Rent-a-Guinea Service in Switzerland

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caruba
Supporter in '10

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:37 pm


Swiss animal protection law states that you must have at least two guinea pigs, since they are social animals. So what if one dies?

There's a service that lets you "rent" a companion for your remaining guinea pig. While I welcome strict animal welfare laws, I'm not too happy that this woman is essentially breeding guinea pigs for this service. (Do keep in mind that the situation is a little different in Germany/Switzerland/Austria, with less of an overpopulation issue than in the US, where guinea pigs actually die in shelters)

All in all, it's a cute article, and despite some obvious concerns, I actually enjoyed reading it. I hope you will too!

http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,787336,00.html

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seraphanjil

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:53 pm


That is a really interesting article!

SwissPiggies

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:01 pm


Just saw this posted on FB, and I'm really not sure what to think. The 2 local guinea pig rescues near me are both overflowing with pigs waiting to be adopted. So why not just adopt another guinea pig, especially since they have both younger and older pigs ?

I've just sent the link of the article to the people responsible for one of the rescues, to see if they know about it and what they think. We are in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, however, and the person "renting" pigs is in the German-speaking part, so I don't know if they know her and of this service she provides.

The new law requiring guinea pigs to be in pairs is really a big step forward for Switzerland, as we are very much unfortunately still in the dark ages of guinea pig care. Unfortunately, there is no way to enforce this law, as the authorities do not have the resources to check up guinea pigs in individual homes.

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caruba
Supporter in '10

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:08 pm


It's great to read your perspective on this, SwissPiggies! I can only speak for the few German animal shelters I visited, where guinea pigs were few and got adopted really fast. But times may have changed since then.

I wonder if this law is actually a great opportunity for Swiss rescues to "market" fostering (for free, no less!!) and really expand their foster base! How about contacting your local rescues if they are interested in a media campaign about fostering/adopting? :)

SwissPiggies

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:33 pm


The 2 local gp rescues that I know of have many piggies waiting for homes. And unfortunately, there are quite a few breeders in this region, and pet stores that sell them too. The dark ages, really, even if the situation is not as bad as in the US, for example, it's slowly taking the same direction, unfortunately. And very few cavy-savvy vets too, which doesn't help.

The rescues are always hoping for foster families, but they are hard to find. Guinea pigs are not as considered as cats and dogs, they don't have the same "status", for lack of a better word. I used to foster for one of the rescues but now only take in sanctuary pigs.

SwissPiggies

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:41 pm


What bothers me the most is that by doing this, she is sending out two messages that are so fundamentally wrong: that breeding is okay, and that guinea pigs are disposable.

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caruba
Supporter in '10

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:52 pm


I agree with the first part but not with the second. From the article:

"It's important that none of the rental guinea pigs just keep getting passed on," says Küng. "If an animal has been hired out once, it either stays with me for the rest of its life or it moves somewhere else for good." - Doesn't sound like someone who thinks the animals are disposable.

I still think that this law sounds like a great way for local rescues to drastically increase their foster base. Why wait for a breeder to do this? Advertise your own rent-a-pig service with foster contracts! Beat her prices and you'll even get funds in!

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Regiane
Cavy Slave Since '08

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:46 pm


Don't know about the "rent" service, but I love this law! I want this law here!

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seraphanjil

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:20 pm


It really does inspire you to think outside the box. I've been dying for some sort of way to draw more attention to the rescue since we have sooooooo many needy pigs that need to come in. I'm not saying that this is what I would do but it does make me want to think a little more creatively.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:22 pm


Very interesting. I was aware that Sweden requires guinea pigs to be bought in pairs but didn't think there were any other countries that had adopted those guidelines. How long has there been a Swiss animal protection law that required pigs to be sold in pairs or to a home with another guinea pig?

Posted in 2008 regarding Sweden:
http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=44610

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lisam

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:13 pm


I have adopters contact me when one of their pigs dies, and they want to know what to do. They often don't want to keep going--you know the cycle, where you adopt one and then another dies so you adopt another and then the other dies, and so on. I give them the option of bringing back the remaining pig, but most don't want to. Some decide to keep the remaining one as a loner. I have mentioned that they can always "foster" a pig from the rescue, and bring it back when theirs passes, but no one has taken me up on that offer yet.

Advantages are that a pig doesn't have to live alone. Disadvantages are that I may get back an older pig that no one else is interesting in adopting.

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BamBam

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:53 pm


Lisam - that made me smile. I have 4 "foster" pigs that never went back. No will power!

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seraphanjil

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:09 pm


Foster failures are my favorite lol!

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Bytxlaura
Remembering Nemo

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:32 pm


sera, just a quick note: I may be keeping the 2 boys :)

*runs away*

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seraphanjil

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:49 pm


ROFL talk about foster failures!! Well I know they couldn't get a better home!

SwissPiggies

Post   » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:30 am


This recent change to the animal protection law is quite recent, I think maybe 2 years.

One of the rescues here has a very strong attitude in that you either adopt or you don’t; whereas the other one has a similar process to what Lisam wrote with regards to bringing the lone pig back to the rescue or fostering another one for company. The response from adopters has also been similar to what she has experienced, in that so far, they have opted to keep the pig alone, and no-one has been interested in fostering.

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JudiL-MetroGPRescue
Poop Obsessed

Post   » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:47 am


My husband is in the financial field and he sent me the link because it was in a business article about the economic/business model angle. It's traveling.

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caruba
Supporter in '10

Post   » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:42 am


Swisspiggies, I was confused about fostering as well. Why just "borrow" an animal, right?

In the US the foster model is an approach to animals sheltering that saves lives. I also volunteer for a cats-and-dog animal shelter, and while it would be great if everyone just came in and adopted an animal, unfortunately sometimes the only way to save a dog is to place him/her in a foster home, knowing the animal will (probably) come back to the shelter sooner or later. Say for example the shelter is full, all cages are occupied and a new dog is brought in. Rather than put one of the existing dogs to sleep in order to make room, they send a foster plea so someone will temporarily take the dog until there is more space again.

Fostering is all about helping more animals with limited space. So if a guinea pig rescue finds 3 foster homes, that means they can take in more piggies that need urgent help (of course they have to keep in mind that the foster animals can come back at any time, so there is some risk involved). Some animal rescues don't have a facility, and are entirely foster-based.

I hope this makes sense and explains why fostering is so big in the US. I didn't really know about this until recently, so I hope this helps. If you knew this already, sorry for wasting your time...

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seraphanjil

Post   » Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:27 pm


Most of my rescue fosters are already piggie owners but they like to give back to the cause so they foster as well. Its a way for animal lovers to give back to the animal community.

SwissPiggies

Post   » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:28 pm


Caruba, no worries ! I used to be a volunteer and foster for the cat rescue, then for the piggie rescue too. Unfortunately at the moment, I can only help with taking in sanctuary pigs, but as soon as it's possible again, I'll be back volunteering and fostering. The system is similar here to what you have in the US, but obviously just on a much smaller scale.

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