The little fish in this story had no friends up until a month ago. He was limited to a tiny cup of tepid water, placed in the back of a Walmart store shelf behind comparatively beautiful betta fish. The fish’s condition was devastating. His body had started to rot away and his days seemed to be rapidly diminishing.
But then a kind stranger came to his aid.
Victoria Schild wasn’t planning on buying any pets from Walmart, but when she spotted this sickly fish, she couldn’t look away. His condition broke her heart. When she lifted the cup for a better view, pieces of his tail fin floated to the surface. She knew she couldn’t sit by and do nothing.
“I felt incredibly sad for the little guy and decided that I didn’t want him to die in there, just rotting away,” Schild said. “I was 95 percent sure he was going to die that night.”
The woman bought him home, in what likely appeared to be his last hours, hoping to give the little guy some comfort in a larger tank.
Though things seemed hopeless at first, the fish’s condition started to improve. Schild refused to give up on him, and that was all that the fish needed.
“When I got home, I started researching everything that I possibly could to help him recover, and probably within a week of clean warm water, medicine and basic care he started getting better!” Schild said.
The little fish was encouraged by this new turn of events. His fins started healing and he began swimming around, exploring his new home.
His life had finally improved.
Schild changed the fish’s water daily and gave him medication to speed up his healing process.
His tail grew back and his fins returned to normal, but even Schild wasn’t expecting what a beautiful fish he would turn into.
After nearly four weeks of dedicated care, the dying fish was totally unrecognizable.
Schild could believe her own eyes!
“I was really surprised,” Schild said. “I knew that, underneath it all, there was a beautiful little fish. But what won me over was his will to live and his spunk.”
She named him Argo, an homage to his stunning, sail-like fins.
It took a lot of effort from both Argo and Schlid to bring out this transformation in just one month — but as you can see, it was worth the effort. Schild changed his life for the better!
“Now he’s an amazing little fish,” Schild said. “I love watching him swim around, leap for food, follow my shadow and just be a cool little guy.”
“It’s unfortunate that people dismiss bettas,” Schild said. “With just basic care and a proper setup, they are great little pets to have. I hope Argo’s story can bring awareness to the plight of bettas and other fish in pet stores. We need to be their voices.”
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