If you're in the market for a new pet, and you live in New York, can you choose to buy a guinea pig?

At surface level, it seems to be an easy question, and the answer would obviously be yes. That's not completely true, however, as your ability to buy a guinea pig in the Empire State is actually dictated by where you live. In certain regions of the state, it's completely fine, but in others, it's actually against the law.

So, now we have to answer this new question: do you live in a guinea pig-free zone?

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Certain Areas of New York Have Banned Buying Guinea Pigs as Pets

A story from ABC 7 in New York City shared an update from the New York City Council in late spring, which at the time, stated that the sale of guinea pigs in the five boroughs of New York City had officially been banned.

The council approved this ban on Tuesday, April 11th, and by the 18th of April, New York City Mayor Eric Adams had signed off on the measure himself.

Unsplash / Yuhan Du
Unsplash / Yuhan Du

The rationale for this decision, in short, was this: families in New York City had been purchasing guinea pigs as pets at an exorbitant rate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the pandemic softened a bit, and families returned to work and school, taking care of their new pet became a much taller task.

So, in order to alleviate the strain that this reality  had put on animal adoption agencies, the New York City Council chose to ban the sale of the pet altogether. That said, if you cannot live without owning your own guinea pig while living somewhere in NYC, you can still adopt one today.

Unsplash / Jaroslaw Slodkiewicz
Unsplash / Jaroslaw Slodkiewicz

This decision has not impacted any areas in New York north of the city, at least not yet. So, for the time being, if you live in the Capital Region or somewhere in Upstate New York, you can travel to your local pet shop, and buy a pet guinea pig whenever your heart desires!

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