by the breeder? If so, I misunderstood- my mistake.

magicmoo

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:48 am


Cheshire Catfish. I apologize in advance if I appear ot be repeating anybody's previous post.

I understand the arguments that you are making, and they do appear to be altruistic. What appears to be lacking is your widening of the bigger picture.

Let's just say that your shop is the only business that your backstreet breeder has. If you don't have him supply you any more, he won't breed anymore. If Joe Bloggs petshop down the road has a unique supplier too, and he does the same to his supplier, he also won't breed anymore. Theoretically, they could be out of business if all shops did this.

If somebody comes into your shop, and there are no pigs for sale, you believe that they will go to Petsmart to buy one-not getting any advice at all about care. At least that way, you and your store have not willingly contributed to the overflowing population of Guinea Pigs. If you do care for animals as much as you say, you could give any askers the off-putting talk anyway-you can give care advice too? You can recommend a shelter to adopt. If they decide not to take your advice, well at least you tried and at least you haven't supported a breeding programme-no matter how good you feel it is.

I feel it takes small baby steps to make a full picture. Small stores such as yours could take the baby steps and become a supply store only. If one shop took that baby step every day, backstreet breeders would become almost non-existent. Maybe one day, the giants will follow?

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Catie Cavy
Supporter 2011-2017

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:04 pm


Well, I always come late to these discussions so maybe it's over but I did want to ask one thing.

Cheshire Catfish, would you be comfortable making the same arguments if you substituted the words “cat” or “dog” for “guinea pig”? If you only support getting cats and dogs from shelters or rescues and not breeding them, I don’t see why it would be any different for guinea pigs.

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Quinc-Emma

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:01 pm


I came too late as well but thats a good point Catie Cavy, I was thinking the exact same thing. Guinea Pigs are not just "rodents" to lots of people. Mine are like cats and dogs.. :)

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Cheshire Catfish

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:22 pm


Sorry guys, I "bowed out" of this discussion because I felt it was becoming repetitive and might get emotional enough to stop being productive (I know we all care a lot about this topic).


I will clarify one thing about the small animals vs dogs/cats thing though, because it's a practical difference, not a philosophical one:

It's basically the size of the animals vs the space we have in the store. I think we can afford to provide proper housing for guinea pigs in our small shop, but we cannot provide a decent sized space for most dogs. Kittens are borderline... mostly we accept the unwanted kittens people bring because the "it's you or the pound" line tugs at the heartstrings, and they usually don't stay in the shop too long.

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GuineaPinny

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:33 pm


There are several guinea pig rescues in Colorado, if Petfinder is any indication.

I think this would be my main question that went unanswered:

What focus groups, sales records, customer feedback, etc. do you have as proof that your small animals sales have totally detracted from PetSmart's, as opposed to independent sales, rather than it just being an optimistic thought?

I realize I didn't word it well, but I'm wondering what evidence there is that the store takes business from Petsmart? It isn't logical that it would do so.

Isn't basic economic theory that if you have two stores with similar products next to each other (Burger King/McDonalds), both stores benefit from increased profits? But I would think in this instance the smaller store would be suffering from the larger chain. Rather than the larger chain suffering from the smaller store.

It just seems like you might be looking at your store kind of how you want it to be, rather than in the larger scheme of the homeless animal population and basic economics. That is that your theories aren't substantiated.

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Cheshire Catfish

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:43 pm


"I'm wondering what evidence there is that the store takes business from Petsmart? It isn't logical that it would do so."


I do not have concrete proof, and I never claimed to. If I did, I wouldn't be having the argument based on logic.

Like I said before though, you can just state "it isn't logical" as easily as I can state "it is logical." Both of us have presented arguments as to why we think it is or isn't logical, and neither of us is convinced. There's no point in continuing to re-hash what we've already said.

...especially since we both agree that 100% adoptions would be better anyway, which is the obvious goal to strive for.

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Quinc-Emma

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:47 pm


especially since we both agree that 100% adoptions would be better anyway, which is the obvious goal to strive for

If you want to strive for that, One would think you wouldn't sell guinea pigs in your store?

Just a thought

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GuineaPinny

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:51 pm


Well, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley has a number of guinea pigs available for adoption. You could start by talking to them--you might even recognize some of your former inventory! I'm not sure how far away Aurora is, but there's a rescue there called Cavy Care Inc..

ETA: and Table Mountain Animal Center in Golden, CO. They already do a foster program in Petsmart, which is probably difficult with the guinea pigs for sale right in the next aisle. You'd probably be a welcome outlet for them.

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Cheshire Catfish

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:55 pm


"If you want to strive for that, One would think you wouldn't sell guinea pigs in your store? "

"Well, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley has a number of guinea pigs available for adoption. You could start by talking to them--you might even recognize some of your former inventory! I'm not sure how far away Aurora is, but there's a rescue there called Cavy Care Inc.."



I believe I've said 2 or 3 times that I'm not owner of the shop, and I don't have the power to make a final decision, but I am talking to the rescues and shelters in the area and like I said, I hope we will be able to work something out.

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Quinc-Emma

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:58 pm


I know your not the owner of the shop. Your mom is, correct?

Maybe if you told her about this and laid out all the points, she might reconsider, But then again I don't know what kind of person your mom is.

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GuineaPinny

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:00 pm


Cheshire Catfish, you came on a pro-rescue, anti-breeding board defending buying guinea pigs from a breeder and selling them. I know you must seem frustrated with the response you've gotten, but considering the audience, can you really be surprised? This board is against breeding. Your store patronizes breeders.

It's been pretty civil, all told. I think it will be great if your store transitions to featuring adoptable guinea pigs. You will probably find a whole new market patronizing your store. There are many people who buy supplies exclusively online so as not to patronize stores that sell animals. And supply-only pet stores are often community centers for animal lovers and rescue groups. Word spreads pretty quick.

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Leb
Supporter in '08

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:03 pm


Just read this post. I have a pro-active suggestion based on something that happened in my town.

If you are using live animals to get people into your store (as you mentioned earlier) then providing great advice these customers then buy supplies too, become repeat customers, and then you turn a profit. Success!

But if you carried a small number of ONLY rescued shelter animals (and maybe unwanted CL animals) you could use that as your sticking point that really makes me choose your place over PetSmart.

Suggestions; Work with your local newspaper to run a story about how you are now against breeding. Have a huge banner in front of your store, contact a local news channel to advertise. Advertise on Petfinder, charge an "adoption fee" that you use to "adopt" more animals with. Your profit will be from all the people who want your animals but buy your supplies. Treat all piggies for mites and lice, make sure people know that PS carries infested pigs.

Make pre-made C&C cages for sale, buy various beds, hidey houses, cage blankets from GL member and sell them there. You will have one of a kind items and everyone wins. You will have a unique Pet Supply store/animal rescue center. Everyone wins especially the shelter animals that would otherwise be killed.

I never knew about the horrors of petstores before GL I bet there are tons of others like I used to be. Let them know why they shouldn't shop at PS and why they should shop at your place. Giving great advice only is not enough.

p.s. I work in marketing.

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Cheshire Catfish

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:18 pm


"Cheshire Catfish, you came on a pro-rescue, anti-breeding board defending buying guinea pigs from a breeder and selling them. I know you must seem frustrated with the response you've gotten, but considering the audience, can you really be surprised?"

I knew that when I first posted in this thread. What I am is pleasantly surprised by how civil and thoughtful you've all been, even though you disagree with me. My estimation of this board and it's community is very high because of that.



"I think it will be great if your store transitions to featuring adoptable guinea pigs. You will probably find a whole new market patronizing your store."

I agree with that.

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GuineaPinny

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:22 pm


Wow did Leb give some amazing suggestions. Leb what store are you speaking of?

I would definitely echo Leb on people not knowing about the dangers of Petsmart pigs. A lot of people think they're "new." Working against that assumption is really smart.

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Cheshire Catfish

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:24 pm


Leb, don't worry- I said I wasn't going to re-argue, not that I was going to stop reading. :)
Those are some great marketing suggestions and I will look into them! Thanks for the advice.



Our main obstacle in getting rescues into the store, realistically, will be volunteer shortages. Because we're a small store, I expect some rescues will consider it not worthwhile to devote a full day of precious volunteer time. I hope I'm wrong about that, but we'll see.

I know my mom had talked to some dog rescue groups in the past, and that was the answer she got. I suspect that that's why she hasn't pursued it much. But, she is extremely busy just trying to keep the place open at all, and I wasn't really involved with the store until recently. I hope I can "donate" the time/patience necessary to work something out.

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Cheshire Catfish

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:28 pm


"I would definitely echo Leb on people not knowing about the dangers of Petsmart pigs."

Very true! In fact, I'd just say that there's a serious problem with people not knowing the problems with Petsmart, period.

I've long since lost count of how many people I've had to re-educate about fish (I work in the aquarium section), after they've gotten all kinds of misinformation (and sick fish) at Petsmart.

Example- I get probably at least one customer a week that thinks that plecos ("suckerfish") eat the poop of other fish and don't need to be fed at all! It's crazy what they hear over there sometimes. I can't imagine their small animal advice is much better.

User avatar
sus4rabbitsnpigs

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:32 pm


Volunteers wouldn't need to be in store all day. That isn't feasible. You could house the animals there if possible and have applications and the rescue info on hand.

Or sponsor adoption events on weekends.

User avatar
Cheshire Catfish

Post   » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:45 pm


Sus, that's what I hope we can do. I guess it just depends on whether each particular rescue is comfortable leaving the animals with us for a day- I get the impression the dog rescue guys wanted one of their volunteers to be there the whole time.

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