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Posted by jason harlow on April 14, 2003 at 20:43:24:
In Reply to: Re: The real problem... posted by Bill Moss on April 14, 2003 at 19:39:21:
I simply sent a strongly, professional sounding letter to the editor of the paper in which the story appeared. Public knowledge that he is mis-representing his products should be enough to make him change his ways...or at least one would assume so.
:I think everyone would agree that this is the way is *should* be - but the fact is that it's not. I think there are two issues here. I agree with John here that the consumer has to take some responsibility for their own actions and do at least some basic research. I also think there should be some action that one could take to ensure store owners do not pass bad information.
::I don't agree. If you're selling an animal to the public at an establishment designed specifically for the purpose, you owe it to your consumer to be informed about its care and requirements in captivity. So either the owner had not done the research himself - which is irresponsible - or he had done the research yet chose not to provide accurate information. The owner was quite specific on this point, implying that he was familiar with the argument and that he knew better.
::Pet stores are the last "barrier" between pets and the general public. It is their moral obligation to ensure that they hook up appropriate customers with appropriate animals. Most of the problems of people buying inappropriate animals can be traced directly to the place they bought it from - and that is often a pet store. Many regard pet stores not just as a warehouse full of stock, but as an establishment providing a "reliable" source of information on pets. There are pet store owners out there (I know, I've met them) who refuse to sell animals to people who aren't suitable charges, but they are the exception rather than the rule. If these people can make appropriate moral judgments, why not the others?
:::Unfortunately, the shop owner is not the problem. I think he's conducting himself like your basic salesman and saying anything to make the sale. In the case of the article he was just performing damage control to protect his business. I'm sure that if you contact him, he'll say that he was either misquoted or he'll politely thank you for the information and then continue to conduct business as usual. The real problem here is the consumer buying animals that they haven't adequately researched.