WASHINGTON (TND) — A leader of a major American city wants to make it a safer place for animals, including small ones like Guinea pigs.
Boston City councilor Liz Breadon on Wednesday introduced a measure that would update the city's existing humane pet shop ordinance to include Guinea pigs on a list of animals pet shops are not allowed to sell in Boston.
There’s been a 64% increase in the intake of guinea pigs in our MSPCA facilities over the past decade, a time in which we’ve seen a 60% decrease in overall intake of animals,” Mike Keiley, who is the director of adoption centers and programs for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell, noted in a news release. “This is due in part to continued guinea pig sales in pet stores, too many of which end up homeless.”
The release noted that in 2016, former Councilor Matt O’Malley sponsored the original measure, which the city council unanimously approved. It prevented pet shops from selling dogs, cats, and/or rabbits.
Now, Breadon wants Guinea pigs added to the ban.
“We applaud this ordinance and urge the city to pass it without delay," Keiley said, also noting that "coupled with the increase in intake, guinea pigs remain in shelters nearly twice as long as cats and dogs. The average length of stay at the MSPCA for a guinea pig last year was 29 days—compared to just 13 days for cats."
The release noted that there was a 56% increase in abandoned and stray guinea pigs between 2021 and 2022, according to Boston city-data.
Breadon said she hopes to change that going forward.
I am proud to introduce this ordinance that will not only protect animals, but seeks to prevent financial and emotional costs to the city and its residents, and demonstrates that it is important for Boston to foster a more humane environment in the city," she noted in the release.