Why do I feel so bad?

Melody R

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:50 pm

I am not asking for an argument here, just trying to understand why I feel so terrible doing "the right thing."

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?

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Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:59 pm

I don't know how to stop the guilt. I've never been able to, that's why I rarely go into pet stores unless I absolutely have to.

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Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:02 pm

I dont know either, but you cant save every stray you come across. If you did your other animals would probably suffer as you wouldnt have enough time to care for them all correctly. You would end up with a house teaming with guinea pigs there would be no room for you! :)

Skol Pigs!

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:06 pm

Were they asking for an adoption fee that was going to a rescue or shelter, or is the money going to the store? Do they normally sell animals other than fish? I'm confused.

Best way to take care of the guilt is not to go into the petstore.

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Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:08 pm

Is the manager or owner open to suggestions? If you can't take them in or get them from there for free, you can at least try to improve their situation - leave care sheets and offer to sex / separate them.

Melody R

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:35 pm

El - "You would end up with a house teaming with guinea pigs there would be no room for you! :)"

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.

Melody R

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:40 pm

Kill me, kill me, double post!!! SORRY!

Skol Pigs!

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:42 pm

Yeah, unless the pigs are free or an adoption fee is going straight to a shelter they're not 'rescue'.

Poor mama pig. She'll probably end up pregnant for a third straight time if the new litter remains with her. Not to mention the sisters. Ugh.

Melody R

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:48 pm

Third pregnancy most likely!!! That's why I wasn't sure if "rescuing her" from her situation would qualify as a rescue. Maybe the one daughter also -- the rest were boys.

Should I ask him to donate my $17 to the cat rescue - LOL?

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Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:35 pm

Ooh....I can tell you REALLY want this mama.

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.

Melody R

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:50 pm

I think I'll pop out my contacts (I really WON'T be able to see a thing!!) and get a white cane if I ever ever have to go into a petstore again. I'll go straight to the counter and ask someone to go get the darn filter cartridges for me. I really thought I was safe in the fish store. Pretty soon, I'll be looking for "floater" fish to save!

User avatar

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:41 pm

It is horrible and I don't hink you ever get over the guilt. In situations like this one all you can do is try to educate. Myabe give the sotre owner some print outs and information on guinea pig over population and the contacts to a local rescue if there is one -- especially if the store helps out a cat rescue, they might be willing to learn more.

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

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:10 pm

If I had to guess, it sounds like someone dumped this family at this store, knowing the owner supports dog/cat rescue, cares at least a little, and will do his (or her) reasonable best to care for the animals reasonably well until they find a home.

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.


Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:25 pm

Please do go back to this store and take as much printed info with you as you can. You cannot save them all but you can help these little ones.
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.


Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:35 pm

Another thought here. Perhaps they are asking for an adoption fee for them same reason so many true rescuers do. If they "give" them away they may well wind up snake food:(

Melody R

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:42 pm

I may go back tomorrow and have another talk with the owner to see if I can him to relinquish them, or for a donation to the cat rescue. He did seem truly shocked that "mom" was pregnant again, and did not realize how young they can be and get pregnant. I know he has no idea of what to do with her. Poor thing, she looks so young herself.

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.

My Buddy

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:21 pm

I would go for it if you can, try and save these little ones if you can. You would feel great for what you have done but, keep in mind what all you would be taking on. If it is something you are going to do be careful how you approach the store manager . I feel sometimes when you talk bad on how the store has treated animals bad it might get their backs up. Just be careful on how you handle it and what you say. You might have to put it on pretty think just to get those guys out of there. Please let us know how it goes!

Melody R

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:39 pm

I have two questions:

Can the existing daughter stay with Mom now and through and after delivery?

If these babies are 6 wks old, when do you guess Mom will deliver? Assuming she was immediately bred back by Dad?

You can quote me

Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:40 pm

" ... could the existing daughter stay in with her mom through the delivery?"

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.

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Post   » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:42 pm

Thats exactly how i feel when i see animals suffering in petstores!!

That's why i saved my Neby from the petstore as she was in with boys.

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