How about a page that people can see a list of mill breeders, to help people avoid these people/places
Because mill breeders
aren't all the issue. People like (PPP) Perfect Pocket Pets
and West Wind Critters (aka The Sugar Glider Shop, which is NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH EXOTIC NUTRITION'S SUGAR GLIDER SHOP-THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT THE SAME PEOPLE) are BROKERS who buy in bulk from the mill breeders
. They sell at Fairs (where Monster-aka Gina-or Sugar Monsters, Inc-who I have a joey from and I know some of you do also) got her first glider, so did I, so did a lot of members here...Gun Shows, Home shows, mall kiosks at Christmas (all of these are typical of West Wind Critters, aka Sandra Martinez, aka The Sugar Glider Shop on 9000 So. in Sandy, UT (Exotic Nutrition had the name LONG before she stole it), and she tries to pass herself off as a "breeder
", and it's a lie. She is registered on the "B" list at Aphis (after MY intervention that had her suspended for selling without a licence when she sold me my Riker...unfortunately, after a fine, she was right back at it...)
They say things like "they don't bite" (from a woman who uses a calming agent on her gliders, and WOE TO THE NEW OWNER when it wears off!), "they're easy to care for, eat things that you eat", "pretty much live in your pocket" etc., etc., etc.... they are unhealthy, frequently inbred or with genetic issues, dietarily deficient and within days of coming home have signs of neurological disorder, UTI, HLP, and a number of other conditions, any who have dealt with brokers that buy from mill breeders
cheap and resell for huge profit know the spiel..and because of current USDA law are incredibly hard to put out of business.
This is because mill breeders
(and where my Riker came from-Flying Fur Ranch-had over THREE THOUSAND BREEDING PAIRS when he was born) do not deal directly with the public in most cases-they deal through brokers like (PPP) Perfect Pocket Pets
and West Wind Critters, and PET STORES.
I'm sure there are a lot of brokers that pass themselves off as small breeders
that get gliders from these sources for resale, and we don't CLOSE to know who all does. I know for a FACT from Sandra Martinez that she paid $40 per glider...and sold for $200.00 to $250.00 per glider, plus all the extras. That was before I tipped my hand by doing a news spot the first year she opened a mall kiosk for ONLY DECEMBER. Her rebuttal? "I just want to share these amazing animals"....but she sold to IMPULSE BUYERS at CHRISTMAS-not who KNEW anything but to whomever had the MONEY and bought her lies about how to care for them.
MY OWN first glider came with a NUTCASE rotating diet
with not nearly enought calcium, hard pellets, supposedly first day pellets and apples, second day fruits, third day veggies (sound familiar to anyone??) and almost DIED from HLP SO BAD it twisted his back legs, spine and ribcage because he was so young and trying to grow so fast he grew crooked. He came home to me at SIX WEEKS OUT OF POUCH.
The mill breeders
have no scruples or qualifications not only on who buys their gliders, but on what age they ship them-I have known WEST WIND CRITTERS to have joeys young enough their tails aren't even fluffed (between 4 and 5 weeks OOP) and trying to pass them off as 8 weeks or older. I've also seen them trying to pass a male getting his bald spot as 8 weeks OOP that was MUCH too big to be that age. But to the uneducated.....
There are warnings out. There is only so far you can go alone before being dragged into court for something like Defamation of Character-and I have personally (carefully) walked that line. But it doesn't put them out of business. IF you get enough testimonials, plus proof, you have a chance at putting a mill breeder
out of business.
ALL THE USDA REQUIRES is "a ONE FOOT BY ONE FOOT CAGE" for a breeding pair; "adequate diet
"-which could be nothing but Cat Food and Water- that the cages be "off the floor" which allows cubes to be stacked on top of each other, etc.
IMO, the laws need changed, these conditions qualified as abuse, but also, the mill breeders
practices as to who they sell to for resale of these animals have to be curtailed. NOTHING regulates the brokers beyond the same USDA rules that allow the mill breeders
to operate in the first place. Not where they can sell. Not what information to give out with the animal. NOTHING.
If you want to look up licences, A LIST being a licenced breeder
, B list being Brokers, (and it was a HUGE mistake on the part of the USDA to allow that up to 3 breeding pairs require no licence at all, thus NO REGULATION WHATSOEVER) you can look at the APHIS website. BROKERS, such as sell at gunshows, fairs, homeshows, etc, are REQUIRED to be licenced no matter the number of gliders, are B LIST (or their licence number has a "B" at the end.breeders
are "A" list, their licence number ending in "A".http://www.aphis.usda.gov/http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/efoia/index.shtml
No Matter what West Wind Critters (or "the sugar glider shop")'s claims, they are B list and NOT A breeder
(they try and pass themselves off as)
Put it this way. My Commander Riker not only had severe HLP, he Self Mutilated (he is and always will be a Cloacal SM-if he gets a UTI or other pain he WILL TRY AND CHEW AT IT), he had recurrent sinus infections for over a year, AND he is on Thyroid hormone for the rest of his life. The fact he's now 5 1/2 years old is due to perseverence, the help of GC when he had HLP, Bourbon when he SMed, and learning all I could as fast as I could on veterinary medicine as pertained to gliders as all this happened, plus all the variables it MIGHT be while waiting on definite diagnosis. Learning the value of shotgun meds to buy time-as long as it won't hurt or cause permanent damage it's justifiable if it leads to the answer/treatment. The weeks on end spending round the clock care and learning to sleep sitting up in a chair ON MY HANDS so I didn't hurt him. Learning what is possible and what is not, what variables (such as the weight of the glider) is required for a blood draw for what tests... THIS is the legacy not only of mill breeders
but of rescue gliders. Know what? A LOT of rescues originate with mill breeders
, sold by brokers, the owners not knowing what to expect when they bring their new "pocket pet" home, and the glider going to a rescue or rehome broken, abused, neglected. Now you not only have the medical and dietary issues that came with them, you have a whole new dimension from an ignorant owners lack of knowledge.
The problem is, no one goes to Flying Fur Ranch, for example, sees the thousand plus 'cubes' of breeding pairs before buying their glider. If they did, this wouldn't be nearly the issue it is.