Help me make an ethical choice?

Everything Blue Tongues! Have a question? Just got a BTS and want to introduce yourself? This is the place!
Forum rules
In this forum all are welcome to ask blue tongue skink-related questions, share information, ideas, tips, experiences, and pictures with fellow BTS enthusiasts.
If you are wondering if your BTS is acting normally or might be sick, this is where you can get help with that.
This is also where you can have some FUN while sharing the enjoyment you get from your blueys!
asinglefork
Bluey Beginner
Bluey Beginner
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:32 pm
Country: USA
Location: GA

Help me make an ethical choice?

Postby asinglefork » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:09 pm

I work at a major chain pet store because I love animals and I do everything I can to properly educate people on how to care for their pets. I know that buying from major chains is terrible, and most of the animals I acquired from my work I have taken in as charity cases because they had severe problems with stuck shed (a crested gecko that lost AN ENTIRE LEG), mbd, or had just been in the store so long they were about to be sent to a different store where I didn't know if they'd receive better or worse care. I have never paid full price for these animals, always getting at least 50% off or taking them home for free.

My most difficult choice EVER has been about, you guessed it, a BTS. He (I'm guessing) is a Halmahera BTS and might be 9 inches long. He's very young and very sweet, but obviously wild-caught. I've gotten a manager to agree to 50% off, and I thoroughly love this little guy. The humidity levels in his habitat have been too low and he's already lost a toe due to poor sheds. His last two sheds I was able to take him to the back and give him a soak and gentle remove the stuck shed myself, but now that I've started school for the semester I'm not going to always be there in time to save the rest of his toes. I know that I will be able to provide for him properly for the rest of his life and already have the space and supplies I would need to take him in. I've been researching for over a month now to make sure I would properly care for him. There is even a local exotic vet that I will make an appointment with to assess his health (mbd, parasites, etc.)

My qualm is that he is WC and I would be supporting the import of Indonesian BTS, but he's not getting the proper care in the store and if I don't take him at 50%, someone else will get him at full price eventually, or he won't get sold and get shipped off to god-knows-where. So I take my query to you all, the experts and fanatics, what should I do? Would I be wrong to take him in?
User avatar
mb606587
ADMIN
ADMIN
Posts: 933
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:11 pm
Country: USA
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Help me make an ethical choice?

Postby mb606587 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:59 pm

I mean if you're attached to it then sure I'm not going to demonize you for buying from a pet store. But by buying him, you already know another one will eventually take his place and you can't save them all unfortunately. If its just any Blue Tongue Skink you're looking for, I'll always say buy from a breeder. But if you have a bond with this little one due to working with it, I won't be the one to tell you not to. Just know the risks and potential costs with buying a wild caught animal, which it seems you do.
User avatar
splashy07
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2404
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:24 am
Country: USA
Location: Farmingdale,LI,NY

Re: Help me make an ethical choice?

Postby splashy07 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:09 am

I'm not an advocate of buying imports, but he is already here and there's nothing that can be done about that. By leaving him there he will most likely suffer rather than be brought to a good and caring home like yours. Take him. You are a saint for doing so.
Manny
Bluey Beginner
Bluey Beginner
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:25 am
Country: Canada
Location: Newfoundland

Re: Help me make an ethical choice?

Postby Manny » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:57 am

I agree with what both mb & splashy have said. Definitely two thumbs up for caring about the animals relying on you. While I am not a big fan of big chain pet stores and think they should be about supplies and not animals. I think individual stores need to be evaluated separately. Some have folks like yourself who care and can potentially effect change, yet it still depends on the mentality of your co-workers and boss. Which leads to the question is the neglect due to ignorance or not caring. If it is ignorance, people can be educated. Is your boss approachable about correcting care? Is your store open to inhouse education (this makes it formal and hopefully will ignite people to take proper care)? Are you willing to give lectures/seminars to your staff on proper care? WC animals are still going to be around for a while. So it takes in my opinion a two front effort. The 1st to make folks aware WC animals is not a good thing and the 2nd is until (if ever) WC animals are no longer brought in. Is to educate those who are charged with their husbandry. So that the animals have the best care possible in captivity.

Hope that doesn't sound too preachy. I admire that you wish to take that BTS home and give it the proper care it deserves. On the other hand I can't help but think, your not going to be able take every animal home that suffers at that store. Plus not sure the problem here is 100% about being a WC animal, it sounds more like a lack of proper husbandry for the animals at that store.

Just read through what I've written. As far as educating people about WC animals not being a good thing. I'm not naive enough to think that saying anything about it at the local store level will help and would suggest leaving that part out if your boss and co-workers are approachable.
asinglefork
Bluey Beginner
Bluey Beginner
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:32 pm
Country: USA
Location: GA

Re: Help me make an ethical choice?

Postby asinglefork » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:14 am

Manny wrote: Some have folks like yourself who care and can potentially effect change, yet it still depends on the mentality of your co-workers and boss. Which leads to the question is the neglect due to ignorance or not caring. If it is ignorance, people can be educated. Is your boss approachable about correcting care? Is your store open to inhouse education (this makes it formal and hopefully will ignite people to take proper care)? Are you willing to give lectures/seminars to your staff on proper care? WC animals are still going to be around for a while.


Unfortunately, I am quite literally at the lowest possible position in the company to make any sorts of changes. Corporate is unapproachable. However, my boss and our "reptile specialist" are open. I try to advise the "reptile specialist" as much as I can, but he is a very hard-headed and ignorant person, convinced that his way is best. He is the reason our desert reps are on sand instead of carpet. I've asked him to spray the BTS habitat more often and more thoroughly to try and maintain the humidity at comfortable levels, but he often forgets or doesn't care enough to do so. My boss respects my knowledge and listens, but he isn't hands-on with the animals and leaves it to the "reptile specialist". I do talk to the other employees about proper husbandry for the individual species and I try my best to research the species we get (we get some pretty uncommon ones like tegus, horned mountain lizards, emerald swift lizards, etc. Things that really shouldn't be available to the general public.). I really appreciate your feedback though and I'm definitely going to work harder on behalf of the animals.

mb606587 wrote:I mean if you're attached to it then sure I'm not going to demonize you for buying from a pet store. But by buying him, you already know another one will eventually take his place and you can't save them all unfortunately. If its just any Blue Tongue Skink you're looking for, I'll always say buy from a breeder. But if you have a bond with this little one due to working with it, I won't be the one to tell you not to. Just know the risks and potential costs with buying a wild caught animal, which it seems you do.


I know I can't save them all, and that's what breaks my heart the most. Typically the BTS that arrive at the store stay there for months at a time because they're so expensive, so it's not often we get them. I've been working at my store for over a year now and we've had maybe 5 BTS come through the store. Thank you so much for your thoughts, it's helped me make a decision.

splashy07 wrote:I'm not an advocate of buying imports, but he is already here and there's nothing that can be done about that. By leaving him there he will most likely suffer rather than be brought to a good and caring home like yours. Take him. You are a saint for doing so.


Thank you so much for your input, I'm going to be taking him home by the end of the week.

Again, thank you all so much for your input. I've been absolutely torn up inside about this guy and I'll post pictures once he's home!
User avatar
splashy07
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2404
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:24 am
Country: USA
Location: Farmingdale,LI,NY

Re: Help me make an ethical choice?

Postby splashy07 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:30 am

If they sit for a while your boss is losing money on them. Maybe he can be persuaded not to bring in any more because of that. You could suggest that in such a way that you are looking out for his business. And once again, kudos to you for saving/enhancing a life. Once they are in this country we cannot hop on a plane and bring them back to their origins. (They'd only be recaptured again and sold anyway). At least his life from here on out will be better than his past relationships with humans, and perhaps he'll forget all the bad.
Would love to see the little guy when you get him.
Manny
Bluey Beginner
Bluey Beginner
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:25 am
Country: Canada
Location: Newfoundland

Re: Help me make an ethical choice?

Postby Manny » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:43 am

Well my thoughts are with you. It must be difficult seeing what is going on and knowing better. I just hope it doesn't negatively impact you.
User avatar
Janella
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1209
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:52 am
Your Facebook name: Janella Poch
Country:
Location: Petersburg, Mi

Re: Help me make an ethical choice?

Postby Janella » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:48 pm

I say if you already want him and thought it out this much then do it. However, I also don't believe in supporting big chain stores. Good luck on whatever you decide.
asinglefork
Bluey Beginner
Bluey Beginner
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:32 pm
Country: USA
Location: GA

Re: Help me make an ethical choice?

Postby asinglefork » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:03 pm

I took him home! Here is the boy, named Kirishima. I don't have a picture of him in his new enclosure because I got him last night and he immediately went into his humid hide and hasn't come out yet (that I know of). This was him exactly a month ago when I first handled him to get the shed off his toes and tail and promptly fell in love with him. He is still underweight because they wouldn't let us feed him dog food (!!!) so he has subsisted on crickets, superworms, and greens until yesterday when I offered him some pate. Don't worry though, I'll have him up to snuff in no time!

skink.jpg


I'm sure you can see just how young and small he is, though. That's a large zoo med repti rock bowl.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
User avatar
Janella
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1209
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:52 am
Your Facebook name: Janella Poch
Country:
Location: Petersburg, Mi

Re: Help me make an ethical choice?

Postby Janella » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:08 pm

Well congratulations. Sounds like he will be in good hands and a happy skink soon enough.

Return to “General Discussion and FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests