If you’ve ever spent any time in pet stores or in the pet sections of big box stores like Walmart, then you’ve probably left with a bad taste in your mouth at least once. I mean, it’s kind of depressing to see animals trapped in tiny cages and aquariums waiting for someone to take them home. I’ve even seen dead fish floating alongside live ones at some stores.
Pet stores can be so bad, in fact, that some states are either outlawing them all together or enforcing a rule that states that only animals up for adoption from shelters can be placed in more traditional pet stores. Until we fix the pet store model, more stories of neglected animals are going to come to light.
One such story (which happens to have a happy ending) is that of a betta fish hovering near death at a Walmart store. Victoria Schild wasn’t planning on buying a pet when she entered the local Walmart, but then she saw the fish struggling to live and decided to try and rehabilitate the poor thing. Four weeks later, she was totally floored by the result of her good work.
When she walked by the tank, she thought, “I felt incredibly sad for the little guy and decided that I didn’t want him to die in there, just rotting away.”
She was almost certain that the fish would die that night, but she knew in her heart that she at least needed to try and save it.
“When I got home, I started researching everything that I possibly could to help him recover,” she said. Happily enough, the fish was a fighter! After just one week in a healthy environment, he was on the up and up!
His tail fins slowly started to regenerate, which made it so he could move around his habitat with ease. Schild was incredibly proud of how far her little guy had come.
In the course of a month, he was good as new! She named him Argo after the mythological Greek ship after his fins grew into beautiful sail-like form. We need more people like Victoria Schild in the world!
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