Wow. USA Today recently ran an awesome article exposing pet stores for what they are: corrupt, cold-hearted, unregulated, predatory businesses that sell sick animals from despicable puppy mills and unscrupulous breeders (as if there's any other kind of breeder!).
And the author knows what she's talking about—she's a vet. She's seen her fair share of pet store "widgets" with severe congenital defects and other ailments.
In other words, if you have the time, patience, money, and space necessary to care for an animal, high-tail it away from the pet store and head to a reputable animal shelter.
Have your new pal spayed or neutered immediately if he or she hasn't already been sterilized, and do everything you can to be the best guardian you can be.
When you've mastered that, go out and help other animals in your community too.
Oh, and while you're checking out the USA Today article, consider posting a comment telling the author how much she ROCKS!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.