These were my emails today.
But even worse are those who are supposed to know better. In hopes of matching a pair of friendly sows to a young lady who is arriving here with her mother tomorrow morning, I picked up a pair who had been in foster for 3 months. They have mites. WHY the foster did not see the MOUNDS of dandruff or the GAPING bald spots on their backs I cannot even begin to guess. Now they are living in my bathtub because I have no quarantine space left.
And, without revealing who this foster is (she doesn't read this board), I can tell you without a doubt that she is someone who should have known better. She is in a position of responsibility within the rescue community here.
But then again, so are the two shelter volunteers who "rescued" a mite-infested, sore-laden, bald baby boar who was already twisted from scurvy, and took him home to "foster." There they kept him for a month and fed him rabbit pellets with no vitamin C supplementation like I asked them to. Now he is living in my bathroom, on pain medications because of the joint damage, with a fungal infection because his immune system is crap. He will probably never be adopted.
Yes, I am angry. These people all meant well but they were still not well-informed. When my vet asked me today what I was doing to educate the public, I stared at him blankly. Aren't I doing enough? Apparently not. A day like this makes me remember that rescuing guinea pigs doesn't just have to do with the cavies. Sometimes it means rescuing them from people who are trying to help them. And that is sad, it's just sad.
- Get on your bike.
I would be especially upset at the fosters. If they aren't going to do it right they shouldn't do it at all. I'm thankful you caught it in time but I do feel bad for your scurvy guy. He didn't deserve that. I'm sorry.
Off the subject....I think you should ask Dr. R for a date.
They do know better but if no one is patting them on the back - why bother?
I think rescuers run into adopter versions of these people all the time. The ones who simple MUST have a Hollister rescue despite the fact there are homeless pigs in their own community. Problem is - the local homeless pigs have no cachet. The Hollister pigs allow them entry into an exclusive club.
Not much you can do about it. Human nature. Motive is everything.
However, he is a really sweet guy. He did not charge me today! And I brought in SIX pigs then asked him for a load of other advice. What a cool vet.
I'll tell you what's really wrong about this foster--she is in a position of authority, I won't say where. But suffice it to say that, to vent at her might mean a loss of donations for me. And I shouldn't have had to check up on her. At all.
Pinta, you brought up an interesting point that I don't think a lot of people ponder. Recently I went to a sort of benefit for a large rescue group out here. Although there were a lot of opportunities for outreach/education, it all seemed to be a big glamour-fest complete with shade-wearing rescue 'celebs,' local news, etc. and I hate that stuff.
Sometimes, it seems to me that they're all ready to show up for the bake sales but when there's a pig that's sitting in an L.A. shelter, I can't find a volunteer in sight to drive it down to me.
Oh, I'm ranting good tonight. Went to Target and nearly fainted from anger. I found 2 40-gal tubs and a narrow table, and now they can have a decent, if not roomy, set up in the bathroom. I hate keeping them in there. All the other pigs get huge C & Cs.
I am moving to a 3 bdrm townhouse in March--all to myself, then this lack of quarantine facilities won't be a problem.
On the bright side, though, Dr. R. did not feel any babies in the 3 PHS sows. :)
Married, single...they're all the same to me: just another dirty sock-making machine.
I've finished the quarantine set-up. So proud of myself I just have to post pics.
Here is Job (Mites/Scurvy/Fungus) in the top bunk. It turns out the tub's handles had these great little holes in them, perfect for hanging water bottles and hay racks:
So I've started by writing my own care sheet and it's going to the pet stores soon. And, although I fiercely oppose PetCo and PetSmart in their decision to sell small animals, I do adoptions at both stores, mainly because I can counter a lot of misinformation that way.
In fact, I only take adoption inquiries while I'm there; most of my time is spent handing out care sheets and answering questions from people who already have pigs.
There's some new law out here about handing out care sheets with animal purchases but it rarely happens.
And you're right about this being a great resource. My vet says that he's amazed at all the information I come in with. And it's all stuff that I find out on GL.
I promtly replied telling them to remove pig from aqurium into a C&C cage (complete with link) before even THINKING about another pig!.
It get's me so mad. I can't wait till I move house so I can rescu more pigs.
Charybdis mentioned about a having a good heart but not doing the right things. In particular you mentioned about the woman bringing home the pregnant guinea pig. That reminds me of my situation...I brought home the two females only to find out a few weeks later that the one is a male. Yes, I was not knowlegeable but the way I see it..I am glad they are here where I will take the best possible care of both pigs as well as any babies if there are any, instead of somewhere who wouldn't.
I agree that most petstores shouldn't sell any animals for that matter unless they specialize in that certain animal. I do have to say tho that a there is a woman who works at a petsmart over by me (it is not where I bought my pigs), but she is very knowledgeable and caring. If she sees the slightest problem with guinea pigs that she sees she takes them immediately to the vet. She doesn't care of the cost or what management says...she makes sure that when a person gets one of them that they are perfectly healthy.
I am sure there are not many employees out there like that, but I really think there should be.
And that really angers me that those people who are supposed to know better are not taking better care of these guinea pigs.
Good luck on better educating people...I think you are on to something with taking some information to the petstores.
Care is also only as good as the vet (and owner). Some Petsmarts unfortunately are not associated with good vets.
Worse, the PetSmart vet--and I use that term loosely--claims to be knowledgeable about guinea pigs but here is some of his wisdom:
"you can't keep males together--eventually they will have to be separated."
"if they are scratching themselves, it is probably a fungus, not mites."
"this probiotics thing is a recent fad. There really hasn't been enough research on it to tell if it's working. So if there poops are normal don't worry about a probiotic."
And then last week he wouldn't give me antibiotic for a pig that he SAID had a URI, because he "wasn't sneezing."
O ya, the PetSmart vets are great.
I am really not sure what else she looks for tho. It just seemed like she really honestly cared about the animals. Even another time when I went in there the employees were talking about her...they were commenting on how she is constantly taking animals to the vets, etc.