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Old 03-14-2022, 07:47 AM   #1
Chesterspal
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Default There ought to be a law

Was at a big box pet store yesterday checking on food for my cat. Took a stroll into the small animals area. As you can see, tiny glass enclosures with bright lighting. All the things you should not do for the well being of these little guys.



I'll be the first to admit, I knew nothing about hamsters when I purchased mine a few weeks ago. I felt sorry for him. All alone in that large store. I drove back the next day some 40 miles round trip to "rescue" him.

But then, I don't run a pet store. I'm not expected to know much of anything.

It's only because I took the time to watch a ton of videos and seek out this fantastic forum that I know what I know. The kind of enclosure needed, bedding products to avoid, the best food to feed them, the important aspect of darkness, and on and on.



None of that is evident, here. But this is how small animals are sold here in the US. Same as they have always been sold. Nothing has changed.

These two hamsters were on the bottom where I had to get on my hands and knees to see them way in the back. How would customers walking by see them?

There was a sign saying 50% off. They looked quite large to my eyes. I can only guess they've been there a while. For creatures that may only live two years, to spend almost half of of their life this way is criminal.

We need to be better than this
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Old 03-14-2022, 07:50 AM   #2
cloudy
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Default Re: There ought to be a law

I totally agree with you. It is so sad to see animals like this. I have found pet shops do not seem to have hardly anything suitable for small animals and I have always bought my things online. I have been learning about 'critter trail' hamster cages. They are shocking and seem to be designed to make a hamster be a child's toy.

Those two cuties at the bottom are actually guinea pigs. They look scared and like they are trying to hide. Poor things.
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Old 03-14-2022, 08:00 AM   #3
Chesterspal
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Default Re: There ought to be a law

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudy View Post
Those two cuties at the bottom are actually guinea pigs.
You may be right, however, the sign below their enclosure is clearly marked as Long Haired Syrian Hamster.

The guinea pigs were located around the left. You can just see the side of that area in the pic.
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Old 03-14-2022, 08:03 AM   #4
cloudy
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Default Re: There ought to be a law

Oh I see. I can only see the guinea pigs and not a long haired syrian hamster. My eye sight is appalling! Haha.
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Old 03-14-2022, 08:04 AM   #5
Pebbles82
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Default Re: There ought to be a law

I suggest you write to that Pet Store. Guinea pigs should be in a much larger enclosure. It's common to see hamsters in smallish tanks but they are usually a litter of babies and ready to be homed and are ok with that for that age. The major pet store in the Uk moves them to the adoption area if they get too old to be bought as babies and they have very large enclosures for guinea pigs.

Suggest you get some authoritative research together about welfare for guinea pigs (eg government rules or a well established welfare society like the RSPCA (I think it's the ASPCA in the US) and write to the pet store and tell them that the guinea pigs housing doesn't meet welfare requirements and ask them to change that, citing your documents and enclosing them.

Alternatively you could just contact the ASPCA. They do look like baby guinea pigs but even so they need more space than that.
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Old 03-14-2022, 08:05 AM   #6
Pebbles82
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Default Re: There ought to be a law

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesterspal View Post
You may be right, however, the sign below their enclosure is clearly marked as Long Haired Syrian Hamster.

The guinea pigs were located around the left. You can just see the side of that area in the pic.
That is really bad! If it's labelled as long haired syrian hamsters! They perhaps forgot to change the sign. but it does look like they have put guinea pigs in a hamster sized enclosure.
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Old 03-14-2022, 08:07 AM   #7
Chesterspal
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Default Re: There ought to be a law

See my reply to cloudy, above. These are almost assuredly hamsters.

The GP's are in larger enclosures on the left in the first picture.

Guess my point was that overall, these little ones are not well treated.
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Old 03-14-2022, 08:47 AM   #8
AmityvilleHams
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Default Re: There ought to be a law

If those are guinea pigs it looks like they don't even have hay which is extremely dangerous. Guinea pigs must have hay access 24/7 - without it, their digestive system cannot function and it can lead to serious health issues like GI stasis and even death.

Pet store displays should at least meet basic requirements for animals to live, and while I know it isn't possible for a pet store to have multiple properly sized enclosures(especially guinea pig ones for example - they need quite a bit of space) I do think they could improve quite a bit. In my opinion it seems to be more about cost though in terms of why they don't seem to do that, but there are definitely situations where space is a deciding factor. I know some pet stores have bigger than standard chain pet store displays for guinea pigs etc but even those aren't going to be proper long term enclosures which is completely understandable.

I think a big part of the problem is that people often focus on the ethical issues surrounding puppy mills and such way more than they would ever focus on with small pets for example. As sad and often heartbreaking as it is, people just don't seem to value small animals like they do a dog or cat. I know that with my immediate family inside my own home we view any animal that comes into the house whether tiny and short lived or much larger and longer lived as equally part of the family, but not everyone has that same perspective sadly.
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Old 03-14-2022, 01:06 PM   #9
Pebbles82
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Default Re: There ought to be a law

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesterspal View Post
See my reply to cloudy, above. These are almost assuredly hamsters.

The GP's are in larger enclosures on the left in the first picture.

Guess my point was that overall, these little ones are not well treated.
Ah ok! It's hard to tell from the photo but they do look a bit like guinea pigs especially the one from the rear If they're hamsters they're far too big to be living in a cage together - dangerous. Are you going back to mention it to them?
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Old 03-14-2022, 02:56 PM   #10
arnoldshirl
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Default Re: There ought to be a law

awww. Poor sweeties. I have to agree on how small animals are sold like this in pet shops here in the US. Always breaks my heart seeing a bunch of them, at times, either huddled on top of one another tight up against a corner or cramped into a small home.
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