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Whimz & PJs Pet Stores

August 14th, 2004, 10:10 PM
well, let me begin. last month we took the children to "fun in the sun" at mel lastman square (i work for a city day care). as u can imagine, there's plenty of activities, one of them is spending time getting to know some critters and other animals from this Whimz organization which i presume is a foster home for animals.

during the presentation, the lady showed the children, a dwarf rabbit, a newt of some sort, lizard, small snake, terantula, and a hedgehog.

at one point of the presentation, she said she HIGHLY recommands pj's pet store for purchasing these pets. she said if it looked like the store didn't carry them, you could always ask and often the store would find you the animal u were looking for.

now... i didn't speak up. i KNOW cats and dogs alike found in pet stores come from puppy mills.... but buying these other animals from a pet store... what are the downfalls? are there any? is there a decent place where u CAN purchase these pets...?


i look forward to clarification! Thank you! :)

Lucky Rescue
August 14th, 2004, 10:26 PM
You can get birds and rabbits from breeders, or even the Humane society.

Tarantulas :eek: like the Mexican Red Leg, are taken from the wild, as are many lizards and salt water fish, so I wouldn't buy them at all! IF you want a lizard, try and find some that are captive bred. I don't know much about that, having never looked for one.

Ferrets and rodents in pet stores come from mill type places, just like kittens and puppies.:(

August 14th, 2004, 10:30 PM
:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

so then practically every animal found in a pet store IS from a puppy mill/byb??!

:mad: :mad:

I should have said something... or maybe a lot it... :eek: but then the children would be staring at me!

:mad: :mad: :mad:

August 17th, 2004, 12:18 AM

I've found that stores such as PJ's have some pretty serious downfalls as to shopping for any kind of pet.

As for rabbits and other small animals, they are often shipped in small boxes/crates together and sometimes arrive at the store ill (because it spread from one to another), or injured. A breeder would have better conditions and be able to seperate and care for any ill animals. Even the local shelters seem to keep them in seperate cages, unless they are as pairs. From someone I know who used to work at one of these stores, often if they even did medicate the ill animals, they did so with a general antibiotic and without even knowing if it would help the health concern that was the issue (no vet check). Another sad fact is that often when an aniaml is too "injured" to sell, they will not even give it to a shelter, but rather put it down, instead of trying to find it a caring home (an example of this is putting a rabbit to sleep over a ripped ear, something that will heal but be visable, but not "look nice"). I'm not sure this is a policy with all stores, but seeing it in one store was one too many for me. I once offered to take a rabbit with a torn lip (it looked pretty nasty but the rabbit was fine) to find a home for it, but they said that they wern't allowed to give away "stock". I won't even tell you the response I got when I asked what they would do with him. But the real fact of the matter is if they had seen to this rabbit, the lip would have been able to have been repaired (but instead it lost proper blood flow and could not be fixed after a matter or days). They don't want to put more money into a pet than they will make off of it.

I've noticed for other pets such as reptiles and fish or newts the staff are often not knowledgable enough to give proper care (or proper care instructions). I once had some kid at the store tell me that newts didn't require any kind of heat source (cold water was fine) no source of filter or air supply (because they were compleetely under water creatures (none of which is true for these particular newts), which I hope if it were anyone else, they were knowledgable enough to know better and do reasearch on the pet they wanted. As for fish, the only fish I ever got from pjs died within 48 hours (I've had quality fish survive up to 7 years). And often again, they are shipped under poor conditions. Any reputable breeder would not sell to chain stores.

I always say that your best bet is getting your pet from a rescue, shelter, or reputable breeder (no mills). there are plenty of pets that need loving homes (even small animals; rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, rats,ferrets, and possibly more) in shelters. If you have trouble finding the pet you are looking for ina shleter, and decide to go with a breeder or small specialty shop, know the conditions to look for (such as, example: new fish stock coming in is first set-up in a quarantine tank and not sold until they are sure they are okay; or that the breeder isn't over-breeding, has good clean, properly spaced accomodations for the animals, and more). Know the signs of illness, and ask questions to make sure you will be happy and your pet that you will be getting will be healthy and has been well cared for up to the point of it coming home with you.

You'll find that often your average chain pet store such as pjs doesn't always know where thier animals are coming from, the proper information on thier care, and don't care where the animals go after they have been paid for in cash. For all they know, you could be a lab-reasearcher picking up 5 $10 rabbits, and as long as you pay them in cash, they likely wont care what you do with them. A shelter, rescue or reputable breeder will be more cautious of this and be a little more concerned with where these animals are going (and would be suspicious of such a purchase).

Just thought I'd add to this discussion, as I have never had a good experience with PJs. Always be cautious about where you get your pets. Even if you don't get your pet as a "baby" from a shelter, or don't know its full history, I figure atleast you are giving a deserving animal a secnd chance, instead of funding something that thrives off of making a buck or two at the cost of a mistreated pet.

I got my rabbit and dog from a shelter/rescue. I don't think I ever would have thought about going anywhere else. :o

August 17th, 2004, 08:03 AM
Of all the pet stores in the Toronto area, I think the PJs chain is one of the worst i've seen. We absolutely refuse to buy any supplies there even if it is the most convenient place. While few pet stores show proper care for their animals, the environments at PJs seem to be the worst of the worst. From a reptile perspective, which is what were usually looking at, we often see animals in dirty cages with the wrong husbandry. The health of the animals is always questionable. Given that purchasing these animals to save them from the neglect just restarts the cycle, all one can really do in good conscience is avoid the store and educate those who don't know better.

As to your question about small animals, I've even adopted hamsters from the pound. Just hit up or They have their small animals listed and they keep the small animal lists as up-to-date as the cat and dog ones. As for reptiles, there are rescue organizations around. In our search we've found that turtles and iguanas are readily available in the Toronto area. Petfinder doesn't list any snakes though (although they have some listed in other provinces) and i've never looked for arachnids. Perhaps a person might find one using other rescue sources like a herp specific website.


August 17th, 2004, 11:12 AM
Completely agree, I never go to PJ's they are very bad and always have been!

August 17th, 2004, 10:52 PM
whoowww, that lady! UH! :mad: (at Whimz)

thanx for the this INFORMATION, i really really appreciate it...

my dad's had fish practically his whole life, every time i went shopping w him, he ALWAYS knew far more about the fish than the employees.

now, he's into shrimps, goes into a store, checks them out and asks the price. most of the time, the prices are either outrageously expensive or the people dont know they could make a killing w this unique breed/kind of shrimp... and instead sell it to him dirty cheap... at least he's happy.

he reads all these books inside out, he's VERY knowledgeable on the water creatures. ;)

his fave place (i think) is that big al on kennedy rd in scar. :) (plz dont anyone tell me its actually bad there too... :confused: )

August 18th, 2004, 11:55 AM
his fave place (i think) is that big al on kennedy rd in scar. :) (plz dont anyone tell me its actually bad there too... :confused: )

Actually I don't find Big Als too bad of a place to get fish. I don't know about the scarborough place, but rather the one in Mississauga. But they seem to do the quartine tanks, and seems pretty knowledgable about what they do carry. And if an employee doesn't know the info, they go get one who does. My fish (everyone called him Mr. Pink) came from there and lived for 7 or 8 years! I think the only thing I don't like is that sometimes they house those mini water frogs (not sure of the correct name), with the little firebelly newts, and frogs tend to be biters, and usually injure the newts.

August 19th, 2004, 06:15 PM
thanx, we have gone the one in scar.... havent been there in yrs...


September 4th, 2004, 03:38 PM
I once bought an Iguana at a Petstore, they told me she would need a heat rock, and to feed her little bits of dog food,crickets, veggies and fruit. They told me she was a "common green". I followed their instructions and she got soooo sick, and her skin was shailing off :mad: . I took her to a Vet and he said she was not a "common green", but a way more exotic type (some kind of Tropical type, it was a long time ago and I can't remeber the exact name). He said she absolutly should NOT have a heat rock, as in the wild she would sun herself while lying on a large leaf. Her skin was literally being burned off her body due to the heat rock!! He also said the reason she had diarrhea and was vomiting so much was that she was a strict herbavore. Her body could not process the dog food (I tried 1 cricket once, and she wouldn't go near it!), due to the high protein and meat content. Once I took away her heat rock, and began feeding her a strict vegitarian diet (she LOVED strawberries, and certain types of flower petals!) she immediately got better!! She died a few years back, after a long and happy life full of Vegitarian delights, and no tummy-burning heat rock!! :p
Lesson Learned.... no matter what a petstore, breeder, SPCA says: Do your own research too. The animal you choose becomes YOUR responsibility to care for, and therefore your responsibility to learn everything you can to improve their quality of life!! :)

September 4th, 2004, 08:33 PM

that's a life lesson! thanx for sharing it w us... i know i'll always think twice and do PLENTY of reseach...

heh, this reminds of way back (3 yrs :p ) when i was at the animal shelter wanting to adopt CHOCOLATE.

the workers there were STRONGLY trying to discourage me from adopting him... they said he needs plenty of exercise (which is true), that he's a hound/hunting dog so he would howel at the door every day to go out, he'd be stubborn and pushy.. etc, etc. this was a 10wk puppy they were talking about!!

i went home that saturday evening but not before i told them i'd be picking Chocolate up first thing on monday morning. :D

i immediately did my "homework" and with each "exercise lesson" i reviewed, i grew to love pointers more and more. i anxiously awaited, and from the moment i got him all to myself officially, i haven't let him go! :D