Boston to ban sale of guinea pigs in pet stores

Jake

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2023
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Boston currently has a ruling set in place, that pet stores are not able to sell dogs, cats, or rabbits unless they are in collaboration with local shelters and rescue organizations. The MSPCA and other animal welfare groups in Boston would like to include guinea pigs as protected animals under this same ordinance. This would be an expansion to the 2016 ordinance if accepted.

There is an overpopulation problem when it comes to guinea pigs, especially since a lot of the time guinea pigs are returned or dropped off at animal shelters. They would like to streamline the process of placing them in homes by making sure they are given to families that will care for them. I imagine a lot of this will be to promote spaying and neutering them as well. That might help a lot with overpopulation too.

More on this news can be found here - NBC Boston
 
Location
Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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I am not a fan of pet stores simply because a lot of them are built with the intention of providing bread animals for the most part. I like that the Boston area wants to make sure that if guinea pigs are sold at pet shops that it's in connection with a shelter or animal welfare office. That made me happy when I heard the news. This way pet shops can stay up, and shelters can adopt pets out to wanting families.

This is a step into the right direction.
 
I've looked at online rescues before, and I was shocked at how many are for guinea pigs and rabbits. The OP is correct that a lot of people give up on these animals and sometimes that's not just due to not wanting them. Allergies to either the animals or their food could be a major factor and I say that because I was allergic to the hay that my daughter's guinea pigs ate. When they nuzzled against me, I would break out in welts.
 
The problem is that people who get pets often overestimate the level of commitment they're really willing to take on. It makes sense that Boston initially required that pet stores have connections with shelters for dogs, cats, and rabbits since these pets have longer lifespans. With longer lifespans, it seems like there'd a higher likelihood that a given pet owner would eventually want to give the pet up. Because guinea pigs are shorter-lived, you might expect that people would be more willing to "stick it out" until the pet dies, even if they decide they don't want the pet sometime before then. However, because so many guinea pigs are appearing in shelters, it's clear that we really need to be prepared for people to give up their guinea pigs (for various reasons, like @Korner6 pointed out), despite the lower level of commitment involved. It's great that Boston is aware of the guinea pig overpopulation problem at shelters and is responding appropriately.
 
I am not a fan of pet stores simply because a lot of them are built with the intention of providing bread animals for the most part.

I personally have pet rats and they're great. They're the best possible pet in my opinion. Commercial pet stores in California don't generally sell "fancy rats" like we have and you have to get them at home-based "ratteries" instead. I'm not sure how all ratteries operate, but the one we got our rats from was very thorough vetting people adopting rats from them. Before you can adopt, they require that you review various rat care resources, including a few mandatory readings, and you have to take a test to confirm your rat care knowledge as part of your application.

As stated on their website:
When an applicant shows little to no interest in being well-prepared, it says a lot about the type of rat owner they will be. If a potential adopter does not have the time to gain knowledge on rats before buying, they are much less likely to have time to properly care for our Squeakin' Pups after adoption as well. There is a very strong correlation between pre-adoption effort and post adoption care.

It'd be great if all the commercial pet stores vetted customers in this way. I understand they need to sell animals to make a profit but if there was more of an upfront education requirement, I think you'd filter out a lot of people who really aren't as committed as they should be. As a result, I think you'd see a lot less unwanted pets in shelters.
 
The problem is that people who get pets often overestimate the level of commitment they're really willing to take on. It makes sense that Boston initially required that pet stores have connections with shelters for dogs, cats, and rabbits since these pets have longer lifespans. With longer lifespans, it seems like there'd a higher likelihood that a given pet owner would eventually want to give the pet up. Because guinea pigs are shorter-lived, you might expect that people would be more willing to "stick it out" until the pet dies, even if they decide they don't want the pet sometime before then. However, because so many guinea pigs are appearing in shelters, it's clear that we really need to be prepared for people to give up their guinea pigs (for various reasons, like @Korner6 pointed out), despite the lower level of commitment involved. It's great that Boston is aware of the guinea pig overpopulation problem at shelters and is responding appropriately.
Exactly. When I was a kid I had a pet lizard, and I got bored of it fast. I was maybe 10 or so and I was just getting into gaming at the time, so my attention was gone haha. My mom wasn't happy about that and ended up taking care of him. She ended up loving that lizard and kept him, but this sort of thing happens so often these days. My nephew lost interest in a pet bird years ago.

So I really think education is a big thing too, teach people what they are getting into before they decide to make that purchase.
 
Another thing is that most employees at pet shops do not have the proper training for all the animals that are at the store to take care for them as they should.
 
Expanding the pet store ordinance in Boston to include guinea pigs is a smart move. The overpopulation problem with guinea pigs needs attention, and ensuring they are given to responsible families will help address this issue. Promoting spaying and neutering is crucial in curbing overpopulation. Kudos to the MSPCA and other animal welfare groups for advocating for this change.
 
This is something I find happens to a lot of areas all over the world and that is that there are so many animals from dogs, cats and even as stated her such as guinea pigs that get either left or taken in because the owners can no longer care for them meaning places end up inundated with animals and unable to cope.

This is a step in the right direction and will hopefully give leeway as well to rehome pets and prevent too many from being taken to shelters in the future.
 
Guinea pigs, like many small animals, often face challenges in finding suitable homes. A lot of people take them as pets, but soon get tired so they return these animals to shelters. The return rates to shelters for small pets, including guinea pigs, are high. Including them in this regulation not only emphasizes the city's commitment to animal welfare but also recognizes the specific issues related to guinea pig overpopulation.
 
Guinea pigs, like many small animals, often face challenges in finding suitable homes. A lot of people take them as pets, but soon get tired so they return these animals to shelters. The return rates to shelters for small pets, including guinea pigs, are high. Including them in this regulation not only emphasizes the city's commitment to animal welfare but also recognizes the specific issues related to guinea pig overpopulation.
I totally agree with this.
 
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