I have crabs.

If you know me well I’ve probably admitted it to you. If I really like you I’ve probably tried to give you crabs. My hermit crabs are basically my obsession. It started with just a couple I picked up at the mall in 2004. Now they’ve taken over my life.

I’ve spent the past 15 researching and educating myself about the biology of crabs to better understand their needs. I still don’t fully understand everything about them but only due to the lack of available research. That’s one of many concerns in keeping a wild animal as a captive pet. They have taught me how important every animal is to our healthy ecosystem, even the seemingly insignificant ones have an important job to do.

My hermit crabs have the ability to out live me. They can live more than 40 years in captivity if cared for properly.

Even if they manage to survive the summer, most don’t survive beyond a year or two.

Please keep this in mind and think long and hard about a life long commitment to a hermit crab BEFORE you bring one home.

What is my point in sharing this? Education.

Most people have no idea about hermit crabs when they see them in a store or on the boardwalk at the beach. So I ask you to take a moment to understand them and maybe share what you learned with others.

Every single hermit crab currently for sale in the US was wild captured and shipped to the stores selling them.

The Post Purchase Stress death cycle created by Mary Milhorn
The Post Purchase Stress death cycle created by Mary Milhorn

Some harvesting of hermit crabs is regulated but most is not. What does harvesting wild hermit crabs look like? 

Summer is the worst. Thousands visit the east coast and Florida only to return home with a ‘souvenir’ hermit crab and no clue what they’ve just gotten themselves into. Myself and my team of helpers in our Facebook group will attempt to help anyone who comes to us but still countless hermit crabs will die again this summer due to lack of proper pet care education.

If the store looks like this, I assure you they have no interest in being honest about the true needs of hermit crabs because no one would ever impulse buy a pet that can out live them. They also don’t want you to know that a proper tank setup will cost about $150.

They don’t care if the crab dies because they will sell you another next summer.

They don’t care how upset you are, how loud you yell, how much you cry if in the end you BUY a hermit crab. That’s all they care about. When the public stops buying, they will stop selling. Buying a hermit crab is not rescue, you are only perpetuating the cycle of abuse.

Don’t be this person. Please.

The decision to bring home a pet hermit crab is one that should be researched in advance. The habitat should be planned out and prepared and a long term care plan should be in place BEFORE bringing a hermit crab home.

If you decide a hermit crab is the pet for you, we have so many awaiting adoption and we can pair you up. We have a thriving adoption program, mostly because of unwanted vacation hermit crabs. Our rescue in Florida has taken in hundreds of unwanted hermit crabs.

Hermit crab races and pageants are cruel. Hermit crabs are a prey animal and these events terrorize the crabs for the amusement of humans.

Before you collect shells from the beach remember that wild hermit crabs depend on empty shells to survive. We are over harvesting shells and it is negatively impacting wild populations. Painted shells are not safe for hermit crabs and the process used to force them into the painted shells is cruel. The natural shell is destroyed and the painted shell is ruined.

Captive breeding has been a major hurdle but a woman in NY has finally overcome that hurdle in a meaningful way. Past breeding attempts resulted in a handful of survivors. Mary Akers has 203 survivors from two different species.

To celebrate Mary’s success she and I are hosting the first ever convention for hermit crab owners July 12-14, 2019. Adopters for the babies have been pre-approved and will be coming to the convention to pick up their new crablets. If we can prove captive breeding is doable we can put an end to collecting wild hermit crabs.

Adopt! Don’t Shop!