Advice on being more cold hearted?

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Advice on being more cold hearted?

Post by jencandy on Wed May 16, 2012 7:38 pm

Lol I understand how silly that sounds, but let me explain. I have a big heart when it comes to animals. Ill pick up any stray, help any way I can, etc. I just cant say no. So I went in to my local pet shop (whos ethics I completely disagree with as far as their live animals go) to pick up some chew toys for the mice, as Im doing a deep clean on all the cages today (which includes tossing old chews). My car has an axle issue, and this particular shop was on my way home, so I figured Id just get a few toys from them and call it a day. The girl in there knows Im running a "mousery", as I tend to talk a lot about my mice. Im not 5 feet in the door when she goes "Oh! I was hoping youd come in soon! We need your help". Not being able to imagine what they could possibly need, I follow her to the back. Apparently, one of the mice in their recent litters (they breed all their mice there) was mis-sexed, and has been in with her brothers since birth. They have no idea when this litter was born, even though its theirs (couldnt even give me a rough estimate on how old they are). Theyre pretty sure, given the circumstances, that the little girl is pregnant. They dont have a maternity tank for her, as they thought they werent going to be having another litter this soon. Shes very small, Id guess only 8 weeks old (but their mice are poor quality, she could be full grown for all I freaking know). So they asked me to take her while she finishes out her pregnancy (knowing I ALWAYS have extra tanks on hand in case of emergency) and bring the pinkies back to them when she has them, giving me the option of "pick of the litter" (no thanks) as well as keeping her if Id like. At first I was going to laugh and say no... I mean... How do you not notice that one out of the 4 mice in the male tank is NOT getting huge balls... for weeks on end. But when they told me that they were just going to keep her in that tank since they had no where else for her, my heart uttered the words "yeah, Ill take her" for me. I kind of gave them a lecture on properly sexing babies, and told them not to get in this habit, because Im not saving their butts the next time this happens. But I couldnt say no to her poor little face... On one hand, I know I saved her from a horrific pregnancy (and another immediately following, since they werent going to separate her from the boys), on the other... I cant save them all. And I feel like by saving "just this one" Ill be getting a call from the folks at the pet store soon, "hey, we guessed wrong again" ... And knowing my big heart, Ill go pick that one up too... So, any advice and being a little more cold?

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Re: Advice on being more cold hearted?

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Wed May 16, 2012 7:50 pm

Offer to be paid to sex all new litters, but don't take any more on! You are not the cleaning service, and if they want your help they will have to pay you like you deserve it! Just my two cents.
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Re: Advice on being more cold hearted?

Post by bethmccallister on Wed May 16, 2012 7:56 pm

For me it happened magically when I turned 30, hee hee.

Seriously though what happens if she doesn't make it...say there is complications and she needs to go to the vet or be put down. Then what? That would hurt a lot more in the end I think.

It's not so much that you need to be more cold or uncaring it just means that you need to think about the animals that you already are responsible for and then think if you really wanted to take on the responsibilities for someone else too.

The best thing to do is to make a promise to yourself to never make a split decision, try to sleep one night on it then decided. It sounds like you may regret it a bit and that's tough to deal with too.

You'll figure it out Happy
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Re: Advice on being more cold hearted?

Post by Love2read on Wed May 16, 2012 8:01 pm

To answer your question: DON'T!

Your kindheartedness is what makes you who you are. <3

Just do your best to avoid going into the pet store and if you end up un the situation again simply say "yes" and as you're walking out the door with your new furball be sure to shout back and let them know you won't be bringing her or her babies back. Wink
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Re: Advice on being more cold hearted?

Post by jencandy on Wed May 16, 2012 8:20 pm

Tinyhart, I couldnt agree more, and I said something to that extent. I believe what I said was "so you, as a professional business, are coming to me, a hobbyist, because you know that I am more prepared for your mice than you are? Isnt this what your employees get paid for?"

bethmccallister, I hope I dont have 9 more years of saving every living thing I find that might possibly need my help! lol And yeah, Im going to be pretty torn up if her and/or her babies dont make it. I didnt want this added responsibility, but kept thinking "if I leave her here, she will die. It will be -My- fault, I could have saved her". I know its their fault on a logical level, but emotionally, I feel like Im responsible if I have the opportunity to make an animals life better, and dont. As far as sleeping on it, that is a very good idea. I try to do that with impulse purchases, but never thought to do it with animals.

Love2read, I had considered telling them that they wouldnt be getting the babies back, but then I thought about it... I dont think that would bother them any. Then I have completely removed their problem, 100% free of charge. I dont really want to adopt the babies out through my mousery, as Im doubtful that they will be completely healthy. I dont want to gain that kind of reputation. Im pretty sure they arent getting her back though, Im already in love with her little face and her fuzzy belly. Ill probably end up in love with the fuzzy babies too when they happen... Hopefully I will have learned the word "No" by that point though...




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Re: Advice on being more cold hearted?

Post by jencandy on Wed May 16, 2012 8:23 pm

Oh! And when they gave her to me, They put her in a paper bag! Not even a cardboard container! I was supposed to drive home with a young mouse in a paper container... What on earth are they thinking... Apparently they send purchased mice home this way too! Luckily, I always keep a small "kritter keeper" in my car for rescued small animals (as well as leashes and stuff for the larger ones) so I put her in that... I just could not believe a paper bag too small to fit a soda can was supposed to be sufficient for a car ride...

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Re: Advice on being more cold hearted?

Post by bethmccallister on Wed May 16, 2012 8:31 pm

Wow, a paper bag?!? I wonder how many chew through that and end up running around the vehicle...eeech!

You sound like you've found your true calling though, perhaps you should go into rescue work, you can even get certified to rehab wildlife.
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Re: Advice on being more cold hearted?

Post by jencandy on Wed May 16, 2012 8:55 pm

bethmccallister, I would image about 98% end up chewing through that... Lol.
I tried rescue work for a while. I think Im a little too passionate for it. If someone called me and said "Hey, a tiger had babies in my front yard and the mom died, can you take 2 tiger cubs?"... Well, Id have 2 tigers running around my house until they ate me. (: I think for now, Ill get in the habit of buying mouse supplies online, going to a place like petco where they have back up plans for unplanned litters, or sending my boyfriend to go get the stuff. After a litter or two, I think Ill be less willing to take on any more animals. Right now, its all still new and exciting. I think when that novelty wears off, my heart will harden a little. I used to think "well I already have this amount of mice... whats 1 or 2 more?". Slowly my brain is shifting to "I used to pay this much a month for litter and food, and one or two more mice means now Ill be paying this much"


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Re: Advice on being more cold hearted?

Post by seafolly on Thu May 17, 2012 1:17 pm

I would have taken her as well. However, I would claim the babies all died (or were eaten or whatever) emphasizing she was too young. To return the babies means they profit off your care. You may be removing the problem for free but she benefits, and they don't get money from it. As for their futures, there's the option of selling them as feeders, or just making it clear you didn't breed them, they're rescues, so it won't hurt your mousery's reputation. Nothing wrong with taking in rescues! I'd assume it'd make you look pretty good. Happy
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Re: Advice on being more cold hearted?

Post by jencandy on Thu May 17, 2012 1:48 pm

Seafolly, thats exactly what I ended up doing. At first when I posted pics of her on the mouserys facebook page, I was like "we are NOT adopting these babies out, they are going back to the petstore, I want nothing to do with them." Then, not even an hour later, I posted an edit to the status, saying that if any of our friends wanted the babies, we would be happy to give them new homes, but that I wanted it very clear that they were not WLM mice, they were bred in a pet store and I just rescued the female.

As far as the pet store is concerned, If I decide to keep/rehome the babies, they can suck it. Theres no written agreement, and it was due to their lack of responsibility that caused this situation. The more I work with this little girl, the more I realize how wonderful she is. In less than 24 hours of being on a better diet, male free, etc. Her fur has thickened, shes gained weight, and she is excited to come hang out. Yesterday she looked like she had been fighting (as Im sure she didnt care for the 3 males constantly trying to bone her), was very thin looking and bit me twice (not hard, just nibbles). Shes made great strides since Ive brought her home. Its a shame I have to treat her like shes radioactive- Shes in quarantine, as I dont trust that pet shop to be disease free. I quarantine all new mice any ways, but Im being extra careful with her.

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Re: Advice on being more cold hearted?

Post by doganddisc on Thu May 17, 2012 2:12 pm

Repeat after me:

"I'm so sorry, the babies didn't make it..."

I would run off with them and never go back Happy

I have the same problem you do though. I'm a total bleeding heart. If somebody can't keep an animal, I always volunteer to take it, no matter how overloaded I am. Sigh. Love sure is expensive!
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Re: Advice on being more cold hearted?

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Thu May 17, 2012 3:22 pm

Woah...she is adorable!!! I really like her! I mighta taken her too... Sad


That being said, I think your goal of not actually going into that petstore is a good one, if it will keep you from this. Also, Beth is right, I've come to think about the benefits of adopting a new animal vs the stress of quarantine and what will become of my present animals if anything healthwise happens to them because of the new additions. I've rescued a truely bizarre array of animals, and some do not really give me a choice, ie, infants in the road, etc, but when it comes to pet stores I really try to take a step back.

There's a rescue near me that "saves" animals from petstores if they are beaten up or sick, they actually pay for the animal like it's a quality animal. They go and turn the shop in for having sick animals, but still, the idea of rescuing from a pet store has always struck me as counterproductive. The pet stores don't learn new husbandry methods and they get someone to clean up, plus the cost of the pet in some cases. (Did you pay for her)

Honestly, not returning the babies has several benefits, one of which being they may not trust you to do this for them anymore! Happy

That being said, I would definitely cull the litter, maybe even down to two or three does. This poor baby is much too young to take on anything, much less a full litter.
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Re: Advice on being more cold hearted?

Post by seafolly on Thu May 17, 2012 6:02 pm

I'm so glad! Big smile Everyone wins.

I do agree that there should be a cull. If you can manage it. And the pet store rescue debate is common in the rat world too. Most of us have to avoid the pet stores to avoid seeing a rat in distress because we will buy it and therefore support the purchase of more. I try to just talk to the managers when there's something obvious like a one eyed rat baby. Some of them see reason, that those aren't likely to be purchased for anything but snake food and will hand them over. It's worth trying. But avoiding them does help for those of us who can't resist.
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Re: Advice on being more cold hearted?

Post by jencandy on Thu May 17, 2012 11:21 pm

I definitely plan on culling most of the litter. Hopefully its a small one to begin with, as this will be my first experience with culling. It had to happen sometime, though. I suppose now is as good of a time as any.
And for those who brought it up: I did -not- pay for her. The pet store asked me to take her. Had they asked me to clean up their mess and pay for her, I would have laughed in their faces, lol.

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