Soooo I’m at a bit of an ethical dilemma here.
One of my co-workers in my stress lab is an interesting individual with hardly any work ethic (she’s on the cusp of being fired as we speak), and she tends to overshare.
Well one of her stories today was that her boyfriend (someone who she willingly shared was a lazy alcoholic who does nothing for anyone), found a cool lizard online to buy. She mentioned that it barks, and I asked to see a picture, fearing a disaster. Yep, he wants a tokay gecko.
I politely mentioned that these lizards are very often spicy, rarely handleable, and should not be considered a first time reptile. I asked if they knew anything about the care requirements, and she said they had a fishbowl they were going to add a top to (??).
I, again, as politely as I could mentioned that this was probably not a good idea, and I would recommend not purchasing the animal. She said it was fine, as he went through phases and they would just get rid of it when he was bored of it.
I have no idea what to say to her that remains professional and polite, while also getting the point across that I want to bonk her on the head and put HER in a fish bowl.
If this couple buys a reptile, it will die, and probably not quickly. I’d love some tips on how to politely discourage a reptile purchase.
It seems to my that your co-worker is extremely hard headed and nothing you say will even get within 20 feed of her brain. I would say that once her boyfriend gets bored of it that you will pay her for it and that you want. They after you acquire it you can drop it off at a rescue. Sure you will be losing some money but it seems a lot better than them releasing it into the wild and it dying, spreading disease to native reptiles, and/or even coming invasive (I don’t know where you live lol)
I can’t imagine staying with either of them, they are both super neglectful.
That’s part of the reason she’s close to being fired, we work in a rat lab and she skimps out on feeding and watering the rats which is her SUPERVISED JOB, so I can’t imagine how a pet would fare.
Honestly not a bad idea. My concern would absolutely be with them releasing it, and with a certfied central ohio winter on the way, that tokay wouldn’t make it most likely. And if it did? Cool now its invasive.
Honestly though considering the stories about him and what I know about her, they’d try to handle it, it would bite as tokays do, and they would fling it. This is just such a terrible situation.
I know I hyperfixate on what animals I want to buy, but I keep it really under wraps and have never impulse bought anything, so I had no idea that this is what it looked like at the other end of the spectrum
For more context, apparently his uncle owns an exotic fish store, and every few months this guy wants a cool new fish, gets one for free from the uncle, and he just replaces them as they die under his care. There is already a bad pattern in place which is why I’m so concerned about trying to convince them away from a reptile.
I not going to lie, them getting bit as quickly as possible is probably a good thing so it can get out of there care. Sucks that there is a chance it will get hurt but a fish bowl?! Also they are super easy to care for and can be tamed down with PROPER and slow socialization (you know if you do end up falling in love and want to keep it )
Also I completely forgot that we were state neighbors lol.
I’m the kind of person to not sugarcoat it and would just be like, “You’re going to kill this animal if you get it. These are not toys or decorations, they are not disposable, and to get one would be subjecting it to a cruel, agonizing death.” These kinds of people to do not understand politeness or gentle coaxing. Sometimes you just have to give them a verbal slap.
I’m getting really close to the verbal slap, especially since I get to see her treatment of animals on a daily basis, I just wanted to see if MM folks had a magic sentence that could solve this before I got blunt.
I’m also terrible with confrontation
I vote for the advice @noodlehaus gave you as being the best. People who are so wrapped up in themselves and what they want have no regard for anything else. I don’t believe you @cmills would be able to reason with this girl. In this situation your only recourse is to be blunt with her and tell her in no uncertain terms that the only “pet” they deserve is one that is stuffed and the only living thing that should be stuffed in that fish bowl and left to die is her and/or companion, like a pickled herring! (I used part of your words……)
Unfortunately if you offered to buy the gecko if they ended up getting one, you would be enabling them in a sense because it sounds like they will continue with this sickening cycle. Unfortunately this kind of thing goes on everywhere and we are helpless to stop it. If she does happen to get fired at least you won’t be subjected to this kind of heartbreak until the next “throw away pet” person comes along……
I feel for you @cmills. I can’t even watch the ASPCA commercials on tv. I change the channel every time……
I think this is unfortunately my only recourse, I feel so bad that I can’t do more to stop this, but it really feels like the pet store betta fish situation. You don’t buy the sad little fish, they die in the cup, but if you do, the pet store buys more in bulk because they have a customer base.
Plus the dude seemed to want the animal because it was aggressive (like the description of the lizard was that it barked and attacked, which is how I correctly guessed Tokay), so I absolutely believe he’d try to get something hot at some point.
Like that Snake Discovery story of their FWC that was sold to them because the guy found out it wasn’t a real cobra and super venomous, so he didn’t want it anymore
Good old Rodger
But at least to me it seems like no matter what he will buy another animal so you might as well help one right? And if he does get a hot than I hope he gets bit. Nobody deserves to be on this earth if they treat animals poorly (a little bit extreme but you get the point)
Ugh, I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this, @cmills. This woman and her boyfriend sound awful. I hate it when people treat animals like disposable playthings, it’s absolutely disgusting. And you’re correct that if this woman can’t even do the bare minimum to care for the lab animals she’s being paid to care for, a pet in her home isn’t going to last long.
Unfortunately, there may not be much you can do. It doesn’t sound like this woman is the type to listen to advice, and at the end of the day, they’re going to do what they want to do. So I think it’s important to recognize that this is likely beyond your control.
But sometimes I’ve had some luck in getting people to at least recognize and respect reptiles and/or inverts as living, breathing, feeling animals by comparing them to much-beloved species like cats and dogs. Ask her if she thinks it would be okay to keep a cat or dog in a too-small cage that doesn’t meet its needs, and then to just “get rid of it” once you “got bored.” And if she agrees that wouldn’t be okay for a cat or dog, ask her why she thinks it’s okay to treat a gecko that way. Of course, given what you’ve said about her and her boyfriend, maybe they do see cats and dogs as disposable playthings too, in which case there’s just no reasoning with them.
I think this is kinda where I needed to accept that I might not be able to do anything. She was shopping online for puppies yesterday, and I mean shopping. I’m a huge fan of adoption, and also of working with proper breeders if that’s what you need. But she was online looking at puppies and asking me if she thought they would be boring after a while.
I think I’ll have to accept defeat here, but I’ll still try to at least interject realism where I can. I don’t think she’ll be around in the lab much longer, which is nice, but at the same time, now she’s left out in the world without anyone telling her no
I believe that if these people continue to buy animals with their “disposable pet animal” attitude, eventually this will get them into trouble in one way or another. Unfortunately there has been and, more than likely will be, more animals to suffer at their hands until they get caught……
@cmills we can only hope but we will probably never know…….