Animal shelters see an overflow of guinea pigs citywide
Animal shelters citywide are experiencing an overflow of guinea pigs being dropped off at their centers after people who purchased the pets decided they no longer wanted them. Now, a local organization and councilmember are pushing for a bill to pass that would ban the sale of guinea pigs in stores to help with the problem.
Animal Shelters of NYC in Brooklyn says their intake of pets has more than doubled over the past three years.
Adoptions Manager Stephanie Feliciano says the center saw the biggest rise of guinea pig drop-offs during the pandemic, with people bringing in as many as 15 pets at a time.
"People have more time on their hands and they feel like oh maybe a guinea pig, it's a small animal. Then they realize it's a lot of work. They're high-maintenance pets, and then they bring them into the shelter,” said Feliciano.
However, staff at the center says they have taken in more than 1,000 guinea pigs since the pandemic started. But now that their space is so overwhelmed, they’re looking for a bill to pass to help mitigate the problem.
Councilmember Diana Ayala sponsored a bill that would end the sale of guinea pigs in pet shops.
In the meantime, Feliciano is hoping that more people will come out and adopt a new furry friend, especially as this month is Adopt A Guinea Pig Month.