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Please Stop The Witch-hunt!

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MintyAndGarry (TEAS)

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To existing forum members: Could we please stop with the current attack on pet shops, aimed predominantly at one chain in particular. Certain members are doing their best to whip up the forum into a frenzy. By doing this, not only are individuals leaving themselves wide open to legal issues, but the bandwagon that follows is tantamount to a witch-hunt and is quite frankly bordering on scaremongering.

It is unfortunate that people are experiencing health issues with their new pigs. The forum is pro-rescue and we should be offering ADVICE, but by slating people's actions, all you are doing is pushing people away, not offering alternatives for the future and education. Where do you think many rescue pigs originated from? There are no guarantees with either route. Ultimately, people have the freedom to make their own choices with where they source their animals.
 

A&T

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Couldn't agree more.

Unfortunate things happen, where ever you get your pets from.
 

BonBon2010

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My one and only ever rescue piggy only lived a year and passed away, these things happen, some are just predisposed to living short lives for many reasons .
Out of the dozens of guinea pigs over the years, only a handful have died at a young age, not long after bringing them home, and it's been partly down to some Vet's lack of knowledge, not just pet shops. You need to educate the vets as well, and they need a lot more training in small animals than some currently have.
There are far too few true exotic Vets in this country, and we shouldn't have to travel miles out of our way to find one.
I had some thoughtless person (not a vet I hasten to add!) tell me last week in a indirect way, that I should put BonBon down, she really upset me. As long as an animal is bright, happy, and still clearly enjoying life despite having an unsolved illness, there is no reason not to carry on and try and help them.
And yes, there are people who mistakenly buy a wrongly sexed pair, that does happen, but it could also be from some other person who just breeds them for the sake of it, without the proper knowledge. There are two sides to a fence.
And I totally agree about what the original poster says.
 

biscandmatt

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agree that sometimes the way things are said is perhaps not the best.... i can be guilty of this at times due to being emotionally angry/upset/whatever.... however i think alot depends on the person you're saying it to. for me personally, if i didn't know about a company who perhaps weren't the best, then i would rather someone told me. others take it as a personal attack and like they're being told they've done something wrong... you don't know which until you actually say something. but i still think we should be allowed to post our opinions when a company is not the best, because this main pet chain is well known for some bad things and if it were a bad rescue, or pet farm, or breeder, we would be right to point this out. and this pet chain in alot of places don't treat their animals any better than some of the other places that have been posted about over the years.

i think people should have all the facts. if it stops them going to a bad pet shop or main store, then i think that's a good thing. if, armed with all the facts, they still choose to go, then that is their choice also.

so worded in the correct way, i don't see a problem. for example, the way one particular member mentions them is the best i have seen. still gets the point across but in a balanced and polite way :tu:
 

Chief Guinea Pig

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I agree with the poster, I must've missed this because I haven't seen anyone attack other vets though, I have to admit.
Every branch is different though, so no one can brand every vet of that chain like that.
 

Kerrie74

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I get it, not everyone has rescue's where they live and cannot travel miles to adopt animals, it's the same with vets, not everyone can travel miles to get to exotic vets so do the best they can and TRY and find one that at least knows a lot about guinea pigs, we have both vet and rescue problems here in Nottingham.

I bought one of mine from a pet shop.
 

BossHogg

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There are no rescues in Cumbria, when I rescued Alfie, he came from BARC! thankfully, I have a fantastic exotics vet with 24 hour cover just 5 miles from where I live, with a satellite part time practice 5 minutes walk from my house. :tu: My first piggy Stanley was a shop bought piggy, the rest have all been rescues. ;)
 

Bluebell

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I won't even buy pet food from anywhere which sells animals - so don't come in contact with a lot of pet shops, BUT I do get asked for advice about/told about, problems in pets belonging to friends, relatives etc - I have to say there is one particular store which I KEEP hearing about for appalling health problems - and NOT just in guinea pigs. Surely it cannot be wrong to hope that folk will stop buying animals from them until they at least up their welfare standards?
Just my two penn'orth.

I admit to being biased, in my perfect world selling animals in pet shops would not exist. I'm not however against buying animals - but would wish that all could be bought from people who care deeply for the long term welfare of both parents and offspring.
 

MintyAndGarry (TEAS)

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The point isn't so much about where people are getting their pigs from or how good vets are. The point is that there has been an influx of questioning of owners on the H&I board. As soon as someone says they have an ill pig, they are being jumped on and asked whether it is a young pig and have they got their pig from a particular pet shop chain recently, with the name of the chain being specified. It is assumptive and accusatory, entirely unnecessary and the manner in which it is being carried out is ever so slightly obsessive. If someone has come to ask for help for a sick pig, it is irrelevant as to where they sourced their pet. Yes, we can educate about the existence of rescues, but it is not appropriate to make often new members to the forum feel guilty about their actions by acting in this manner.
 

LisaAli

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The point isn't so much about where people are getting their pigs from or how good vets are. The point is that there has been an influx of questioning of owners on the H&I board. As soon as someone says they have an ill pig, they are being jumped on and asked whether it is a young pig and have they got their pig from a particular pet shop chain recently, with the name of the chain being specified. It is assumptive and accusatory, entirely unnecessary and the manner in which it is being carried out is ever so slightly obsessive. If someone has come to ask for help for a sick pig, it is irrelevant as to where they sourced their pet. Yes, we can educate about the existence of rescues, but it is not appropriate to make often new members to the forum feel guilty about their actions by acting in this manner.
Absolutely agree - On the forum Education is the key not dictation.. https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/we-are-all-responsible-for-the-forum.123668/

Lisa & Ali.. x
 

anniedabannie

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As someone with a small amount of inside scoop on this particular chain (I'm assuming this is Pets at Home) it always makes me uncomfortable to see people slating them so badly.

Sometimes individual workers are not working at the standard they should be, but the company policy itself actually places a lot of emphasis on animal welfare not just of pigs. It's easy to forget that their home in the shop is only ever supposed to be temporary. They don't intend to keep their animals that way for their whole lives, nor do they.

Health problems can be triggered by stress that would previously have been undetected while they were still living at the shop, so it's often the case that new guinea pigs get ill from the shock of moving home. That could equally happen to rescue guineas, it's just unfortunate that this always occurs when guinea pigs make it to their new home. It's no one's fault when this happens, it's just unpleasant. :(

I am in no way supporting pet shops over rescues because I do believe strongly in treating animals not as stock but creatures to be cared for and loved deeply. However, it's unfair to paint pet shops in such a bad light when much of the time (I'm not suggesting they're always blameless) it's simply not true.
 

Veggies Galore

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The point isn't so much about where people are getting their pigs from or how good vets are. The point is that there has been an influx of questioning of owners on the H&I board. As soon as someone says they have an ill pig, they are being jumped on and asked whether it is a young pig and have they got their pig from a particular pet shop chain recently, with the name of the chain being specified. It is assumptive and accusatory, entirely unnecessary and the manner in which it is being carried out is ever so slightly obsessive. If someone has come to ask for help for a sick pig, it is irrelevant as to where they sourced their pet. Yes, we can educate about the existence of rescues, but it is not appropriate to make often new members to the forum feel guilty about their actions by acting in this manner.
I agree. We must support new members - wherever their Guinea Pigs came from.
 

BonBon2010

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The two I got from them at different times, with throat abscesses, both were treated by my vet, and the bills were paid in full by the shop I bought them from. I refused to return the girls to them during treatment, as I knew they'd recover better in a quiet environment, not the back of a pet shop.
Guinea pigs are extremely good at hiding symptoms of illness, as they're flight animals, and need to be seen as healthy to avoid predators. If a human lacks the knowledge to pick up on the early signs, which at that stage, the animal's life is already in the balance, only by a check up from a knowledgeable vet, can this animal hope to get the treatment he/she needs.
If we were all well educated in small animal care, there wouldn't be any need for this kind of forum.
 

BonBon2010

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Perhaps we need to look at the wider pictire, perhaps we should be trying to persuade the veterinary colleges, to make the courses for exotic animals compulsory, Guinea pigs have been a house hold pet long enough now, for them to be taken more seriously.
 

Hank288

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Could not agree more. I rescued a piggy from a rabbit and guinea pig rescue who was really knowledgeable about piggies. She had no hair on her back end and it cost me £60 at the vets for mite treatments. I have always found the pet shop in question very good and animals I have got from there have been good and lived for ages.
For a lot of people who want pets a pet shop is the only option for them.
You take your chances with any piggy, you just have to be aware of the vets cost it might take to fix them.
 

Gus&Charlie

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I get it, not everyone has rescue's where they live and cannot travel miles to adopt animals, it's the same with vets, not everyone can travel miles to get to exotic vets so do the best they can and TRY and find one that at least knows a lot about guinea pigs, we have both vet and rescue problems here in Nottingham.

I bought one of mine from a pet shop.
All four of mine, GUS INCLUDED, are from Petco. (Local pet shop) There are animal rescues within an hours driving distance, but I think, for me personally, every one of mine was because I'd already been there to purchase items for Michael, my gerbil, and once I saw my sweet piggies, I could NOT imagine them going to a non educated, non-serious pet owner who wouldn't take full responsibility for them until the day they crossed the bridge. Most will end up as kids pets who will sadly be forgotten faster than they'll be loved.

I have a heart bigger than my ass frankly... Thus- FOUR GORGEOUS, MUCH ADORED PIGGIES living the life of Riley!
 

MintyAndGarry (TEAS)

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Perhaps we need to look at the wider pictire, perhaps we should be trying to persuade the veterinary colleges, to make the courses for exotic animals compulsory, Guinea pigs have been a house hold pet long enough now, for them to be taken more seriously.
Sadly, pigs are overlooked by many vets. A vet who has chosen to train in exotics will often specialise in something more 'interesting' - avian or reptile medicine. Pigs (and rabbits) aren't unusual enough, nor do they carry enough equity. We have heard instances of exotics vets saying that it would just be better to get a new pig. Normally after costing the owner hundreds of pounds. Disgraceful!

Although pigs fall into the exotics category, many of the vets with this title don't train in the treatment of small furries. After all, why would you, if you can look at the more obscure - parrots, insects, zoo animals? They are far more lucrative and bring in much more profit. And, they allow you to make more of a name for yourself. How do you make a guinea pig a viable money spinner? You conduct ever conceivable test/scan before you even offer treatment to an animal.

Sadly, unless a vet show a particular interest in piggies specifically, the title 'exotic' can be of very little use to us.
 
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