Monday, November 30, 2009

Adoption Process

A lot of people have questions about our adoption process, so here it is...
I do require all adopters to sign a contract and pay an adoption fee, to ensure the guinea pig is going to a good home and can be returned to me at anytime instead of being passed on to someone else (in fact, I would prefer that they come back to me, even if I have a lot). Females are not adopted out if we know they are pregnant; all guinea pigs are adopted out healthy, and upon adoption the adopter becomes responsible for all subsequent medical care. I am always available to answer any questions at anytime about guinea pig care and behavior, so I welcome any communication after adoption. And of course, we love to get pictures!
I try to make the adoption process as simple and pleasant as possible. Some people have adopted guinea pigs without first meeting them, but I do like to have folks come out to our farm and see which piggies "click" with them. They all have different personalities and quirks. I always make a follow-up call or e-mail one week after adoption to see how things are going. Most people who adopt from us have already done research and know what they are getting into; many have built their own large CC cages.
Adoption fees are generally $30 for a single pig (cage/accessories included), $40 for two, $15 if you already have a cage. These fees may vary depending on how old the guinea pig is and the size/condition of the cage.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Good News!

I have just returned from New Jersey...seems like every time I go there, someone calls me about a guinea pig! This time it was someone interested in adopting, so by the time Christmas rolls around, five of my piggies will be going to new homes! Sweet and Sour are lined up to go this Tuesday, and the others will be going closer to Christmas. The even better news is that the man who wants to adopt a single guinea pig was referred to our website, so we know the word is getting around!
Ever since I got home an hour ago I've been cleaning cages and going through my e-mails, so time to get back to work! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Holiday Wish List

Wanted to write a quick note before I leave later this the last few months I've had to take in quite a few guinea pigs who did not come with cages and certain other things I like them to have, so if anyone has any of these items they'd like to donate to the rescue, it would be much appreciated! They don't even have to be new or clean; we can fix them up here.
Medium to large cages (big enough for two guinea pigs)
Igloos (or chewable huts or anything else they can hide in)
Large water bottle holders (I have bottles but no holders for them)
Heavy crock dishes
We're close to a feed store that sells food and bedding, so we can get those anytime, but I like the new arrivals to have all they need to feel comfortable when they first get here!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Hi everyone! I couldn't wait to get my computer fixed so I could update the blog, as I haven't been on here in almost a week. I've barely had time to recover from our vacation, and now I have to turn around and drive to New Jersey for Thanksgiving, leaving my (wonderful) husband to care for our piggy herd. Not only did I take in Sweet, Sour and Salty, but I got Uncle Fester and Wilbur this evening. They didn't come with a cage, so I had to do some "rearranging" with everyone and I filled up my last emergency cage. As of now, we have had 96 guinea pigs pass through our doors in the last six years. I'm sure we will reach 100 by the end of 2009!
So, although I will be gone for a few more days, I will still check my Gmail, and I will add more updates to the blog as soon as I return!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Taking a Break

I am going out of town from Thursday to next Monday, so if anyone contacts me through my Gmail account, I won't be able to answer you right away. I always try to be prompt in responding to people, so please be patient..if you do write to me, I will get back to you as soon as I'm home!
In the meantime, since the holidays are approaching, why not consider making a donation to one of your favorite charities? Don't have one? You can find thousands of them on the Internet! While national charities are fine, I tend to support those who are local. Some great local animal welfare groups are the Oswego County Humane Society, Oswego County Animal Welfare League/SPCA, Paws Across Oswego County, and Wayward Paws. Or, check out The Hunger Site, which will also connect you to a few other sites where you can make a free click daily that will donate food, health care, books and more! If you order gifts through these sites, your giving goes even further! And believe it or not, food pantries can always use donations of pet food as well as regular food. People who can't feed themselves certainly can't feed their pets!
Times are tough this year, but every little bit helps. If you're able, please make sure to help someone who's less fortunate this holiday season.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Should You Spay/Neuter Your Guinea Pig(s)?

One question I was asked at the adoption fair was whether or not I have my guinea pigs fixed, or whether it was even possible. Yes, it is possible, but doing so is expensive and risky for these little guys. Guinea pigs do not take well to anesthesia, and it is nearly impossible to give them an IV (it usually has to go into a bone in the leg), so ANY surgery on a guinea pig is difficult to begin with. The only time you would need to spay or neuter is if you plan on keeping a male and female together. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend it. You can learn how to tell males and females apart (like I did!) at; the link is to the left of the blog. As far as explaining to everyone why you're looking at guinea pigs' nether regions on the computer...well, you're on your own! :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Home 4 the Holidays!

Wow, I wish I had gotten involved in this thing earlier! Home 4 the Holidays was a HUGE event, which not only featured a lot of adoptable animals, but also some great crafts! I also had someone contact me about some issues with her two adopted piggies; I will be trimming nails tomorrow evening!
I'm hoping to hear from several people I met at the event today. Everyone enjoyed meeting the pigs; they got lots of attention and even some baby carrots!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gearing Up for the Holidays

Well, I got a bunch of my Christmas shopping done tonight (and I'm still amazed it didn't take me MUCH longer!), and I'm getting excited about the Home 4 the Holidays adoption event in Oswego this Sunday. Pork Chop and Gravy will be going with me, as well as one of my boys, but I haven't decided who yet. Aaron is available for adoption, but Jabbie and Giorgio are just soooo beautiful that I may take them just to show them off! Many people have not seen Peruvian guinea pigs before, so this may be a good chance to introduce the boys to the public and teach people about their care, and about the many different breeds of guinea pigs. However, I am still looking for a home for Aaron, and if I take him, he may get adopted that very day. I have so many piggies I can't decide! If you want to cast a vote, write it in the comments section and I'll read them over Saturday. Just click on a guinea pig's name at left to view pictures and read each one's history/description. Thanks!
P.S. Santa is bringing gifts for all my piggies again this year! :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Too Many Guinea Pigs?

I started this rescue with a father/son pair six years ago. Since then, 91 guinea pigs have come and gone from our farm. Right now I have 27, and many people are shocked when they hear that number. I've had as many as 34 at a time. I never expected there would be such a need for this type of rescue. It's hard work, and at times heartbreaking, but I'm proud of our little rescue and how it has grown.
I have to thank my friend Charlotte, who used to take in guinea pigs for the CNYSPCA. I adopted several from her before joining her in the rescue movement. Together we've taken in untold numbers of guinea pigs. In turn, I also got another person named Carole involved. I think Carole was surprised at how many people wanted to give up their guinea pigs, and she may have gotten a bit overwhelmed, but she has a good heart and jumped into this with both feet right from the start.
Twenty seven guinea pigs is a lot, yes, but I'd rather keep taking as many as I can than see them go to shelters or be abandoned. I realize that times are hard, and people are giving up all sorts of pets because they can't afford to care for them anymore for whatever reason. I am always able to take in any guinea pigs that need a home, so feel free to refer people in need to this site.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another Guinea Pig Rescue Site

Last night I was surfing through guinea pig sites and stumbled across Have a Heart Rescue in Florence, NJ. Apparently, this is not too far from my relatives' house in Cherry Hill. After looking at some of their available guinea pigs on, I found that they have a female Peruvian (Yoshi) up for adoption, who is in a foster home in Philadelphia. Anyone who knows me knows I have a MAJOR weakness for long-haired guinea pigs (my two males, Jabbie and Giorgio, are not up for adoption because of said weakness!). I'm hoping that when I go down to Cherry Hill for Thanksgiving, I will be bringing back a new guinea pig!
If you get a chance to check out the website, it's amazing. Last year they took in about 140 guinea pigs that were being given away for free by a breeder. The pictures are not pretty. These animals were very badly neglected, leading to skin, eye and respiratory conditions. I'm sure there were many more health issues; fortunately, ALL of them found loving new homes! I know I've taken in a lot of guinea pigs over the years, but I can't imagine rescuing over one hundred! If you know anyone in the NJ/PA area looking for a new pet, please refer them to this site.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Home 4 the Holidays, November 15

I have been invited to participate in the Oswego County Humane Society's annual "Home 4 the Holidays" Adoption Celebration and Craft Fair on Sunday, November 15 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Oswego YMCA Armory (265 W. First St.). I was in an adoption fair with these guys over the summer, at Satimore's Landscaping in Fulton with Rodney; this time I'm thinking of taking Pork Chop and Gravy (click on their names at left to see their pictures), because they are young shorthairs, which seem to be one of the most popular types of guinea pigs I adopt out! I am looking forward to being part of this event for the very first time, and I hope some of you can make it! (And it's not just about guinea pigs; many cats and dogs will be on display and will hopefully going to new homes in time for Christmas!) For more information or to contact OCHS, please visit their site at
Right now Buttercup, Aaron, Pork Chop & Gravy, Foxy & Roxy, and Bruce & Charlie are still looking for homes! I also have exciting news...the woman who gave me Frosted, Wally and Chet is going to give me her remaining two guinea pigs, and one is a hairless (or "skinny pig"). I've never owned one before (in fact, I've never seen a live one!) so we are VERY excited about adding this new member to our family in a couple weeks! His name is Uncle Fester, and his cage-mate is Wilbur. As soon as I get them, I will post pictures!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Can male guinea pigs be housed together?

The short answer to this question is that it depends. If two (or more) males have grown up together in the same family, they can usually live together with no problems, provided they have enough space, and possibly a couple separate food dishes. On rare occasions, you can place two unrelated males together; this is best done when they are very young, or when one is much older and one is very young. Even then, there is no guarantee they will get along. I have had successes and failures with all different breeds and ages of male guinea pigs. It takes a lot of trial and error. I prefer that guinea pigs be housed in groups of at least two, but if one shows too much aggression toward other males, then he must be kept separate.
Right now I have been very slowly introducing some of my single males to each other in a neutral area. I was concerned that Frosted, who lost his cagemate two days ago, would show signs of depression, but so far he has been doing well and seems in good spirits. Because Rodney and Buttons are both extremely timid, I introduced them tonight, and there was nearly zero aggression (Rodney was interested in the tag in Buttons' ear and nibbled on it, but that was pretty much it). I have a very large cage waiting in the wings, so after putting them together for a playdate tomorrow, I may end up having them live together, under close supervision. They will each have their own original igloos, and I will keep their cages ready in case things don't work out. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

R.I.P. Wally

Hi everyone..wanted to let you know that although he wasn't posted on here, we lost our little friend Wally today. Wally came to me with Chet (adopted yesterday) and Frosted. I'm not always sure of a guinea pig's age when they come to me; I assumed Wally was around 3, and he had pea-eye, but this is a harmless, untreatable fatty deposit inside the eye. He always had a good appetite, and didn't show any signs of illness before his sudden death. My main concern now is for his cagemate, Frosted, who was the less shy of the two. I will keep an eye on Frosted, and hopefully we can place him with a new friend, as he is not used to being alone. Wally will be buried tomorrow at our farm. He was much loved, and will be missed. (I could not find a good picture of him; he was a short-haired tri-color American.)