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freda 07-20-2009 08:01 PM

Bad Hedgehog Conditions in Pet Stores
What do you guys do?

I'm on vacation, and I stopped into a pet store (just to see if I could pick any little things up for Gordon's arrival) and I found a tiny wire cage with two 13-week old male hedgehogs housed together. They had a small mesh wheel and a shared igloo that had no top. There was a water bottle and no food dish.

My dad was in a rush since we were driving back and all the store workers seemed to be busy so I didn't really have time to tell them about everything they were doing wrong (I'm trying to find contact info online now - I'll probably call tomorrow and have a talk with someone.. you think someone who starts a pet shop must care about the animals enough to do what's right for them, maybe they just don't know what hedgehogs need?).

I'm just curious, what do you guys do when you see hedgehogs in pet stores that are in awful living conditions? Maybe I should print out a hedgehog care sheet and bring it with me everywhere, just in case :lol:

Hedgiepets 07-20-2009 09:29 PM

Re: Bad Hedgehog Conditions in Pet Stores
Giving them a care sheet might help, but most pet stores are set in there ways. They don't care about the animals, just the money the bring in. Most pet stores give bad advise also.

NoOther1 07-20-2009 09:41 PM

Re: Bad Hedgehog Conditions in Pet Stores
that is so true. My cousin works at our local pet store and I was really astonished to see how they don't take care of the animals

they put all the hedgies in the same cage (they do their own breeding, I'm sure the male and female are bro/sis). Also, the male misses like half of his quills, he looks very unhealthy

like hedgiepets said, they don't really care about the hedgies or other animals. They just can't take the time to socialize with each single creature in the pet store even if every pet should be picked up and familiarized with humans before they're sold

it's really sad :(

soyeah 08-23-2009 11:45 PM

Re: Bad Hedgehog Conditions in Pet Stores
I know this is an old post, but...

I contacted the USDA when our store began to carry hedgies. I called the petstore and asked some basic questions... all of which they answered incorrectly. :roll: i also asked them if they had a liscense to sell them to which they stated they "didn't need one." Which is false, of course. So.. i e-mailed the USDA and no more hedgehogs in our petstore! :)

hedgielover 08-26-2009 10:46 PM

Re: Bad Hedgehog Conditions in Pet Stores
I got really mad one time at a pet store in the town where my parents live.

It was not about hedgehogs but about the mice. I was watching the mice play, they looked healthy and happy and I was satisfied until I saw that there was a male in the cage with a group of females. I got really upset. I found a guy and asked him if he knew that he had a male in with the females. His response.
"yeah we did it on purpose, people want to buy pregnant females"

Are you kidding!!!!!! I couldn't believe it. If you were buying mice for your kid or even for yourself and had never owned mice before would you really be prepared for a litter and a bunch more mice than you had planned for. How much you want to bet that the store employees don't warn people that they are buying pregnant females. Not to mention that the females are probably too young to be having babies in the first place!!! And that if any of them have babies before the employees notice they are pregnant the babies will be eaten by the father. GRRR!

I put down my purchase and walked out without buying anything.

gyaku 08-27-2009 09:17 AM

Re: Bad Hedgehog Conditions in Pet Stores
I would say there are many pet stores that think they are masters of pets, though there are some that will cooperate when given imput from pros like you guys I got PJ's pet store in my area to change and it wasn't too hard. The stuff they where feeding Sonic when I got him was Dietary Hedgehog Food, quote "This food has been modified for FAT Hedgehogs, and does not meet requirements for regular hedgehog growth." If you want I could get the stats for it as well. Plus they were using corn kob since it was cheap, now I got them to change it to aspen and if they are older the 8 weeks the hedgehog gets his own cage. This wasn't me change the cage issue, they had two hedgehogs fight to the death, and it was the store manager that changed this. They did also change the hedgehog food to something a bit more better, though its not the best... Anyone know how one can get Spikes Delight in Alberta?
PJ's Pets Londonderry doesn't do their own breeding, though the breeder does do it for money so I don't think she worries about having bros and sis mating which as we all know is wrong, plus she currently has no license to breed. Currently here you only need license to sell, and the laws about selling exotic pets are not strict enough here, the most they can be fined with is $500, and that would be on the 4th offense of breaking the animal act, though if it were dogs well there is no limit. Sometimes just talking with the store manager will make him change sometimes you get people that are so stubborn that you have to take legal action to change. I admit I am still an amatuer when it comes to hedgehogs, but some of the things many pet stores do it WRONG!!!

Keep in mind if you have a PJ's Pet Store in your area, there is really not too many guide lines on hedgehogs. The only ones are:
1st: has to have a wheel of any size. I have seen some places that have some so small only a babe gerbil would fit.
2nd: has to have food and water provided at all times. Usually they go for what is the cheapest and has the most supply.
3rd: has to have a house that can fit at least 2 hedgehogs. Though with the ones they use ventalition is a major flaw that can be easily adjusted by drilling some holes in the side and at least 4 on top.
4th: has to be in the store for at least 24hours before being sold to get used to surroundings. This fourth rule is commonly not followed since hedgehogs are very popular in my area, and most of the time if they don't stay for 24hours usually they are very aggressive, and don't bond so well.

Those are all the rules they have to follow in PJ's Pet Store Alberta, they may differ between provence/ state.

hedgielover 08-27-2009 11:22 AM

Re: Bad Hedgehog Conditions in Pet Stores
Those are some pretty lame rules. But the PJ's in my area doesn't even have a wheel in their hedgehog's cage

The problem that I have with pet stores it that they put hedgehogs in the small pets section (which ok technically they are) which leads people to believe that their care is similar to that of say a hamster or a rat or a guinea pig. When really it's completely different. They need a heat source, they need insects (preferably live) in order to have a balanced diet. To me they are more similar to reptiles than they are guinea pigs or other small pets. I think this is a big problem because people who are in the small animal section looking for a small tame snugly pet buy hedgehogs without really knowing much about them, and thinking that they will be just like a rat etc.

gyaku 08-27-2009 01:05 PM

Re: Bad Hedgehog Conditions in Pet Stores
Still many places call them "Rodents" when they are more closer to dogs, the four rules I put up previously is for Alberta only, and there isn't really any punishment for not following it. Hedgehogs can't live a herbivor diet, and most pet stores think that hedgehogs are herbivors which is false information, also pet stores tend to think they need a mineral stone as well, which again is false... I have a small one that I give to Sonic once a week so he can chew on it a bit, though not for long since too much salt can be very toxic.
I am saying their treatment of many animals is right, but PJ's is better then some other pet stores I have come across.
Also is it just me or has PJ's started selling only "Super Mealworms" rather then regular and the super mealworms. I went to get some more yesterday, and all they have is Super mealworms and that's all they can order from the supplier?

The main reason why I got Londonderry to change is mostly thanks to you guys and my connection with the store manager, she got a hedgehog and noticed that their food is really poor quality. Also Pretty Pets really does taste like cardboard...
I think they should change but for some like West Edmonton Mall it will take a court order and/or a lawsuit filed against them via the board of Animal Rights for anything to be done about this issue...

Its not just for hedgehogs though, even Guinea Pigs I have seen put into very small cages.

hedgielover 08-27-2009 02:01 PM

Re: Bad Hedgehog Conditions in Pet Stores
Pet stores just frustrate me in general and I try not to shop in them. Places like Pet Value and other stores that do not sell animals are much better. unfortunately it's not always possible to get what you need from anywhere but a pet smart or a PJ's. I agree that PJ's is better though.

gyaku 08-27-2009 02:42 PM

Re: Bad Hedgehog Conditions in Pet Stores
Pets Mart as I am aware is newer then PJ's, and so far as I have found Pets Mart only has one location that sells hedgehogs, and that's only certain times of the year. PJ's tends to be a bit more cooperative, kinda like they want to change, but never got the right info to begin having a hedgehog safe cage. However there are still places that demand they know everything, but yet don't even have anything to show for it really.

Hedgehogs in my area sell fast, moment they are in the cage, they are gone asap. At least they are smart enough not to use pine shavings. The one in my area uses aspen shavings.

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