People who mean well but just don't get it.

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Post   » Sat Jan 04, 2003 8:11 pm

Sometimes people can have good intentions towards animals and it just doesn't turn out right. Count among those people the family that emailed me today about their "Christmas cavy" that has a limp. Or the very worried mother who brought home 2 "girls" from PetSmart, and the 2 became 5 THE NEXT WEEK. Add the woman who called me today to say that her children's new Christmas cavy has bald spots and "little worms" in its fur.

These were my emails today.

But even worse are those who are supposed to know better. In hopes of matching a pair of friendly sows to a young lady who is arriving here with her mother tomorrow morning, I picked up a pair who had been in foster for 3 months. They have mites. WHY the foster did not see the MOUNDS of dandruff or the GAPING bald spots on their backs I cannot even begin to guess. Now they are living in my bathtub because I have no quarantine space left.

And, without revealing who this foster is (she doesn't read this board), I can tell you without a doubt that she is someone who should have known better. She is in a position of responsibility within the rescue community here.

But then again, so are the two shelter volunteers who "rescued" a mite-infested, sore-laden, bald baby boar who was already twisted from scurvy, and took him home to "foster." There they kept him for a month and fed him rabbit pellets with no vitamin C supplementation like I asked them to. Now he is living in my bathroom, on pain medications because of the joint damage, with a fungal infection because his immune system is crap. He will probably never be adopted.

Yes, I am angry. These people all meant well but they were still not well-informed. When my vet asked me today what I was doing to educate the public, I stared at him blankly. Aren't I doing enough? Apparently not. A day like this makes me remember that rescuing guinea pigs doesn't just have to do with the cavies. Sometimes it means rescuing them from people who are trying to help them. And that is sad, it's just sad.

Get on your bike.

Post   » Sat Jan 04, 2003 8:35 pm

I understand your frustrations. Just keep in mind you are doing so much more than you think to help these pigs. There will always be ignorance when it comes to pet care and all you can do is try to give as much information as possible. It isn't right that animals (and children) are part of the throw away population and it's more than angering.

I would be especially upset at the fosters. If they aren't going to do it right they shouldn't do it at all. I'm thankful you caught it in time but I do feel bad for your scurvy guy. He didn't deserve that. I'm sorry.

Off the subject....I think you should ask Dr. R for a date.


Post   » Sat Jan 04, 2003 9:47 pm

The problem with a lot of people is their desire to belong to a community is stronger than their desire to actually help the pigs. As long as they are in public view and receiving virtual group hugs for all they are doing, the pigs get the care they need. When they are no longer in the limelight and go back to the daily grind the pigs (which at this point are mere passports to belong to a community) get forgotten.

They do know better but if no one is patting them on the back - why bother?

I think rescuers run into adopter versions of these people all the time. The ones who simple MUST have a Hollister rescue despite the fact there are homeless pigs in their own community. Problem is - the local homeless pigs have no cachet. The Hollister pigs allow them entry into an exclusive club.

Not much you can do about it. Human nature. Motive is everything.


Post   » Sat Jan 04, 2003 10:38 pm

Roflmao, Holly, he is married with a little baby!

However, he is a really sweet guy. He did not charge me today! And I brought in SIX pigs then asked him for a load of other advice. What a cool vet.

I'll tell you what's really wrong about this foster--she is in a position of authority, I won't say where. But suffice it to say that, to vent at her might mean a loss of donations for me. And I shouldn't have had to check up on her. At all.

Pinta, you brought up an interesting point that I don't think a lot of people ponder. Recently I went to a sort of benefit for a large rescue group out here. Although there were a lot of opportunities for outreach/education, it all seemed to be a big glamour-fest complete with shade-wearing rescue 'celebs,' local news, etc. and I hate that stuff.

Sometimes, it seems to me that they're all ready to show up for the bake sales but when there's a pig that's sitting in an L.A. shelter, I can't find a volunteer in sight to drive it down to me.

Oh, I'm ranting good tonight. Went to Target and nearly fainted from anger. I found 2 40-gal tubs and a narrow table, and now they can have a decent, if not roomy, set up in the bathroom. I hate keeping them in there. All the other pigs get huge C & Cs.

I am moving to a 3 bdrm townhouse in March--all to myself, then this lack of quarantine facilities won't be a problem.

On the bright side, though, Dr. R. did not feel any babies in the 3 PHS sows. :)

Get on your bike.

Post   » Sat Jan 04, 2003 11:16 pm

Be the homewrecker that you've always wanted to be, Nicole.

Why don't guys wear wedding rings when they are married? It's confusing to the single ones.

Rolling on floor laughing madly what?


Post   » Sun Jan 05, 2003 12:06 am

laughing my ass off, Holly. Get with it.

Married, single...they're all the same to me: just another dirty sock-making machine.

I've finished the quarantine set-up. So proud of myself I just have to post pics.

Here is Job (Mites/Scurvy/Fungus) in the top bunk. It turns out the tub's handles had these great little holes in them, perfect for hanging water bottles and hay racks:


Post   » Sun Jan 05, 2003 12:09 am

And here's the whole setup with the girls' tub on the bottom. It's not perfect, but at least I still have room to pee and shower!

I guess if someone is ever in a jam with no room to quarantine, this is at least a passable example:

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sun Jan 05, 2003 5:33 am

girl, you've done a great job. just have to say it.


Post   » Sun Jan 12, 2003 7:51 am

Charybdis, in response to your question regarding what more you can do to educate the public...I don't know that I have any answer, but I can tell you there are a huge number of websites with misinformation. I have done countless amounts of research on piggies before getting mine. There are web sites posted by children boasting about the 20 gallon aquarium their pig calls home. 4H gives the standard cage size as 2' x 18" (don't quote me, I believe the size they quote is roughly that). The list goes on and on as I'm sure you know. I have started suggesting that the authors of these sites read GuineaLynx, CavySpirit and the C&C page when they have a feedback option. I don't know how much it helps, but I'm trying. Many thanks for giving newcomers to the piggy community, such as myself, somewhere to go for real info.


Post   » Mon Jan 13, 2003 12:43 am

I think the key question is...where does that misinformation come from? I think we all know that the majority of it comes from pet stores, with some "credit" given to those crappy guinea pig books and a little, yes even a little, to veterinarians (there's one out here still advocating Tang in the water).

So I've started by writing my own care sheet and it's going to the pet stores soon. And, although I fiercely oppose PetCo and PetSmart in their decision to sell small animals, I do adoptions at both stores, mainly because I can counter a lot of misinformation that way.

In fact, I only take adoption inquiries while I'm there; most of my time is spent handing out care sheets and answering questions from people who already have pigs.

There's some new law out here about handing out care sheets with animal purchases but it rarely happens.

And you're right about this being a great resource. My vet says that he's amazed at all the information I come in with. And it's all stuff that I find out on GL.

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Post   » Mon Jan 13, 2003 6:48 am

It's so frustating - the poor pigs. Why do they always have to suffer? I got an e-mail today asking if they can introduce another pig with there big pig that lives in a 25gallon aquarium!!

I promtly replied telling them to remove pig from aqurium into a C&C cage (complete with link) before even THINKING about another pig!.

It get's me so mad. I can't wait till I move house so I can rescu more pigs.


Post   » Mon Jan 13, 2003 12:01 pm

I don't mean to sound like this rescue business is all disappointing stuff. Actually, it's a pretty fair balance of good and bad.


Post   » Thu Jan 16, 2003 9:22 am

Hi, I just had a few thoughts while I was reading this thread.

Charybdis mentioned about a having a good heart but not doing the right things. In particular you mentioned about the woman bringing home the pregnant guinea pig. That reminds me of my situation...I brought home the two females only to find out a few weeks later that the one is a male. Yes, I was not knowlegeable but the way I see it..I am glad they are here where I will take the best possible care of both pigs as well as any babies if there are any, instead of somewhere who wouldn't.

I agree that most petstores shouldn't sell any animals for that matter unless they specialize in that certain animal. I do have to say tho that a there is a woman who works at a petsmart over by me (it is not where I bought my pigs), but she is very knowledgeable and caring. If she sees the slightest problem with guinea pigs that she sees she takes them immediately to the vet. She doesn't care of the cost or what management says...she makes sure that when a person gets one of them that they are perfectly healthy.

I am sure there are not many employees out there like that, but I really think there should be.

And that really angers me that those people who are supposed to know better are not taking better care of these guinea pigs.

Good luck on better educating people...I think you are on to something with taking some information to the petstores.

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Post   » Thu Jan 16, 2003 10:27 am

Out of curiousity, next time you see that woman, ask her what she looks for and how she knows the animal is ill i.e. what are the symptoms that warrant a trip to the vet.

Care is also only as good as the vet (and owner). Some Petsmarts unfortunately are not associated with good vets.


Post   » Thu Jan 16, 2003 2:58 pm

I will second that. The PetSmart near me regularly has sick-looking guinea pigs. Two days ago I went in there to check to make sure they were separating the males and females. One lonely male pig was by himself and I asked to see him. He had a fungus on his nose, which I called to the attention of the clerk. He said that he would have the vet look at it, and removed the pig. Know what? The pig was back in 15 minutes.

Worse, the PetSmart vet--and I use that term loosely--claims to be knowledgeable about guinea pigs but here is some of his wisdom:

"you can't keep males together--eventually they will have to be separated."

"if they are scratching themselves, it is probably a fungus, not mites."

"this probiotics thing is a recent fad. There really hasn't been enough research on it to tell if it's working. So if there poops are normal don't worry about a probiotic."

And then last week he wouldn't give me antibiotic for a pig that he SAID had a URI, because he "wasn't sneezing."

O ya, the PetSmart vets are great.


Post   » Thu Jan 16, 2003 3:46 pm

I will ask her when I see her next. I go in there often for dog food. But I do know that she said if their eyes have even just a sign of an infection she takes them in right away. She said that she quarantines them for several days before putting them out in the publics view. Then even then she watches them closely.

I am really not sure what else she looks for tho. It just seemed like she really honestly cared about the animals. Even another time when I went in there the employees were talking about her...they were commenting on how she is constantly taking animals to the vets, etc.

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