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Goldfish Rescue Organization?


Barney

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Well, after learning that my SIL flushed her beautiful white goldfish (which I would have gladly

taken), I started thinking about starting a goldfish rescue group. Basically posting on Craig's List or

other sites, asking people to surrender their goldfish instead of flushing them. I have a small house

but could fit more tanks.

The idea would be to adopt larger goldfish out to new homes (with a contract

requiring a lifelong home or return). The benefit to adopters is that they could find larger

goldfish that are more likely to be healthy. This would either be a total flop

(sorry, no pun intended) or I'd be overrun. I'm involved in other animal rescue, but can't say

I've ever come across a goldfish rescue group. I have experience grant writing so I'm even

considering becoming a non-profit so I could ask for donations and grants.

Obviously some concerns would be:

Determining the radius I'd rescue in, probably only 10-20 miles from home to save the fish the stress of transport

(although flushing must be worse).

Having enough tanks to allow quarantine while fish are observed for diseases.

Having enough tank space to allow at least 10 gallons each.

Determining whether I'd take other fresh water fish or just goldfish.

Determining when I'd try to save a sick fish or offer humane ideas at euthanasia instead (clove oil).

Finding adopters or pet stores to rehome rescued fish eventually.

I'd love to hear from anyone who knows of a group or has done something similar. I can't stand the thought

of people flushing. I let my poor niece hear it when she smiled about him being flushed. But you

could see something changing in her eyes when I told her what probably happened to him. He didn't swim

out to the lake to live a happy life. :cry1

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I used to have a petstore where we did this something like this. Please, really think it through. I'm not trying to discourage you; I'm hoping to help you get the real picture of what something like this costs a person in time, money, and most importantly, your emotions.

I guess I've seen what people do when their personal lives are out of balance because they rather deal with their fish instead. And ultimately, you cannot take care of your fish without taking care of your self first.

At the same time, I do applaud your creativity and willingness to *act*. Many people talk, but stay on the sidelines and complain. Your effort to do something about the problem is an admirable quality. Best of luck to you!

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!!!!

this

is perhaps

one of the best ideas

everrrrrrrr.

it's terrible what some people do to pets they simply 'don't want' anymore :(

and i'd be more than happy to help/donate/advertise for this if you decide to do it.

but like you said, there's a good chance that it might not really 'take off'....

hmmmmm.

i'm interested to hear what the other kokos members have to say about it.

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Oh my!

Sounds like a worthy adventure! Sounds like a lot of work and a lot of love!

I haven't heard of any goldfish rescues...but then again I haven't been looking either.

Maybe on some off chance you got this up and going you could invite school districts/classes or something in that vein to come "work" and learn about goldfish and goldfish keeping. They could help with cleaning tanks or filling water etc. Because having that many tanks would be hard work, but work done out of love.

I am going to keep my eye on this post and see what others have to say. Good luck!

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Thank you for all of the input!

Chichidongo, I definitely see your point. That's one of the things I've considered, will this take over my life and I'll wish I had never started? How often did you get calls for rescue? Did you have to turn fish away?

But, I feel like my calling has always been to save animals. In the last few years it's really been nagging at me to get going on it. I'd love to start a dog and cat rescue (I've been volunteering for years), but I don't have the facilities to have more, even temporarily. I won't be able to save every goldfish and will have to have limits, but if I can save a few I'll feel I'm doing something.

I can't tell you how my heart sank when I learned about my relative's fish. This was a beautiful, large, healthy white goldfish. She actually offered it to me and I said I was interested, but couldn't take it that day (having no idea it's time was short). I never heard more about it and just learned over Christmas that they flushed it. People who would never consider leaving a dog to die are willing to do it to the fish they were once excited to bring home.

Newbiefishgirl, I love your ideas. I thought this could go beyond rescuing fish, but also encourage responsible pet ownership, provide public education about goldfish, etc.. I'm not beyond activism either, such as organizing protests outside of fairs and carnivals if goldfish are being given away.

I'll give this more thought and try to visualize the day to day operation (and what it would cost). I really appreciate the encouragement and support!

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I think it's a great idea. It'd be a TON of work...but it's a great idea :)

I agree, look into it, consider all the details and if you think you're up for it, do it! If you do, I'm quite sure some of your rescues will find homes with koko's memebers.

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First I'm sorry about the white fish--maybe you could use his image as a mascot for your new fish rescue. Or it could be named in his honor so his life will still have meaning. I really applaud you for thinking about this and taking action. My heart has always been in rescue as well--I just can't stand the thought of someone hurting a helpless animal! I was able to take a rainbow shark that was destined for flushing last year. There was nothing wrong with him but the owners were moving and just didn't want him anymore. Anyway, he's doing great and I love that little guy!

HPIM4521.jpg

Rusty the Rainbow Shark

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There is a guy who give people like 10 buck for fish from people who don't want them anymore but its big fish any fish that's not a goldfish. He holds them in his 800 gallon tank until he finds someone that wants to buy them he calls the whole thing Monsterfish rescue you can google.com Monsterfish rescue and youtube.com it as well.

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There actually was a goldfish rescue group, and it could be found under www.goldfishsanctuary.com. Last I checked, the website was still up, but no response from anybody, and somebody told me that whoever ran the rescue couldn't do it anymore. They used to give goldfish to people who were able to give them a good, and lifelong home.

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Goldfish (or fish, in general) Rescue is a great idea - and is laudable. It is, however, not a project that you will, unfortunately, be able to pursue to any great depth. I have done goldfish rehab for a number of years. In my experience, the fish that people care enough about to get them to a "rescue" or to someone who can possibly "heal" them, actually CARE enough about the fish that the fish are SOMETIMES salvagable. But the most common reason that people give up on fish are that they have been kept inproperly - and great damage has been done to the fish. This damage is commonly not reversable.

Instead of a general "fish rescue", may I suggest starting a group such as we have? It is a GREAT success - and I feel has helped save the lives of a great number of fish. Our group volunteers at various pet stores and fish shops on one weekend a month. We only work maybe one day a month. We go to the store and are available to answer questions, do microscope examinations, diagnose, recommend products and setups, etc. The stores have become eager to advertise "fish days" - and the public response is tremendous. On a "fish day" we get a tremendous turnout. The stores have found that the sales skyrocket, the people get information, the proper equipment is sold and the fish are helped - they are not just impulse buys that end up being flushed.

I do still take a great number of "sick" or injured fish. Many are returned to their previous owners (they pay for the meds, treatments, etc.) or are given away after treatment, if they survive. I have had at least a dozen left on my doorstep - and one left in a leaking baggie in the mailbox in 90 degree weather! If you start this, you need to be prepared to be inundated. You also have to have a great number of small iso tanks/tubs - for every fish coming in will need to be qted. You need to have a method to sterilize all equipment between each and every fish - and a fairly deep budget for meds, treatments and such. It is not an easy job - nor cheap.

The majority of fish that I see are covered in parasites, kept in disgusting water until they are poisoned by nitrates/nitrites/ammonia, stunted, severely injured by heron (common pond fish complaint), have advanced fin rot, or are flipped from poor feeding or poor management of breeding behavior. If you are not going to be able to emotionally handle losing 85% of them, do not even start. It is not easy - and can really drain you emotionally.

You also have to be prepared to give fish away - ones that you have worked with for months and months - back to a fish shop who may sell the fish to another "idiot" who kills it. You will not be able to keep all of them - and homes for the fish are not always easy to find.

I applaud your desire to help. It is commendable - and I think you are WONDERFUL to attempt this. Just think it through, know your limits and go slowly until you discover what you can actually handle.

Good luck. :)

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A lot of really good points Daryl. People willing to flush probably won't have healthy fish, or even care enough to call me. I really like the idea of fish days at the pet store, sometimes I cringe at what I hear people say when they pick out goldfish.

I've been thinking about this all weekend. I put an ad on Freecycle to see what might be out there and lined up two ten gallon tanks as a start for quarantine. I'd like to run a small rescue, just take occasional goldfish when I have the space. But of course these things can take on a life of their own. My husband (who loves the idea) asked "what will you do if there are 50 fish left over from the fair, if you don't take them, they get flushed.". How can I say no? But learning to say no sometimes is so important in rescue.

Kristi, your rainbow shark is beautiful!

Chuck, I saw the Monster Fish site. He's doing a good thing. He also had some helpful information on his website. Thanks!

Ranchugirl, thank you for the link. Maybe I can talk to someone there and see what issues made them decide to close the rescue.

Thanks everyone for all of the comments and things to think about!!

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I think this is a wonderful idea as well, and often wondered if such a group existed myself, after I took in my little one-eyed rescue! I knew about Monster Fish Rescue, and wondered if any other fish rescue organizations were around.

I know there is probably a lot to think through, and it is sweet of other people to urge you to be sensible about such a project, but I think that anything worth doing is always going to be an uphill battle - that doesn't mean that you should't try, though. Think of all the things that the human race would not have achieved if we had been more "sensible" and not troubled ourselves with changing things! Just because it's hard work, doesn't mean the rewards can't be just as great.

Keep that inspiration and your vision alive, and you will find the help that you need to achieve your dream. Fortune favours the bold :)

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i have to say that i'm really excited for you and your fish rescue. i would suggest that, in your advert on craigslist, that you say you'll take any unwanted tanks, chemicals, or equipment, too. maybe some of the people who don't want their fish anymore will just give you whole setups, and you won't have to buy as many qt tanks. :)

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