RE: NANFA-- Humane Society for Fish

Shireen Gonzaga (
Fri, 28 Jan 2000 20:28:46 -0800 (PST)

> Maybe NANFA should found a kind of Humane Society
> for fish to give people someplace to "dump" unwanted

> pets.

That would work, if you had a warehouse and an
unlimited budget. Fish are not considered "real" pets
by many people. They're fascinating moving objects for
amusement, totally expendable. Fish pet abuse goes on
all the time--you can see it at Petsmart, in people
who have not cleaned their tanks in months and wonder
why the fish die, even at the National Aquarium in
Baltimore where large Groupers are kept in confined

I used to think about the logistics needed to set up a
shelter for fish, like they have for cats, dogs, and
ferrets. Something to do if I ever won the lottery.
Maybe I'll revisit it if I ever become a millionaire,
but for now, the problem is too overwhelming to

We could act as individuals. Take in unwanted fish
amongst friends, co-workers, and aquaintances. I've
done that in the past, and have found new homes for
the fish. But I would not recommend putting a
classified in the local paper. You'll be swamped. My
LFS has been very good about taking in certain types
of fish and even giving store credit in return--but
not everyone has an "Aquarium Center" nearby.

The *best* thing we can do is educate people--show
them that fish are animals that deserve as much
respect as dogs, cats, and ferrets. That's one thing
I'm trying to convey at the school I volunteer at.
Before I took over the tank, the conditions were just
appalling, and the fish were close to death. After a
lot of TLC and regular maintenance schedule, most of
the fish have recovered and the tank is in fantastic
shape. People are amazed at how little work--the key
being a regular maintenance schedule--is needed to
maintain a healthy system. Kids are seeing for
themselves what it takes to provide a humane and
healthy environment for the fish, and hopefully, they
take those lessons home and practice it for life.

- shireen

Shireen Gonzaga
Baltimore, MD
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