New York City May Ban Pet Shops From Selling Guinea Pigs


  • New York City Council members have backed a bill that would ban sales of guinea pigs.
  • Shelters have been inundated with pets bought during the pandemic that are now unwanted.
  • One shelter spent $20,000 on a guinea pig tower to store more, The New York Times reported.

New York City could ban pet stores from selling guinea because so many have been abandoned at animal shelters. 

Sales of guinea pigs shot up at the height of the pandemic lockdown as people turned to buying pets to combat loneliness. But now animal shelters are struggling with the sheer number of guinea pigs being ditched. 

New York’s city council has proposed a bill that would ban stores from selling guinea pigs. A majority of council members have signed the bill introduced in February, but a hearing is yet to be scheduled. 

Animal shelters have taken in about 600 guinea pigs this year – more than double the total for the whole of 2019, The City reported

“COVID came and everybody was like, ‘let’s get a guinea pig because we’re inside and we don’t want to go outside,'” Juli Cialone, who runs the Rock n’ Rescue shelter in Westchester, told The City.

“People just think they’re cute and fluffy, [but] they scoot and they don’t want to be touched. The challenge is people end up getting bored with them,” she added.

One frustrated shelter founder begged a local farm store to stop selling chicks and ducklings as the number he has taken in his coops were now full, The New York Times reported.

“They think the pandemic is over, and they don’t want to devote time to taking care of them anymore,” Bill Crain told the newspaper. 

Animal Care Centres of New York City, a shelter, told The Times that it had to buy a guinea pig tower at a cost of $20,000 to accommodate all its furry rodents.

The shelter’s spokesperson, Katy Hansen, said many of its guinea pigs were less than three years old, meaning they were bought during the pandemic. 

Guinea pigs are available at retailers including Petco and PetSmart for about $50 and are often impulse purchases, Hansen told The City. 2022-10-02 10:48:39


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