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Thread: Hoarding, breeding, and what can be done about it.

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
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    Hoarding, breeding, and what can be done about it.

    I've been struggling with this for a while - mostly because I want to give people the benefit of the doubt.

    A short while ago, I got a few guineas from a family friend - she had recently rescued a BOATLOAD from a retired breeder who had gone bankrupt and was otherwise going to just dump the pigs at a shelter or the likes. I thought it was innocent. She even started asking questions about how she could be registered as an official guinea pig rescue. I was excited! I got my pick of guinea pigs and got to meet the rest of them. I even got to sit and talk to the three pregnant mommas that came with the bunch - one had given birth not long before I had arrived, so I got to see the little jelly beans.

    My first red flag should have been how she referred to them. She named them, she knew their personalities, but the most important thing was their lineage. I'm sure that matters for some people, especially since a good many of them were skinnies, werewolves, and very specifically bred pigs, but it just rubbed me the wrong way. Nevertheless, I was happy with my newest additions. I didn't think too much on it until I started seeing her seeking out more sows. She's obsessed with the Dalmatian line, and that in itself worries me. She hasn't outright said that she is breeding, but I do know that she plans on doing it.

    Personally, I hope she talks to me about it - she used to come to me with questions about the pigs all the time. I'm hoping that I can talk her out of breeding - breeding has a place in this world. Just... not here, and certainly not now.

    But the kicker, here. Even if she's not breeding. Is that, unless she's sold a few more pigs since I've last spoken to her - she has over ninety guinea pigs. I'm not exaggerating to get my point across - she came into anywhere between 83-86 pigs when she took the first group in, and I know that at least three were pregnant.

    I'm worried. Her son is worried. My S.O. is disgusted. They aren't necessary mistreated - she's great with them. They have food and water and hay. They don't have very large living spaces, but I wouldn't think that would be much of an issue if she was actually trying to rehome them. But I know for a fact that she cannot give them all the attention they need, especially on top of her job as a day-care owner.

    I don't know what to do in this situation. Her son's tried to talk to her about it, but she shuts him out. That many guinea pigs in a single room... it can't be healthy. I would really like some advice, here.

  2. #2
    Cavy Newbie
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    Re: Hoarding, breeding, and what can be done about it.

    While I'm still learning about guinea pigs, I'm no stranger to human nature. To force the topic sounds like a bad idea, since she is shutting out her own son. Would she be willing to accept your help? Try volunteering to help her with the piggies, while delicately trying to talk to her about the situation. Giving her a sense of acceptance might give way to reasoning with her. Seek out people who are looking for pigs and tell her others are looking to adopt. I hope that this can be some help to you and all involved.

  3. #3
    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Hoarding, breeding, and what can be done about it.

    I don't think there is much you can do, if she is caring for the guinea pigs in a way that is up to standard with animal welfare laws in your area and she herself doesn't want to change there is nothing you can do.

    However I would like to point out the thing that you mentioned that has me the most concerned is the obsession with dalmations. Dalmatians are a type of roan, so if she is not extremely careful in breeding them she will end up with lethal whites, and if she rehomes any to people who don't know better they could try their own hand at breeding and end up with lethal whites. So if she continues down the path of dalmatians she could either directly or indirectly cause more guinea pigs to be born with some of the most devastating birth defects they could possibly have, which is in no way an ethical thing to do.

    Honestly though if she won't listen to her own son I doubt you have much chance of changing her mind, she has to be on board with change before anything can happen as long as she is keeping them up to legal standards. All you may be able to do for now is just keep monitoring the situation and if the standard she is caring for them slips below the legal standard then you may be able to contact the appropriate authorities. You may also want to talk to her son and explain the lethal white issue with Dalmatians, if he isn't already aware, or if she ever talks to you about it you may be able to mention it yourself.

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