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Thread: Buying pigs in petstores

  1. #1
    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Buying pigs in petstores

    "I bought a pig at the petstore because there are none in shelters/rescues near me." or "I bought a pig at the petstore because there are no shelters/rescues near me."

    These excuses don't cut it anymore for those who know about rescues/shelters and know why buying pigs in petstores is bad. I am also seeing it on the forum quite a lot lately so I wanted to write more about it.

    Anywhere there are petstores, there will be homeless pigs. Maybe there are no shelters or rescues in your immediate area but look for shelters/rescues a little further out of your immediate area.

    I live in small town, no shelters anywhere nearby and when I was looking for friends for my lone sow, I did buy one petstore pig in my ignorance, but yet I managed to adopt 6 more pigs over the years without going to a petstore to purchase them. If I could do it, I know you all can. Even if you have to drive an hour or two to adopt a pig. It's well worth it.

    For those of you that are minors and rely on your parents and they don't know about adopting or rescues/shelters, explain to your parents why adopting is so much better than buying. Explain to them the reasons you should not buy petstore pigs.

    Reasons not to buy a petstore pig:
    • They most often come from piggie mills or backyard breeders where the standards of care are very poor in many cases, or in the case of small mom & pop type stores, they breed the pigs themselves usually with no knowledge of genetics or history.
    • They are very often ill with URI's or other illnesses because of poor conditions.
    • They can have mites or other parasites.
    • If not sexed properly, sows end up pregnant.
    • Many, (not all) but many, petstore employees don't have a clue about proper care. They try to sell you all types of junk that cavies do not need. Their job is to make sales for the store and that's what they do by sometimes pushing crappy treats and foods and other items that are dangerous such as wheels or balls.


    Here are some tips on finding pigs without having to go to a petstore to purchase them.


    If you can't find any pigs to adopt through all those resources, then I suggest you wait until you can find a pig through one of those resources. Patience is a virtue and if you wait, a pig will come along. There is absolutely no reason you cannot wait, even if you have a single pig who needs a friend as your cavy will be ok for a while while you find him/her a friend.

    I also want to mention that if you come on this thread whining or with excuses, you may find your thread deleted as this is not what this thread is about. The excuses are old and we've already heard pretty much all of them.
    Last edited by Ly&Pigs; 09-01-09 at 10:43 am.


  2. #2
    Cavy Slave JD In Van's Avatar
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    Almost all our pigs though come from the pet stores how ever indirectly. I'm adopting a pig this weekend that was at a pet store not two weeks ago, the owner brought it home and found out she was 'allergic'. Even those of us who are rescuing animals are in a way continuing to sustain the pet store's malpractice, which, horrible as it is is the reason the species has survived and thrived as it has.

    I think rather then being caustic to those who make this mistake but are here on forums like this trying to actively provide the best for thier cavies they can, the best approach is to be politically active for animal rights. Ask that breeders for pet stores have to be registered and conform to the same regulations that livestock breeders must in other industries. Demand that your local pet stores not buy from these back yard breeders. Write letters to your local news paper and news channels and insist that consumer reporters investigate the back yard breeding industry (it's the kind of stuff they live for to be honest).

    Really that's where the real and genuine problem is.


  3. #3
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    I will be honest.. I bought 3 pet store pigs because I was ignorant to the problem. There's no excuse for it and I know it is wrong. I did rescue my last pig from a lady who rescued two pregnant sows (unknowingly).

    All I can do now is make sure my pigs don't add to the statistics of piggies looking for a home and know that if/when I do adopt another pig I will not even think about going to a pet store.

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  5. #4
    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    I am trying to educate forum members that there are other ways to obtain cavies rather then run to their local petstores or breeders and purchase them. That is the purpose of this thread. If I can get one person to read this and think about it, then adopt a pig in need instead of running to their local petstore to buy a pig, at least I have taken a step in the right direction.

    This thread is not really about being politically active for animal rights in a direct sense (we should leave that for another topic). It is however, about aquiring pigs through better means than petstores or breeders. This site is anti-petstores that sell animals and anti-breeding, and personally, I am tired of people making excuses when they know that buying pigs from these sources is not the way to go.

    JD, even though the pig you are about to adopt came from a petstore, you aren't contributing to the petstore. You aren't buying it from the petstore, the person you are adopting from did and maybe they don't know there are better alternatives. Therefore you are making the store lose potential sales it could have made from you were you to ever consider going that route. That's the point I am trying to make in this thread.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    Some places have newspapers for the sole purpose of advertising. For example, in Perth, Australia, we have the Quokka. It has a whole section designated to pets. Unfortunately breeders often use the opportunity to advertise their pets, but once you weed through them there are dozens of people looking to rehome guinea pigs alone.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    The petstore that i used to go to gets piggies from the aspca then sells them at there store but gives the money from the guinea pigs to the Aspca. Thats the store where i got my first guinea pig Rockey, A chocolate roan. So i rescued my first guinea pig.

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator! VoodooJoint's Avatar
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessskater1 View Post
    The petstore that i used to go to gets piggies from the aspca then sells them at there store but gives the money from the guinea pigs to the Aspca. Thats the store where i got my first guinea pig Rockey, A chocolate roan. So i rescued my first guinea pig.
    They Sell or Adopt Out? There is a major difference. You can read about it here http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/...-adopting.html

    If getting one of these animals is as easy as plunking money on the counter and walking out with the animal of your choice without even a cursory adoption application or interview then the petstore is selling, the ASPCA is assisting in this barbarity and you did not rescue.

    I can go to the SPCA, bring home a bunch of animals and then sell them, even give them away, to people on the street. That would not make me a rescuer. For all I know the animals could be going for experimentation, fighting or food. If that is what the ASPCA and Petstore near you does then they are NOT helping, they are aiding in the view of animals as disposable objects which leads to abuse and neglect and those are the very reasons they ended up in the ASPCA in the first lace.

    It sickens me to think that an animal welfare organization could be feeding this cycle of abuse.
    Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You can't let the world judge you too much.

    Maude from Harold and Maude

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  10. #8
    Pigaholic Extraordinaire Paula's Avatar
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessskater1 View Post
    The petstore that i used to go to gets piggies from the aspca then sells them at there store but gives the money from the guinea pigs to the Aspca. Thats the store where i got my first guinea pig Rockey, A chocolate roan. So i rescued my first guinea pig.
    Doubtful.

    Does this store make the owner sign an adoption contract? Does it do any kind of screening to potential adopters/buyers? If the answers to those questions is no, you bought your first guinea pig.

    Does this store always have a supply of pigs? If so, it's not likely they are getting them from any rescue organization, because shelters don't usually have a constant supply of pigs or other animals needing homes.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    ok then i was wrong. I didn't "rescue" my first guinea pig.

  13. #10
    Cavy Slave JD In Van's Avatar
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    Quote Originally Posted by Paula View Post
    Doubtful.

    Does this store make the owner sign an adoption contract? Does it do any kind of screening to potential adopters/buyers? If the answers to those questions is no, you bought your first guinea pig.

    Does this store always have a supply of pigs? If so, it's not likely they are getting them from any rescue organization, because shelters don't usually have a constant supply of pigs or other animals needing homes.
    Actually where I live this happens often. The local big box pet store by me actually has a small SPCA outlet inside of it staffed by an SPCA employee who cares for the animals that they they bring in and also over seeing the care of the animals that don't come through the SPCA (such as birds and fish). Adopting a pet through them you have to go through the exact same process as you would to get one from a full SPCA branch.

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    Pigaholic Extraordinaire Paula's Avatar
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    Yeah, that's not the same thing as someone from the store going and getting animals from the local rescue to turn around and sell for a profit at a pet store.
    Last edited by Paula; 09-03-09 at 01:19 pm.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    Ok thank you everyone.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    This really helped me. As we speak i am currently looking on pet finder for a guinea pig

  17. #14
    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    Quote Originally Posted by AdoringPiggies View Post
    This really helped me. As we speak i am currently looking on pet finder for a guinea pig
    Thank you. This is what I want to accomplish with this thread. If you need any help locating pigs near you, please let us know.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    Quote Originally Posted by Ly&Pigs View Post
    Thank you. This is what I want to accomplish with this thread. If you need any help locating pigs near you, please let us know.
    Actually right now i'm having a problem convincing my mom to let me have one. :P I found the cutest pair in costa mesa!!!! My mom is hesitant about owning a guinea pig at this time because we're gonna have a baby boy in the house soon but i know that a piggy would be completely harmless unless agitated. *sigh*

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    Cavy Slave akstrohm's Avatar
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    If your mom isn't completely happy about getting pigs, it's best to wait. You will need to get at least two, they require at least 10.5 square feet, and they need fresh veggies every day. They also require vet care, which can get very expensive. I think it is best to wait until the baby is born and everyone has a bit more time, money, and energy before getting any more pets. They can be a lot more work than you might imagine.

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  21. #17
    Cavy Slave JD In Van's Avatar
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    Quote Originally Posted by AdoringPiggies View Post
    Actually right now i'm having a problem convincing my mom to let me have one. :P I found the cutest pair in costa mesa!!!! My mom is hesitant about owning a guinea pig at this time because we're gonna have a baby boy in the house soon but i know that a piggy would be completely harmless unless agitated. *sigh*
    What we're doing currently to find out if a piggy will fit in with our family is we offered to foster for one of the local small animal shelters. When the baby is born and your mom is comfortable with the idea perhaps you could suggest that you do that first? Then you can decide if you're ready to give a pair of piggies a forever home armed with some first hand experience?

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  23. #18
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    Quote Originally Posted by AdoringPiggies View Post
    This really helped me. As we speak i am currently looking on pet finder for a guinea pig
    There is a rescue in San Diego called Wee Companions.

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    Cavy Slave delilaharcade's Avatar
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    I'm ashamed to say that I purchased my two guinea pigs from Petco about a week ago. I did not realize how horrible it was to buy from a pet store until after I got my boys. They were fine for the first few days, so I thought I got lucky with getting healthy pet store pigs.

    A few days ago I noticed something odd on one of my pig's ears. I called the store to see what they could do. They informed me that they were having a ringworm outbreak. Luckily, Petco guarantees the health of their animals for 15 days and any vet bills that are required within those 15 days are covered by the store as long as I go to a vet they approve.

    I was happy to see that Petco uses the same vet that I use for my dogs, but I wasn't too happy about having to bring them there. When I arrived, my vet told me that Petco was having a problem with ringworm and URIs. They each have both and are now on treatment.

    I feel horrible. As I'm typing this I can hear my pigs sneezing. I cannot believe I contributed to the continuation of these petstore practices.

    PLEASE do not buy from petstores!!!

    But on a second note, not ALL petstores are bad. My local Petsmart is affiliated with my local ASPCA. All of the animals in the store are rescued and all are up for ADOPTION, not purchase. All of the animals there have a name and a chart. They only do adoptions during certain hours and they are all well taken care of. From now on, I will be supporting my local Petsmart instead of Petco.

    So make sure when you are looking in a pet store that you are adopting your new pet, not buying.

  25. #20
    Cavy Slave sdpiggylvr's Avatar
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    Re: Buying pigs in petstores

    I bought both of my guinea pigs at a petstore. I honestly DID NOT know that it was bad to buy from a petstore. I honestly didn't know that it was considered taboo on this website. My guinea pigs are perfectly healthy, but I am still ashamed.

    Although not ALL petstores are bad like delilaharcade says, I think that it all depends on which petstore you go to. Some petstores are horrible and some are just ok. If I had known that you could get guinea pigs from a rescue and that petstores were horrible places of breeding, I wouldn't have bought my guinea pigs there.

    I hadn't regretted getting my pigs from there until I came on here. I was in chat, talking to other members and when I said I had gotten my guinea pigs from a petstore, they all jumped on me! Thats when I knew it was not respectable.

    I now know why everyone jumped on me. And I am ashamed, upset, and embarrassed that I even contributed to the horrible breeding mills that petstores get their pets from.

    I will forever try to make it up for my guinea pigs by trying to stop the cruelty petstores engage in and I will always provide the best life I can for my pigs. In a sense, I feel like I sort of rescued my guinea pigs from living in a tiny cage with several other guinea pigs. Sure, they weren't from a rescue, but I think they didn't have to endure living in those horrible circumstances anymore. My guinea pigs turned out to be healthy pigs. My first guinea pig got mites, but we aren't positive if it was from the petstore or from another source.

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