The decision of the New York City Council to prohibit the retail sale of guinea pigs will have a significant impact on the operations of pet stores in the city of New York. It would appear that shops will continue to be able to sell items connected to the animals, but not the animals themselves.
However, owners of guinea pigs have no reason to be concerned because keeping these rodents as pets in the city will continue to be lawful.
In New York City, there are a handful of shelters that take in more than their share of guinea pigs and make them available for adoption to people interested in owning the creatures.
According to ABC7’s reporting, this bill was initially submitted back in December by the Health Committee of the New York City Council.
However, given that it has just been approved by the council, it will now be brought before Mayor Adams to be signed into law. Since the emergence of COVID-19, the city has been dealing with a “Guinea Pig Crisis,” which occurred as a direct result of the people’s “impulsive pandemic purchases.”
Only in 2022 did nearly 600 guinea pigs wind up in the care of New York City animal shelters. This represents a significant increase from the 481 animals that were turned in for adoption in 2021 and the 282 animals that were brought into shelters in 2019.
And when Katy Hansen, who works at Animal Care Centers, asks owners who are turning in their pets where they obtained the animal, “over half [of them] [answer,] ‘from a pet store.'”
These little creatures make wonderful pets for individuals as well as families, and their lifespans range anywhere from seven to ten years on average.
Do not be misled by the fact that they are considered “small animals,” as their requirements are far more extensive than their bodies suggest. To begin, a guinea pig needs an enclosure that is maintained clean, an adequate area to run around and play in, and food that is high in nutrients.
After having to contend with rising rent rates and the process of adjusting to life in a post-pandemic society, many people believed that they were unable to provide this.
It was also a source of concern that “folks buying in pet shops aren’t being told what’s involved in caring for the animals,” as ABC7 reports.
Officials of the city hope that the prohibition on the selling of guinea pigs will encourage more residents to become foster parents or adopt animals from shelters.
Rescue organizations are struggling to care for the large number of guinea pigs in their custody, and they want to support them more than ever before.