on the plus side - i was told today that the case is still open and the inspector is going back next week to check he has made the changes thay ´asked´ for. i suspect the pigs/rabbits werent ill enough to allow prosecution
- I gave what I could!
As for pet stores, our pet stores are great. It´s where I´ve gotten every small animal pet I´ve ever owned and they´ve all been healthy, clean, well-fed and mite-free. The cages are immaculate, and the staff (except for the new hires) are all well-informed about the animals and what care they require.
There is one pet store around here, though, in the neighbouring city of Mount Pearl that is a bit of a seedy looking place. I´ve never been in there looking for pets personally, but the outside looks nasty enough for me.
Good luck and good health to your newest piggies, Louise! I hope they get good and chubby. They were a lucky couple of porkers.
- I gave what I could!
Then again....maybe I caught them on a couple of good days.
Don´t get me started...
Are you aware of the fact that pigs and other small animals are often shipped to our part of the country from Montréal in trucks that are not heated, even in the middle of winter? These are the same trucks that overheat in the summer, by the way. Are you aware of the fact most of the companies that supply pet stores buy from piggy mills, the piggy version of puppy mills? Are you aware of the fact pigs in those mills are often kept in inhumane conditions? Did you know that sows in mills are bred from the time they are 4-5 weeks old and then backbread every time they give birth until they die?
A good pet store? I´m sorry to burst your bubble, but there isn´t such a thing, in my opinion. They may treat the animals well once they get there, but there is no excuse for selling animals that are very often produced in mills. Please don´t support this by buying from pet stores. Check your shelter, they may have homeless pigs avalable.
You said that your pet store looks good, but do they separate pigs by sex? Do they keep them in quarantine for at least three weeks before offering them for sale? Do they desinfect cages between loads of pigs? What do they do with sick pigs? Are they able to give correct information to the buyers? Can they guaranty the pigs they sell are not pregnant? Can they guaranty those pigs are not infected with mites, as most pet store pigs are?
Do you have any idea of how many times I´ve found sick or dying pigs in ppet stores, yet no one noticed? The truth is, it´s unrealistic to think that pet store employes can be competent in the care of all the animals they offer for sale. Most of the time, they just don´t know what they´re talking about.
Three years ago, I visited a pet store in Bathurst. They had just received a shipping of pigs. There were two Abbies in an aquarium and then three Americans in another. From 15 feet away, I could tell something was terribly wrong. The red one was very sick. In fact, he was dying, fighting pneumonia for every breath. The silver agouti had the first signs of a URI and was literally skin and bones. She felt like a skeleton covered with a fur coat. The black/white was also very skinny, had a biginning of a URI and was starting to paralyse from a lack of vitamin C. The cage has no bedding besides one sheet of newspaper and they were soaked in urine. They had no water and a bowl full of sunflower seeds and orange peel. Nothing else. I freaked out on the guy, yet he couldn´t see what was wrong with those pigs and told me they had just received them. When I questioned him, he admited they had traveled the 1000km between here and Montréal in an unheated truck. That was in the middle of January and it was -25C for several days in a row. I yelled to the point I thought they would call the police on me and asked that they at least fixed the situation. They said they would later. I replied that is was fine by me, that I had all my time since I intended on staying until the situation was corrected. He gave in. I made him clean the cage, put in some bedding, fill a water bottle and fill the bowl with guinea pig pellets. When I asked about hay, he said he didn´t have a bag that was already open. I grabbed one on the shelf, ripped it open, handed it to him and said "Now, you do".
At that time, I had only three pigs and was still caring what the boyfriend might say, so I made him promise those pigs would get medical attention RIGHT AWAY. And I went home. Of course, I couldn´t sleep all night and the next morning, I hopped in my car and drove the 125km back to the pet store to get them. Like I had predicted, the red pig had died during the night and the other two didn´t look too good, so I bought them (argued my way into paying for just one) and brought them home.
It turned out Leeloo weighted 9 oz when, but the size of her bones, she sould have been about twice as much. I can´t describe with words how skinny she was. My vet said she had never seen an animal so emaciated and still alive. Charlie was 9 oz too, but since he was younger, he didn´t feel as skinny. They were both treated with Ivermectin for mites, they were on antibiotics to clear their URI, on vitamin C supplement to stop the scurvy that was setting in and Charlie had his teeth trimmed. The poor baby couldn´t even close his mouth because they were so long. It took several weeks of handfeeding, but they eventually made it and they are still with me today. Thanks to Pinta, Vicki, Joséphine and a few others who were there to guide me every step of the way, I was able to make a difference for those two pigs.
But this is just one example. I´m sure many people from this board could tell you similar stories. And to this day, I still regret not getting those pigs out the very same night. Maybe I could have saved the weak little red one. The suffering in his eyes will remain in my memory forever, yet no one else besides me saw he was dying in a wet, cold fish tank with no one to tell him how beautiful and sweet he was. And that is a crime.
Oh, and this was in an "excellent" pet store, according to people´s opinion. Their cages are clean and the animals look well taken care of ... to the untrained eye, that is.
As for mites...Dobby, you´re lucky all your pets have been mite-free because both Piglet and Mitzi had mites.
There used to be someone in Newfoundland who was breeding pigs to sell to the pet stores. My friend´s pig from Pet City was Newfoundland born. No idea what the conditions were like though. I think this person has stopped breeding.
The store you mention in Mount Pearl - Critters´n´Things - I recently went to their new location hoping that it was "new and improved". I was horrified by what I saw. I don´t even want to describe it. Way worse than the old location. We´ve notified the SPCA but I´m not sure if they had time to investigate. They don´t have a lot of staff for special investigations right now. If you could call in a complaint also, they might take action. I´m really concerned about this place.
There are two animal shelters here, the SPCA and the humane services. Neither has ever had a guinea pig in all the time they have been open. There is also a new rescue that is just getting going, I think it is called Heavenly Creatures. They´ve never had one either that I know of. I check the classifieds every day and have only once (about a year ago) seen an ad for guinea pigs. It was for two males. I also check vet´s offices, etc. Partly this is a good thing because it means guinea pigs are not overpopulated here. But if you´re looking for one...tough luck. It breaks my heart to hear about all the homeless pigs in the US and other parts of Canada when people here are LOOKING for pigs and not finding them. If only there was a way to even things out. There are no breeders here either, so the only option is the pet store. Thus, my advice to anyone here who has not yet gotten a pig is...don´t get one. The only pets available outside a pet store are dogs, cats, and the occasional rabbit. If you can´t keep one of those, don´t get a pet. Now that I already have two guinea pigs, I feel I´ve gotten myself into a sort of a rut...I´m now forced to continue business with the pet stores because I need some of the products they sell.
Since we do have to continue dealing with Pet City, as that is the only place we can get the bedding and food that we use, my mom feels very uncomfortable making a fuss there. Luckily, there´s usually nothing to make a fuss over. But I really wish I did not have to keep buying from them. Why can´t someone open up a pet SUPPLY store?
I could probably talk about this forever, but I´ll stop now. Evangeline, where did you get your pigs? (Aside from the pet store ones.) Is there a rescue in NB?
There are no shelters here. I didn´t know anything and I bought my first pig from a pet store. It turned out she was pregnant and I kept the babies. Then, I got Leeloo and Charlie (the ones I just told you about). I am ashame to admit I bought just Maggie because she was so pretty, but she turned out to be a sort of rescue. She´s psycho and I think anyone else would have wring her neck! All the others are sick pigs I took in or babies of pregnant sick sows I took in. I placed some, so I don´t have all of them here. I´m down to 8 at the moment.
- I gave what I could!
Anyway, I´m glad I bought my pet store piggy. He´s sweet and he was, and still is , in perfect health when I purchased him. His teeth are perfect, his appetite and weight are both fine and he´s got no mites or ticks or anything. No bald spots, nothing. If my cage was bigger, I´d buy the other little guy who´s in there now. He´s one of the cases you were talking about, Evangeline. He´s scrawny and sick-looking and looks to be blind in his right eye and it broke my heart to have to walk away from him.
the sooner our law is changed the better.