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Do not buy from petsmart or petco

Discussion in 'Debatable Topics' started by Digger&Blinky, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. Digger&Blinky

    Digger&Blinky Member

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    They abuse all animals if you buy anything from there i garuntee you thers a high chance it will only live 2 years
  2. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Many posts have echoed that basic thought
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  3. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    That is very sick and sad. However, I wish it was someone other then PETA reporting it. They are animal abusers and killers themselves.
  4. cmac3

    cmac3 Well-Known Member

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    Do you have proof this is from petco or petsmart?
  5. Alexio

    Alexio Active Member

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    At the very beginning of the video i started to wonder if these were the types of videos Tom was talking about in another thread that are staged by peta with sad music, to make people feel a certain way. At the end i was not disappointed when i saw who did the video.
    It hard to say for sure if these clips are even in the same facility or who's facility it is.
    Its horrible the way the pet industry keeps animals, but if you think cows, chickens, pigs, or other livestock that is bread for us to EAT is raised in a way any differently to this you are mistaken. We live in an overpopulated world that is filled to the top with profit mongering capitalists.
    It wouldn't surprise me at all to find out there were worse conditions out there either. We live in a sad overpopulated world that is only going to get sadder and more overpopulated.
  6. cmac3

    cmac3 Well-Known Member

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    Perfectly said!!
  7. Tortoisefanatic88

    Tortoisefanatic88 Active Member

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    That video is horrible. I always see 1-3 russians in a 10-20 gallon tank and feel so bad for them :(.
  8. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I am figuring you are sharing a video you found on the inter web on yourtube. How did you find out this regards PetCo and PetSmart alone or at all?

    I don't like what I saw in the video, but there are some things that indicate (some parts in the video) that it has nothing to do with animals sold in the US. They may not even originate here as many US species are also bred in the 1,000's in other countries. And those that originate elsewhere may have been sold elsewhere. It is clearly not acceptable.

    It's never good to see any animals piled up, it's always a cringe moment for me. A sphincter muscles tenses at those images.

    However their is no narrative that indicates the who what when where how or why. It's pure propaganda at the further expense of the animals so we might be compelled to give that corrupt organization some $$.
  9. TheSulcata

    TheSulcata Active Member

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    That is very sick. The only animals they treat decently at pet stores are the cats and dogs, and they are still very sad. Idk how people can work there. I went to pet co the other day to get crickets for my bearded dragon and saw three Russian torts in a 1x1 enclosure. They were scrambling all over each other and I even saw one flip over (he righted himself again, luckily)
  10. Crazy Tortoise

    Crazy Tortoise Member

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    Damn I really dislike pet smart but if you dont really feel like ordering a spray bottle or a tank online then pet smart can be useful for that but they need to stop selling animals and the big company that give them the animals are the real tortures, I got all my animals from a old friend who breeds almost anything which is a good option
  11. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    This is an extremely inflammatory and false assertion. "They" most certainly do NOT "abuse" "all" animals. This is not true in any way shape or form unless your point of view is that of an animal rights extremist whacko that believes any form of captive care is abuse, no matter what. If that is truly your POV, this discussion will go nowhere. There is also no possible way that you could predict the lifespan of animals purchased there. There are many long term captive russians from decades ago still alive and well that originated from these two stores. I've purchased fish and reptiles from Petco that lived for several years.

    I'm not saying that either of those stores sets a good example of how to care for a tortoise in the long term, but that is not their goal. Their goal is to provide customers with a pet and the needed supplies, and make enough money to stay in business and turn a profit. Nothing wrong with any of that as long as the animals are treated humanely in the process, which they are. Should a russian be housed in a little tank with a ramped water bowl? Nope. But putting it there temporarily while it awaits sale is not "abuse". Its practical.

    Don't slander people who don't deserve it, and don't be a puppet of the animal rights groups. Use your head.
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  12. KevinGG

    KevinGG Well-Known Member

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    Not temporary if buyers are misled to believe it is proper care. Kind of surprised to hear this from you. Not your anti-animal rights group sentiments, but your defense of petco/petsmarts tortoise treatment. Especially since you consistently urge people to build large enclosures, criticize the bad information that is commonplace at these chains and, from our few conversations on the forum, disapprove of taking animals from the wild when unnecessary. Forgetting subjective vocabulary like "abuse", why are you okay with those actions when conducted by petsmart, but not okay with those same actions when conducted by forum members?
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  13. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    A pet store is only meant to have them for a few days. A new owner is meant to care for them properly for years.

    One is a temporary holding situation, the other is a permanent home.

    It would be nice if every pet store everywhere set up every single animal exactly as it should be set up by the prospective new owners, but that is not realistic or practical in any way. The resources and space to do that would increase costs by a factor of 10. Just guessing at that number. It might be significantly more. Would you walk into a pet store and pay $1500 for a russian tortoise that had a nicely decorated, well planted, 4x8' enclosure for each tortoise and a large weed garden out back where they were growing plantain, mallow, dandelion and other weeds for them to eat. Imagine the space and resources that would take. Imagine doing something like that in CA with all of our anti-business laws and taxes. The reptile section alone would have to be nearly as big as the whole store is now. No one would pay that much. I wouldn't.

    Also, I have no problem taking animals from the wild, as long as it is done in sustainable numbers and we aren't harming the species as a whole or causing massive damage to wild areas in the process, and as long as the animals are cared for properly, handled and shipped humanely.

    It is one thing to say: "I wish these pet stores used bigger enclosures, and I wish the kids working there knew more about tortoises". I would agree with that statement. But to post a misleading, vague, animal rights video and state "They abuse all animals if you buy anything from there i garuntee you thers a high chance it will only live 2 years", is an entirely different assertion, and I don't agree with any part of it.
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  14. KevinGG

    KevinGG Well-Known Member

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    My point was that they are espousing bad information which is probably followed by most new owners who buy from them. It is counterintuitive to new owners to think that the place selling them animals is incompetent which makes these conditions not temporary for many animals.

    I think you're being overly dramatic. Won't get into politics because I believe we aren't supposed to (and I disagree with you) but it's much more nuanced then you are leading people to believe. Why do we have to go to the full extreme? They could do some research today and drastically change the lives of their animals without increasing their overhead drastically. Larger enclosures doesn't mean they have to have the greatest enclosure. Better diet doesn't mean they have to start a garden. We all understand why the chain stores don't treat their animals properly, but profit margins aren't an excuse for malpractice and spreading misinformation. That's lazy business and lazy thinking.

    Well we don't know how they are shipped, but didn't we already establish that they aren't cared for properly? Wasn't the point of your last post that it isn't proper, but practical? I disagree with you here also. I can't reconcile advocating for captive breeding while supporting importation of wild animals.

    I agree, that poster was dramatic, but again "abuse" is subjective. He might be using "abuse" to state that they don't care for their animals properly. Can't defend the death within 2 years part. Think he/she got carried away.
  15. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    No argument that they typically espouse bad info, and that they could do significantly better with a little effort. But this is not what the OP said. I'm addressing the OP and his/her opening statements. Being ignorant of proper tortoise care and making your pet store cages too small, or smaller than what we think they ought to be, does not constitute "abuse". Both of those stores have trained employees that care for those animals all day long. Exactly how they are caring for them is a subject that no two people are likely to agree on, but its not "abuse".

    Very gray area here. I don't disagree with you entirely on most of this and I would like to see them stop with the ramped water bowls and fruity pebbles, which are presumably in there because they sell them too. Again, I would run my pet store better, and so would you, but its not the abuse that the OP is accusing them of.

    Some of us do know how they are shipped, and it doesn't look like what is in that video.

    Cared for properly? This is debatable. I don't think we established any such thing. Could they do better? Yes. Absolutely. So could I, and so could you. Is what they are doing abuse. No. Not in any way. Is the care they offer suitable for this particular situation? I say yes it is, but, like you and everyone else on this forum, I still wish it were better than what it is.

    I have no idea why you think a person can't advocate for captive breeding, but still be okay with limited numbers of WC animals still being imported to keep bloodlines fresh and varied. The two things are not mutually exclusive and really have nothing to do with each other. I would love to see a day when enough russians are CB that we don't need any more WC animals, but that doesn't mean bringing in a few WC animals each year is a bad idea. I think CB animals make better pets for the "end users" in most cases, but we still need a steady stream of WC animals to make this happen and meet the market demands. We can advocate captive breeding and still be responsible enough to import limited numbers of WC animals annually.

    I think "dramatic" is putting too nice a spin on this. This "abuse" label is thrown about far too cavalierly lately it seems, and this needs to be called out and stopped every time. Like the video of my friends trying to get the well trained and highly prepped, water loving GSD to jump into its own pool from a different angle, and being dragged through the mud for it. That was not "abuse" in any way shape or form. By that definition anyone who "forces" their dog to take a bath is an animal abuser. We don't have enough jail cells for that many animal abusers!

    The OP didn't state that these pet store chains should do a better job of providing their animals with more space and better food. He/she stated "abuse" of "all animals", and that is 100% completely wrong, false, untrue, not accurate, and frankly absurd. I now people who work at these stores, and we even have forum members who work at these stores and none of them "abuse all animals".

    I think the OP got "carried away" with each word of this post, not just the 2 year death part.

    Finally, in closing, thank you Kevin for taking the time to discuss this with me. I appreciate the opportunity to clarify my points, and to better understand your points.
  16. KevinGG

    KevinGG Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps "abuse" brings images of an active effort to hurt animals, so I won't use that word. I would use inhumane and unsuitable as synonyms. What, in your opinion, would constitute unsuitable circumstances for tortoises? It seems that, short of using a shoe box as an enclosure, nothing is unsuitable. Only differences in opinion. I do view Petsmart/Petcos husbandry as unsuitable. There does have to be some threshold for care. I've maybe visited two dozen of these stores around the country and the care is almost always the same. 2-3 square foot enclosures, pellet diet, ramped water dishes, dry 1" deep substrate and occasional hides. It's very hard for me to understand why this isn't unsuitable.

    People can advocate for whatever they believe is right. I can't advocate for wild caught animals that aren't needed to start assurance colonies. I can't believe we need more Russian tortoises (or any tortoise commonly found in a petco or petsmart) to keep bloodlines fresh. We have to have had thousands imported already and every year thousands captive bred. I think the truth with wild caught animals is that they're cheap and require no long term care from the seller. Market demand can always increase. When do we decide to stop removing animals from the wild?

    In the thread, "Ploughshare", when talking about turtles being exported to China from Louisiana, you said, "Stripping the wild of any species benefits no one." I agree with that sentiment.

    Perhaps, I can agree with that. What I dislike about this train of thought is that we decide that animals aren't being "abused" and then do nothing about improving conditions. Let's pick a word (maybe unsuitable?) and start to have conversations about how animals should be treated.

    Thank you Tom. It's nice to be able to disagree with somebody and still communicate.
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  17. Jrob

    Jrob New Member

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    I worked for Petsmart for a couple of years. I was the one who would answer all the reptile questions. It was hard sometimes because the best answers would be for products, they do not carry, but I did the best with what we had. There were a lot of reptile products I would have eliminated and added a bunch of others.

    I agree with what Tom said. It would not be feasible for a business to have huge enclosures, etc. Petsmart and other companies make most of their money on the supplies and not the animal itself.
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  18. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Hmmm… You've given me pause here. I've never taken the time to put pen to paper and really define what would constitute unsuitable or inhumane. I don't know that it is so easily defined. One can choose to focus on the shortcomings, or one can choose to focus on the things done right. We agree that these pet stores can do better. I will agree that the way these pets stores house these tortoises would be unsuitable and inhumane for the long term, but I don't find it inhumane or unsuitable for this situation. If a new member joined and said they were going to house their tortoise exactly as its housed at my local Petco, I would tell them that would be inhumane. However, as a temporary situation, I think its fine. Perhaps "good enough for the short term" is a better phrase, for how I feel about it.

    To put a strict definition on these things seems arbitrary and impossible to me. For example: If the enclosure is 36" long, and we set that as the standard of judgement, then we all agree it is ok. But if the enclosure is only 35 and 3/4", then its cruel and inhumane? Or how about a time frame: Its okay to house a tortoise this way for two weeks tops. So at 12:01am on the 15th day, what was ok a minute ago, is now unacceptably inhumane?

    I can look at a situation and determine whether or not I think its fine or not, based on many criteria and observations. I can even articulate why I make these judgements in one situation or another. But to write down precise measurements of enclosure size, or rigid time frames seems non-sensical to me. Here is one of my criteria: Is the animal coming to any harm? Is keeping that russian in that little tank for a few days or weeks going to do long term damage to it? You could argue that if it drowns in the stupid ramped water bowl, the answer would obviously be "yes". I could then argue that if it doesn't drown in the unsuitable bowl, then "no", no permanent damage was done, even though we all agree that the tank is too small for long term housing.

    At all of the Petcos that I have been into all over the country (I go there for food and supplies when I'm working out of town.) They are using damp coco coir or "Repti-Bark" with the russians. They tell me they soak them two or three times a week, and while I do see fruity pebbles, I also regularly see kale, collards, romaine, and my local one uses endive a lot too. The waters are always clean, and they check them regularly. I've never seen poop in a single cage. There is usually a light bulb over them for heat when I've checked… So food could be better, but its not terrible. They aren't feeding them strawberries, bananas and iceberg lettuce. The enclosure could certainly be bigger, but its not a shoe box, which is what I hibernate mine in. I hate those ramped water bowls for tortoises, but lots of people use those, just like lots of people still use sand in their substrate. I recommend against it because I think its a problem, but is the person who ignores my advice cruel or inhumane? I don't think so.

    This is true. People can and do. Doesn't make it right. Doesn't make it sensible. And it certainly doesn't mean its based on facts and reality vs. emotions and feelings of being more enlightened than the heathens who oppose them.

    We are going to disagree on this point. I have no problem taking from the wild as long as, as I stated in the ploughshare thread, we aren't stripping the wild of a species. Every year a number of red tailed hawks are taken for falconry. I have one now. Every year white tailed deer tags are issued and redeemed all over the country. Every year cotton tails, pheasants, doves, ducks, pigs and squirrels are shot and eaten all over the country. Fish are fished for. And Russian tortoises are collected from the wild and exported. I have no problem with any of this, and engage in some of it myself, as long as, our take doesn't harm the wild population or the environment. There are people who disagree with hunting on moral grounds. I'm okay with that. I don't wish to force them to hunt. I'm okay with people being vegans too. I only ask for the same consideration in return. Don't force your views on me with legislation and media propaganda, and I won't force mine on you. (Not you, Kevin. Just making a point about people in general here.)

    Its not a question of "need". Its a question of want. I could go to McDonalds for sustenance. But I'd rather have a venison steak that was grown and fed naturally out in the wild than a processed burger. I could order a filet o' fish, but a fresh caught brook trout living in snow melt stream water in the High Sierras tastes so much better and is so much better for you. I don't "need" to catch, kill, gut, and eat that fish, but I want to. I don't "need" pet tortoises. I want them.

    If you or anyone else would prefer the filet o' fish from Micky D's, or if you'd prefer an organic, cruelty free, okra and sesame seed arugula salad with a nice balsamic vinaigrette, I have no problem with that. You can have your salad, and I expect to have my fish.

    I understand your point on this. Like you, I do want to talk about how these pet store animals ought to be treated, and I do want to see these things improve. My main point for chiming in on this thread was to refute the "abuse" claims. I think I've accomplished that, and it seems that you and I mostly agree on this pet store issue, now that we've clarified some terms. If I'm understanding correctly, you find the current state of pet store chain tortoise housing unacceptable. You'd define it as inhumane or unsuitable. I'd agree with you completely if we were talking about long term housing, but as it stands, I hope for improvement, but I'm okay with these little tanks as a temporary holding area because it is supposed to be short term, and because the staff generally does a good job of looking after these crowded tortoises as they await new homes with better housing. I think this, and the issue of taking wild animals, are our main points of disagreement.
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  19. KevinGG

    KevinGG Well-Known Member

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    In regard to temporary housing, I'll rephrase. A wild tortoise is imported, sent out to a store somewhere in the country, and set up in a display case. Here it lives until purchased. For the sake of this conversation, lets call it two weeks. A well meaning, but uninformed person decides to buy the tortoise. (Im speculating that a large percentage of their buyers aren't experienced.) The young person in the blue shirt, who is presented as the expert on reptiles, informs her of the care requirements of the being. The care is simple. From a reading of the Petco care sheet (and Petsmarts isn't much better), it seems three square feet is adequate for an indoor enclosure, alfalfa pellets as substrate (because tortoises eat their substrate), and no basking area. Store-bought leafy greens, squash, and carrot sprinkled with calcium powder daily constitute a good diet with a fruit snack every now and again.

    I write you all of this because it leads me to conclude that, for a good percentage of tortoises, the display cases are not temporary. They are a two week preview of what life will be. If these pet stores, once an animal has been purchased, advocated for larger enclosures, proper heating, proper diet, proper substrate, it would be different. But they don't. And the reasoning, as stated by the pet store employee above, is that tortoises are a means to an end. They are an incentive device to buy the products these stores stock. And yes, to whoever is going to say it next, it is very practical. Doesn't make it right.

    In regard to defining care, the point is not to label people or corporations "abusers", it is to give animals suitable care. Its always arbitrary, but some criteria on this forum has emerged from the years of collective experience. Not that we all agree on every aspect, but we do have an idea of suitable care. For example, @Will uses, in my opinion, small enclosures for certain species of tortoises. I think he said 3' x 2'. But he still provides, correct substrate, lighting, heating, diet, etc. We've all used rubbermaid for quarantine, or hospital tanks, or separating a male from a gravid female. But we didn't abandon every other aspect of care in doing so. I think definitive is always incorrect, but at some point we have to speak out to improve conditions. Maybe it is similar to a gut call. More likely it is the confluence of circumstances or words that we haven't defined, such as 'temporary' or 'experienced keeper'. We may give Will a pass on his enclosures because he has worked with a multitude of species and has experience with what works well. We may also give certain temporary enclosures a pass. Is every other care aspect met? Good. For how long? A month? No problem. A year? You're pushing it.

    They are very clean. That is true. The Petco care sheet advised a once a week cleaning with bleach. By looking at both corporations care sheets, it seems Petsmart gives better care, slightly, which is in line with what I've noticed in store. (Petco seems to care for RES better though?) Ill admit that Ive rarely spoken to the employees about how they care for the tortoises in store, but Ive regularly asked them general care questions with awful results. Now that Ive read them, it seems they gathered all of their "expertise" from the store pamphlets. Even if the care you mentioned above was universal, my problem still lies with the idea that this is "temporary".

    You got me. Im vegan. Yeah, I think we may be doomed to disagree too. You have my opinion on wild caught already. Ill give you my standpoint on meat. Ill tell you what I tell my friends and family just so my opinion is out there. (Ill skip the health perspective which anyone can find courtesy of the World Health Organization.) If you choose to eat meat, fine, but give the animal the respect of being a sentient being. We seem to think of animals as product because the end result of "meat" ends up on our plate. In doing so, we doom their capacity to one of only death. In reality, the animals we consume arent much different from the animals we would be appalled at being consumed. Turtles, dogs, cats, horses are all consumed in other parts of the country. Lets not fool ourselves that somehow they deserve life more than a cow. If our opinion is that certain animals deserve to be eaten, then that sentiment shouldn't be balked at when applied to other animals. Don't get me wrong, my opinion is that no sentient animal should be killed, but the hypocrisy of most people I know is unbearable. Ill quote Matthieu Ricard, 'We maintain a kind of moral schizophrenia that has us lavishly pampering our pets and at the same time planting our forks in the pigs that have been sent to the slaughter by the millions, even though they are in no way less conscious, less sensitive to pain, or less intelligent than our cats and dogs." This in no way states that people who consume meat are evil, which is what is usually taken away. I still feed my dogs and turtles animals. I used to eat meat daily. These are the facts of the matter. This is merely a plea to be more conscious and to do the best you can.

    I also usually ask people if they would kill the animal they are eating. Clearly Tom, you would. I think that is a good policy. I would implore one not to, but if need, or want be, then kill the deer yourself with the understanding of its true capacity. If one should refuse to kill an animal personally, and instead buy meat at the store, then visit the slaughterhouse.

    No need to start a debate on this, unless you feel you have to. Just thought I'd voice the other side of this issue.

    I think you're right. We are pretty close in regard to tortoises. You understand my position perfectly. To take it a step further, we can agree that these stores should be implored to do better, no? Im not sure what that looks like, but just holding that question might be good enough for this moment.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
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  20. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    In biopharmecutical research (among many users of research models required by law) there is a book called the "Guide for the care and use of Laboratory Animals". Free copy here - > https://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/guide-for-the-care-and-use-of-laboratory-animals.pdf

    It is for the most part regarding mice and rats and also to a great extent it is how I have seen these rodents cared for by people who use mice and rats as a food source for their pets that eat them.

    Keep in mind that is for two very similar species. It is written by vets with much experience and to some extent enforced within the industry as results based on modeling that don't follow those guidelines can be seen as not able to stand up to scrutiny.

    Pick one species like Russians, what would the same kinds of guidelines be? For pets much simpler. Back in the day herp societies would offer care sheets to pet shops and use those care sheets in practice at the pet shop, or be the pet shop that members would go out of their way to talk dirt on.

    Maybe PetCo and PetSmart would welcome some sort of "we follow blah blah guidelines" in our stores? Both these stores have self policed on many matters and they might do it for this as well.

    But what would those guidelines be??? Would they be written by someone with a lifetime of experience? A committee of recognized hobbyists and vets?
    It's a tough thing to sort out. Maybe it would be more simple than this and I'm overthinking it?
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