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Pet Stores Did I do the right thing?

Rnd210

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I will admit, I go to pet stores to see the guinea pigs, not to buy them since I learning more about where many come from and how many are handled. My husband likes to go to pet stores to see snakes (he wants one) but I will not allow to get ons as I do not want one in my house. I just feel that snakes shouldn't be kepted as pets and that they should be left in their natural habitats.

While I was at this pet store Animal Kingdom in Pueblo,CO I was looking at the Guinea Pigs while my kids and their dad was looking at the snakes, there was 2 in one really small cage (no bigger than 1x2 grid size) and 4 guinea pigs in a cage next to it. 2 in the small cage were boys I checked. The other cage I was going to check to see if they were girls or boys but when looking closer at the cage I noticed one guinea pig more off by itself so I picked that one up first. She was also the biggest in the cage and very pretty with the roaning coat, she didn't try to get away when I picked her up like guinea pigs usaully do. I picked her up gently and before I even had her out of the cage there was blood. I had my husband go and get the owner of the store (mom&pop type pet store), anyway the owner came over and I showed her which one was bleeding and the owner said she was giving birth. I already figured that much but I was in shock as I know even when a guinea pig gives birth there is not a lot of blood, it's usaully no more then the size of a quarter, so I was concerned and worried for the poor little guinea pig. The owner then took the guinea pig to the back and had me follow her so that I could wash the blood off my hands. While I was back there I saw another guinea pig in a 10 gallon tank that had 2 babies with her. Back to the other guinea pig, the owner had place her in a little cotainer that and then she used a stethescope to listen to her. I told her that even though the guinea pig was going to give birth that she shouldn't be bleeding that much, she then said well she is still young. I am sorry I seemed more concerned than she was. Then I asked her if she could tell if the guinea pigs pelvic bone had seperated enough for her to give birth.

She then asked how can you tell so I showed her and then told her that it did feel like her pelvic bones had seperated enough to me. I remember the night before my Olive gave birth to her babies and I could easily feel that the space between her pelvic bones was about 2 finger tips to 3 finger tips, this is not the case with this piggie it was at most half a finger tip so that was another concern and I told the owner this and she felt for herself and then said she was going to call her vet. My husband and I stayed around a few minutes to see if she was actually going to call the vet, well she didn't while we were there, not to say that she didn't after we left, but in reality she probably didn't.

After leaving I really didn't want to leave with out that guinea pig but at the same time I didn't want to buy her to take her to a vet that was probably going to cost me $1000.00 or more to possibly save her life and maybe the babies although I didn't feel any movement of any babies. So I left and my husband had to talk some since into me because I was finding it hard not to turn around go get her even if I had to buy her. I still feel bad that I just left her there. I know financially I could not afford the possible C-section that I am sure she needed, however, we could have figured out some kind of payment option.

I keep thinking now that maybe I should have offered to take her to the vet myself, but then, I think no I did my part by not contributing to pet stores, eventhough we go to pet stores we never buy anything there, we are more looky-lues as far pet stores go.

Did I do the right thing by leaving her there?

Do you think the pet store owner is really going to take her to a vet and spend $1000.00 + on something that she sells for $30.00?

Is there something else that I could of done or should of done? I really feel bad for this little guinea pig.

Does this make me a bad person, because I left her there? <- this thought is bothering me the most, because I feel like a bad person for leaving her there.
 

Ly&Pigs

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It does not make you a bad person at all. I know you wanted to help the pig but by leaving her there, you boycotted the store and boycotted animal sales. The one thing we all have to remind ourselves of frequently is that we can't save them all. I'm sure in order for you to have taken the pig to the vet, you would have had to have purchased her first and you know how we feel about purchasing petstore animals. Even if you had gotten the pig for free, you would still have been enabling the store to do it again to yet another sow.

It sounds as though the store owner is just breeding pigs herself/himself without regard to genetics or anything.

It's a very sad situation yes, but if we all start bailing out petstores in this manner, we are just contributing more to the breeding industry and to the petstore industry.

Will the petstore owner take the pig to the vet? Who knows really. I'd say it is doubtful as they've possibly lost many sows trying to give birth in the past all in order to try to make a buck. All they care about is the financial aspect of it all anyway or otherwise they wouldn't sell live sentient beings or try to breed them.
 

Rnd210

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Ly, that makes me feel a little better although, I still can't get rid of the feeling that I should have done something more.

I know I am a caring person with all animals and I can't stand to see any in need and not beable to do something? I was raised to treat animals as "part of the family" and "not as just a pet."

Thank you Ly
 

MissFormosa

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Fortunately, Colorado has pretty comprehensive animal laws concerning pet stores and luckily, it covers guinea pigs. Pet stores in Colorado must be licensed and if they do do comply with the animal laws, they can lose their license to do business or be fined, depending on conditions.

I would file a complaint if I were you. You don't have to feel helpless. If you make a complaint, it will be investigated:

"§ 35-80-110. Inspections--investigations--access--subpoena

(1) The commissioner, upon his or her own motion or upon the complaint of any person, may make any investigations necessary to ensure compliance with this article."​

Anyhow, here is something you may wish to consider - Colorado law states that any animal in a pet store that is sick or suffering must be provided vet care in a timely manner or euthanized by a vet humanely. They require adequate and appropriate living conditions and are very specific on size and type. They are also specific on breeding of animals for sale.

You can find the complete Colorado pet store facility laws and process for demanding an inspection here:

Agriculture-Colorado:pet Animal Care Facilities Program - Click on "PACFA Rules & Regulations".

You can also find the information for filing a complaint here: Agriculture-Colorado:Animal Neglect or Cruelty

Additionally, here is the The Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies:
Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies. They may be able to help or give you advice if you tell them what you saw.

I would also contact your local humane society and ASPCA. The more people you make aware of the situation, the easier it will be to correct the issues at hand. Even if they are unable to do something directly, you can ask them if they can steer you in the right direction. The right information can be so easy to get if you ask for it. Contact your local animal welfare organizations as well and let them know what is happening.

One more note - supporting pet stores that do not sell live animals is so helpful and will really give you a sense of responsibility knowing that your dollars are not going to supporting the inhumane conditions found in so many pet stores, but rather to a pet store owner who sees animals as more than a profitable product. I know you enjoy looking at the animals, but do you really want to put yourself in this sort of agony and guilt again?
 

Rnd210

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Yes, I do enjoy looking at the animals, and no I do not want to put myself in this sort of agony and guilt again.

I will not be going back to that petstore again. I also never buy anything at any petstores that sale live animals.

I also prefer not to adopt from some shelters do to poor quality of care, more specifically the ones where the animal does not get any attention or socialization from poeple. I have kids and I don't want to risk one of them getting hurt by an unsocialized animal. I know guinea pigs are harmless, but I am mostly referring to dogs and cats that are not socialized.

My oldest dog is now 10 human years old, we got him when he was a little over a year old from a woman that couldn't handle him due to his size. He is as big as a St. Benard. We were told that he was a Boxer/Great Paranese mix, so mostly we get our pets from people that are rehomeing there pets due to their own reasons.

I also have 2 american Cocker Spanials (purebreds) that I got from breeders which I have learned how to tell the difference in quality of care between bad breeders and good breeders. There are really no good breeders but what I consider good breeder is the ones that give a lot of attention to the animals that are being bred along with giving a lot of attention to the babies that are born. The bad breeders are the ones that simply do it for the money giving the animals involved little to no attention. I would never buy from a breeder again for my own reason mostly based on the 2 dogs that I did get from different breeders. I was going to breed my cocker spanials but that didn't and isn't going to happen after looking into more aspects of this. My Cocker Spanials are a little over 2 years old now and the male blind in both eyes but doing very well as long as he stays with my female at all times. My female has the rage syndrome (she is being treated for this) and she is fixed so no chance of babies. Maybe, I just had a bad experience with breeders but I don't care as I would never by from a breeder again, call it lesson learned the hard way.

I rehomed all of my guinea pigs, as I couldn't afford them due to the medical needs of my 2 cocker spanials and I really miss having my guinea pigs which is another reason why I go to pet stores so that I can see other guinea pigs and give a little attention to some of the guinea pigs in the pet store. I never thought there was any harm in that and I never saw anything like this happen to any of them before.

Thank you MissFormosa, I will be looking into to this and makeing a report, I don't know if they will be able to do anything about it or if they will even investigate but like you said it's a start.

I don't go to petstore very often as there aren't in my town and the closest one is 2 hours away. The pet store that this happened at was 3 hours away from where I live and the closest guinea pig rescue/shelter is 4-5 hours away from me. It also took me almost 7 months to rehome the guinea pigs that I had and they went in pairs of two with the exception of 2 boars that went to be buddies for 2 boars that were already living alone. When I rehomed them they left my house with their favorite toy, cozy sack, list of care instuctions with that I made along with their current daily diet menu that I was giving them plus this website address for cage requirements and adittion resourses for information pertaining to guinea pigs to ensure that they would be well taken care of in their new home.
 
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