And yes, it is Pigpal who made some of the comments (she delivered pigs to Pinta recently -- a new trip north to place several). I didn´t check the thread again to note that it was not Pinta posting.
Generally speaking, I tend to agree with Pigpal. What I often see is God being blamed or being thanked for all sorts of things. You can´t have him "taking care of evil" on one hand and ignoring it on the other. And the Bible has been used to justify the most deplorable behavior. This is not to say there aren´t Christians with good hearts who live good lives. But lumping Christians together as a group is a mistake -- there are so many interpretations of what a good Christian life is and whether or not one group or another is living it, not to mention the individuals within that group.
Pigpal´s main comment had to do with Jachqui´s statement that there is a higher being that takes care of everything. Why not just let that higher being take care of the murderers and thieves? Carry it to extremes and there would be no laws and no punishment on earth for the evils commited here. And they would be free to murder again.
- I GAVE, dammit!
Where in any of this is Christianity in question?
By "higher power", it could mean Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Muslem, Hindu, Christain Science, any of the religious beliefs. I find it strange Pigpal, that you immediately ranted on "Christians".
Perhaps that was due to the old Testament reference, and since I am not versed in the other religions, perhaps they do not have the same sort of charge in their Books. If that is the case, then ignore the next comments.
There are some people who profess to be Christians, but they do not represent the true meaning of Christ. I know of no TRUE CHRISTIANS who abuse or exploit animals or other humans. As the Bible explains, we have dominion over animals, meaning no other animal has dominion over us. It never says to abuse, exploit, or treat cruelly.
Just as their are people using the term Christian, and not being one or acting like one, there are also other religious factions who have misguided beliefs and ways of showing them. Flying planes into buildings under some mistaken belief that is the way to see God somehow comes to mind.
You said "unfortunately far too many Christians have used this to expoit animals". Really? Then I´m sorry for the "Christians" you have had the unfortunate opportunity to meet.
As for a higher power taking care of everything, I think that statement, in my opinion, simplifies too much the whole idea of God. In my opinion only, God does have supreme power over all. If he chooses to let us destroy ourselves, as seems to be the case, then so be it.
That in no way means he CAN"T change things. Just that, for His own reasons, He chooses not to. I can live with that.
There will be no agreement on this thread. There are rescuers who think all breeders are evil, and there are breeders who think that all rescuers are lunatic. There will be no happy medium. I would agree there are evil breeders and lunatic rescuers.
There are some people that would spend thousands of dollars on a sick pig. And others that won´t bother taking a pig to a vet.
I think the majority of people on this board fall somewhere in between. And given certain circumstances, I don´t think anyone should be critisized if their budget doesn´t allow them to spend hundreds on a sick animal.
There are good, loving, responsible pet owners on this board who would never consider spending hundreds of dollars on a sick pig. Just as there are others who would not think twice about it. It doesn´t make either one wrong. It just makes them different.
Everyone has a different opinion of what constitutes a "good" pet owner.
I think if you give the animal good food, good water, attention, play time, enough living area to be comfortable, clean housing and bedding, necessary veterinary care when the time comes, and compassion at the end, that should be enough.
I know really crappy breeders. I also know some really good and responsible ones. But my idea of responsible is not the same as is listed at Cavy Spirit.
I have read the "responsible breeders" site at Cavy Spirit. But to say that you will know what becomes of all your pigs, and all their progeny, is not practical. I know of rescues who screened mightily, and still lost pigs they placed to pregnancy, or attack from another family pet, or early loss of life from an undiagnosed illness. The most responsible breeder and the most dedicated rescuer cannot control what other people do. Period. All the screening and testing and promises and rules will still not prevent the unnecessary demise of some animals.
As a former breeder, I lived up to all of the list on responsible breeders except that last one. I sold some of my pigs at shows, to pet owners. I also sold some of my show pigs to other breeders who I considered good and responsible. Most still communicate with me to let me know how their pigs are doing. I tried to educate. I tried to find good homes for the pigs I placed. Usually, I succeeded. Sometimes, I failed.
I can say in all honesty I know of pet owned pigs who do not have as good a life as some of the breeders pigs I know. Some pet owners really suck.
And as for adequate cage space, says who? The Humane Society in Lacey told a breeder she could have no more than 4 pigs in a cage that was 18" by 24". Some of the rescuers here feel that 2x4 is adequate for a pig, and others feel more is necessary. Some of the most indulgent, loving, caring and knowledgable pig people on this board would not pass some of the rescuers guidelines. So who is to say how much space is enough?
We could go on and on about the discrepancies as there are many.
I think we should not lump all breeders, rescuers, Christians, or any other "group" into one slot. Like Lynx says, all of these groups are made up of individual people. Some great, some not-so-great.
Wow! Waaaaaaaaaaaaay longer than intended.
- I GAVE, dammit!
I wanted to add that I respect and admire Josephine more than I can say, and I have used her advice repeadedly. I mean absolutely no disrespect to her in the least for disagreeing with her breeding thread.
I have difficulties with seeing how it could work in a practical setting.
Also, I quit breeding not due to any high moral ground here. I quit because I´m a wimp. I lost three sows in 2 years due to breeding complications. To me, it was heartbreaking, and I just didn´t have what it takes to breed and show. I couldn´t stand that no matter how hard I tried, and how much I spent, and how much I cared for and doted on these pigs, some would still die. That is why I quit breeding. I´m just a pure wimp.
pinta I have only your posts to judge whether I am more tolerant than you or not.
Sorry piggypie - you´re going to have to do better than that. If there are specific posts where I appear to be less tolerant than you(and the discussion here is revolving around multiculturism)I suggest you produce them. Otherwise you are indulging in the sleazy tactic of innuendo. I´ve had a few rounds of false accusations and slander and am frankly less than patient with airy fairy posts of no substance such as yours.
So produce these posts on which you have based your judgement that I am less tolerant than you.
- Carpe Cavies
If you have decided to breed and sell your animals why not initiate a change in the business dealing between yourself and the "store front" you sell to?
Ask that the animals be kept in seperate sex pens. This would increase your profit by preventing the end purchaser from going home with not just one pig but an unspecified number. Also would to some extent prevent back breeding and ensure that the pigs were of better quality.
Don´t you understand the full scope of the industry you are in?
Why even post on a non-breeder board if you are unable to respect the viewpoints on the other side of the fence?
Several questions come to my mind: WHO determines what is moral and ethical in terms of handling and treatment of guinea pigs? ? In my experience via my career, the Animal Welfare Act, the USDA and the American Association for Laboratory Animal Care have quite a bit to say about ‘minimum standards’ – but who determines OPTIMAL standards?
As far as I can tell, the issues of proper care for guinea pigs boils down to what I will call the “Supreme Correct Determiner ” (for lack of a better, more concise term).
If one chooses to let creatures live as normal a life as possible, then of course the issue is moot – as there would be no pets. If one attempts to approximate what the creature would most DESIRE (given a choice, but still an animal living in an artificial environment not necessarily of its own choosing)… AHA!! Now that is another issue! Who determines what that creature WANTS??? And upon what are those criteria based? Personal observation? Precise measurements of physiological parameters that indicate (based on human interpretation) minimal levels of stress/anxiety? What exactly?
I believe if that question can be answered satisfactorily, we might be able to approach mutual understanding. Frankly, I would really REALLY like to hear folks’ views on this.
Over time our relationship with animals has changed -- as it has historically to our own offspring as life expenctancy and medical care have changed. Moral and ethical treatment of guinea pigs is largely personal, but also determined by animal welfare laws. My own views are that if you take on the care of an animal as a companion (pet), you need to know its dietary requirements and provide appropriate housing and medical care when necessary.
Most people abhor putting down companion animals for reasons of over population. ASPCAs and vets across the country encourage spaying and neutering of dogs and cats. gpperson´s comments that guinea pigs should be separated by sex in stores looks like a no-brainer. Operating on the principle that we should not needlessly kill companion animals, breeders would be discouraged from producing so many pigs that the excess is just disposed of.
We´re never going to reach any kind of agreement here -- too many issues, too many views. It´s a bit like talking population control in humans -- except that we don´t kill people off if someone decides there are just too many.
I live in the NE USA. I work outside of the home but on the side, when the need arises I operate a cavy/other small animal rescue. I currently have 6 of my own "pet" cavies. I started with 2, a pair I purchased at a cavy show that was being held at a local county fair. "Queen Waxy and King Coppa" Now in all fairness I must say that the breeder that I purchased these from was very well informed on the care of cavies. I had done several months of research before deciding to purchase, including consulting a local vet for information on the care an upkeep of them. That was a little over 4 years ago. I have allowed my 2 darlings to breed twice since then. Both times Waxy presented my with a beautiful litter of 3 babies. I adopted out 1 from each litter, opting to keep the other 2 each time because I happened to like their coloring the best.
Anyway I have family in the Mid-west. They contacted me when they saw news reports of the traveling pigmobile. I have been reading 8 pages of this thread for the past couple of hours. That is the short version of how I found out about this list.
I applaud Ms. Murphy for the time and effort she has put into the care and rescue of cavies over the years. Such dedication is to be highly commended. Although I must say that this "devotion or sainthood" attitude that some of you have towards her might be a bit embarrassing to her. I have noticed that she does not respond when you make such comments. Judging from her statements through out this site, I would venture to say that Ms. Murphy does not desire this type of attention from you. She merely wants you as other recuers(I am assuming some of you are) and pet owners to follow her lead in your care of cavies. Focus your devotion to your cavies and not to her. I could be wrong in my observation. Please forgive me if I am.
Next, I have taken in over 20 small animals during the past year. 11 of which did happen to be cavies. Since then all of the cuties were rehomed with new loving care takers. I have found that the majority of the time people who come looking for pets through rescue services are more caring and make the best caretakers.
The biggest difference that I see in Ms Murphy´s approach to rescue and mine is the demands that she makes on potential new adoptive parents. Just as a casual observer I would think that Ms Murphys list of demands that must be met by the potential adopters probably drives many people away. I know that may sound somewhat condescending but it was not meant to be. My point is I know that if I have this rigid list of "what you must have and what you must dos" chances are most of the interested will say, "forget this, I can go to Petsmart and buy a cavy without all of this hassle." I am making an assumption here but I would think that many people would be opposed to all of the seemingly control issues attached with an adoption from Cavyspirit.
Now before anyone flies off the handle over that last bit, I say that BECAUSE as I stated earlier, I think that those people who take the time to look up rescuers and seek to obtain pets from them make better caretakers. SO, if I make it harder for them to obtain a pet than it is for them to go to Petsmart and buy one, then I am cutting my own throat. (Ghastly expression there but it was the only thing I could think of to describe it.) If I turn these people away or put them through the wringer to get a cavy and they go to Petsmart, then WHO has won? Petsmart and the Breeders have won!! I created a sale for petsmart, which in turn makes them want to replenish their stock to make another sale. They call upon the breeder, who in turn tosses a boar in with a sow to meet the demands of Petsmart. I know that is a very elementary way to state the situation but it is the bare facts of the matter.
Instead, I offer potential owners suggestions on housing, feeding, treats, vitamins and tips on health care. I encourage them to make life as wonderful for their new pets as they possibly can both time wise and finanically. I (hopefully) teach them by my example when showing them through my facilities, although I do not demand/require that it be done my way or either it is the highway. And you know what, I have found that the vast majority of them strive to copy my setup as much as they can.
Lastly, and I promise I will hush after this. As rescuers, lets do not alienate or develope a dislike/hate/intolerance for breeders. I feel as though we can IF the care of cavies is our ultimate goal, we can achieve this quicker and to a greater degree working together than against one another.
Ms Murphy, I applaud your effort to get legislation passed requiring health care sheets to be passed out at pet stores with the purchase of a cavy!! Excellent idea!! BUT, would we not double our support in this effort IF we had the support of the breeders as well? I can not imagine that they would be opposed to such a cavalier idea. I have had the good fortune to meet and visit with 3 responsible show/breeders in this area of the US. They all were genuinely concerned with cavy issues across the country not just with their own caviary. Actually (and I didn´t even know there was such a thing in print) one of the breeders provided me with a phamplet on the care of cavies that was printed up by the American Cavy Breeder Association. This phamplet discussed housing, feeding, illness & grooming. It may not be a wealth of information but it is more than you will be given at any pet store that I have ever been into.
Thank you all for being patient with my rather long winded post. Good day to all.
I don´t know the breeders you met, but I do know that a breeder can talk the talk, walk the walk, AND be loved and admired while being a despicable breeder in the eyes of the law and pet lovers. So unless you have seen a person´s setup and had day to day contact so you know the decisions they make, you can not really know where they would fall on an imaginary continuum of "good" and "bad" breeders. And rest assured, there are enough "bad" breeders.
As I remember, the ACBA pamphlet does cover a few things but falls short in some areas. I don´t think it is currently available on the net -- they moved their site and dropped many valuable articles.
Yes, Maineland, you are dead on about some of the comments being very embarssing to me. However, I also think that the regard in which people hold me has been exaggerated and twisted around. Some people come to my defense on certain topics because they are fairly like-minded in a number of ways. And some people have given a significant amount of their time, money, and energy in helping out with rescue, too. They are also living the issues even though they aren´t the ´official´ rescue so to speak. I know these people and they know me, and ´devotion, sainthood, numinous, etc.´ is way off. They are also just passionate about the issues. I think to have their support painted in such a way is not only also embarrassing to them, but a bit demeaning, although unintentioned, as well.
Cavy Spirit´s Adoption Criteria
I always take heat on this. Where to start. So many points to make.
First I guess, I´m still doing rescue. Second, when I started doing rescue, my ´criteria´ wasn´t the same, it definitely wasn´t as public, and I did okay. However, over time and many hundreds of adoptions and I don´t know how many more surrender calls, stories, pet store wars, breeder situations, rescue situations, etc., etc., my view of doing rescue successfully has dramatically changed from the first moment when I thought, "What´s one or two more, I´ll do rescue."
SO, if I make it harder for them to obtain a pet than it is for them to go to Petsmart and buy one, then I am cutting my own throat.
I couldn´t disagree more with this statement. But to go into detail defending and explaining my criteria would turn this thread into yet another topic. I take a lot of criticism because ALL of my policies and procedures are VERY public. Intentionally. If, the adoption requirements weren´t public, who would be educated about what I consider it takes to be a good candidate to provide a good home for a pair of guinea pigs? Only the people who I have direct contact with. (And I do believe I have value based on experience to contribute in this regard.)
Interestingly, the vast majority of applicants who take the time to fill out the detailed application on my site can´t be bothered to read the adoption criteria also printed there. So, the notion that so many people are turned away doesn´t really hold water. And if they have bothered to read all the detail and STILL feel that my requirements are overkill, then they will also read the other options clearly stated on that page about where to get a guinea pig other than a pet store. And after all that, if they still decide to go to the pet store, then more than likely, no coaching from me would change their mind anyway.
Yes, I acknowledge that there have been a few people who fit that bill. However, the number of people on the other side of the fence far outweight those lost to the pet store purchase. IF I were to choose the path of getting them in the physical door of my home to educate, I know the people that I would have reached and educated would be just a small fraction of those who have seen it and been on board with it and others who have leveraged the same information.
I am making an assumption here but I would think that many people would be opposed to all of the seemingly control issues attached with an adoption from Cavyspirit.
Actually, I get a ton of positive feedback about my site. The vast majority of adopters have no problems with the process. In fact, quite a few think it´s a really good thing. What are the hard parts anyway? A large cage: they can get one from me for $40 if they choose, which is stated right there in the adoption criteria. No cages in kid´s bedrooms. There´s a whole page explaining why on that one. VERY RARELY is that a big problem for anyone. They can´t be outdoors. No classroom pets. No breeding. No shipping. I really don´t see what the big deal is anyway. Oh, and you can´t have just one and no pigs as presents or gifts. It´s a whole lot easier to adopt a guinea pig from me than it is to adopt a dog from our shelter. None of those criteria are there for the heck of it. The number one mission is to prevent future surrenders while providing the best possible care for the animals.
BUT, would we not double our support in this effort IF we had the support of the breeders as well? I can not imagine that they would be opposed to such a cavalier idea.
(I´m assuming you didn´t really mean to use the word cavalier as it makes no sense to me.) It was the Pet Trade lobbyist who managed to get the bill opened up from just referring to "pet stores" to expand the definition to anyone who sells animals as he knew full well that by including the breeders the onslought of new opposition would hurt us. This bill information was posted on a more breeder-friendly guinea pig group and received a cold reception. I guess they didn´t get it. Or maybe they weren´t of the responsible variety you are referring to (everyone´s definition of ´responsible´ being different). Of course, I think it´s a no brainer. They didn´t.
The Responsible Breeder
Where is the ACBA´s definition of a responsible breeder? You would think they would have some kind of mission to educate people on responsible breeding. I´ve looked high and low. I´ve never seen a definition from them. I don´t recall ever seeing one on any breeder´s website, yet almost every breeder claims to be one. The closest the ACBA seems to get is their "Master Breeder" program. And the rules for being dubbed a master breeder look to be pretty much based on quantity. More shows, more wins, more ribbons, you get to be a considered a "master breeder." Not a mention anywhere about being a "responsible" breeder or what that means. I guess they figure you must be doing something right if you can consistently produce pretty pigs over time. Instead, the JACBA publishes non-tongue-in-cheek articles of a breeder espousing butchering culls and equally disturbing topics in the past.
People, breeders especially in the past, get on my case about the cage size requirement. Kleenmama said: And as for adequate cage space, says who? The Humane Society in Lacey told a breeder she could have no more than 4 pigs in a cage that was 18" by 24". Some of the rescuers here feel that 2x4 is adequate for a pig, and others feel more is necessary. Some of the most indulgent, loving, caring and knowledgable pig people on this board would not pass some of the rescuers guidelines. So who is to say how much space is enough?
Exactly! Who gets to say. Well in the past, as the case I´ve made on my website states in detail, the breeders who publish the books have come up with the old 2 square feet per pig rule. I say hooey to that. My requirements are based on observation over time of the same guinea pigs in progressively bigger cages. Many, many others are having the exact same experience. It was tribal custom on cage size requirements in the past and it will be tribal custom on cage size requirements in the future. Social acceptance. I´m just working on bigger and better standards.
Same approach on the "responsible breeder" definition. There is no definition so we made ours. We´ve published it. We´ll see where it goes, if anywhere. When the ACBA puts out their definition, we´ll compare notes and see how close we are.
- For the love of my girls!
I want to address two issues and then I hope to spend my time elsewhere.
Teresa: Yes, I know she hates the "saint-like" comments. She has told me more than once that all she really wants is FOR PEOPLE TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR PIGS. Is that so hard to understand? Why are some of Teresa´s friends extolling her virtures?? Because she is being unfairly roasted over coals. To the point of slander. I am firecely protective of my friends. If we weren´t feeling that she was being attacked, we would not have to defend her and you would not have to hear our positive comments about her. She has done NOTHING wrong. Why are you all being so mean? Stay on your own damn side of the raod and keep your nose out of where it doesn´t belong. I resent being told that my opinion of Teresa is wrong or somehow misdirected. It is MY opinion. If you don´t want to hear it, don´t attck her... or any of my friends. It´s easy to hurl comments through cyber space... it can also be painful. Teresa is a PERSON, not a business. She is a person just like any of us doing the best she can in this world.
Cage size: If you want happy pigs give them space. Period. Do you legally have to do it? Of course not. Do you have to do it if you adopt from Teresa? She requires that. AND, once you get home she knows, and you know, that people can do whatever they damn well please. The only control she has over it is that she wants to see a picture of the cage. Well, you don´t have to USE it. I just don´t see the problem here. It´s a requirement of her rescue. That does not make her a bad person! I have seen time and time again, with MY OWN PIGS that they love cage space. In June, we added a loft to the cage. I swear they were doing cartwheels for days. They were so happy. Yes, I can tell when my pigs are happy. Just last night, I moved a rescue mom and her two 5 week old pups into a 4X2 cage. They had been in a 2X2. They went WILD. The pups were popping so hard one fell over and they were slidding all over the place. It was amazing. Did they NEED the space... who knows. Did they LIKE the space... you bet! A friend of mine cme over who has rabbits. She LOVED my cage. The next day she made a C and C cage for her rabbits! That was a month ago. I saw her Wednesday night and she was SO excited! She said her rabbits had "come alive!" Her words, not mine. Why do we have to defend something that is good for animals? Get over it.
I think Teresa is obsessed, controlling, and without a doubt, mad -- hey, we all have our faults. I´m not going to list mine. But does she get things done? Yes sirree!! Does she have the right to run her rescue exactly how she wants? Absolutely! A person who really gets things done will have fans, admirers, supporters, and detractors. And though I don´t agree with all her ideas or criteria, they are hers and she has every right to hold her own opinions.
By the way, my daughter spends most of her waking hours in her large, well-outfitted bedroom. TV, videogames, computer, music, phone, reading chair. So I do think there are some circumstances in which a child´s pair of guinea pigs could be shortchanged if they were banned from living in a bedroom. Just my humble opinion.
I´ve made different exceptions at different times on all of my adoption criteria. Despite the way it reads, I´m just a tiny bit flexible. But, it seems that over time, when I make exceptions, it doesn´t work out in the long run, so I get tougher and tougher on sticking with my criteria.
So, yes, I agree, obsessed, controlling and without a doubt mad. Some days madder than others. Definitely, E´s the only angelic one around here.
In my daughter´s specific case I ruled out her bedroom when we got our guinea pigs only because I felt it was too dark (just one window). And I wanted to interact with the guinea pigs. So, well, now they´re essentially mine (they weren´t in her room so she never bonded with them).
Just wanted to point out that in a few, but certainly not all cases, it could result in less interaction with the guinea pigs.
First, Teresa (if I may so bold as to call you that since we do not know each other) may I ask if my comments upset or offended you in any way? If so, I apologize. I read and re-read my post to make sure that I did not come across as someone "trying to stir up trouble or condemn your practices."
I stated in my earlier post "She merely wants you as other rescuers(I am assuming some of you are) and pet owners to follow her lead in your care of cavies. Focus your devotion to your cavies and not to her. " I think from your reply that I was correct in my assumption.
As far as the cavalier idea.......meaning gallant, spirited brave, splendidly stated.
I think it would be a good idea for both breeder and pet stores to provide a "Care Fact" sheet for new owners. If breeders were to think about this for a minute or two they probably would see the advantage to this for both themselves and the new owner. Now to say who should decide or what should be on that sheet would probably cause another 10 page thread.
KarasKavies you are just as nasty and rude as Nastybreeder. Would you please tell me when or where in my earlier post was I mean to Teresa? When did I say she had done ANYTHING wrong? Teresa, would you please address this issue? I merely was comparing my rescue practices with yours and making observations of the differences. Did I ever condemn you for anything? Did I or did I not APPLAUDE you for your efforts, the time and money you spend? Did I not express my support for your effort to get legislation passed requiring the fact sheets?
I NEVER EVER condemned anyone for the high esteem in which they hold Teresa. I said that "SHE might find those comments embarrassing." AND IF YOU WILL READ HER REPLY MS. EVIL KARA YOU WILL FIND THAT SHE AGREED!!!!!!" Why would you want to continue to do something to a FRIEND if you KNOW that it bothers them?
Some friend you are!
Teresa, again I apologize if anything I said upset your or hurt your feelings. I assure you that it was never my intention. I found your site to be full of knowledge in regards to cavies. I am positive that it is a great source of info to many.
However, I refuse to sit idly by and be attacked for no reason other than expressing an observation by some hothead like Kara. So KARA PLEASE READ THIS: IT WOULD MAKE ME VERY HAPPY IF YOU WOULD ******SPEND YOUR TIME ELSEWHERE**********
I think if you stick around you´ll find Kara is a pretty nice person. I would miss her if she spent her time elsewhere.
We sure have different intrepretations of the word cavalier. I always associate it with the "haugthy, disdainful, supercilious, indifferent, offhand, uncaring" meaning.
Maineland, you just got the award for going from a very-well-composed-and-well-thought-out posting to a harsh-and-angry post in the least amount of time. <chuckle> I usually like that in a person, particularly when the anger is well-deserved. But this time it was for naught. I believe Kara was responding to NastyBreeder and Jachqui, not you.