Butte pet shop told to stop selling mice and rats

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jan 19, 2014 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014 11:09 am

Updated: 4:04 pm, Sun Jan 19, 2014.

Butte pet shop told to stop selling mice and rats

Associated Press |

A crackdown involving a 1977 law prohibiting the selling of mice and rats has taken a bite out of the bottom line of a Butte pet shop that sells rodents as snacks for snakes.

Fish Bowl pet store owner Mark Dawson said he’s sold rodents for 17 years and they account for about a third of his sales. He tells the Montana Standard (http://bit.ly/LBX1va) in a story on Sunday that he’s not selling snakes now either because he’s no longer allowed to sell their best meals.

“My shop has gone dead,” said Dawson, a Butte native. “I do get people coming in buying pet food but the people who own the snakes and reptiles, those are the clientele that spend more money.”

He said the Butte-Silver Bowe Animal Control on Dec. 20 told him someone complained a child had been bitten by one of his rats.

“I said, `Well, nobody handles my rats here, nobody other than the people who work for me.'”

The 1977 law prohibits selling mice and rats but has an exception for keeping them for legitimate scientific projects in proper facilities.

“We had a situation where someone was bitten by a rat and we determined where they got the rat and we do have the ordinance,” said Ed Randall, county director of community enrichment and animal control. “It may be a bit antiquated.”

Butte-Silver Bow Commissioner Brendan McDonough said he’s working to change the ordinance so mice and rats can be sold as “feeders.”

“This is just one of those instances that you never pay attention to or never think of,” McDonough said. “He (Dawson) has been doing this a long time and nobody has ever said anything to him about it.”

Dawson said that even if the law is changed he’s probably already lost his regular customers for good.

“I don’t know where they’re buying their stuff now but they’re not buying local,” he said.


Information from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Sunday, January 19, 2014 11:09 am.

Updated: 4:04 pm.

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