Archived information regarding hermit crab welfare work done online, in pet stores and in the wild. Also discussions about the larger ramifications of keeping crabs as pets, captive breeding, etc.
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Call me callous, but I make it a point to return PetSmart crabs that don't survive the 2 wk. guarantee. I feel the store should be held accountable for the crab deaths that occur due to their negligence. I also believe that the store manager should be aware of the number of hermit crabs that do not survive this short period of time after leaving their store. Also, employees need to be very clear about the "death smell", so that they do not mistakenly throw out a molting crab, or one that simply doesn't move for a while.I value the life of each and every hermit crab I meet. Even when I try hard not to become attached to them when I first bring them home, the lil' critters always tug at my heartstrings. I want them to be o.k., but sometimes, sadly, they're not, and never will be.I had the misfortune of having to return 4 dead crabs over a 2 mo. period last fall. Each of those deaths occurred within 1-5 days after purchase. They all had crappy shells with cracks, holes, etc. Lack of ability to retain shell water, no water bowls to wade through, and 30% humidity, all on top of stress endured just getting to the store...They had slim chances at survival but at least I tried.I always make sure that the employees know that my eleven year old son and I are saddened by the loss of the pet, not the 5 bucks. It's not about the money! But if all I did was come in and buy a new crab, and said nothing about the one that we got to know for a short while and lost, then how would that help the situation? If I bring it back to the store, the next crab is listed on the new receipt as a replacement, which will go on record as such. The manager will hopefully make note of this, especially if it is a common occurrence.The good thing is, the PetSmart near me seems willing to listen an learn, and is making efforts to improve conditions. Not perfect, but a start.And about the term "replacement crab": No crab is ever replaceable. Neither store receipt nor all the money in the world can ever bring back any of the sweet little crab babies we have loved and lost. Each hermit crab is a special individual, with its own unique characteristics. Each has its own special 'forever place' in my heart.
I had a cute micro PP that died four days after purchase.I've already disposed of the body,but something that really ticks me off is that the employee didn't even mark him down on the receipt.But like tny said,it's not about the money.You've lost a precious crab due to the ignorance of the employees,and nothing can bring him back.It takes years for crabs to become old enough to make more crabs of their own and it takes a few weeks of abuse and neglect to wipe them out.It'll take several more years for Mother Nature to fill in the spot where that little crab was.I am going to mention this the next time I go there(and I'll be sure to find out what day they get their crabs so they don't have to suffer for so long)and give them a care sheet.If it doesn't look like it's doing any good,I'll write a letter.
I was only able to take advantage of this policy once, as the rest of my crabs that passed on made it past the 14-day mark. Including the crab that I got to replace the first baby that died. However, I absolutely do believe in returning pets if they die before the policy expires. I return broken or damaged goods to Wal-Mart without a thought. My pets are worth far more to me than a material object and I think at the very least the petstores should be accountable for the animals that they sell, and the care that they provide to them. That said, I did request that the manager return the crab to me for burial, and he complied. IMO the stores owe us at least that if we wish to bury them.
~ crabbing since 2003