between a rock and a hard place


9 Years
Sep 8, 2010
Hey you guys. I have a problem that I just cannot solve. I've been going back and forth and back and forth and so on. Tomorrow my boyfriend was going to take me to get my Christmas gift, which was going to be a guinea pig. BUT...A couple of days ago my brother and I went to Petsmart to look at them and as I walked on I noticed a Russian tortoise in those really tiny cages where they keep the snakes and stuff. As I got closer I noticed there was not only one but two tortoises in the tiny cage. If they had been really really tiny babies this wouldnt have bothered me but babies they were not. They are probably six to eight inches, which is almost full grown for them. As soon as I saw them in there I knew I had to do something but they're eighty dollars each, plus the cost of the uvb bulbs, and accessories. So what should I do? I can either get the guinea pig or one tortoise because I can't afford two. I just don't think it's fair to take one and leave the other to suffer by itself. But it's also horrible to keep them both in there. Plus I'm afraid that Petsmart will just restock....Oh jeez.

But on another note...I have a Sulcata male named Sammy and he could use some company to play with in the summer...
Well at least you have experience with tortoises, as opposed to some other customer who just thinks they are cute. At least you would be giving one a good life. I think that chain pet stores think that since the animals will only spend a short amount of time in the tiny cage that it is ok.

The other side of this is that if you buy the tortoise, the company will think that there is a demand for these animals and stock more. If the animals stay in the store and aren't sold for awhile, the company will think that they are not a high demand item.
Yes this is true and I love my tortoise very much. I think I might just have to save up my money and buy both. Which should take quite a while since I have yet to save more than 50 bucks before spending it...
Thank you for your input!
We are actually supposed to be going to a humane society some time next week. Our german shepherd is so bored she has taken it upon herself to chew up everything in sight. Hopefully another outside dog will do her some good! Unfortunately, I am not yet 18 and you have to be of age to work there:( Thanks!
Aye, just understand that buying the tortoises will only increase demand for them and profit for the company. I'll just be completely honest right now and say that I *have* gotten pets before out of feelings of sadness for them (and one financially benefited a store). That said, they were also pets I knew I could handle and would be a good match for me. I never, ever would recommend getting a pet purely because you feel bad for the animal though. That is just asking for a disaster for both the pet and yourself.
It sounds like you do already own and like tortoises though, so that may not apply.

If just wanting to make a change for the tortoises, I would politely talk to the store manager in an educational way about the living conditions of the tortoises, and how it makes consumers react to them, ending with some solid solutions. Just a personal note, but I no longer buy anything from Petsmart or Petco. I've even worked at one of them, and I am just not sold on their handling of the animals or their goals. We have some really great local pet stores in our current area, and I really don't want to lose them to a big box, so I buy from them. I haven't had the health problems with their animals that I have had from the two big boxes (in several states). An honest and reliable breeder though, is my first choice if I want a pet that I know has the best chance of being a quality animal in terms of health, temperament, and type. 'Course, that is all just personal preference.

I'd just sit down and think first what kind of traits you are really wanting in an animal next. Cuddly? Interactive? Playful? Fun to watch? If you are, for example, really wanting something soft to curl up with, I wouldn't go for the tortoise. If you want another tortoise, I'd go for a tortoise...but I'd sit down first and think hard about where I wanted to obtain it from. Good luck, and enjoy whatever your new pet will be!
If you are certain the Tortoises are not properly kept then talk with the local shelter and have them investigate.

Or buy a Tortoise and then go to CL and look for a cheaper Guinea Pig. I use to keep them and in some cases give them away. Pet stores have a lot of over head and that's why they charge so much. Private individuals do to but rarely will anyone pay them the pet store price. Plus you'll likely have more of a choice in Guinea pigs.

I wish you well,

I will tell you that PetSmart takes very good care of their animals. Heck they will even pay for you new pet to go to the vet if it gets sick within the first 14 days you have it. Just remember no matter where the animals are they will most likely be in smaller enclosures than their forever homes will keep them in. Look at most leopard gecko breeders they keep their breeders in a rack system where the animals live in tubs. I support places like PetSmart that do adoptions for cats and dogs over sales. Its never going to be perfect until people go directly to breeders for every pet but I have yet to be disgusted about the cage conditions of a PetSmart which is more than I can say about the other biggest pet store in our area which has multiple locations. Disgusting cages every time every location I no long even walk into that store. Big business sucks for the animals but being such a big business actually protects them. If you really want a guinea pig get a guinea pig and don't worry about the tortoises I have often seen fresh veggies in their enclosure when I go in and I shop there frequently for my geckos crickets.
Credit card is an option,but I would really just get one.

If you were closer I would give you one of our baby guinea pigs. I have to find homes soon,and I am not really wanting to hand over to a pet store or craigs.

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