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Thread: Pet shop or breeder?

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
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    Question Pet shop or breeder?

    Hi.
    I am getting 2-3 guinea pigs after I come home from holidays. I have completely exhausted looking for a shelter so I can adopt them. I have asked every animal shelter in the country (all that I know of anyway). Very few of them take in guinea pigs. The few (maybe 20 or less) that actually ever took in guinea pigs said they had none, and only a couple have had any in the last few months. Even the biggest shelter in the country (the dspca shelter) hasn't got any, we just don't have the same overpopulation problems as in the rest of the world.

    My options are as follows, buying from a local pet shop or finding a breeder.

    There are 4 pet shops in my local town. 1 of them I refuse to support because of the conditions they keep their animals in. Another one is a huge chain store type place and. I would prefer to support a small business. The other two are very good I think.

    1. This one only keeps a small number of animals(4-5 on display, 4 in the back) , the cages are big, the food is good and they are cleaned out regularly. I have been in the back and they breed all their own animals (1 or 2 litters a year of rabbits and guinea pigs). The owners are very friendly too.

    2. This one does have a lot of animals, their cages could be bigger but they are still pretty big, the food is good and they are cleaned out daily. The animals are bred by the owner at his home and all of his animals are kept in huge big cages and are very well cared for. The owner is very knowledgable and always gives good advice

    I could also find a home breeder, but I think it would be hard to find a reputable one close by (within 2-3 hours)

    What do you think is my best option? Thanks

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave lost_lover's Avatar
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    Pretty much everyone here is going to tell you, and I agree, try looking further away for a rescue. There are guinea pig specific rescues because so few shelters do take them. Also keep an eye on sites like this one and Craigslist for people who are rehoming their's because they no longer can/want to keep them. Keep an open mind about driving a few towns over.

    Don't go to a pet store, any pets store. Regardless how how they treat them in the store they came from the same type if mill.

    Ok, now I don't want everyone here to freak out about the next part of my answer, it would probably be best to take it to a PM really. I used to be very interested in show dogs and had considered showing Maltese very seriously, while dogs and guinea pigs are very different a do I a bit about finding a reputable breeder.

    A reputable breeder would be dedicated to a specific breed. If someone is claiming to be a reputable breeder but has Abbys and Cresteds for sale (just an example) they are breeding to make money, not for the betterment of the breed. Expect to pay a pretty penny for a pet from a good breeder. There are tons of things you need to look into if you do go that route but this is a pro-rescue forum and my experience is with dogs. If you have questions, feel free to PM me and I will answer the best I can.

    Really though, first trying widening your search area first.

  3. #3
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    I don't think that guinea pig breeds are the same as dog breeds, so I don't know if there are Abby-only breeders, for instance. Regardless, I would stress to look harder for a rescue pet. There is no reason to contribute to guinea pig overpopulation when there are rescue animals out there, even if you have to look a little for them. Craigslist is a good option if you don't have a rescue around here and aren't having any luck at the shelters, but as a former shelter volunteer, I stress to give it time and keep an eye on what the shelters get. There were certain times of the year that we would be swamped by pigs, and months where we didn't have any. That didn't mean there wasn't an overpopulation problem. There are some people that don't even think to take a small animal to a shelter, so they get dumped or given away on Craigslist.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Artista's Avatar
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    Pet finder is another resource. Also the adoptables forum on this site may have pigs in your area or near enough.

  5. #5
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    Where there are pet stores, there are accidental litters. Do you have any sites like CraigsList or Kijiji? You could always post an ad on one of those types of sites stating you are looking to adopt a pig that needs a new home, but that you are not interested in buying from a breeder. You could also let any exotics vets in your area know you are looking for a pig, in the event they hear of anyone wanting to rehome one.

    It might be a bit of a wait, but think of how wonderful you will feel knowing you are giving a home to a pig in need, as opposed to helping contribute to a system that creates pigs in need.

    ETA: another suggestion may be to contact the pet stores and ask if they ever adopt out "unsellable" guinea pigs. Some stores will not allow guinea pigs to be sold even if they have a scar or other perceived imperfection. But, be careful if you do that because in many cases the pigs are actually sick (that's why they are unsellable), and you may be taking on a future vet bill (which may or may not be okay with you).

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    Cavy Slave Starthecavy123's Avatar
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    You shouldn't get guinea pigs from either of those places. If you just wait and be patient I'm sure you'll find some. The large chain pet stores like petsmart get their pigs from mills. Instead of a pet store try petfinder and Craigslist.

  7. #7
    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    Neither one is a good option. Both contribute to the overpopulation problem. Petstores, yes even privately owned ones, get their stock from breeding mills that keep their animals in horrible conditions, breeding the sows for back to back litters then disposing of her when she cannot produce anymore.

    Breeders, even ones that keep the pigs in good condition and seem to care about the pigs, add to the overpopulation problem when there are so many in need of homes. When you buy from a store or a breeder, you are taking homes away from those pigs who are sitting in shelters and rescues.

    The bottom line is, you don't NEED to get a guinea pig right now or after you get back from the holidays. You are not under a time limit. You can wait and keep looking until you find one who needs a home. I'm sure some of our members from Ireland can help you find a rescue or shelter. If there are some that are farther out, some are willing to meet you half way or even bring them to you because they are dedicated to finding homes for the pigs that already exist rather than manufacturing new pigs to add to the overpopulation problem.

    You can also leave your name with vet offices letting them know you are looking for one if someone needs to rehome. You can also leave your name with animal shelters, even ones that don't normally take in guinea pigs because I'm sure they get people looking to surrender their pigs.

    Also check your newspaper want ads under pets. Sometimes people will list their pets there.
    Last edited by CavyMama; 08-02-14 at 09:31 pm.

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    Cavy Slave lost_lover's Avatar
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    Pet shop or breeder?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClemmyOddieIndy View Post
    ETA: another suggestion may be to contact the pet stores and ask if they ever adopt out "unsellable" guinea pigs. Some stores will not allow guinea pigs to be sold even if they have a scar or other perceived imperfection. But, be careful if you do that because in many cases the pigs are actually sick (that's why they are unsellable), and you may be taking on a future vet bill (which may or may not be okay with you).
    I did see when I was picking some things up at the pet store a sign on the cage with the ferrets they were selling. It was letting people know that they had three ferrets that needed to be adopted. I assume someone just dropped them off and the employee just couldn't say no to taking them in.

    Not sure how I managed to come home without the ferrets!
    Last edited by lost_lover; 08-02-14 at 09:55 pm. Reason: typo

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    I found this shelter in Ireland that has piggies, http://www.assisi-ni.org/category/sm...s/guinea-pigs/ Not sure where in Ireland you live though (and I don't know Ireland, so it wouldn't matter if I did know!). If you haven't already, maybe contact them?

  10. #10
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    @lost_lover, no craigslist in this country. It is not a question of driving a few towns over, I have checked every shelter in the country that I know of or have found online/phone books/national data bases. The pet shops I have mentioned breed there own animals and they don't come from mills, I know the people personally and they don't support those mills, the bigger chain store type place probably does get there's from mills. I don't really think guinea pig breeds are the same as other animals. They are more coat types than breeds.
    @Artista, petfinder is terrible in Ireland, it isn't used very much at all but thanks for the suggestion.

    @ClemieOddieIndy, No none of those sites here. I genuinely don't think we have the same overpopulation problem, some shelters. I talked to actually had a waiting list for a guinea pig! I will check our some vets and see if I could get I sellable ones though.
    @CavyMama, but there are no guinea pigs in shelters here! I have talked to the owner of one of the shops, he has had to import breeding stock from breeders in other countries to breed for his shop so I am sure that he doesn't support mills. I am going to stay looking for shelters though.
    @stray hares, that rescue is in another country, the same island but another country. There would be all sorts of importation laws and quarantine periods which would just put too much stress on the guinea pigs, thanks for helping though

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Princess_Piggie's Avatar
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    http://www.pets4homes.co.uk/ Try that.

    If there are pet stores, by proxy there are unwanted pets from said stores. Check gumtree, CL or whatever the ROI equivalent is too. Trust me, you don't have to go through bad channels to get your pigs.

  12. #12
    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    Maybe some of these links will be helpful, I found them by typing guinea pig ireland into google and this was all on the first page.

    http://www.adverts.ie/for-sale/pets/.../q_guinea+pig/
    http://www.gumtree.ie/s-guinea+pigs/v1q0p1
    http://www.donedeal.ie/find/smallfur...d/guinea%20pig

    Note, not all adds on these sites are posted from people looking for a new home for their pets some are posted by breeders.

  13. #13
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    Thanks a million, I didn't know about adverts.ie, all ads on gum tree and donedeal will be breeders though

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    There is a CraigsList in Ireland. I looked it up. Also, have you tried Dublin Small Animal Rescue?

  15. #15
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    I know there is an irish craigslist, but it is not used. There is only 8 ads for pets for the whole country where as sites like donedeal have thousands. I tried dsar a few weeks ago, but I might try them again now

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    Cavy Slave Starthecavy123's Avatar
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    Breeding isn't a good thing to support either.

  17. "Thank you, Starthecavy123, for this useful post," says:


  18. #17
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    Ah, bummer, sorry, I just saw "Ireland," and got excited.

    Best of luck with your search!

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    Cavy Slave starrgazerr's Avatar
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT use a petstore OR breeder! here are other things you can do!!

    1. petfinder.com
    2. call local exotic vets and ask if they know of a guinea pig litter or pregnant sow
    3. look on craigslist for an adoptable pig or pair NOT a baby pig...craigslist breeders will offer up baby piggies and you do not want to support "backyard breeders"
    4. if none of these work you can see if anyone has abandoned a pig at a petstore. that way you are at least adopting

  20. #19
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    Please don't use DoneDeal please because I was on on there looking to het a pig and I saw breeder after breeder after breeder
    I have found a rescue in Ireland where I nearly got my pigs it is near CarrickonShannon and has a good few pigs it is called Poppy and Wildflower and is very nice looking.
    only thing is that.you have to collect them there as she has no car
    Last edited by AmazingPiggie; 08-07-14 at 01:29 pm. Reason: I got some more helpful info on rescues that might help :)

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Pet shop or breeder?

    I have sorted out where. My friends guinea pig turned out to be pregnant when she rescued it. I am going it take some of the babies when they are born.

  22. "Thank you, guineapigman, for this useful post," says:


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