I have an "Oval" shape Mandolin and it is as old as dirt. I can't remember the manufacturer .... Still at the "Salt mine".
It is acoustic, no pickup nothin'...
It was given to me by a friend who was cleaning out his mothers attic... GOTTA LOVE THOSE FINDS
I took it to my guitar guy... A little cleaning, new set of strings, a little bridge adjustment..oh yeah... a book on chords and how to tune the thing and off I went.
Point being... The "Box o' guitars" you went to should not be the only stop on your journey. You gotta poke around... Hit the pawn shops, check the paper, etc.... There are a lot of un-used and un-loved instruments out there... To hell with PETA...
Save an instrument!