Pet stores improving?

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Knhappyface

Post   » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:34 pm


Although I don't own my own guinea pigs - yet - I've been doing tons of research online and in the pet stores. I was very surprised and pleased to found out how well out pet stores seemed to take care of the animals.
In fact, both Petcetera and Petland sold only one gender for almost all their animals - Petcetera only stocks females, while Petland only carry males. They also explained how much this has decreased accidental offspring.
The cages were also very clean, with ample food, water, toys and hidey houses to go around. The piggies at Petland were only about 8 weeks old, and there were at least 10 of them, but there was certainly enough room for all them!

I held two Guinea pigs at Petcetera, both of which were slightly nervous and very difficult to catch. Once they were in my arms, they calmed down considerably. The little boys at Petland, however, were hard to catch (but still alot easier than the ones at Petcetera) but completely at ease in my hands. I played with probably 4 of 5 of them, and they seemed perfectly fine.

I was just wondering about the condition of other pet stores in your area (I'm in British Columbia, Canada), and whether or not any of the stores are taking actions to prevent Guinea Pigs ending up in shelters. Maybe pet stores around North America are FINALLY smartening up and treating animals the way they should.

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Aertyn

Post   » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:40 pm


It's not so much the treatment of animals in stores but it's the fact that they sell animals in the first place when there are so many languishing in rescues and shelters across the country.

There's only one pet store where I live, and as far as pet stores go it's pretty good actually. They seperate sexes and the cages are massive, the cages they sell are huge too (but still too small in my mind) They also now have Care Guides that I wrote up for them (tailored for Australia and what's available here) and now longer sell worming drops, vitamin drops, wheels, balls + leashes.

Do I buy things from there?

Not if I can help it. I buy from either online or from the horse store down the road (for hay).

Because I don't want to condone them for treating living, breathing sentient beings as merchandise.

Suisan

Post   » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:47 pm


It's not only the treatment of them when they are in the store that's a concern, but the greater issue is that pet stores have to get their "stock" from somewhere. This keeps puppymill-like breeders in operation. For every one you see in a store, there are at least two more in a breeder's setup that will never see a shelter.

Also, shelters are euthanizing. Why breed more? Because there's money in sales at pet stores. There's no other reason to breed more.

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Knhappyface

Post   » Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:24 pm


I completely agree. The only thing is, from what I've heard from Cavy Spirit and tons of other places, I was under the impression that they would purpously sell pregnant females, mix genders, and the pigs would be in bad condition. Many websites have also claimed that the animals don't have access to clean food and water.

Unfortunately, I live in a town with only 1 animal shelter, and it only carries cats and dogs. I've already tried there. Would it be such a crime to buy 2 Guinea Pigs from a pet store, if the other choices are few and far between?

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Aertyn

Post   » Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:29 pm


No-one needs a guinea pig that badly.

Knowing what I know now, I would never buy a pet. Have you tried Petfinder? Craigslist? The free to a good home ads in the paper?

You could get lucky, and someone from a different town might be able to help you track down some pigs in your area and piggy train them to you?

If not. Don't get guinea pigs.

Suisan

Post   » Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:41 pm


I don't know enough about the geography of British Columbia to be that helpful, but I did searches for "guinea pig" under the "Pets" section of Craigslist and got lots of ads -- some even "Free to a good home."

Which are of British Columbia are you nearest to? This is how Craigslist divides BC:


comox valley
cranbrook
fraser valley
kamloops
kelowna
nanaimo
prince george
vancouver
victoria
whistler


Vancouver obviously had the largest number of listings for guinea pigs, but they are out there.

Suisan

Post   » Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:44 pm


"The only thing is, from what I've heard from Cavy Spirit and tons of other places, I was under the impression that they would purpously sell pregnant females, mix genders, and the pigs would be in bad condition."

Not on purpose, but the pigs are often pregnant because neither the shippers nor the pet store employees know enough to separate them. And yes, generally the pigs from pet stores *are* in bad condition. Most if not all have health problems.

"Many websites have also claimed that the animals don't have access to clean food and water. "

And this is often true as well. Not in all cases, but sometimes it happens. Certainly most pet store pigs do not have access to hay 24/7, but instead are fed a handful if they're lucky.

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Froggieflies

Post   » Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:48 am


When my sister and I went to the mspca to adopt my girls and saw just how many piggies were there, she regreted buying her males at a pet store even more than before.

I know it can be tempting because the ones at the pet store are there now, and to find one to rescue might require a longer wait but trust me it will be worth it.

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WindeSpirit
Sewing for a Cause

Post   » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:54 am


Ditto on the stores and adopting.
There was another member here that was pretty far up in Canada that decided to wait and adopt rather then 'buy now'. I do believe they didn't have to long of a wait either, perhaps a few weeks. But the result was healthy guinea pigs and more were able to be rescued to find their forever homes.

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sus4rabbitsnpigs

Post   » Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:54 pm


Even if the store happens to be clean, it is what you don't see that is the problem. The backyard breeder and pet mill conditions for them before they hit the stores. The sows being backbred to death until they are no longer useful.

They are frequently missexed and come down with URI, mites and other illnesses after you buy them.

They do not screen buyers so many times they can be neglected and dumped later when the kids are bored, if they live that long.

The only improvement is to stop selling animals and/or only having rescues in store.

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Feylin

Post   » Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:13 pm


Something I've found is that the shelters do NOT list their pocket pets on the internet. Sometimes, if you call the people who answer don't even know for sure what they have. You have to actually walk in each day to see what they have.
Here's my problem with petstore pigs, totally aside from the issue of the overpopulation of pigs in shelters (which is also a good reason to never buy):

You are seeing the cute young babies. What you dont see is the parents they came from- the parents are not being given ANY treatment until they can no longer make babies. I rescued some pigs who were breeding stock- they're backs looked like raw meat from mites, their teeth were falling out from scurvy/poor diet, they were covered in battle scars from living in crowded conditions, they were filthy and urine stained for the same. The new babies are yanked out and sent to the pet store ASAP since they make the most money that way.

Don't buy a pig from a petstore. I've got pictures if you don't quite believe me.

magicmoo

Post   » Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:31 pm


I was at the vet's on Tuesday where I (patiently) explained to the receptionist why she should not buy from a petshop *sigh* I am not even sure that she believed me.

I also had a lady at work who thought it would be better to buy a GP as 'there would be much nicer ones, and much more choice than at a rescue'. God help me, but I could barely contain myself. She looked disinterested and confused when I told her about pet stores back to back breeding of sows.

I tell myself that I have to nag them, even though it likely won't make it through their thick skull, but if just one person changes their mind because of my nagging, it is worth my breath.

Just as an aside, my daughter told me that if there was such a thing as reincarnation, then she wanted to be a GP. But not a petstore GP-one with a dippy owner like me. Awww.

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Knhappyface

Post   » Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:54 pm


I completely agree about the backyard breeding and everything, but aren't most Guinea Pigs that come from rescues in need of special care? I've never owned a piggy before, and, although I know quite a bit from reading around, I don't think I'd be able to give the required medicines/attention/whatever else right from the start.

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:19 pm


Most pigs in rescues are just regular pigs - the ones that kids get bored with, or the babies that the pigs from the pet store have once you bring them home. They aren't special needs any more than other pigs. They do have the advantage of often coming to you healthy - the rescue will often treat for all illnesses before adopting out. They can also tell you about the pig's personality and help fit you to a pig that suits your household best. That never happens with pet store pigs!

Most rescues won't adopt out special needs pigs, except to a home that has experience with special needs pigs. Lots of rescues have "sanctuary" pigs that aren't healthy enough to adopt out, so they live out their lives at the rescue.

The folks here at GL will go out of their way to help you find pigs to adopt. You'd be surprised. :-)

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sus4rabbitsnpigs

Post   » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:47 pm


No, it is a myth that rescue animals are all old and sickly. People will dump anything from the pregnant to newborn to young adult or older pet, for any given reason. Most of the time it has nothing to do with the pet themself.

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Knhappyface

Post   » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:48 pm


Hmm ..
That's really good to know. Now if only the shelter in my town carried small animals. Like I said before, they only have dogs and cats - I have no idea what happens to the unwanted piggies.

"
Which are of British Columbia are you nearest to? This is how Craigslist divides BC:


comox valley
cranbrook
fraser valley
kamloops
kelowna
nanaimo
prince george
vancouver
victoria
whistler
"

I'm IN Prince George, in fact! I'll definately look there right away.

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Knhappyface

Post   » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:51 pm


I just checked Craigslist, and there were no Guinea Pigs in Prince George - only dogs and horses. All the other cities are at least 6 hours away from me.

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sef1268

Post   » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:56 pm


Shelter pigs are usually perfectly fine pets that someone gave up for any number of reasons: kids got bored with it; family member has allergies; owner moved and the new landlord doesn't accept pets. The list goes on and on.

One of my favorite guinea pigs, is our old man Henry whom we adopted from a shelter two years ago. He came to us highly socialized, and loves giving chin kisses.

Do look around for ads in the paper, Craigslist...ask local vets if they know of anyone looking to rehome a guinea pig. Put an ad on community bulletin boards, or ask co-workers or church members. Pigs in need of a home are out there if you're patient and persistent.

Good luck.

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sammianne

Post   » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:04 pm


Another Craigslist idea is to put up a "guinea pig wanted" type ad. That is how I got my first Craigslist pig. I was looking for days but it was mostly sows listed and I needed a boar. It seemed like every ad for a boar I found he was already adopted or too far away. I finally got frustrated and put a wanted ad up saying what I was looking for and how far I could travel to pick up a pig. That same day I was emailed by a lady with a boar needing a home. She had pulled the listing because she thought she found him a new family, but that fell through. Too bad for those folks because they are missing out on one precious little piggie.

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:10 pm


A pig-wanted ad is a good idea. Good luck!

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