I'm going to keep in touch with ChunkyPiggies on the status of those pigs.
[No smilies, please. They are discouraged on this site and the animated ones are verbotten -- Lynx]
I called the shelter manager today. He said that the pigs were adopted over the weekend. I said,
"How strange! The employees didn't seem to have any record of that."
To which he replied that, since the stray hold hadn't expired, the employees had been secretive about the adoptions. So then I said,
"Wow! That's quite a record--12 pigs in one weekend!"
So he said that well, one employee had been working particularly hard to get the pigs adopted. I then asked,
"Can you tell me her name? Because I really want to make sure that she has my number since she is so interested in guinea pigs. That way she can call me right away next time."
He gave me the name of the front desk employee who told me that she had no idea what happened to the pigs. I honestly believe that she didn't, because when she started to fill out the relinquish form, she put "28 guinea pigs" on the first line, and looked very surprised when I told her there were only 16.
We are being lied to. I am very close to giving their name to the AS director, but I'm doing just a little more investigation first.
- Scrapbook Addict
This is a really sad story and I hope you can come to the bottom of it. Those poor pigs...
If they were given out as 'feeders' chances are you will not be able to track them down. The fact that all the missing guinea pigs were adults is a reasonable clue that they were in fact taken for food. To feed giant snakes they'll want rabbits or 'large' guinea pigs. It is also generally accepted among snake owners to feed frozen pre-thawed animals as opposed to live prey. The reason being its a) dangerous to feed a large snake using live prey makes it even more so and b) live prey could bite or otherwise injure the snake. The guinea pigs were probably frozen for use as food...12 guinea pigs is enough to feed one large snake for around a month or 2. While its sad, the snakes have to eat too, and with shelters being overburdened like they are its very easy for little animals like that to slip through the cracks. So I suppose that if they were taken as food, its not the worst thing in the world.
Also, its possible that there was a mix up somewhere along the line? Perhaps, there is not really that big of a conspiracy going on here...and people genuinely do not know exactly at which point things got screwed up. Perhaps those 12 missing guinea pigs never existed, in which case that would be the best outcome.
Either way, I hope for the best...especially for the guinea pigs that got rescued =D
I'm afraid you are right about the reptile food. Of course I agree that snakes have to eat too. And that would be infinitely preferable to them being sold to a lab.
However, I can't just shrug it off because:
1) It was illegal; and
2) It is not a practice that we would want to encourage because I think we all can agree that the pigs would be better off in a rescue. And if that shelter has some deal where they sell all their guinea pigs to a reptile feeder then they are not a shelter at all, they are a capitalist middleman--a distributer of goods. This is not the role of a shelter, it is to protect animals, not sell them as food before they even have a chance to be adopted.
I am now hearing that this may be a private shelter.
No spell checker. Maybe the next incarnation of the board will have one. I hear they're working on a newer version but it won't be out for months (and I'll wait until the bugs are worked out).
From the way it sounds I do sincerely hope that at the very least they were taken for food. I know that sounds callous, but its the best outcome I could possibly think of, given the fact that overburdened shelters are not above abuse. If the man was willing to break the laws regarding strays in the first place, and is willing to lie about where those other guinea pigs are...then I'm sure he would have been willing to "dispose" of the excess "unadoptables" illegally. Who can resist babies and prego mommies? They had the best chance of getting adopted the others were just taking up room they didn't have to begin with.
So other than food we have the possibility of those missing pigs being in a lab (I doubt that... too much work to set that up) or they were "disposed" of either humanely or inhumanely. Have you tried telling him that at this point you don't care what happened to them so long as you have some closure?