If you bought it, it’s not a rescue- it’s a purchase.
If you walk into petsmart/co/land and see a sick animal and exchange money to take it home you are NOT rescuing. You are making a purchase. That purchase unfortunately has a very short term effect- it has the awesome benefit of improving the life for one animal… but it’s not helping the long term issue.
When you hand over your hard earned cash to save one you see in the displays, you are directly contributing to them putting another animal in the same spot. It’s economics! Supply and demand! Your money tells them “hey people are buying our product! We need more!!”
Then they put another animal in the same habitat with the same conditions previously.
I know it is difficult, but sometimes it is best to not bring them home. Instead, contact the manager directly and see if they will accept help. If they don’t, which is many times the case for the poorer taken care of stores, then you can contact corporate directly and explain the situation. Although not 100% successful, many times they will take care of the issue.
Now I know what you’re thinking- you have to pay for an adoption/rehoming fee from rescues and shelters, so what’s the difference?
The difference is in where the money is going. In a pet store situation, the money rarely goes into improving the conditions of the current stock of animals since many of the chain pet stores believe they do not have to provide adequate housing and correct husbandry because “it is the animals’ temporary home, not their forever home.” In a store situation, you’re handing your money over to line the CEO’s pockets.
However, in rescues and shelters the funds are allocated back out to the animals to improve their lives and to be more effective in taking care of more animals in need.
So if you are looking for a rescue type situation reach out to your local rescue organizations, but please, don’t continue to give your money to a store if they aren’t caring for their animals well. Please don’t just ignore the issues either- reach out to the appropriate authority to help change the way the animals are cared for.