Did you know there are cute little furry friends called guinea pigs? I had no idea - until I saw a one this weekend. Mom knew what it was right away though. She said she and her sisters each had a guinea pig when they were growing up. She said they were easy to take care of and cute as could be. She called hers Clover because he loved it when Mom brought him clover from the yard.
Mom got online to show me more about guinea pigs and you know what we discovered? March is adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month! I never knew guinea pigs needed help. I have never seen one at our local shelters. But after seeing how cute they are and learning about guinea pig rescues, I had to share. All animals need happy, forever families, especially cute little fur babies like these!
Guinea pigs make great pets, according to Mom. She says they are very friendly and gentle. She has been bitten by her dogs and her hamsters, clawed by her cats, and kicked by her horse, but her guinea pigs were always tame and easy to handle. They are also easy to care for. Mom kept hers in a cage with some hay and fresh water, food pellets, some fresh veggies, and of course, clover for Clover. Mom says that all she had to do was keep them fed, supplied with fresh water, and a clean cage and that was it. No walking, no bathing, no house-breaking. How easy is that? And as long as you don't put a mixed-sex pair in the same cage, you don't need to spay or neuter them.
I don't understand why there would be a need for guinea pig rescues. They seem almost as perfect a pet as me! But an article by The Critter Connection, a guinea pig rescue in Connecticut, said guinea pig rescues are full of sweet little guinea pigs who have been abandoned outdoors, left behind in empty homes, seized by authorities in abuse/neglect/hoarding cases or, quite literally, thrown away. (Who could do such a thing?!) There are pigs who were surrendered because kids lost interest, adults lost jobs, families had to relocate or caretakers were overwhelmed by the costs and/or labor required for the proper care of this species.
Now that you are sold on owning a guinea pig, why not just buy one? According to The Critter Connection, there are several advantages to adopting. Here are just a few:
Adoptable guinea pigs are correctly sexed. A rescue group won't send you home with a mixed-sex pair thinking you are instead leaving with a same-sex pair.
Adoptable guinea pigs have had top-notch care. Expert handlers know the subtle symptoms of a long list of illnesses and won't send a pig out if they have the slightest doubt about its current health.
No surprise pregnancies. A rescue group will not send a pregnant guinea pig home with an adopter. If an unspayed female pig comes into a rescue and volunteers know there's a good chance she'd been around an unneutered male, she'll be put on pregnancy watch as a precaution.
Rescue groups typically have guinea pigs of all ages. This means you're sure to find the right match, whether you have soft spot for seniors or would prefer to have full-grown guinea pigs for your kids. As a senior citizen myself, I hope some of you will consider adopting an older guinea pig. We boomers make great pets!
Rescue groups have bonded pairs of guinea pigs. So if you want two, you can find two who already get along great.
Rescue groups often know the personalities and temperaments of the guinea pigs in their care. Whether you're looking for a roommate for your single pig, want a pig that's not going to freak out when your English Sheepdog barks, or want a pig that's the quintessential couch potato, a rescue can help you find the one who fits.
A good rescue is not going to let you get in over your head. Their primary concern is the welfare of their animals, and they are strong defenders of and advocates for them. If they think potential adopters need further information and education, or think guinea pig care is going to be too much for an already overloaded household, they are going to have a diplomatic but firm heart-to-heart talk with you.
So if you're looking to bring guinea pigs into your home, please give a rescued animal a second chance. When you adopt guinea pigs, you help more than just the animals you take in. Believe it or not, we found hundreds of adoption listings on Petfinder for guinea pigs across the U.S. And for every pig that's in a rescue, there's another one needing the same safe haven.