I have learned the error of my ways on here and will not buy animals from pet stores or breeders again - period. I have always purchased 95% of my pet supplies (I used KM before I even knew about GL) online. Once in a blue moon, I have had to enter a pet shop because I ran out of some item at the last minute and there was no time to order online and get it in time.
Last weekend, I cleaned the fish tank filters and threw out the dirty disposable filter cartridges - then realized the refill box was empty and I didn't have any more. So I trudge off to the FISH store (the safest place) to get a couple to hold me over.
Wouldn't you know the FISH store (who also does cat rescue/odd combination?), had a momma piggie with her 4 babies (6 wks old - male AND female) - and momma was pregnant again. Daddy apparently skipped town - lol. These guys were up for sale/adoption whatever you want to call it - put down your $$ and go home with them, no interview required. I turned away and walked out.
So my question is - WHY do I feel so awful about leaving them there, esp the Momma? I haven't slept right since. I don't need more GPs, and I don't even want females ( have all males) . I just keep thinking at least I could give her a good home, would pay for the vet if she needed it, would handfeed the babies if it came to that, etc. Would separate the boys and the girls - and well, heck, could keep all of them, or at worse rehome the babies in well qualified families.
I'm not looking for an excuse to acquire these. I really don't NEED or necessarily WANT this many. And I don't need more to do. I just know I could do right by them and I'm not, and I feel guilty.
I know you're going to say I can't save them all. I know that -- I can't save all children, but I adopted my daughter from a bad family situation. I sponsor several kids (and their families) in Burkina Faso (Africa). I can't save EVERYONE, but I can save one at a time.
So, how do I overcome these feelings of guilt?
Hmmm - Maybe that wouldn't be so bad. Does KM sell hay by the ton? I like hay.
--- I mentioned that I don't usually go into pet stores unless it's an absolute necessity. In this case I HAD to have replacement filter cartridges IMMEDIATELY, which is why I went to a fish store, not Petsmart or some other generic place. I THOUGHT I was safe - LOL!
This place significantly supports the local cat rescue -- an entire section of the store is set up for their use with cats available for adoption, so at least PART of the owner's heart is in the right place. These pigs were for sale at $17 each, so I don't think he's in it for the big bucks, but I don't know if they were technically rescue or not. There was one bunny also. But essentially it's a fish store.
I did sex the piggies for him, but they remained together even tho I told him the girls could get pregnant. I will say at least they had a nice 3 x 5 ft pen which was immaculate, and clean good pellets and water bottle.
I esp feel sooooo bad for Momma piggy. The babies will probably eventually find a home, but I think someone will be in for a "surprise" with Momma. She wasn't full term, but I don't know how far along - maybe a few more weeks to go.
I'm not ever stepping foot in a petstore again. I can't. Or if I have to for some reason like you did, I'm staring straight ahead and heading straight for what I need. No averting the eyes.
What's sad is that this particular pig does indeed deserve better. And you would definitely be saving her from her situation.
But you know the deal with looking at the big picture and how it'll never stop if people continue to support the practice....
I can tell you're going out of your mind with guilt. I'd be feeling the exact same way.
I don't have any answers for you...sorry. But can totally empathize.
That said, as far as stores go it sounds like they are doing some things better than most, by having a clean enclosure, good pellets and fresh water. Maybe they would be more receptive if you pointed that out too, how you've seen/heard some horrific stories about guinea pigs in pet shops and it's nice to see somebody trying to make an effort... However, it would be even better if you were able to tell people that they kept the sexes separate. (yes, most people here would adopt, but that doesn't mean we can't let people think we would buy if conditions were improved).
Or I could just be getting soft after seeing some of the photos taken by the inspectors this week.
- You can quote me
You could, if you have the time, space, energy and funds, try to get him to give them to you for free, or as you mention, specify that your money should go to the dog or cat rescue. This is not exactly the same situation ... at least, I don't think it is ... as he purchased them from a breeder with the intent to sell them from the get-go. I could be wrong, and in that case I'd encourage you to walk away, as difficult as that is, and never walk into that place again.
The chains do not (are not allowed, by corporate or by law, perhaps?) resell those dumped on their property. Mom and pops, and places like this one, are not as frequently bound by the same rules.
If you can *foster* them ... truly foster them, help them, care for them well through Mama's delivery and place them well ... you'd likely be saving their lives. Understand I'm suggesting something I cannot do myself. Anyone that comes into our house stays. Period. But. If you can make up your mind to truly foster them, then that might be an option for you.
The other thing to consider (and as active as you are, and have been for years, in animal rescue you have probably already done this) is the additional time, space, and care they will require. We have nine guinea pigs and while we love each and every one, and are in no hurry for anyone to pass, we are at our absolute limit. Some days it feels over the limit. And we have no birds, dogs, cats, horses, hamsters, fish tanks or anything else.
If you feel you can financially and emotionally care for them all till you can find them good homes I can understand you doing it. I would do it. I would at least get the females all out so the cycle cannot continue.
It seems to me this store is not in the "business" of selling guinea pigs. I am even betting someone came in there and asked them to take them for them as they no longer wanted them. That has happend to someone I know that has a pet FOOD store. She doesn't sell any live animals either. She even showed up one day to find several guinea pigs just sitting on the front porch to her store! Fotunately she has guinea pigs of her own and knew how to care for them and loves them. She nursed them all back to health and found good homes for them.
In the least it would help you feel better if you at least tried to educate them and at least try to get them to give them to you to nurse and find homes for if they cannot seperate them and properly care for them all.
Let me ask you this -- if I were to foster the whole bunch, could the existing daughter stay in with her mom through the delivery? All the boys can stay together in another cage for now. Yes, I could probably handle the second batch (at least till I found excellent homes only) as well. I'll just build a C&C city.
People always ask me how I work full time and do as much with animals as I do. Heck, I raised 8 kids (two were "mine") all grown and gone now -- a house full of animals is a piece of cake by comparison , at least when I'm tired, I can put THEM into cages - LOL.
- You can quote me
Yes. As long as they get along now, they should be okay through her delivery. She may even help out with the pups -- no guarantee, though. Watch after delivery. She'll probably be okay with them, but I've read a few (very few, but they're there) accounts on here where that situation hasn't worked out.
6 X 7 = 42
73 - 42 = 31
She could be as much as a month away, possibly less. 17-31 days.