Guinea Pig Rental Service

Guinea pigs and other small mammals don't do well as solitary pets. They need at least one companion or they get lonely. Guinea pig owners know this, but the Swiss government takes it very seriously. In Switzerland, it's illegal to keep a single guinea pig, which causes a potentially endless problem:

[...] the owner would have to purchase a new, probably younger guinea pig as a companion to the ageing survivor, whose eventual death would force the purchase of yet another guinea pig, locking the owner into an endless cycle of guinea pig purchases in order to adhere to Swiss law -- even though he or she may only ever have wanted one guinea pig in the first place.

Animal lover and entrepreneur Priska Küng found a solution. She owns eighty guinea pigs and rents them out to owners of solitary pigs, who can return them after their own pigs has passed on:

She takes 50 Swiss francs (€41) for a castrated male and 60 francs for a female, "as a deposit," Küng explains. In effect, she sells the animals but pays back half the purchase price when they are returned. The job of the leased rodents is to cheer up companions in their twilight years.

Some return after just a few poignant weeks, others after months, but some stay away for years. "Sometimes people realize that they still get so much enjoyment from the guinea pigs that they want to go on keeping them and come back for another one once their supposed last pet has died," says Küng.

Link -via Marginal Revolution | Photo by Flickr user mksystem used under Creative Commons license

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Then it's pointless really. Why is it a "loop" in the first place? So you buy a second guinea pig - then you have two. Did the world just end? What sort of commitment-phobe is afraid of getting caught in an endless loop of rodent ownership?

It's a silly law, but the reasoning of the infinite loop is even sillier.
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ted: I don't think it's a matter of resources. It'd mean that both your guinea pigs would have to die at the same time. If not you'd be in an infinite loop of owning guinea pigs forever. This allows you to get out of the loop while still having 2 pigs.
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The problem is one is always going to die before the other one. Even if you bought two at one point you'd have one. Then you'd have to buy a new one (probably younger then the other) and then the old one would die and you'd have one again. It could go on ad-infinitum.
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Is one extra guinea pig that much of a drain on a person's resources? Really, if you can't afford two, don't get one. Maybe get a hamster?
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