the pet market

If you want to buy a PET (chǒng'ér 宠儿) in our massive city - you obviously go to the "pet market!" Well, of course you can find random pets sold (mostly in the springtime) on busy corner streets out of cardboard boxes, but most often - you drive across town to the BIG open pet market! Justin had been there before, and I was kinda jealous! If you know me, you know my love for animals!! Justin told me that it was a huge sprawling market with cages of all kinds of animals to buy. It sounded kinda exciting to me, so I begged for him to take us there as a fun family outing. You know, an adventure?

So we made our way to the north end of town, which took a seriously long time. We wandered around the massive rows of store shops, asking for directions to this 'market.' Finally we found the entrance (and took a picture of course), with excitement mounting.
Now this picture doesn't really capture the grandiosity of this market - but it is HUGE! This first walkway opens up into more aisles, jam-packed with cages, tanks, and hundreds of individual shops; each specializing in a different species of animal (like a pet flea market!). There were squirrels, chipmunks, hedgehogs, chinchillas, rabbits, guinea pigs, snakes, lizards, fish, hamsters, rats, mice, chickens, parrots, and every color & size of bird, cat or dog! The selection alone is amazing. We wandered about, taking in all the sights, sounds and SMELLS. Poor Asia has a sensitive nose. She could not stop complaining about the smell.

And momma has a sensitive heart. I wanted to rescue these animals from their cages and set them free. Most of the conditions were filthy and cramped, and we even saw an entire cage of hedgehogs eating one of their friends. I was shocked and horrified. What started out as a fun family outing, became a traumatic event. I don't think we will be buying any pets from there (not that we want one yet), or visiting again anytime soon. Still, I am glad we ventured to the pet market!! It was interesting, and even though it was hard to see animals like that - I am sure it could be worse. This dog (pictured above right) became the girls' favorite! I never knew they would choose a massive DOG!!