LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – A quick Google search for “guinea pigs for sale near me,” and you can find several different stores with guinea pigs in stock for around $60.

Guinea pig advocates say, at the rate guinea pigs are being dumped and surrendered around the Las Vegas Valley, this is irresponsible.

“I get requests and surrender requests multiple times a day, every day. There’s guinea pigs being dumped everywhere,” Vegas Friends of Guinea Pig Rescue Director Kacey Brunson says.

Brunson rescued six guinea pigs from the hoarding situation late last week.

She has about 70 guinea pigs under her care, spread out in different foster homes across the valley. She says that number doesn’t scratch the surface of the issue in the valley.

“If I were to take all the surrender requests plus all the guinea pigs that have been dumped, my population would probably be three times what it is now,” she says. “And they’d still be coming.”

The Nevada SPCA has been overwhelmed with guinea pigs, too.

NSPCA Communications Manager Amy Lee says they’re at full guinea pig capacity, and have seen triple the number of abandoned guinea pigs this year compared to the last.

“There’s just no conceivable way that the community can get caught up on this issue without putting a halt on the sale of guinea pigs in pet stores,” Executive Director of CompassionWorks International, Carrie LeBlanc, says.

LeBlanc estimates there are over 150 homeless guinea pigs in the valley.

She authored a petition to ban the sale of guinea pigs in Las Vegas, Henderson and unincorporated Clark County.

“They’re being incredibly irresponsible with these sales, they’re only selling guinea pigs for the benefit of their own profit.” LeBlanc says.

A ban in Clark County went into effect in December 2023 that prohibits the sale of dogs, cats, rabbits and potbellied pigs in retail stores. The City of Henderson bans the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits.

In Las Vegas, stores can sell cats and dogs if they have a proper permit. None of the municipalities mention the sale of guinea pigs.

FOX 5 reached out to several major pet stores for a comment.

We received the following statement from Petco:

“The health and overall wellness of pets in our communities is always Petco’s top priority. We have never sold dogs or cats and we stopped selling rabbits more than 10 years ago; and we always encourage pet parents to consider adopting a homeless animal rather purchasing one. In partnership with Petco Love, we work with thousands of local animal welfare partners across the country to offer dogs, cats, rabbits and other companion animals for adoption at Petco. In any area where a particular type of animal is widely available for adoption, we will work with local nonprofits to feature those animals for adoption. We are proud to be an instrumental resource for life-saving animal shelters, and encourage local organizations to contact us any time we can help a pet find a loving home.”


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