"Rescue" Tarantulas

Neonblizzard

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I've noticed on the board you will find that people see tarantulas in pet stores in sub par conditions and will buy them just out of pure sympathy for the spider.

What I'm wondering is, it's great that's another spider getting good care, but doesn't that just lead to more spiders being kept in shops in bad conditions?

I'm not sure the point I'm trying to make here, just wondering if anyone has any thoughts or opinions about this?
 

Ian14

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I agree, and it's a point I have regularly made with reptiles. While you maybthink you are doing the right thing by taking such an animal, all you are doing is enabling the shop to keep more animals in sub standard conditions.
 

LucN

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For my part, the LPS did have Ts on shallow sub, lots of crix running about, but they did have a water dish. Once Chile stopped the WC market of G. rosea/porteri, the LPS simply stopped stocking Ts, but they are open for special orders for specific clients, myself included. None of the Ts purchased there were rescues, they were purchased because I desired them. The exception is how I came to own a T. albo. The former owner simply got bored and dropped her off. The LPS manager knew I was a big fan of Ts, so he allowed to take her free of charge. Probably the best thing that happened to me concerning Ts. Not colourful, but they are always entertaining at feeding time.
 

organgrinder79

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I’m guilty of this I’ve rescued many from certain pet stores but yes that is a problem so I don’t even go into the stores anymore
 

Tarantuland

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I don't think buying from a retailer can be considered a rescue. Yeah you might be giving it better conditions, but it's not a rescue if it's from a pet store. They might restock might not, but the big box stores probably will.
 

Poonjab

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I just buy T’s when I see them at great deals. If I don’t, some other dingleberry will
 

Sambro

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Also done this, I had two Juvi G.Pulchripes that I purchased from a local pet shop. The owner was a keeper too and these were two double slings that he already had in his collection. They had been kept in two small pots with not enough height for substrate, a place to hide and even missing a water dish. They were very skittish when I first re-housed them but have really chilled out and are always out on display. I just felt so bad for them poor T's that I just had to purchase them. Wasn't a bad price either, I think I paid £30 for both.
 

matypants

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I bought my porteri and avic from a pet shop. I thought at the time “not changing the world, just changing the world for THAT spider”. Now I have a different mindset. I don’t contribute to poor petshop spiders being re-ordered. I hate it but it is what it is. I can’t save them all.
 

Neonblizzard

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Thank you everyone for your replies! It's an interesting thought because local pet stores are the place most people see tarantulas for the first time and it catches their interest, so maybe they are just a necessary part of the hobby.

I suppose you can see all kinds of animals in pet stores in sub par conditions, not just spiders; but they are still the place the vast majority of people get their pets from.
 

spideyspinneret78

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Unfortunately it's just a crappy situation all around. You see a tarantula being kept in terrible conditions and want to help, but at the same time it's only perpetuating the problem. Ultimately the best thing we can do over time is to buy from reputable breeders and from shops that take good care of their animals, avoiding wild caught specimens that are sick and kept in terrible conditions. It sucks, and I really do wish that subpar pet shops would take better care of their exotic animals, or just stop selling them entirely. If large corporations won't change their practices, then I think the next best thing we can do is to educate the public directly and encourage responsible pet ownership....a tall order but better than doing nothing. It saddens me greatly that some people view exotic animals like reptiles, invertebrates, and some aquarium fish as disposable when they are living creatures that deserve the same quality of care as any other pet. Then again a lot of it is ignorance too. I see this sort of thing all the time in the veterinary field. Sorry for my rant!
 

IzzysKeeper

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I've noticed on the board you will find that people see tarantulas in pet stores in sub par conditions and will buy them just out of pure sympathy for the spider.

What I'm wondering is, it's great that's another spider getting good care, but doesn't that just lead to more spiders being kept in shops in bad conditions?

I'm not sure the point I'm trying to make here, just wondering if anyone has any thoughts or opinions about this?
Hello again. :cool:
I agree that pet stores need to be responsible, and just buying pets out of sympathy will not "help" the overall situation.
But what can we do?
Offering some advice. (Please note this is not all the information out there, just what I have used)

After I picked up my rescue from the "mom and pop" pet shop, I reported the shop, as I noted a number of big problems.
And I will REPORT any shop that doesn't operate within proper standards. Granted I'm not in pet shops very much, but if I see it, I report it.
I am an activist and animal advocate. If we don't speak for them, the abuse will continue.
Maybe nothing will happen, but at least morally I will do my best to make sure shops that practice this abuse STOP!

In the USA all pet stores are covered by federal law, especially if they sell exotic animals to the public, and need to maintain standards.
State and city laws apply too, but they vary.

Complaint form here:

State and local laws here:

U of M has a site that details out where reports can be made also for city and state areas:

Born Free USA has contact information based on where you live for state lawmakers, etc.

Now, that being said, I know there are states where T's are banned, but we still own them, and they are still sold.
I can't really offer advice in that state situation. Because pretty sure reporting would mean confiscating and destroying. Sad!
I just wanted to be able to offer a little information on reporting, because where we are 1 we are many.
Speaking up for all creatures eventually will help see changes. At least that is my hope.
Best wishes all. Thanks for making this topic. I think we have all fallen victim to sympathy pets at one point or another.

Bless us all for saving them. :angelic: :kiss::kiss:
 

cold blood

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I've noticed on the board you will find that people see tarantulas in pet stores in sub par conditions and will buy them just out of pure sympathy for the spider.

What I'm wondering is, it's great that's another spider getting good care, but doesn't that just lead to more spiders being kept in shops in bad conditions?

I'm not sure the point I'm trying to make here, just wondering if anyone has any thoughts or opinions about this?
no, the t dies there, its the same as a sale, it just gets replaced. Only the t loses if its not bought, and thats not fair to the t.

Dont feel guilty for rescuing a t.
 

Jumbie Spider

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I always feel like I am rescuing a T whether I buy it from a big chain store or from a private breeder.
 

spideyspinneret78

Arachnodemon
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no, t dies there, its the same as a sale, it just gets replaced. Only the t loses if its not bought, and thats not fair to the t.

Dont feel guilty for rescuing a t.
You definitely have a point, and there was a situation last year where I just HAD to rescue a T because it would've died otherwise. I think it's just important to support responsible captive breeding efforts as much as possible too.
 

CommanderBacon

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I've bought exactly two spiders from the LPS chains and I don't consider them "rescues" but I did buy one out of sympathy because I had PMS. Another time, it was simply a really good deal.

The thing is, these stores are not going to stop carrying tarantulas for any ethical reasons, or keep them "properly" because they want those spiders visible and the people responsible for setting them up are reptile specialists. There will always be low information buyers who purchase them on impulse, and the store will sell them all sorts of stuff they don't need, because that's why those tarantulas are there. It doesn't matter if we turn our nose up and refuse to buy them.

All we can do is take other action - write to their corporate offices complaining about their sale or how they are kept, public shaming on social media platforms, etc. I do this all the time. I should have a Karen wig.

In any case, if the tarantula is in bad conditions, a person might feel like they're rescuing it. I think the concept of "rescue" re: the purchase of spiders from being kept in poor conditions is nuanced and specific to each individual. I might feel like I'm rescuing a spider from a bad life in poor conditions by purchasing it, but I am clearly purchasing it. It's not like I'm adopting it from the shelter or a tarantula rescue or something (is there any such thing?).

I think this is an over-discussed topic that keepers will never agree on, in any case.
 

Ceymann

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Having worked at an exotic pet store throughout my highschool years, you won't/ hardly ever see a LPS giving a T proper husbandry, esp with fossorials and aboreals, its hard to sell a container full of dirt. Which is why you will see them being kept on less than an inch of substrate and many aboreals cramped into short deli cups with no hide.
Doesn't make it right, but that is the explanation, in many cases its not due to lack of education of proper husbandry, its all about sales. Even slings in many cases will be kept in dram vials with no substrate at all, just a meare tangle of moss so you can see it.

You somehow boy-cotting buying Ts from a store that does this isn't going to help anything, in fact if an experienced T keeper doesn't buy it, it will either die and get replaced like coldblood mentioned, or almost worse some yahoo with zero experience and knowledge is going to take home that cool looking C. lividus or P. metallica put it in an unsuitable enclosure with no hide so it can always be seen, then show off to their friends how "evil" their pet spider is by taunting it/ terrifying it, eventually get bit and possibly wind up in the ER which can lead to bad press regarding the hobby.
So please do, visit your small business pet shops ! buy Ts from them, you should have zero guilt doing so, in fact that T is lucky that it goes home with you and not that idiot thats going to kill it or get bit.


That being said, I dont think places like petco/ petsmart has any business selling reptiles or Ts, I think they should stick eith their big money makers like Petfood/ supplies, plus I think it is terrible that they are driving small but cool mom/ pop petstores out of business.

/ rant
 

Ian14

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Messages
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no, the t dies there, its the same as a sale, it just gets replaced. Only the t loses if its not bought, and thats not fair to the t.

Dont feel guilty for rescuing a t.
I disagree.
There is a huge difference between a sale and a loss.
If the animal is sold, the shop recovers the cost it made of buying it in PLUS a profit. The mark up that pets shops make is obscene.
However if it dies, the shop has lost that money. And so therefore less likely to replace it.
 

liquidfluidity

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Aug 12, 2020
Messages
137
I'm also guilty as charged. I got back into the hobby because of a rescue. A. avic with 4 legs. This spider was going no where and in the conditions it was being kept, it would have died before it's next molt. The 1st molt it had for me, it actually gained all 4 legs back. 2nd time, you couldn't tell it ever had an issue.

This was from a lps and not one of the chains. I don't mind rescuing but I can't bring myself to purchase without knowing exactly what it is. The chains here use random common names and no Latin name is provided on top of not knowing it's origination.

I have since stopped looking since, as said, buying an injured spider or one being kept sub par, just makes a space for a refill. I can't justify that.

It's just a no win situation....
 

joossa

Arachnoknight
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Nov 21, 2020
Messages
182
I disagree.
There is a huge difference between a sale and a loss.
If the animal is sold, the shop recovers the cost it made of buying it in PLUS a profit. The mark up that pets shops make is obscene.
However if it dies, the shop has lost that money. And so therefore less likely to replace it.
True, but let's face it, a major chain pet shop is not going to be made or broken by spiders that do or don't sell. Ts are very likely less than 5%, of not lower than all of their sales.
Get people to boycott dog and cat food and then they'll be in hot water
 
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