These two boys were the first rats I went out and bought from a petstore and as you can see from the time stamp, it was a few years ago. The first rat I had before these two guys had been given to me by a neighbor and I knew next to nothing about rats.
I didn't realize that buying rats from the petstore was such a bad idea. But since having rats I've done my research and now know what horrible places petstores get their rats and other animals from and it's well documented, so I do not under any circumstances advocate buying animals ...any animals from petstores.
Most rats and other animals you find in pet stores come from mills which produce rats and other animals by the thousands, or worst yet are bred in the back room, garages or yards from people who don't know and don't care about the animals. All they see are dollar signs.
Rats and other animals from mills are produced by the thousands and are housed in small cramped, tight, over crowded enclosures. The females are usually bred back to back starting as young as they can possibly be done and then killed when she can no longer produce. All this breeding and inbreeding that goes on as well as the conditions produce unhealthy babies and too often animals are housed in same sex groupings so when you buy an animal you might end up with a pregnant one. (This happened to me when I bought a hamster from a petstore)
These rats in mills or from backyard breeders are not fed good foods, not socialized properly and not from good lines. Pet stores usually keep their animals in unhealthy conditions like keeping them in aquariums which is very unhealthy for rats especially, but they don't care.
When you buy an animal from a pet store even the big chain pet stores you are keeping the bad breeding and selling circle going. The more you buy, the more are bred and the more are sold. It's hard not to buy a rat or hamster whose face you see looking at you to take it home but that animal will be replaced by a dozen more sad little faces all looking sad to other people who will then buy them and the animal mill circle gets repeated.
The only way to stop this is to never buy an animal from a pet store..any pet store. If you want to adopt go to your local shelter, rescue or find a reputable breeder that will let you see where they keep their animals. If the breeder will not let you see where their animals are housed...run! Run as far and as quickly as you can, because they are probably running a mill type animal farm and are hiding something.
If you are looking for info on where to find a good rattery you can read this article.
Stop the demand from these mill animals and make these mill breeders see they can't make money off the backs of animals anymore.