TAKING CARE: John Bailey from R & J’s pet store in Keen St Lismore, with their collection of fighting fish.
TAKING CARE: John Bailey from R & J’s pet store in Keen St Lismore, with their collection of fighting fish. Patrick Gorbunovs

Flushed with kindness

THE OWNERS of a pet shop in Lismore have asked Northern Rivers residents not to flush unwanted pet fish down the toilet or free rabbits or guinea pigs into the wild after the Christmas season.

Rheia and John Bailey, owners of R and J's pet store in Keen St, Lismore, will take back any unwanted fish, rabbits and guinea pigs free of charge and give them a second chance.

"We saw there was a great need in the area to re-house unwanted animals," Mrs Bailey said.

They only charged 20c a day for housing costs to those who would like to rescue the animals marked for adoption at their shop.

"We had a male guinea pig for adoption for a day, and he went on the same day so we did not charge the new owner anything," said Mrs Bailey.

She said that although there were some organisations that took unwanted dogs and cats in the area, there seemed to be no other service rescuing other unwanted animals, especially fish, in the Northern Rivers.

"Our number one priority is to offer a better life to the animals, not to profit from this," Mrs Bailey said.

There is a 20cm green Texas fish and a 15cm barramundi waiting for adoption at the shop.

The couple has owned the shop for four months, but it's been open for more than a month.

"My husband has been in the fish industry for quite a long time and we both have animals. Our number one motto is that animals that we sell are pets and we don't like seeing any of them hurt or mistreated," she said.

The rescue service runs all year round, with special emphasis after Christmas.



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