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Comments for new cavy slaves - gentle discussion

pookczek

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Hi there! I wanted to start a gentle discussion about comments given to people who get pets at pet stores. Before you get your hackles up, I'd like everyone try take a deeeeeep, calming breath.

Ok? Ok.

I believe that it *is* a mistake to buy pets at stores that sell live animals. I've made that mistake, and know better now. I've rescued an animal from our local rescue - I know that is the right way to go from now on.

(remember.... deeep, calming breath.... deeeeep calming breath)

Sometimes, when a person is completely excited about the thought of a new pet, they might not think about going to a rescue or shelter. So, they go to a pet store and "buy" a pet.

In pure excitement and delight, they post on this board with (paraphrased) "We just brought home a new cavy from Pet Store Inc." where we respond with a cold (paraphrased) "you should have gone to a rescue".

Yes, that person can go to a rescue next time, but they can't return the piggie to the store, so punishing them doesn't help. And, they're stuck carrying around that guilt on their shoulders - that excitement of a new life in their family is diminished!

I'd like us to change the way we deal with this:

1. When people have already brought home their new pet (from pet store), I would encourage everyone to be happy for their decision to include a cavy in their family, and *gently* remind them to support rescues/shelters in the future.

2. When people are thinking about getting a new pet, strongly encourage them to go to a rescue or shelter.

I really hope that I didn't offend anyone by this post - that is not my intention.
 

pennick

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I agree with you 100%. In none of my previous posts will you find me addressing the fact that they got their pet from a pet store. I just answer their question. I leave it to the other posters knowing that that fact will be addressed quickly. Nothing wrong of course in mentioning the fact about rescues, but that should be done after you answer the persons question since they are excited and are awaiting an answer. Then afterwards you can gently tell them all that you wish to unload. Its gotten to the point that whenever I do read a question from a poster and they mention they got a piggy from a pet store, I silently groan knowing that people are waiting in line to set this person straight. Lets set this person straight AFTER you answer their question in a happy tone.
 

pookczek

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Yes! Thanks, Pennick. I was really worried that I would get flamed for my post.

I don't want this thread to turn into an environment to bash anyone. I don't want anyone to point fingers and lay blame - I just want us to start from here and learn from the past. This is, after all, a non-threatening environment for us to post questions and answers about guinea pigs, not a threatening space for people to pass judgement against others. :)

Sound like a good plan?
 

pennick

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No flaming from me. Lets see what others have to say. I'm holding my breath though. -)
 

candi

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Sadly some people like me have no choice but to go to a pet shop for animals. The only rescues around here are for cats and dogs, which are no use to me if I'm looking for a hamster or guinea pig. So my only choice left is to go to a pet shop :( I know some of you won't agree but my first two guinea that I will be getting within the next few months will be from a pet shop as there is no where else I can get them from.
 

wuany

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Have you tried the classifieds? Maybe someone has too many piggys and would want of them to go to a good home.
 

candi

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wuany said:
Have you tried the classifieds? Maybe someone has too many piggys and would want of them to go to a good home.
Yeah, but it's mostly full of dogs and cats. I've occasionally seen pigs but the problem is I don't have a car. I travel everywhere by bus, so there's a lot of places I can't get to. :(
 

wuany

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If you find a guinea pig that isn't far couldn't you bring a little carrier with you on the bus or do they not permit animals?
 

Slap Maxwell

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Most people will bring the pig to you, if it is a good home.
 

candi

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wuany said:
If you find a guinea pig that isn't far couldn't you bring a little carrier with you on the bus or do they not permit animals?
Yeah buses allow animals, it's just finding someone around here that has a pair they don't want anymore. Like I said it very rare to see any in the ad papers. There is only so far I can travel, and a lot of people won't come to your home :(
 

dagwellismypigy

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I'm sorry but "you should have gone to a rescue" doesn't seem cold to me at all. It's just a simple statement, when most people (I know I did) read that they would at least say "Hmm.." and research about it. It doesn't get the point across as well if you sugarcoat it, there isn't anything good about a petstore. Also, alot of people will only get the sugarcoating- not the reason.

That's just my opinion and if people get offended by that... well, too bad.(just kidding)
 

candi

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I've managed to find a rescue forum for england so I'm going to keep a look out on that when I'm going to get them and hope someone from my area might post about some that need a home :)
 

mom to cujo

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dagwellismypigy said:
I'm sorry but "you should have gone to a rescue" doesn't seem cold to me at all. It's just a simple statement, when most people (I know I did) read that they would at least say "Hmm.." and research about it. It doesn't get the point across as well if you sugarcoat it, there isn't anything good about a petstore. Also, alot of people will only get the sugarcoating- not the reason.

That's just my opinion and if people get offended by that... well, too bad.(just kidding)
It's not a question of sugarcoating - people may not be aware that there actually are guinea pig rescues - I certainly wasn't till I found this site. Politely explaining the negatives of petstores and the positives of rescueing won't alienate anyone and will bring them back for more information on the proper way of caring for their piggie - whether store bought or rescued.
This site contains a wealth of information and we all want new owners to learn the right way - without feeling like they are being judged.
 
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pookczek

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Of course, explaining the existance of rescues and shelters ONLY works if they haven't gotten a pig yet or are thinking of getting another one in the future.

Typically, you cannot return a pig to the pet store - so, in my opinion, telling someone who just bought a pig from a store that they should have gone to a rescue/shelter does not help at all - it actually makes the person upset and/or mad and/or offended. It's negative reinforcement - it never works. It's like saying "I wish I wouldn't have done blah-blah 2 years ago" - you can't go back in time and change it.

We want to welcome people and share knowledge with them - we want them to treat their cavies like gold. And, I believe, we want to do this in a non-threatening manner.
 

Ketus15

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Great! The more gently the better. Its not about sugarcoating, its effective communication! Ineffective: You should have: (If I wanted to hear this, I'd call my Mom and tell her about my latest misadventure). Next time you can: (This is what my best friend would tell me.)

We can only change the future, not the past! Good work, Pookczek!
 

dagwellismypigy

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I'm missing something then. If you are on a guinea pig forum, and someone says you should have gone to a rescues, that is telling them there are rescues. Right? Most times when people go to a petstore they only get one. So before getting another one they will probably look into rescues.

It seems effective, simple, and it shouldn't hurt your feelings.
 

mom to cujo

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That is exactly my point. If someone goes into a petstore is probably true that they leave with one piggie. Once they find this site we can explain why rescueing is so important and also explain how important it is for them to adopt a buddy for their piggie.
 

Ketus15

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I disagree with the "effective" part. Its all about how you say it.

For example:

"Congratulations on your new gp. There is lots of information here to help you care for it properly. Please, ask any questions you have.

Also, please consider adopting your gp a friend from a rescue. Many guinea pigs are in shelters and need good homes, just like cats and dogs. I will give you good websites and help you search for one in your area."

At least now the person has some information to work with, and a new resource (you) to contact for help. Everyone needs help. Should've, could've, would've doesn't change future behavior. And what is the response you want? Would you prefer the person return the Petstore gp so that some other under-educated, misinformed person can purchase him? Maybe the next owner won't even bother to come here for advice.
 

dagwellismypigy

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See consider, isn't a good word, it leaves the chance that petstores might be ok. YOur saying the exact same thing, just more words. I would rather just have one sentance than a few paragraphs.
 

Ketus15

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Life is the business of people. This is WAY bigger than just this forum. If you have a heart and a mind to educate people, than you must speak to them in a manner they can understand. Its not about what you want, or what you prefer. Its about how to best help new owners and their gps.
Communication is a difficult thing. Some people well into adulthood don't even get it. It will come to you.
 
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