i look after the pigs well, i teach people the right way to look after them, i make sure they get them desexed and have big enough cages and i quiz them to make sure they will look after it properly for its whole life.
I am a little confused. If you are certain that all of your customers are taking proper care of their purchases for the rest of their lives, why do you have to sell so many "returns" that were abandoned by the children who got them in the first place? That seems to be a contradiction in itself. If very little of your profit comes from the sale of live animals, why don't you switch to adopting animals from a shelter rather than selling them from a breeder? I fail to see why you won't consider this option when it would make such a huge impact for all the animals who so desperately need homes, and could reverse the population problem rather than add to it. You profits come from the products you sell, as you've said yourself.
I also am a little confused on the "desexing" requirement. How do you follow up on this? Do you refer customers to a highly competent vet, and explain the risks and aftercare involved in the procedure? While I think it's a nice idea in theory, I imagine it doesn't work out so well in practice. Telling the customer that they need to desex their guinea pig is not enough. I think it's important that they are aware of the very serious risks of breeding, often ending in complications and/or death. This will be a more serious deterrent than a simple recommendation for desexing. I also wonder that it's really necessary to desex all of the guinea pigs that are sold? While it might be feasible for the males, having the females desexed is a very dangerous procedure that might cause more suffering than it is worth. If the customer is convinced that breeding is a terrible decision because of the health risks and overpopulation problem, they will be able to avoid it quite easily without needing to desex their pigs. My advice would be to have the males desexed before
you sell them, and inform your customers of the grave risks of breeding- giving them printed information on the topic, as well as statistics and pictures of complications if possible. Then you can be positive that they cannot buy a breeding pair from your store, and will be much less likely to seek one out somewhere else.
Please understand how frustrating it is for us to hear your claim about being a responsible pet store. Many of the members hear work with mistreated, abandoned guinea pigs on a daily basis and see firsthand the suffering that pet stores directly cause. Even if your store takes fantastic care of the guinea pigs you offer, they still come from the same place: dirty, crowded, neglectful breeding mills that are only out to make a profit. Why do you choose to support them when you could help guinea pigs that have been abandoned find new, loving homes instead?