Morph ID at PetSmart?

Intake logs vary store to store, some definitely kept them while others did not. Some had a detailed list of who/where the breeder is.


I have mixed feelings on it, becuase I’ve seen way too many people buying overpriced, unhealthy animals with unknown genetics and backgrounds from petsmart/craigslist and then turning around and breeding it. That type of thing just looks bad for the whole hobby/field. In the same way people sometimes lump backyard breeders/puppy mills in with reputable breeding of health tested, pedigreed animals to make all dog breeding look sketchy and bad, there’s a world of difference between “I’ve invested in this quality animal with x number of tracked generations from xyz breeder and am now going to breed it with the goal of making ___” and “I just found this cheap snake on craiglist/petsmart and now I’m going to breed it becuase I can”. That type of thing does reflect poorly on the reptile world. While our choices and actions are our own, as part of a community, they do reflect back on the community in either positive or negative ways.


My point being, positive and negative. I personally buy from breeders but I think people still go to hard on others for a decision one made in good faith. We’ve all started somewhere and made better decisions the more you learn. I dont advocate purchasing from a chain store but i will never be the guy saying “dont ever buy” or “you should’nt do that” because some people only had the option to buy from a chain. Ive sold animals and bought animals on craigslist too. I just think its not right for anyone to say its black and white on where one decides to purchase from. What im saying has nothing to do with someone breeding anything irresponsibly and that action is on the person and their character, not where they bought it from.

I will just drop this thread here if anyone wants to add anything

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There’s a lot I could on this subject, having worked in pet stores for 10 years including popular chains already mentioned.

For every healthy-looking animal you see on the sales floor, there’s another just like it, dead in the giant chest freezer each of these stores keeps in back specifically for dead animals. Dead animals pile up there until the vet comes to take them away for cremation. So, if you are considering buying a healthy-looking animal from a big chain pet store, or “rescuing” a not so healthy one, think about that freezer and all the animals that died so that you could have that one animal. By buying an animal, you are supporting an organization that kills countless animal through incorrect care, and all out neglect. You are funding that.


But that’s in someways like asking why you got into the reptile, fish or any type of exotic animal…
How many animals died in shipment or in cages from being wild caught or improper husbandry to become the trade we know today?

How many chodropythons were in freezers before established breeders found the proper husbandry and way to breed in captivity?
Heck, blue tangs have only been sucessfully bred in captivity since 2012, they were all WC like many saltwater fish.

Parti-color yorkies and double dapple doxies were culled from litters until breeders realized people would pay big money for a dog you can’t show.

This is the kind of **** PETA wants you to remember for everything.
The only thing you can really do is remember that some people who work/worked for those big box stores DO want things to improve and have tried to keep the animals as happy and cared for as they could. I know I did while working one. And remember that if you DO want to see change that there needs to be a bigger change than just " Eww, don’t buy there" because that honestly doesn’t change anything. The problem is people seeing the animals sold there as being disposable and that’s the major change needed to stop that from happening.
Dog becoming ‘part of the family’ and how cruel puppy mills are is the only reason pet stores are starting to shy away from selling dogs. It’s very unlikely that will ever happen in our lives with reptiles in the mainstream.

There are still issues with not all breeders being ethical in any space as well. Heck I remember one up and coming BP breeder saying his oldest BP is only around 3 years old and was selling ‘imperfect’ animals on this site. So even saying go to a breeder is sometimes a crapshoot.

I think that sums up the last of my thoughts on the topic.


I get what your saying but im speaking on behalf of people who dont know that. Plus, not every store is like that from my personal experience here in Florida, I’m sure there are plenty that are absolutely horrible. Again, I dont support those stores with the many years ive been keeping reptiles but many who started out with their first reptile had no other choices. I hope no one has taken my responses as argumentative as thats not my intent. Ive seen breeders with absolute horrid conditions but have fancy pictures on their websites.


It doesn’t matter if the workers in a pet store are well-meaning (which they mostly are), if the corporation they are working for doesn’t care, and is unwilling to adopt practices that would keep more of their animals alive. For example, if corporate directions call for 15 lizards to be placed in a 12" enclosure with no cover (real example), it is technically against the rules for an employee to split them into multiple enclosures. Even though the worker is well-meaning, there is a problem on a corporate level that is not being solved. This is what I am recommending that conscientious prospective owners avoid supporting.


It was honestly one of my new managers trying to run everything by the corpo books along with a change in housing that made me leave.
Before that I actually had the district manager trusting my judgement on the number of animals in cages and such. The only exception to it was the week before Christmas. My 2 biggest problems was algae and bladder snails. Or the cricket delivery getting busted open in shipping…

Again though, corps like them won’t stop until they can’t profit. Animals don’t make enough money and people don’t care enough to protest it like dogs. It’s not going to happen in our time because we’re doing everything we can to stop legislative action on reptiles because no one understands them properly outside of the hobby. Any action we see usually is to basically stop the hobby in it’s tracks, not support the actual care or well being of the animals.
Dogs are cute and fluffy friends. Inverts, reptiles and amphibians are scary or weird to them. A

Also it is a bit amusing still seeing brands like reptizoo and exoterra being supported in the hobby since any brand working with a big box is also part of the problem. That’s where the money comes from, not the actual animal sales. 3$ made on a beardie sale is nothing compared to what they make on the products. I’ve seen what sandfire charges for sales. Lol.


I agree and disagree. I worked in pet retail as a second job for nearly 20 years. But never in the box/big chain stores. We had animals that we strugled with and animals that thrived. Most of the animals we strugled with were due to poor import/export and wholesale practices. Most of the wholesalers are were concerned about inventory turnover. That often ment shipping out livestock before it was verified feeding and healthy. That leaves the chain and private stores to fend for themselves. Stores that have staff that know what they’re doing usually thrive and stores with staff that have high turnover rates or unskilled people and kids with little animal knowledge working for them have issues keeping animals healthy. Being one of the people that ordered livestock, it was easy for me to suggest preferred suppliers that provided healthy animals. But there were still exceptions even when we knew good wholesalers. Got to a point that we were only staffing people with good background with animals and fish, buying from reputable wholesalers and breeding some of our own livestock.


Interestingly, I’ve seen way more unhealthy animals sold at reptile shows than I have at big box stores. The problem in any animal breeding and sales situation seems to be more the attitude of the seller than anything. If the breeder/retailer cares more about profit than the animals, issues arise. The animals at my local big box seem to be in pretty good shape so I’m inclined to believe someone there cares. With MorphMarket and the number of reputable breeders, though, I don’t see why anyone would need to buy from big box stores.