RSPCA case

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Sunny

Post   » Wed Feb 20, 2002 9:40 am


Great news Louise. Enjoy those new pigs. They are lucky you found them.

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Sunny

Post   » Mon Feb 25, 2002 12:24 pm


Louise, any update on the RSPCA visit? (I hope they shut them down!) Also, what about pigpal´s question about breeder regulations in England?

Louise

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 7:24 am


the rspca cannot prosecute unless they are being kept in a condition which IS causing suffering. by which time its ofen too late. the want the law changed so they can prosecte if suffering is LIKELY to be caused.

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

Louise

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 7:29 am


pigpal as far as i know there arent any breeding regulations in the uk. i will look into it though

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Dobby
I gave what I could!

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 5:31 pm


That´s awful stuff. I don´t know of any places around here where people breed pigs or rabbits in such conditions. It sounds dreadful!

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.

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Alfie

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 5:34 pm


It´s good that the staff at your store are knowledgeable and care for the animals. Unfortunately, though, it´s often what you don´t see that´s the problem. An immaculate front-of-store doesn´t necessarily mean that the animals are bred in ideal conditions, or that they´ll get vet treatment if it is needed.

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Dobby
I gave what I could!

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 5:39 pm


Alfie, while that is true I can´t really say much for the breeding conditions because the breeding isn´t done in-store. It is done on the mainland and the pigs are flown here to Newfoundland and delivered by courier to the pet store, but being a mall employee, I´ve been in the storage rooms of most stores, including the pet store and everything at store level is really good. Everything is clean and well-kempt and all the small-animals cages are clean and odour free.

Then again....maybe I caught them on a couple of good days. ;)

Evangeline

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 7:07 pm


Dobby-
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.

Laura823

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 7:48 pm


What Evangeline says is 100% true. While both of the Pet City´s here do have (mostly) knowledgeable staff, clean cages etc. the breeding situation that the pigs come from is as she described. If I had known that when I first got Piglet, I never would have started keeping guinea pigs in the first place. After more than a year of searching for an adoptable pig (there were none) I finally broke down and got Mitzi from the pet store too.

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?

Evangeline

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:21 pm


I don´t think I agree with everything you said. Pigs are wonderful pets and they would be a great addition to many families. What I have a problem with is when people buy from stores without checking if there are homeless pigs in their area. It´s a lucky problem that you have there, with no pig in need. But I bet if YOU placed an add, some people would be more than happy to dump a few pigs on you.

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.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:26 pm


It´s tragic how the good looking ones are always crazy. Such a relief to know I am just a homely harmless old woman.

Evangeline

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:34 pm


LOL

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 9:03 pm


And sane.

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Dobby
I gave what I could!

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 9:28 pm


Well, I think Laura and Evangeline have said it all. There´s nothing more to be said except that Laura´s right, there are no guinea pig rescues around here. Believe me, I´ve called the SPCA and the local shelter, but they´ve only got cats and dogs. Both my cats are rescues, and I don´t have a dog (although I´d love one!), but as for guinea pigs...I wanted a pig and the only place to find one in this city without paying to run an ad weekly in the paper and cross my fingers for a reply is to buy one from the pet stores.
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. :(

Evangeline

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 9:31 pm


Oh, come on!
Go get him, make him healthy and dump him on Laura!

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Dobby
I gave what I could!

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 9:33 pm


On my salary? Not likely.
I´d end up having to eat him before my next paycheque.

Laura823

Post   » Wed Feb 27, 2002 11:27 am


Shh Evangeline don´t start putting ideas in her head!

Piglet is like Maggie. I´m truly glad that I´m the one who got her, because honestly no one else would have put up with her. She wears on even my pig-patient nerves.

Louise

Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2002 9:33 am


RSPCA lady rang - said shed been called out to the guy several times before. Shes going to back to check on him but unfortunately they have no legal leverage as the animals arent in a bad enough state that they can be said to be ´suffering´.

the sooner our law is changed the better.

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Sunny

Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2002 10:43 am


How bad does it have to get? That´s rediculous. I guess the plus side is that other people have complained too so if it ever gets "bad enough" they´ll get shut down.

Thanks for the update Louise.

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