Note: This is a repost of a 2010 article that I wrote. It was previously removed in error by someone who was assisting me with the site.
My 3 year-old granddaughter went to a party this weekend and “won” a goldfish. I received a call from my daughter who was at a pet store trying to figure out what to buy. It was an interesting conversation because I knew that she had some preconceived notions about what the fish needed and she really didn’t want the fish in the first place but didn’t want to disappoint or upset her daughter.
Most people think that goldfish belong in bowls (why else would they call them goldfish bowls). They have this notion that goldfish do not require a large amount of water. Of course this is not true and although she has heard me say it enough, my daughter was definitely not ready to hear that they should have a minimum of 10 gallons per fish. She finally bought an aquarium that she felt was larger than necessary and I felt was too small but at least it was much bigger than she had intended.
After several phone calls (she lives about 400 miles from me or I would have gone over there), Rocky was set up in his/her new aquarium home and my granddaughter was happy with her new friend.
At the risk of sounding too much like an animal activist, I have to ask why do people have goldfish (or any animal really) as a give away at a party? I have often said, on this site and in other forums that you should research your fish before you bring them home but this goes beyond that.
This person not only gave away an animal to someone who knew very little about it (I am sure that there were some people at the party who knew even less and had fewer resources available to them than my daughter) but they also had no idea whether the person who would be receiving the goldfish even wanted to have it and would be willing to spend the money and time to properly care for it.
In the interest of fairness, I am sure that the person thought that they were doing something that the children would enjoy. The probably were trying to make the party a unique experience, but giving away animals?
What do you think? Should people give away fish (or any other animal for that matter) at a children’s party? Please leave a comment.