Fish Mart has greatly expanded its small animal department as well as investing in all new state-of the-art housing and air quality control.
We also completely rewrote our Animal Care and Maintenance Manual, using what is considered by most in the industry as “best practices.” This goes above and beyond the high expectations of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), who licenses, regulates, and surprise-inspects us on a regular basis. Our care goes above and beyond what we have ever seen written in any legislation or for any pet shop, wholesale, or breeding facility.
While we are proud of this, for us the bottom line is that the animals we are entrusted to care for get all their needs met and more.
• They are all housed so they are not overcrowded,
even mice and rats.
• They are given premium bedding.
• They are provided premium food and supplemental food specific to each animal type.
The level of cleanliness and regular sterilization is akin to a laboratory. Any animal that may be ill or injured is immediately isolated and treated by our dedicated veterinarian who is always available. And our staff is trained and experienced in proper animal care.
What does all this mean to you?
We think it means that you are guaranteed the highest quality animals available! We deal only with breeders who meet our rigorous requirements for health and quality. From their direct delivery to our facility - though some animals are still flown in to airports where we quickly pick them up and bring them back to our quarters, the animals receive only the very best of everything, including monitoring their lighting to keep them as de-stressed as possible.
Of course, this high level of care does cost money! Several who responded to our survey commented about the prices being a little high on some of our animals, and I hope this brief explanation addresses those comments. I must add, however, that we have reduced prices on guinea pigs and some hamsters; and we will continue to do what we can to make sure all our animals are "right priced". I would be remiss if I did not add here that demand is increasing for small animals, and the supply is not increasing equally. This, too, can play a role on animal prices (though we are not the ones making the extra money, the breeders are!).
There were also some survey comments about animals sometimes getting sick after delivery. Let’s talk about this. Of course, nearly all the animals we carry are babies. We do have minimum weight and age requirements that our breeders adhere to, but again, the consumer demands baby animals.
Because these are babies, much as we do in our power to reduce shipping stress, there is some stress, obviously. Enough stress will cause certain hamster types to develop wet-tail; or guinea pigs or ferrets to develop a cold. Again, Fish Mart does everything we can to reduce the shipping stress on our end. All animals are shipped with food, potatoes and carrots or other food to make sure they stay hydrated and well-fed. Our drivers are scrupulous about placing the animals on our trucks so that they are not exposed to too much heat, or too much air-conditioning or too much draft. The drivers regularly check on the animals throughout their delivery day to make sure they are doing well.
We know and understand that right-pricing and animal health are very important! We hope we have given you some insights into what we do to assure we can consistently supply you with both.