Friday, December 31, 2010

Priscilla Mahar Animal Welfare Fund

I contacted PMAWF after reading an article in the Pennysaver a few months ago; they have funds set aside for animal rescues. I heard back shortly after from Wayne Mahar (NBC 3) and within the next month or so we should be hearing from someone. Even if we don't end up getting funded, we've been invited to the Canine Carnival on Saturday, August 6 to promote the rescue. Wayne did say that because we are pretty much the only guinea pig rescue, that's a good thing, and that all kinds of animals are welcome at the carnival. So, we'll see what happens!
As much as Ryan may complain about the number of guinea pigs we have here, he was volunteering at a blood drive yesterday and found someone else who wants to give one up, so pretty soon we may have another new arrival.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Statistics for 2010

Ok, so I went through the adoption log today and found that (not counting guinea pigs that were returned and adopted out again) we have adopted out 49 guinea pigs in 2010. In 7 1/2 years, we have had 156 guinea pigs pass through our doors...and guess what? We have four more coming in a few weeks. I have pics already but will post them closer to the date; two of them are adorable texel sisters that were rescued from someone on Craigslist, but the new owner has found she does not have the time or funds for her four piggies. They arrive here January 12.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Pictures

Foofer (top), hiding in her hut!
Jazz (middle), Foofer's roomie..isn't she beautiful? She came from the Fair.
Frosted (bottom) with his stocking hung up, getting a pretzel treat.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I am going out of town from Friday to Monday (Ryan is staying to take care of the piggies), so I wanted to wish everyone a merry Christmas as I will not be posting again until I get back. I will be checking e-mails regularly from my phone, though, so if anyone needs to contact me I will still be available to some extent.
Scotchie should be going to her new home in just a few hours; I will have to go through my adoption log and see how we did in 2010. I will also have some cute new pictures of a few of our piggies just doing what they do!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Update

I had Snooki out tonight, and Sammi out the other night..Sammi is the more "nervous" of the two girls, and is thinner than her sister. Snooki is very calm when held. I'm giving them Oxbow Performance for babies/pregnant sows to help get their weights up.
Pauly D is also very calm when you hold him; I need to move him into a bigger cage. Someone is interested in adopting Mister, so if he goes, he will need an enclosed cage, so I will move Pauly into the CC cage where he will have more space.
I am also going to take pictures of Jazz and see if anyone wants to adopt her as a companion female..she has been living with Foofer and Gobbles and would make a great buddy for another female, especially since she is so young.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I have a few guinea pigs that I've kept here as permanent residents because the previous owners requested "visitation rights." As a result, I have several guinea pigs that are perfectly adoptable, but remain here at the request of the original owners.
I've decided I can no longer do this, and I will let people know when they are surrendering their guinea pigs. Adoptable guinea pigs may be sent on to a new home if the adoption application is approved, and believe me, I don't let my animals go to just anyone. The application requires vet and personal references and asks VERY detailed questions about the new home. As always, any guinea pigs that do not get adopted remain here until their final days. And trust me, they are all spoiled rotten! :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Good News!

Our friends at Piggy Bed Spreads are going to place a "donate" button on their site, and the donations will go straight to our PayPal account to take care of our guinea pigs!
I wanted to give everyone a breakdown of what we spend each week on the piggies, so that anyone who wants to know how the money is spent will be able to see it here. I went grocery shopping today so here is the amount we spend on produce:
Romaine lettuce...5 heads per week...9.95 (1.99 per head)
carrots, three 5 lb. bags...3 bags @ 2.99 each...8.97
one 3 lb. bag of apples...3.49 (approximately..depends on what's on sale)
3 cucumbers only if on sale, 3/1.98
We also spend about $17 every two weeks on a 50 lb. bag of Blue Seal guinea pig pellets, and about $13 every two weeks on pine bedding from our local feed store.
Obviously, the biggest initial expense with guinea pigs comes when you buy the cage and accessories, but once you have these things, the cost is relatively low to maintain the animals. The problem is, larger cages are more expensive (up to $120), and many people aren't willing to spend that kind of money, so the guinea pig(s) end up in cages that are too small. I've had many of these cages; whenever possible, I will "upgrade" guinea pigs to bigger cages and I get rid of the old ones. I have several cages set aside for emergencies, but they are all a decent size.
So, we may not be a "certified" nonprofit, but we are still and will always be nonprofit, even with our adoption fees. Any and all donations we receive will be used to get supplies for our guinea pigs...right now we have 27, with three new ones arriving soon. Details later! :)
And many thanks to Martha and Tim for getting our button set up!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gearing Up for Christmas!

Well, other than Scotchie's pending adoption (as a Christmas gift), we have had little activity here. I was going through the closet looking for the girls' stockings, and found a very small red and green one that is now hanging on Frosted's cage. Maybe if the piggies are good they will all get treats!
I have been trying to sell a few of my spare cages and I'm still searching for a more permanent job, as mine will end at the end of December. Ryan is still out of work so things are going to start getting really tight soon. We've been trying to sell what we can and find ways to cut corners. Fortunately, most of my Christmas shopping is done; we definitely did not go crazy this year.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


It's been a busy weekend for everyone, so I'm finally finding time to sit down and post again. Scotchie's adoption is pending; a family is interested in her as a Christmas gift, and they do have experience with guinea pigs, so Scotchie is biding her time until she goes to her new home. I've been handling her as she is still a bit nervous, but she is really sweet and sooo cute!
No one has shown interest in Mister, but we have been handling him as well and I have a new picture I will post soon. I have had many people ask if I could take their guinea pigs, but unfortunately I still do not have room. Other people have wanted to adopt anywhere from 2-4, but I don't have any multiples available, so I have been referring people to CNY Piggies, as I know Mary has quite a few still!
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving; ours was pretty uneventful. I had to work on Black Friday but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be; I think shopping is worse than working at this point! :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Adopted! Dora and Joslin

Well, I let my Peruvian girls go tonight, but the application was excellent and I know they went to a good home. Right now we are back at 28 guinea pigs. I was supposed to get three new girls yesterday, but we got the two because the youngest daughter was attached to her long haired girl, so that one stayed behind.
I have not gotten my work schedule for the weekend, so I'm still not sure if I will be at the adoption event in Oswego this Sunday. If not, oh well...I have pictures of the available piggies up now, so hopefully we can find them good homes.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I hadn't planned on doing this, but someone is very interested in adopting Dora and Joslin, my two young Peruvian girls...they have already filled out the application and really want a pair so they can keep each other company. They will most likely be going next week.
In the meantime, I got a call from someone looking to rehome three females (two shorthair, one long). At first I had to say no, but once I realized two would be adopted, I called back and told them that if they could just wait until next week, I could take them. As I always say, it's like a revolving door around here!
I am also hoping to be at the holiday adoption event on Sunday, November 21, but right now my new job has me working every Sunday, so that may not be possible. I will try to get back out to TSC once I get the new girls next week.

Monday, November 1, 2010

One Year of OCGPR Website!

I went back to look at Prescott's picture, and found that our website was launched on October 22, 2009, so we have surpassed the one year mark! Thanks to everyone for spreading the word and supporting the rescue because we always need your help. Ever since the website/blog was launched, we have had a HUGE uptick in inquiries and adoptions. I can't thank everyone enough for all the donations, help, etc. that have made this rescue a success in my eyes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oops! Adopted...Rocky!

I totally forgot to tell everyone that Rocky FINALLY found a home! A mom and her three kids came out to look at him; I did show them Kobe as well, but the youngest daughter fell in love with Rocky. They just lost their guinea pig and wanted another one, and I know he found a great home. Hooray!

Adopted! Rodney and Buttons

Rodney and Buttons went to their new home last night; the woman said their 2x5 cage wouldn't fit in her apartment, but I was able to give her a 2x3 so they weren't stuck in the smaller cage they had been living in. Foofer and Gobbles have been moved into the 2x5 and seem pretty happy about it.
I was contacted by an SU student who would like to use us for a multimedia project involving photos, video and an interview. It's good exposure for us, so I'm waiting for her to get back to me with a date and time. Her parents used to foster guinea pigs, so she's quite familiar with them and I think this will be a great project.
I did write to two people about taking their guinea pigs; one said she will keep me in mind and I have not yet heard from the other person. Now that we have adopted a few out, we do have a little more space...I just have to remind myself not to go crazy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Goodbye Luigi :(

Luigi was adopted just a couple weeks ago, and unfortunately he passed away after only about a week. Like Newman, it was a mystery signs of illness, etc. and he was in his own cage alone while he was here. I don't let piggies "intermingle," partly because some will fight (even females) and I don't want to risk spreading any unknown diseases, but Luigi never met Newman, so again I'm surprised and baffled to hear that a healthy young guinea pig died so suddenly.
On a better note, we do have a family coming out Friday evening to look for a guinea pig after theirs passed away a couple days ago. Not sure yet if they would like a pair or a single one; I would love to find Rocky a home, or possibly Rodney and Buttons. The two boys have not been getting along well since they came back here, probably because they are in a smaller cage for now (I don't have floor space for their 2x5); I have actually considered separating them if someone is interested, but I'm always reluctant to separate even unrelated males if they get along most of the time.
I can't remember if I wrote this, but we also got a new male named Kobe..he is very sweet and I would hate to give him up, but if someone falls in love with him I might have to. He's been watching TV with me, snuggling in my lap. He reminds me of a cow so I call him Kobe Beef, haha!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Being Lazy

I haven't uploaded any pictures, nor have I been updating the blog much this week...I've had this nasty violent coughing disease that I'm just getting over. For a while, people didn't recognize my voice when I answered the phone, it was that bad!
Anyway, I have not taken in any new guinea pigs, although there are quite a few on Craigslist now and I do not know the fate of the six at the SPCA. I will be at Tractor Supply again next Saturday with Rodney and Buttons; they are slowly adjusting to being back here but are still timid. We also have a young male crested, Kobe, who has the cutest markings (he reminds me of a cow) and is about a year old. His owners felt very badly about giving him up..they gave us everything that came with him, plus a bottle of wine! I love cresteds almost as much as Peruvians, so I think Kobe may be staying here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Goodbye Newman

Newman died very suddenly and unexpectedly (but peacefully) earlier this afternoon. We have no idea what happened...unlike Giorgio, he wasn't losing weight and had a good appetite. He didn't show any signs of sickness, so we don't know what happened. I went to feed him his lunchtime carrot and he was lying in his cage, still warm. He was a sweet little guy and I'm sad that he had to leave us already.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Adopted! Luigi

A woman and her 8 year old son came out yesterday (right after we got Rodney and Buttons back) to look at adopting, and the little boy fell in love with Luigi. He was lying on the floor with Luigi on his stomach, and Luigi just sat there! He's very calm and quiet and enjoys being held, so I think he will be the perfect match for his new owner. I'm so glad Luigi has a new home..he was one of my best candidates for adoption and is such a sweet little guy!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Adopted! Ginger and Nutmeg

Ginger and Nutmeg have been adopted, and I removed them from our website today. I do have someone coming out possibly tomorrow to look at who we have left here. Rocky and Luigi went with me to Tractor Supply today, but there were no takers.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

News and Such

All the guinea pigs were lounging in the hot weather yesterday, then I opened up the house this morning only to have to shut it a little while ago so they wouldn't get cold! Crazy weather!
I spent part of the morning at the Farm Sanctuary Walk for Farm Animals, which was not on the news and only had a handful of people (and it was in Thornden Park, so not a lot of folks actually saw us walking). Anyway, it was still fun and I met some die-hard animal lovers. (By the way, if you have never been to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, go! It's beautiful and there are WINERIES along the way!)
We are getting two guinea pigs tomorrow..a Peruvian male who looks just like Jabbie and his shorthaired companion. They are from a student who is only allowed one guinea pig at school, but he does not want to separate the pair. I'm hoping to get to Tractor Supply next Saturday to take Rocky and Luigi, as they are still here and we will again be back up to 30 piggies. I am still working on socializing the two little girls we got, and will post pics at some point, but they are very timid right now and just starting to get into our routine.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Computer Issues/Update

We just got the computer back after having multiple issues with it...I couldn't even put new posts on the blog, so I wanted to give you a quick update:
Our lovely black and white Peruvian male, Giorgio, passed away two days ago. He had been losing a lot of weight in the last few months, probably due to age as he was not sick and had a good appetite up until the very end. We will give his cagemate Jabbie some extra love this week. They were unrelated but became fast friends as soon as I put them together. Giorgio had been used as a stud until he and several other guinea pigs were rescued by a friend of mine and brought here.
Last night we got two cute little females, an 8 month old mom we named Ginger and her 4 month old daughter Nutmeg (they look identical except for size). If you do the math, that means that Mom had gotten pregnant at only two months old! She only had two babies and the owners wanted to keep the sole male, so the girls are now here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Adopted! Foxy and Roxy

Well, after about two years of trying to get these two girls adopted, they finally went to a new home in Ithaca yesterday afternoon. They were not too happy about getting one last nail trim but it had to be done!
I have seen quite a few guinea pigs on Craigslist again, but I have decided to slow things down as far as taking them in. This is in part because I get mixed reactions when I tell people I am a rescue; some are thrilled, some are suspicious and/or don't want their guinea pigs readopted out. This is understandable; some of the guinea pigs I take in do end up going on to new homes, but the adopters are carefully screened and must fill out an application with references. I also follow up one week after adoption with either an email or phone call to see how things are going.
So, if you know anyone who needs to surrender a guinea pig, or wants to adopt one, send them my way! (If they are in the Oneida area, or want to see other guinea pigs, please refer them to CNY Piggies...their link is on this site).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Running Out of Adoptables

Not that it's a bad problem to have, but I am nearly out of adoptable guinea pigs. Rascal was adopted yesterday, and Almond was adopted just before we left on vacation. That basically leaves Luigi and Rocky, and I do have someone interested in Foxy and Roxy even though they are a little bit older.
I don't want to disappoint people when they come out to meet the piggies, but right now this place is almost a nursing home! I have one pair who is 6 and many pairs who are around 4-5. Guinea pigs live on average from 4-8 years, and if someone is getting one for their child, an older guinea pig is not a good option as it might result in heartbreak if the pet passes away.
So, right now things are very quiet on this front...I will probably call Tractor Supply and see if I can get out there next Saturday with whoever is left.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

We're Back!

We just got back from our cruise a couple hours ago, and basically spent the evening cleaning out cages! Everyone is fine and pretty soon we will be trying to adopt some of our piggies out again. Our newest, Newman, has been moved into a larger cage, and we may be putting Taz into a larger cage soon as well.
I'm a bit sunburned but we had a lot of fun..good to be home! :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


We are leaving for our last family summer vacation soon, so I will not be updating the blog until I get back. I do have someone coming out tomorrow to look at a single male who will be a companion for another male, but for now adoptions, etc. will be on hold until we get back.
We have a housesitter staying to care for the animals, and I've been busy preparing things so that they are easier on her. Rocky and Rascal have been moved into a wider cage (same length) and put back on shavings for the time being (their fleece needs to be changed about every 3-4 days, the shavings won't be quite so bad while we're gone). I will be washing the rest of the fleeces tomorrow and possibly putting Foofer and Gobbles on shavings while we're gone. It's going to be enough of a challenge feeding and watering 31 guinea pigs; I don't expect our sitter to clean cages as well.
Almond is getting used to having a bit more attention; Dora and Joslin are still quite nervous but the girls have been handling them frequently. Our latest addition is Newman, but because we just got him I don't plan on putting him up for adoption yet. His previous owners were very concerned about finding him a good home, so he may become our next permanent resident.
We finally started picking fresh carrots from the garden..some are still a bit small, but the guinea pigs love to eat both the tops and the roots. I've stocked up on Romaine and carrots and will fill a big bag with dandelion greens before we go.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Goodbye Beau

I realize this has nothing to do with guinea pigs, but as you know we do have a farm with many other types of rescued animals. One of them (well, not a rescue but a gift) was Beau, our second llama. He was taken on as a guard for our small herd of goats; personally, I thought he was lazy and snotty...he wouldn't let you pet him at all and was minimally concerned about the goats.
Unfortunately, Beau fell ill three days ago with the same thing our first llama had. Although we immediately started him on medications, he died sometime last night and we buried him today. His favorite snack was bread; in his final days he had some Pillsbury Grands biscuits and spent his time lying on a fresh bed of hay with water nearby. Because he was still eating and drinking, we kept our hopes up, but his illness (possibly EEE) overcame him. He was a much loved member of our "crazy farm," and will be missed tremendously.

Monday, August 23, 2010

(crickets chirping)

Well, adoptions have come to a screeching halt, and we are getting another male guinea pig later this week. Not much happening on this front..we've been handling the two Peruvian girls daily and they are starting to come around.
After the storm yesterday I went down to the garden this morning to survey the damage; we had one large cucumber that I brought in and cut up for everyone's snack. (Ryan wants US to eat the garden cucumbers, but I sneak them to the guinea pigs anyway.) The carrots were a little beaten down, but our tomatoes are starting to turn red and everything looks pretty good.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Boomerang Piggies!

It's been an interesting day...this morning I went to Palermo to meet someone giving away a guinea pig on Craigslist, only to find out I had adopted him out to this family over a year ago. The daughter "lost interest" and they felt it was better to give him up (without calling me, of course, even though I would have taken him back anyway). Almond's cagemate passed away, and right now he is really frightened and it will take some time for him to adjust to being back here.
We also adopted out Luigi earlier this evening, only to have him come back a few hours later when the family dog tried to attack him while he was in his cage. Fortunately, he was not hurt, and the adopter did the right thing by bringing him back for his own safety.
So, not a great day for guinea pigs, but we will keep putting out ads and trying to get some of them adopted, as well as taking in some that need good new homes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I'm a little frustrated with both people who don't get back to me about adoptions and the others who don't get back to me about possibly giving me their guinea pigs. I feel that the least anyone can do is say yes or no...don't leave us hanging. Just because we're a rescue doesn't mean we're not human beings with feelings. Common courtesy would ask that you at least respond one way or the other!!! If you're on Craigslist and have already found a home for your animal, PLEASE remove the ad or at least say your pet is gone. If you want to adopt and call several times saying "I'm busy, etc." then at least let us know you can't do it now. What I'm doing is trying to take in guinea pigs that need homes, and for all the people who "wanted" to're not helping by being indecisive. I can't take in more until I adopt a few more out, so if you're serious, yes, please contact me, but I'm getting sick of people who can't seem to make up their minds. I know I'm not the only rescuer who feels this way; it applies to every rescuer of every type of animal. Just give us the courtesy of an answer either way so we can try to get our pets into a safe, secure home.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Mario just left for his new home as a companion for a younger male guinea pig. He has a great personality and is a loud squeaker, and he's going to a great home with someone who's adopted from us before. Hooray!
I just took in two very young Peruvian females, Dora and Joslin. Dora is lilac, like Jabbie, and Joslin is solid black. They're GORGEOUS and right now are very scared...they're not even eating much of the fresh veggies being offered. I'm sure with time they'll get into our routine and will start eating everything we put in front of them!
I still haven't decided who to take with me to Tractor Supply; probably Luigi, maybe Taz again, but someone else is coming out here to adopt tomorrow evening. I'll have to see who's left!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Update 8/9/10

Today I went out to pick up Joslin and Dora, two baby Peruvian girls. One is solid gray with pink eyes (like Jabbie), her sister is solid black. They are BEAUTIFUL, and because I'm crazy about Peruvians, chances are they will stay here.
In other news, a couple came out looking for one or two guinea pigs, and fell in love with Steve, who has wry neck. I wasn't planning on adopting Steve out, but they were really taken by him and said they were more interested in a guinea pig that was "different" and less likely to be adopted. I'll be calling them in a few days to see how things are going, but they have owned guinea pigs before and gotten them from shelters, so I'm sure Steve went to a great home.
I am still trying to find homes for Rocky, Rascal, Mario, and Luigi, so if you know anyone who wants either a pair or a single boy, please contact me!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Blog

As you may have noticed, I have added a link to a new blog called CNY Piggies. It has just been created by a woman in Oneida who has decided to get into rescue...hooray! We certainly need more people in the central NY area to do guinea pig rescue! She already has several piggies for adoption, so if you live closer to Oneida than Oswego, check out her site.
Adoptions have slowed down; I was hoping to hear from a few people this week about coming out to meet everyone, but it's been pretty quiet. Mario and Luigi are still nervous but settling into the routine. I had to crank the AC today because of the heat; everyone has been pretty listless so I'm trying to cool the house down and we're making sure all the water bottles are full.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Revolving Door of Rescue...

Well, my dining room floor did not stay empty for long..we now have TWO males. We were expecting one but the owner decided at the last minute to bring both, so they are in separate cages next to each other and are named Mario and Luigi. Pics as soon as I can get some...
I also had a friend who does rescue contact me hoping I could take a few of her guinea pigs as she is totally overwhelmed and facing health issues, so I agreed to take two, which will put us back at 28 guinea pigs. In the next few days, expect to see new pictures and descriptions..hopefully I can get a few more adopted out.
We also received another surprise friend...someone pulled in yesterday and randomly gave us a rooster, now named Bubba. Bubba is very young and has been in and out of the barn inspecting his new home..he's actually kinda cool!

Friday, July 30, 2010

100 Guinea Pigs!

Today we reached our biggest milestone...we adopted out Chocolate and Snowball, which means we have now (in three years) adopted out 100 guinea pigs! Hooray!!! They are going to a great family that loves our blog and did their research before deciding to adopt.
This means we now have 24 guinea pigs here, with a new male arriving tomorrow and two more possibly leaving us next week. I now have a little more space on my dining room floor, but I'm sure that won't last long!
The piggies have been very happy to get fresh cucumbers from our neighbor's garden. We were a little behind in getting ours planted, so it will be a little longer before our carrots and cucumbers are ready. And of course, there are always dandelion leaves to pick! With the weather getting cooler and drier, I'm also going to get some of these guys outside for some fresh air.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Not Just Oswego County!

I recently spoke to someone who was confused about which county we operate in; yes, we are located in southern Oswego County, but we are about five minutes from Great Northern Mall in Clay, so we do a lot of rescues/adoptions in Onondaga County and beyond. I have actually toyed with the idea of changing our name to "CNY Guinea Pig Rescue," since we are pretty much the only rescue of this type in the area.
Anyway, I have traveled as far away as Martville and Watertown and have had people come from as far as Oneida, Palmyra and Binghamton. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make sure guinea pigs get good homes, so if you don't live in Oswego County, don't worry! We can always meet somewhere and work something out if you are interested in either surrendering or adopting.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

R.I.P. Ernie

Unfortunately, Ernie (who was adopted with Bert) had to be euthanized today after a short, severe illness. He was healthy when adopted out, and his new owner took excellent care of him until the very end. We are both upset, but sometimes this happens for no particular reason. We are both hoping that Bert will adjust well to the loss, as guinea pigs do grieve the loss of a cagemate.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


We got home from NJ a little while ago, and I have been catching up with everyone as it seems that whenever I leave town, everyone wants to give up or get guinea pigs!
Tom and Jerry are being adopted out tomorrow afternoon. I am also getting two more new piggies, not sure yet if they are boys or girls and what they look like. I have two other people interested in adopting, so I have been sending out the application to make sure they are ready to handle having a pair of guinea pigs. I see that there are some folks on Craigslist giving away or selling guinea pigs, so I just posted a new ad for the rescue and we'll see what happens.
I'm glad to be home with all my furries! Ryan did an excellent job of caring for everyone while I was gone..even washed fleeces. Thanks honey!! :)
(P.S. His coworkers that read this blog will be laughing now!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Heading Out of Town

I am leaving tomorrow for New Jersey and will be back Saturday, so Ryan has the "honor" of taking care of all the guinea pigs while I'm gone. Tom and Jerry's adoption is pending and someone is coming out to get them over the weekend. I've noticed that there are a few guinea pigs on Craigslist again, but instead of contacting anyone, I decided to just put a new ad up in the hopes that maybe someone will bring their piggy to us if they're not able to find a home on CL.
I will be able to access my e-mails from NJ but won't update the blog again until I get back. Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sidetracking...Say NO to the Bion Plant in Oswego County!!!

I realize this has nothing to do with guinea pigs, but I wanted to help get the word out about the proposed ethanol plant/slaughterhouse that Bion wants to build not too far from our farm. They say it is a "closed-loop" system, which uses waste from one part to help fuel the other. That may be partially true, but the real truth is no matter how "closed" it is, you can't contain the smell of 72,000 cattle a year!
These things are bad for the soil, water, air, our health, and the animals. The proposal has already been rejected in St. Lawrence County; that county and ours are two of the poorest in New York State. People here are desperate for jobs, but what would the long-term health effects be after working in such a place?
For more information, please visit You can read news articles and get information on how to help. We got our protest lawn signs a couple days ago...I feel like such an activist!! haha

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Update...Website Changes

Ok, I have changed the list of names to show who is available and who has been adopted. If neither is next to a name, that guinea pig (or pigs) is a permanent resident. These are guinea pigs that do not like being handled, are too old, or have long-term health problems. ONLY the ones who have "available" next to their names are truly available.
I have also posted the adoption fees, so that everyone has them up-front.
In other news, there has been a lot of interest in Tom and Jerry now that their new pictures are up! Someone is coming out to meet them in the next day or two, so we will see what happens and of course I will keep everyone posted. Anyone who has considered Tom and Jerry would probably like Rocky and Rascal...those two boys are super-friendly and love attention! They are also around the same age as Tom and Jerry, from what I can tell.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

2010 Goals

I've been doing a lot of thinking about ways to move forward with the rescue, even though I have a lot of guinea pigs right now (29). I have two particular goals in mind for 2010; I know we are halfway through the year, but I believe both are achievable.
1. As I've mentioned in an earlier post, I would like (if I have space) to get a few female guinea pigs from the State Fair in August/September. Ideally I will get two. These guinea pigs get sold for very cheap as soon as they are done showing, and because they are purebred and show material, I'd like to keep two out of the hands of breeders.
2. I am thinking, now that I will be working again part-time, that I would like to set up a small fund to help keep guinea pigs with their adopters in times of financial crisis. If someone adopts from me and then loses their job, etc., I would like to pay for food and bedding so that the pets can stay in their adoptive homes. I am always willing to take guinea pigs back, but moving from home to home can be very stressful for them, so I try to keep it to a minimum.
I think those two are ok for now. I am also trying to find out from Tractor Supply when we can get back there, as we now have five new piggies to show off!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Adopted! Bert and Ernie

Bert and Ernie are off to their new home (I had them in a laundry basket while I was changing out their cage so I got one last picture of them here). They went to a wonderful lady who also does cat rescue.
When Marley gets adopted on Tuesday, we will be up to 95 adoptions in three years! In the last seven years, we've had 138 guinea pigs come and go (that does not count ones that came back after being adopted out once before). Every one of them has had a different name; I keep track of them in a notebook. I'm almost certain that we will have 100 adoptions by the end of the year..although we may also get up to 150 guinea pigs total! :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Red Flags when Adopting Out

So, I've mentioned that I've revised my application to deter irresponsible people from adopting, but how do you determine how to "weed out" those people?
1. Have an adoption application that asks specific questions. If people ask about adopting, offer to send them the application via email or snail mail. If you don't hear back, chances are that person is not ready to adopt.
2. Won't offer references. Forget it. References are a MUST.
3. The adopter immediately wants to know if the animal can be returned. Of course, as a rescue, you should allow animals to be returned, but if someone asks right off the bat, be suspicious.
4. The person has never owned this type of animal before, or has not done ANY research.
5. I really, really hate to say this, but if the person is disabled/unemployed, be hesitant. I have had several people in this category apply for guinea pigs, only to have them returned to me in horrible condition. I am NOT trying to be "discriminatory." It's just that if the person does not have a job, and/or is disabled, chances are the outcome will not be good for the animal.
6. The person pressures you to adopt right away, for less than the adoption fee. If they demand your pet for a "discount," again, forget it. They want to use the animal for something else. Adoption fees are in place for a reason--to ensure that the pet goes to a good home. If someone is pressuring you to reduce it, or to have you give the pet up for way. Find someone else.
Above all, do not be afraid to ask a LOT of questions from someone who wants to adopt, whether it be in your application, on the phone or in person. Whenever possible, meet face to face. If something doesn't seem right, walk away. It's better to err on the side of caution than have your pet end up somewhere you might not want it to be.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Back from Baltimore

We got in from Baltimore around 8 tonight, so I am catching up on all the emails I got on my phone while I was gone. Tomato is being adopted either tomorrow or Tuesday, Marley on July 6, and I have one other person interested in adopting a pair. Tom and Jerry should make their way back here soon, so it's going to be a busy piggy week again!
Baltimore is a great city..if you ever get a chance to go, GO! The National Aquarium is awesome, Camden Yards is a great place to see a baseball game, and Fort McHenry was pretty cool (a little dry for the kids, but oh well). I could easily spend a week there!
Of course, as soon as I got home I had to check up on all my pigs here, making sure they were clean, watered and fed. (My mother in law was watching them, but I'm persnickety about how my guinea pigs are cared for!) I was glad to get home and be back with all my furries.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Arrival...Capone!

Yesterday I got what I thought was going to be an orange abby male from someone; he turned out to be a gorgeous Peruvian! I had to trim his back end up and brush him...what a beautiful coat he has!! His name is Capone, and he's young, about 6 months old. A few people have been writing me looking to adopt a longer-haired pig, so we'll see what happens in the next week or so. I also have someone possibly interested in Chocolate and Snowball.
A couple weeks ago I was praying for rain; now I'm hoping it will stop! I can't wait until everything in our garden really starts growing so we can have fresh veggies!

Monday, June 14, 2010

R.I.P. Prescott

It is with great sorrow that I have to tell everyone that we had Prescott euthanized this morning. Ryan and I spent the whole weekend discussing this, knowing Prescott had a vet appointment coming up to check the progress on his bumblefoot. During the last few weeks, he got worse, not better, in spite of all the foot soaks, medication, and newspaper bedding. Bumblefoot can lead to an infection in the leg bone, and with both front feet getting progressively worse, we decided (with great difficulty) that we did not want him to live the rest of his life in pain, getting treatments that I could see he wasn't happy with.
Prescott was the first guinea pig to be put on my blog; I considered him one of my "poster pigs" for neglect. When he arrived, his one foot was so swollen it looked like it would pop if you touched it. His hair was falling out, and he sat in the corner of his cage looking absolutely forlorn, holding his foot in the air because it was too painful to set down. We got him in to the vet right away, and have struggled to keep his bumblefoot under control since then.
Once Prescott started to feel better, his personality came through. He was curious and cuddly and would eat anything you put in front of him. His favorite food was a strawberry; I would often give him one right after his foot soak. Before Ryan took him in this morning, I fed him one last strawberry and told him I loved him. We plan on burying him next to our dog Reilley, under the tree in the front yard.
I know many of you met Prescott when you came to either bring or adopt guinea pigs; many people asked about him after reading his story on this site. He is now at the Rainbow Bridge with all the furry friends we've lost, and we hope to meet up with them someday.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I figured I'd better do an entry on the blog today, while it's quiet...the girls' birthday party is Saturday, so we will be busy getting everything ready tomorrow and Saturday morning.
Gobbles and Foofer are now living together; they each have an igloo so they can get away from each other if needed, but aside from the first day, they are getting along well. Putting them together enabled me to free up two more medium-sized Marchioro cages, so if there's an emergency and I need to take multiple piggies, I can.
However, at this point I have had to turn people away (or at least have them wait) until I can adopt out more guinea pigs. I know this is a slow time for adoptions; people are outdoors and busy doing summertime activities. We will be piggy-sitting in July for two girls that were adopted out almost two years ago; they are on a Christmas card I got which is just too cute!
On another note, I am sad to announce that the magazine I had been writing for, Kritter Kronickles, had to fold after someone hacked into all their computer information, including their account. Except for their first issue, I wrote articles for them on a range of topics in every other issue they put out. I'm very sad that this happened to them, and I hope their dog grooming business takes off to help offset their loss.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Musical Pigs!

I got a large cage yesterday, plus a new C&C cage on Tuesday, so we get to play "Musical Pigs" over the weekend. I introduced Gobbles and Foofer...Gobbles pretty much ran and hid from Foof, who could have cared less..she just kept munching away on grass while I had them outside. I also got two new males who are in a cage that is just too small for two grown boys, so they will be moving into the large cage I just got, and I will have to move a few more piggies into new locations, so we will be busy!
Our garden is growing well after all the rain, and we just planted some flowering dogwood trees in the yard as well. And of course, I'm out "harvesting" dandelion leaves for everyone..they get very squeaky whenever I go in and out of the house!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Garden is Growing!

Hooray! Our carrots and cucumbers have sprouted, earlier than expected. The only problem is that it's been so dry, we've had to haul water from our collection tank in the barn across the yard to water everything. Here's hoping it rains soon!
In other news, the girl who adopted Carl (formerly Casey) came by to find him a buddy, and she decided to take Phoenix, so he now has a new home where I know he will be even MORE spoiled. Her other choice was Marley, my new silkie, but I'm glad he's still here cuz he's really cute!
I've been wanting to use our outdoor playpen, but it's been way too hot lately, so today everyone got a cold piece of watermelon to help cool down!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Da Rules

It's been slow here now that four of my piggies have left, so I wanted to reiterate what we do here at the rescue. Here are the most important points of operation:
1. NO UNAUTHORIZED BREEDING, just like Jurassic Park. In seven years, we have only had two litters of newborns, both from females who were pregnant before they came to us. I am absolutely paranoid about checking sexes when new guinea pigs arrive!
2. Vet care if needed. If a guinea pig arrives and is obviously sick, we will take it to a vet. However, I am now requiring that anyone who wants to surrender a guinea pig MUST take it to a vet if it is seriously ill or injured. It's not just a matter of finances, it's a matter of suffering. If your dog broke its leg, would you take it to the SPCA and let them deal with it? Didn't think so.
3. Proper diet. Guinea pigs need guinea pig pellets, not rabbit food. They also need timothy hay and a variety of fresh produce, which we provide.
4. Cleanliness. Fleeces are washed about every four days; cages with shavings are cleaned completely at least once a week, more often if needed. Keeping cages clean not only reduces the smell, it keeps the guinea pigs free of disease.
5. Space. All guinea pigs or groups are given the most space available. Trust me, I do not like putting even one guinea pig in a small cage, but once in a while I have to on an emergency basis. I always keep a few spare cages around, just in case. As soon as a larger cage is available, I upgrade piggies in smaller cages to larger ones.
6. Last but not least, love and respect. Some guinea pigs arrive here terrified. I give them space and don't try to startle them; I put food in the cage and leave them alone to eat when they feel comfortable. I try to meet their individual needs, as every guinea pig is an individual. They each have their own personality, and I try to respect that as much as possible by getting to know them and providing what they need. Sometimes, this takes months. All I want is for the animal to feel comfortable in our home, and be socialized and ready enough to be adopted if possible.
7. Sorry, one more--permanency. Some guinea pigs are just not able to be adopted out again. Reasons can vary from age, health, temperament, etc. Again, it's about each individual animal. Most of the piggies I have right now will have this farm as their forever home, where they will receive all the love and care they need for the rest of their lives.
All I want is to care for these little guys who have no voice; just because they live in cages and can be put in a basement, garage or other room does not mean they don't feel pain, fear, or loneliness. They deserve to be treated with the same respect as any other living being.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Ryan and I got our garden planted last night...we decided to build a raised bed, fill it with topsoil, and plant there instead of tilling our fenced-in "garden" this year. Our soil out here is mostly clay, or sand..not the greatest for planting, so hopefully this will make things a lot easier. We planted tomatoes, blueberries, and of course, cucumbers and carrots for our piggies!
Since we don't qualify for a loan to build a pig house next to ours, I've been doing some thinking, and I've decided that what I need to do is get some bigger cages and put some of my single guinea pigs together. I have a couple of females who are not going to be adopted out, so they can become permanent cage-mates, and this will free up their current cages in case there is an emergency and I need to take in more. It will also get a couple of cages off my dining room floor! I have already ordered a 2x3 C&C plus two custom-made fleeces. They won't be ready for a couple weeks, but it will be worth the wait. I would also like to place some of my single boys together, but I'm not sure if the whole buddy-bath thing works for males as well as for females. If it does, I'm willing to do it. A lot of guinea pigs who arrive here are singles, but placing them together when possible not only will save space, it will give everyone more company.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

News and Blues This Week

Ok, so the news is that Juan will be fostered by a friend of mine (who may convince her husband to keep him, but we'll see!). She makes the Piggy Bed Spreads, so I know he would be well-taken care of and will probably even get a bigger cage. Franky and Doug are going to their new home Saturday afternoon; right now they are in my gym, as I didn't have any other place for them. I know I tell people that when I start putting guinea pigs in my gym, I will need an intervention, but this is TEMPORARY!
On the blues side, someone called me very early yesterday morning, asking if I had any space in the rescue (right now, I don't). She told me her guinea pig was injured, and her husband didn't want her to take him to the vet because it would "cost money." Well, of COURSE it will cost money! But that's what you do when your pet is hurt...I told her she HAD to take him to the vet. I'm afraid to think what happened to him, I just hope she did the right thing and he isn't suffering.
I just want to remind anyone who comes across this blog that just because I am a rescue does not mean I receive funding from anyone, nor am I a vet. I cannot give emergency medical treatment, nor can I always afford to do so. This is why I rewrote my application; anyone who wants to surrender a guinea pig MUST have it taken to a vet if it is severely ill or injured. If you have the money to buy an animal and its supplies, you must also be willing to pay for its medical care if needed.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Duff Finds a Home!!!

Ok, so this REALLY BIG dude came by the table while we were at Tractor Supply yesterday, and he fell in LOVE with Duff! So, at last, Duff has found a loving home! (Seriously, this guy Jason was taking pics of Duff on his phone, calling his family members, etc.) We had a great day..we made enough money to buy a bag of food, but then when I went to get it, they were completely out! I did buy some fresh produce at a farm stand this evening as a special treat for all the piggies.
We had a great time at the adoption event, and saw all kinds of interesting animals. Hopefully this will help spread the word and we can get some of our younger piggies into new homes!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Why Two (or More) Guinea Pigs are Better than One

It seems that when most people decide to get a guinea pig as a pet for the first time, they decide to get one, thinking that one is "all they can handle." The thing is, guinea pigs are social rodents who enjoy the company of a buddy, especially if you're going to be out of the house a lot. I find that many people get one guinea pig, only to decide much later on that they would like another, but by that time, adding another guinea pig might lead to fighting or injury if one has been used to living alone.
It is best to keep guinea pigs in groups of 2-5, in a cage that is large enough for them to run around in freely. It is possible to place two unrelated pigs together as adults, but it needs to be a careful process. They must be introduced on neutral ground, not simply thrown together in a cage, even if the cage is clean. Females are more likely to get along than males, but even pairs that have been together their whole lives will still "fuss" (tooth chatter, butt wiggle, hump, chase, etc.). This happens with both males and females and is perfectly normal; as long as no one is getting hurt, it's fine.
When pairs or groups of guinea pigs arrive at our rescue, we keep them together, and try to adopt them out together. I realize that this results in fewer adoptions, since again, most people want only one, but I will not separate pairs or groups that have always been together, as this can be traumatic. On the flip side, I will not force two unrelated, same-sex, single guinea pigs to live together as cagemates. I have far more failures than successes in this arena. If, after the second or third introduction, the guinea pigs aren't getting along splendidly, I will not put them together. Every guinea pig has a different personality, and if one is more dominant, it will only lead to problems if you make introductions recklessly.
So, if you are considering adopting, it would be best to adopt a pair, even if it means a little more cage-cleaning, etc. In the long run, it will be much better for your pet.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Ryan and I are going away for a bit for our anniversary, so I've been busy all day washing fleeces, etc. to make sure everyone will be clean for the next couple days. Also, against my better judgment, I am taking in one more male. His owner is moving, and the guinea pig is visually impaired, so I'm concerned that he may end up somewhere that would not be able to care for him properly. His name is Steve, and we are picking him up on our way back home Sunday. Because he is partially blind, Steve will be a permanent resident not available for adoption. This will be the first time I've had a semi-blind guinea pig, so I want to make sure he is comfortable and doesn't continue to get moved around.
However, I am hoping that next weekend, I will find a home or two for a couple guinea pigs going to Tractor Supply with me. I called Pinot's new owners, and he is doing very well, and probably getting more attention than he was here with so many other piggies.
I was also very blessed today to receive a small donation of fleece and a check from a person who has been reading my articles in Kritter Kronickles, and after checking out this site, she wanted to help. I sincerely appreciate everything everyone has done for our little donation is ever too small!
So, I will update the blog again when we return, and post pics of our new resident!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring Has Arrived!

I have been woefully behind in updating the blog, mostly because there really is nothing going on here. The biggest development has been the explosion of dandelion growth, which means FRESH GREENS for all the piggies! I refer to dandelion leaves as "guinea pig crack," since they can't seem to get enough of them! Every time we go in or out the door now, everyone starts squeaking for a treat!
Fortunately, I have a very big yard, so I gather greens twice a day (weather permitting), and everyone is enjoying the spoils. I took Indigo and Gobbles out for some cuddles this evening, sitting on the back deck and getting some fresh air. I'm looking forward to using my outdoor enclosure soon, when the weather starts getting more consistent.
Again, I will post more on this as the date gets closer, but we will be back at Tractor Supply in Clay on Rts. 31 and 57 on Saturday, May 15. This time I am bringing several guinea pigs available for adoption, and I am going to type up some informational sheets to bring along with me to get the word out about our rescue and about guinea pig care.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reasons NOT to Get a Guinea Pig

After having several guinea pigs returned to me, I realized that (as with many pets) people may not be prepared to bring them into their homes and give them a lifetime of proper care. So, here is my list of reasons for NOT getting a guinea pig:
1. You don't like getting your hands dirty. (which translates into, you don't like cleaning cages, touching poop, possibly giving baths, brushing your guinea pig or getting peed on occasionally)
2. You don't like noisy little beggars. Guinea pigs get used to a feeding schedule, and will squeak LOUDLY to get your attention, and a treat.
3. You don't like cuddling. Guinea pigs love to snuggle in your lap or on your chest.
4. You don't like animals that shed. (self-explanatory)
5. You can't afford to take your guinea pig to the vet if it gets sick, because it will probably cost you more than a dog or cat visit, and you have to find a vet who will treat exotic animals.
6. You're allergic to hay. Guinea pigs MUST have hay in their diet.
7. You want to keep it in the smallest cage possible to save space and money. Guinea pigs NEED space to run around and, well, act like guinea pigs.
So, if you don't find any of these things appealing in the least, a guinea pig is not for you!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fluffy, aka Foofer

This is our newest arrival, five-year-old Fluffy, or "Foofer" as she was also called, so we use both names. She's a cute little silkie; Morgan has already brushed her and she is settling in well. I've put her cage next to Buttercup's so she has someone to visit with.
Speaking of Buttercup, she is actually not as hyper or loud as her previous owner described, so I think she's just happy to be back here! I have a feeling she will also be a permanent resident now, haha!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Guinea Pigs and the Central NY SPCA

When I started taking in guinea pigs six years ago, I got a few from someone who would pick them up from the CNYSPCA in Mattydale for free, then she would place an ad in the paper and accept a $15 donation to the SPCA. Apparently things have changed a lot since then; now the shelter is charging over $30 per guinea pig (Lollypop Farm in Fairport asks $15 apiece). That's the same price as most pet stores!
I have also heard stories of wounded guinea pigs not receiving medical care, and someone who donated fresh carrots found out later that they were all given to the rabbits and none to the guinea pigs that were there.
I certainly don't expect the SPCA to give guinea pigs away for free; I know they need money and the staff is very overworked, but I do believe the animals all need to be taken care of. Part of me wants to try to give them a hand, but part of me is unhappy (with the guinea pig and other situations) to the point where I almost don't want to deal with them at all. On top of all this, I physically do not have anymore room in my house to take in more pigs at this point, so if I do decide to work with the SPCA it would have to be put on hold until I have more space.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Younger People in Rescue

I have to start this out with a disclaimer...I have absolutely NO INTENTION of offending any of the wonderful people more advanced in years than I am who have done guinea pig rescue. These people are the ones who got me started and kept me going. What concerns me is that now that they are facing health and family problems, there are virtually NO other rescue groups here in central NY except for ours.
I know that with the recession, many families have put a focus on service and giving back to others, in whatever way they see fit. This is a wonderful trend; we are teaching a whole new generation to care about others, even if all we give is our time. Even very young children can learn to "give back," and that lesson will most likely stay with them for the rest of their lives, and hopefully create a ripple effect of giving that will influence even more people.
It's true, I've been strained by the number of guinea pigs being given up these last couple years. The same recession that spurred charity has also led many people to give up their pets. My hope is that someday, someone will be able to pick up the torch and start their own rescue. All I had to do was make the leap. After caring for unwanted guinea pigs for four years, I decided I would make it "official" and advertise myself as the Oswego County Guinea Pig Rescue. I did end up convincing one person to start their own, but again, she is older, and after facing some issues of her own, she decided to downscale and quit rescue.
There's nothing wrong with this; rescue can be overwhelming, frustrating, financially and emotionally draining, and time-consuming. Not everyone can carry through with it for the long haul. I guess my wish for the future is that just a few more people will recognize the need to help small, caged animals...not just guinea pigs, but rats, hamsters, gerbils, etc. who often end up neglected simply because they can be put in a cage and shoved into a corner or basement with barely a second thought. These animals suffer as much as any dog or cat; by increasing awareness, I hope to change people's attitudes and bring about a time when these animals are valued as much as any other type of pet.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

When Adoption Fails

Although I have had a HUGE number of adoptions over the last two years, in the past few months I have had eight guinea pigs who were adopted out get returned. The reasons and circumstances varied widely, and led me to rewrite my adoption contract (I know I've mentioned that before). I was frustrated and angry with several of the people who returned guinea pigs I thought I'd found a forever home for, but my main concern is always for the animal's welfare. In some cases, this also means that a guinea pig that is returned to me may not be a candidate for adoption again.
I am never in a rush to adopt out a guinea pig. At this point, only Pinot and Duff are good candidates for adoption. Indigo and Buttercup have issues that most people might not be able to deal with. I have several guinea pigs who do not like being handled, and I cannot in good faith adopt them out to anyone. Both Milo and Gobbles' previous owners have requested that they remain in my care, and I will honor those requests (Milo is going on 5 years old now).
My experiences over the last few months have made me very hesitant to adopt out again, but since adoptions have pretty much come to a screeching halt, that probably won't be a problem. All I can say is that I will always take back a guinea pig if things aren't working out..that is written in my application and that has always been my stance. I never knew there would be such a need for guinea pig rescue, and that includes taking animals back when adoption fails.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Quick Update

I know I promised a picture of Phoenix, and I should probably post a better one of Gobbles because she is sooo cute, but today was my last day working at the bakery and I am EXHAUSTED. I ran out to get more fleece from Martha, who runs Piggy Bed Spreads, so now I have some extra pieces to put in my smaller cages. Jabby and Giorgio are now on the one she let me keep after going to Tractor Supply and they both seem to like it!
Prescott continues to get his medications and foot soaks. Bumblefoot takes a long time to heal up and I still need to get him a foam pad for underneath his newspapers. I've been changing the papers every day. He's not as cooperative as he was during the first round of treatment; I'm sure he's fed up with all of it, but obviously it needs to be done.
Indigo continues to make more "social" progress. Her skin still seems a little itchy with her new hair growing back in, so every other day I put skin balm on her and hold her for a little while.
Twix and Jack, two of my older males, have been moved into Taco and Chili's much larger cage. They had been living in a 55 gallon critter tank, which I cleaned out and sold. The big cage also got a thorough cleaning before moving the boys in, and they love having the extra space. (Oh, geez, I forgot to mention that Taco did end up passing away shortly after Chili did, and they are buried together on our farm. Taco kept taking his Dri-Tail but succumbed to the illness after a couple days.)
I'm seeing a lot of guinea pigs on Craigslist right now, but I am out of larger cages and don't know if I can take any more in. Fortunately, I have cut down on both food and bedding expenses (Tractor Supply sells a 50 lb. bag of Blue Seal for $16, where I was paying $14 for a 25 lb. bag) so it will not cost me as much to care for all my little furries, but I'm also not compromising on their health or comfort. I would like to switch a few more over to fleece eventually.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

R.I.P. Chili

A few days ago, I noticed that both Taco and Chili's activity level had dropped and they were not eating well. Then they started having diarrhea; I ran out to the nearest pet store but they were out of Dri-Tail, so I sent Ryan out the next day to get some at PetSmart. I immediately gave both boys a dose, and I had already stopped feeding vegetables. This morning, Taco took his dose of Dri-Tail, but Chili was too far gone for me to even get it in his mouth. He died a short time later. I don't know how old Chili was; I'm guessing at least 3-4, and I only had him a few months. I feel terrible about his death, but now we are focusing on Taco, who seems to be holding up ok so far. He has not had any diarrhea today so I will keep plugging the medicine and he will also get a bath when he is feeling better. I will keep everyone posted.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Adoptees on YouTube!

If you go on YouTube and search for "guinea pig introductions," posted by cfoster1966, you will see FIVE of my adoptees running around together, along with two more females. They have quite the setup, and I know they went to a great home...lots of space, toys, food, places to hide, etc. It's a three minute video so if you get a chance, check it out!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Using Craigslist

Even before I became a "rescue," I responded to quite a few ads on Craigslist in which people needed to find new homes for their pets for whatever reason. If you are interested in adopting any animal, Craigslist can be a good place to look, but use caution when reading the ads. If any ads say that babies are being "sold," or are simply listed as "baby guinea pigs X amount each," most likely the person is a breeder (or didn't bother to check the sexes of a pair they bought and want to make money off the accidental litter). More often than not, these people are looking to grab some cash without knowing or caring where the guinea pig ends up.
However, if the advertiser sincerely wants to rehome their guinea pig, they will include an adoption fee and at least offer the cage and accessories as well. People choose to give up guinea pigs for many reasons, including allergies, biting issues, lack of time, lack of money, kids lost interest, moving, etc. This was how I got started...I took guinea pigs that needed new homes because I didn't want them to end up in shelters or as reptile food. It's sad to see so many pets that people simply give up on, and it gets very frustrating. I don't understand how I have 27 guinea pigs and I find time for ALL of them, and yet some folks can't devote even a few minutes a day to just ONE.
Anyway, Craigslist is a good starting point if you are looking for any type of animal. If you do end up going to get a guinea pig and the conditions they are living in are not good, you can contact your local humane society. Most people want to "help" by going ahead and purchasing animals living in filthy conditions, but this only continues the cycle of abuse, neglect and profit at the expense of the animals. Ask a LOT of questions, and don't be afraid to say no if you don't get the answers you're looking for. And don't forget about personal safety...whenever possible, meet people in a public location, or at least take someone with you if you can't.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Healing Mental Trauma in Guinea Pigs

What happens when wounds heal, but an animal is left with mental and emotional scars from abusive or neglectful treatment? The number one key is to be patient. Indigo is a prime example of this. She spends most of the day in her igloo, placing it right over her food dish and near the water bottle. Until her wounds have healed 100 percent, I am keeping her on fleece so that she is comfortable, and I have started holding her in my lap. She will let me pet her just a little bit before squeaking and jumping, and she is very afraid of my dogs. I try not to do anything that will startle her, but I want her to get acclimated to life in our household, which can be busy and noisy at times. She needs her front nails trimmed, but right now she barely tolerates being touched, and I want to build up her trust a bit more before attempting to trim the nails. Right now, it would not be a pleasant experience for her, and could cause her further trauma.
One thing to remember is to NEVER force your guinea pig to do anything. Don't pick up its hideaway to "make" it come out; avoid making sudden movements and loud noises; keep it away from your other pets. Do try to feed it on a schedule to provide a sense of security. Despite her fears, Indigo is starting to come out to beg for food when she knows it is mealtime (and believe me, 27 guinea pigs all squeaking together for produce lets EVERYONE know it's mealtime!).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Update on Casey (now Carl)

I wish I'd had my camera when I went to Animal Kingdom for a vet appointment (for my dogs) and got to see Casey (renamed Carl) for the first time since he got adopted. If you remember, he came to me with Miley and was from a horrible breeder in Pulaski. He looks AMAZING! His fur has grown in thick and full, and he has not only grown but put on some weight. I am always so happy to see guinea pigs blossom in the right household! He is obviously being well taken care of, and has much improved since I saw him last!
In other news, Mozy and my three girls (Violet, Lily and Daisy) have ALL found new homes and will be leaving this weekend. As much as I love them all, they are my most adoptable, and I'm glad to see them go to people who will love them just as much. Duff-man will be going with me to Tractor Supply next Saturday; at this point, I don't have many other candidates for adoption. He is young, healthy and friendly and will hopefully make a good impression!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Developments

As usual, it's like a revolving door with guinea pigs around here, haha! I believe I have found a home for Mozy, the last baby from Poppy's litter. My daughter took him out last night and pushed him around in her little doll carriage..very cute, and I got a picture that I will post later today.
I will also be posting pics of the three females I fostered out some time ago. The foster mom is having some family health issues, and needs to return them to me. I had named them Violet (the mom), Lily and Daisy. It is possible that one may be pregnant (of course) as they had been kept with the male babies for some time, so we may have another litter in the near future..*sigh* I was hoping not to go through this again so soon after Poppy but oh well, that's what we do best! :)
Indigo is healing well physically and slowly coming around mentally. Now that her wounds have closed up, I need to start holding her on a daily basis without giving her medications, etc. so that she realizes being held is not a bad thing. Today was the first day she came out for breakfast time. She spends almost all of her time inside the igloo, even moving it with her to eat from her food bowl and drink from her bottle. It's really sad, and I don't want to adopt her out again because she's so traumatized. Hopefully with lots of love she will come around.

Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm Back

Hi everyone..I just got back an hour or so ago. I'm trying to catch up on guinea pig correspondence, as I have several pick ups tomorrow and Monday. It's harder to do from my phone because I'm not the greatest texter! :)
All my piggies greeted me when I got in the door, which was nice..I do miss them when I'm gone. My husband kept giving Indigo her probiotics and a wound wash; she seems to be getting better. I have some cages to clean out rest for a guinea pig mom!
I will update everyone on the upcoming adoptions as they happen over the next few days.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Latest news, then I'm taking a break

Nova had his staples taken out yesterday, and did a great job..hard to believe there were SEVEN staples in such a tiny guinea pig! His wound is healing very well and he should have all of his hair back soon. He is being adopted tonight..hooray!
Indigo, on the other hand, has been very difficult to handle. I'm giving her medication three times a day and trying to put stuff on her wounds, but she screams everytime I hold her and anytime she has to scratch herself. The biggest wounds do look like they're healing, but it's only been a few days. She also acts very traumatized, so I can only imagine what happened to her where she was.
I will be keeping up with e-mails while I'm in New Jersey, but will give the blog a rest until I get home. In the meantime, my wonderful husband Ryan will be in charge of all my furbabies (and also in charge of groceries this week, which kind of scares me!).
I'm already exhausted and I haven't even left yet..going to be a long three days.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Update on Everything

Ok, I am leaving Wednesday and coming back Friday. Some adoptions may be happening earlier, some doesn't matter, really. I know the folks who want babies have been waiting very patiently; the pups are all eating solid food and pellets and would be ok leaving mom a few days early. Poppy is going to her new home March 1; Nova could be leaving as early as tomorrow evening or Tuesday. Aside from Indigo, everyone is doing well, although I do see that Indigo's wounds are already starting to heal. She screams everytime she has to scratch herself, and hates when I pick her up, but I've already dealt with this when I had Buttercup, so it will just be a matter of time until Indy feels better and can be handled more often. I told my husband it just breaks my heart seeing Indigo like this because I thought she was so beautiful when I got her...she looks almost identical to Poppy except for some orange accents on her face.
I will have my Blackberry with me on the trip, so I will do my best to answer my e-mails from NJ while I'm gone. I know everyone's going to tell me not to worry about it, but my grandmother died exactly the way she wanted to, and life doesn't stop just because she's gone. She was an animal lover, and thought I was crazy for having so many guinea pigs, but I know she would understand. My rescue and my blog are very important to me, and most of the people I've met along the way have been truly wonderful...I am not going to let anyone down. :)

New Development

I realize that I've been gearing up for the coming adoptions of Poppy and her pups, but my grandmother passed away during the night; no arrangements have been made yet, but I may be traveling to New Jersey sometime this week (possibly Indiana..everything is up in the air right now). I just e-mailed a couple adopters to let them know what's going on, and I will do my best to keep the blog updated as well.
My grandmother, Wanda Granack, was an avid animal lover, opening her home to several cats over the years and donating money to shelters and rescues. I was lucky enough to travel the world with her and my grandfather when I was a teenager; on those trips, I learned lessons about other people and cultures that still stick with me today. She was a wonderful woman who will be greatly missed.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Just when you think you've seen it all...

This is Indigo, who was adopted last summer with another female. The owner showed up at my house today (no phone call, nothing..I don't know what they would have done if we hadn't been home) and informed me that they were "having trouble" with her and that the other female had been attacking her. Indigo has open sores ALL OVER her body; I asked why she hadn't been taken to a vet and the girl said, "I don't live with my mom, I'm not really sure." (The mom sat in the car the whole time.)
Nova is now off his medications, so I am giving them to Indigo in the hope she will heal soon. I am angry BEYOND belief right now, and I have decided that I am going to have to write up a fill-in-the-blanks adoption form that will require potential adopters to provide detailed information as to why they want to adopt, what vet and personal references they have, etc. Returning a guinea pig to a rescue because it has health issues and you can't afford to take it to a vet is just unacceptable! These people never even called to ask me any questions when the "problem" began; they just showed up here with Indigo in a box. There are SO many things I wish I would have said, but my biggest concern is always for the welfare of the guinea pig; I couldn't just turn her away in her condition, so we will do whatever it takes to get Indigo well.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Update on the Babies

I was telling my coworkers today that my last female baby, Isis, was not yet spoken the time I got home and checked my e-mail, I found someone who may be interested in her as a companion for her other female. This means I now have homes lined up for Poppy and all five babies...hooray!
It's going to be very strange not having my little family here at the end of next week. I am going to move the "pirhana" (my five older females) into the cage once it's empty, as they will have more room than they have now. I'm hoping to move several of my remaining piggies into larger cages. Right now the only ones I have available for adoption are Duff and Pinot. Foxy and Roxy can still be adopted, as long as they go together, but they are probably around 2 years old at this point.

Monday, February 15, 2010

More Baby Pics

Again, these little guys are fast, but I'm trying to get some good pictures of them. All the babies are getting BIG, compared to what they looked like last week. I'm still having trouble sexing them; I could have sworn Nova was a girl, but turns out he's not, lol! I sweep out the fleece twice a day with a whisk broom, and tomorrow I need to take everything out and wash it again, along with some other fleeces.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Update on Nova

Nova survived the night, so first thing this morning I got her an appointment for the vet. My husband took her in and stopped by work to tell me she is spending the night, and they will try to suture the wound tomorrow, but there is the chance she may not make it. I was glad to see this morning that she was still alive and eating, but we're not out of the woods yet. I will keep everyone updated.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Ok, so I went to give the wounded baby a bath this afternoon and found that the wound had gotten about five times LARGER. I'm thinking, what the hell? It wasn't that big this morning..
So, I watched Poppy and the babies after the bath, and saw that POPPY was biting the baby and making the wound LARGER.
After much thought, I decided to separate the now-named Nova into her (?) own cage, and she will go to the vet tomorrow (they were closed by the time I called this afternoon). All the babies have been eating solid food. It came down to leaving her with a mom that was picking her apart, or taking a chance on letting her heal a little bit overnight with some food in there (baby carrots and lettuce) in the hope of getting her to the vet tomorrow. The wound is open, but relatively clean..the cage has no shavings in it, and I gave her the sleeping bag to keep warm. I did see her eating pellets, and I put some vitamins in the water bottle, just in case. I'm hoping she will at least survive tonight so that we can get her the help she needs. Please say a little prayer; I don't want to lose another baby!!!

Babies 3, 4 and 5

Well, the other three babies look pretty much like head, salt and pepper body, all with some form of white dot on the head. When we had them out last night, we realized that the one who had hidden in a corner after being attacked by the dogs was actually bitten on the shoulder; we cleaned the wound and put Betagen on it, which we will continue to do until it heals, and we will take the baby to the vet if it doesn't get better soon. Everyone is eating fact, they are probably driving Poppy nuts because no matter what she wants to do, someone wants to tag along and nurse, even while she's eating from her dish, lol! I'm also cleaning out the entire cage again today. These guys are making so much poop I can barely keep up!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I know I said I was going to post pics of the three little piggies who look alike, but I wanted to let everyone know my application for NY nonprofit status was DENIED. It was sent back, along with my check and a very LONG letter as to why it was denied (too complicated to explain here, but it did mention that the name Cloverleaf Farm was already taken, among a bazillion other things).
When I spoke to someone about the process, they said they spent well over $1000 by the time they were done, and that it was best to have a lawyer file it for you. I'm wondering if this is all going to be worth the hassle and the money, seeing as there's a lot of hassle and I have nowhere near that amount of money. Part of me feels we should just keep doing what we're doing as we are. I'm open to any comments or suggestions you guys might have.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Baby #2

From what I can tell, this is a male, who I'm now calling Jet...look at how shiny his fur is! I'm having a hard time sexing the babies because they are still so young, and also because the other three all look almost exactly alike, so I will put all three of them in the next post.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Baby #1

Yesterday Morgan helped me get close-up pictures of the five babies. I did try to sex this one when I had it out, and I think it's a girl, but I'm tempted to call her Junior just because she looks almost EXACTLY like Duff. You can see how tiny these guys are; they fit neatly in one of Morgan's hands!

Sidetracking a Bit...

After a not so pleasant last couple days dealing with my dogs (who are now both in trouble for various reasons), I needed a laugh, and I have to share this blog with you because it's one of the funniest ones I've ever seen. When I'm not taking care of guinea pigs, I work part-time in a bakery...which makes Cake Wrecks even FUNNIER to me.
So, I will make a plug for the blog. Check out and be prepared. You may want to go pee before seeing some of the MASSIVE cake boo-boos and no-nos, because you may actually wet yourself laughing.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


First, let me thank everyone who has sent supportive e-mails (and they've all been supportive) in our sadness. We realize this was an accident, but it doesn't make us feel any better that we lost one of our newborns, and we are being extremely vigilant in protecting the five that remain. We did discover that Lady, not Bogie, was most likely the culprit..she started getting after the babies again today. We used to have a baby gate lying around that we can use when we are home; if we can't find it, I'd like to get a new one. At night, and when we are away from home, we will keep the Pigpen door shut.
I decided to go ahead and just name the little guy Baby, and I put the name in my logbook just like I do with all my other animals. I wanted to at least acknowledge that (s)he was here, if only for a short time.
In a few weeks, most of the pups and even Poppy will be going to new homes, and I'm going to miss all of them. The babies are so cute and so fun to watch. I keep introducing them to new fruits and veggies. They have their sleeping bag, an igloo, and their corner room to hide in. When I have some more time tomorrow, I'm going to take individual, close-up pictures of each one and post them here so you can all see them.
Thank you all again for your support...I appreciate that you're all following the blog. I had thought about not even posting Baby's death at all, but realized that if I was going to blog, I wanted to be completely honest about everything happening here. We have now had over 120 guinea pigs in the last six years; this is the first time something like this has happened, and we will take any and all precautions to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Let me preface this by saying that my dogs have never, EVER attacked any of my guinea pigs. When I say never I mean NEVER. Until tonight.
We were out for a few hours and came home to find Poppy's sleeping bag on the dining room floor. Two of the babies were unaccounted for. We found one hiding behind Taco and Chili's cage and returned him to his mom. We found the other stuck in the crack between couch cushions, which meant that my dog Bogie had killed it and left it there. I guess the temptation of a bunch of tiny new guinea pigs running around was too much to resist.
We have moved Poppy's cage into the Pigpen, so we can shut the door when we leave the house. I'm still in shock; I feel horrible and guilty and sad that this little guy was alive for less than two days and we could have prevented this from happening. It was awful that my kids had to see all that, and I know they're as upset as I am.
If you look in the top picture, the baby we lost was the one who was mottled dark orange and black. I'm really sorry, everyone...I'm so disappointed in myself right now. I don't even know what else to say.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why Not Boys?

I'm perplexed by the number of people who have written to me lately asking to adopt a single female. I've found over the years that guinea pigs, regardless of sex, have a wide range of personalities. Most of my favorite piggies have been males, ever since I got my first black shorthair over 20 years ago. Although I love all my current guinea pigs, my "buddies" right now are Prescott, Jabbie, Frosted, and Taco...all males.
It's fine to adopt a single guinea pig of either sex, as long as you're willing to give it lots of attention. Males show aggression when unfamiliar males are around, or when there's a female to fight over. A single male can be just as affectionate and friendly as any female. Plus, with a male there's no chance it could be pregnant. Males are no more likely to bite than females. The only major difference is that males do tend to be larger, but this certainly doesn't reflect on their great personalities!


Two days ago, my entire family got that 24-hour stomach bug that's been going around. I spent most of the day yesterday in bed; I'm finally back on my feet this morning cleaning cages I would have gotten to yesterday if I hadn't been puking nonstop. Fortunately, Poppy did not decide to have her babies while we were all sick. She's getting really huge and you can see the pups moving around, which is kind of creepy.
With pups arriving soon, and with Baco and Pinot's return, I can no longer take in anymore guinea pigs unless I adopt some out. At this point I have 30 adults here, plus five more adults in foster care. In case anyone is wondering, we have what I call the "pigpen," which is a room we created just for the guinea pigs. My husband built custom shelves for the smaller cages; the large C&C cages are on the floor, and the linoleum makes it easy to clean up. There are a few cages that have spilled into my dining room, so I have fleece in most of them to avoid getting shavings all over my floor (which is hardwood..again, easy to sweep up). I also have my pug, Gus, who is more than happy to chomp up any stray "jellybeans" should he find any!
In addition, Prescott's cage has been moved into the TV room, on a desk by the picture window. Not only does he have a nice view, but he can watch TV with us!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stiiiiiillllll Waaaaiiiiiting...*sigh*

Before I update Poppy's status, I'm so excited to now have SEVEN followers! Eeeeeeeeee! (That's my high-pitched, excited sound...)
Anyhoo, I've been watching Poppy today (and I do need to upload some pics of her) and I can see the pups moving around inside her. She's keeping close to her food dish, and resting on top of her sleeping bag (she's too big to get inside it). I'd be willing to bet she will give birth within a day or two.
In other "news," the woman who adopted Miley generously donated a large cage, so I have moved my two oldest pigs, Moe and Joe, into their new home. They used to take turns using their igloo, but now there is enough room in their cage for TWO igloos, so they have been making use of both. I figured the big cage would be a good retirement home for them, ha!
The cage that Moe and Joe were in is also bigger than some of the other cages my piggies are living in, so I am thinking of upgrading Martini the next time I clean him out. I now have several empty, spare cages that are small, but can be used in case of emergencies, or as travel cages. Yesterday my husband and I were looking online at Morton great would it be to have my own guinea pig HOUSE someday?!
I promise new pics will be on here soon, possibly tonight, especially if babies arrive!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Quick Update

I haven't written on here in a few days, so I wanted to update everyone on a few guinea pig goings-on...
Miley (whose picture is not yet on here and who came with Casey) has her adoption pending, as soon as her new mom can find time to get here. We had a pickup scheduled for tomorrow, but because the weather is getting worse, it had to be postponed. The woman adopting Miley is willing to drive over two hours to get her; she already has two females in a very large cage, so I know Miley is going to a good new home. Eventually!
Prescott loves his fleece and his foot is taking quite a while to heal, but the sore is getting smaller as the days go by. It took a long time for his first foot to heal so I keep giving him his cream and I change out his fleece every 2-3 days.
Poppy looks like a giant fuzzy pear; she loves her new cage and her own little private "corner room." She is not using her "sleeping bag" but I left it in the cage for when she does finally give birth, and the babies can use it.
Not much else is going on..I have a sick daughter so I've been tending to her and neglecting my blog a bit. I will post pictures when I have a little more time. Oh, and I'm excited to see that I have FIVE followers now! Hurrah!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Still Waiting...

We are still awaiting the arrival of Poppy's litter. Tomorrow I am picking up a 2x4 C&C cage at a discounted price from our friends at Piggy Bed Spreads, and I think I will move Poppy into it so that she and her kids will have plenty of room. I have one person lined up to take a baby, but obviously I don't know how many we will have, and they may be staying here for awhile, so I want to make sure everyone has lots of space.
Right now Poppy is so chubby she can barely squeeze into her igloo, but she is eating well (she's gotten a lot less fussy). As soon as the pups arrive I will post pictures. This will be Poppy's LAST litter (hooray!) and then we will see about Miley, who had been living with Casey before I got them. Miley is so young, I'm really hoping she's not pregnant as well, but we know how guinea pigs are! :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Guinea Pig Bedding

There are all kinds of options out there for guinea pig bedding...with one major exception. Cedar is NOT to be used under any circumstance; its oils can cause serious diseases in all kinds of rodents and rabbits, so don't use it for any of your small animals!
Now, I know I'm going to get comments about this, but I do use pine shavings. I do not, however, use the "fancy" shavings from pet stores, or the rough-cut pine intended for livestock. I have never had any health issues with pine; my seniors have been living on it all their lives. If you do use pine, just make sure it doesn't have scents added to it, and don't use livestock bedding as it can contain large chunks that guinea pigs can chew on, not to mention other stuff that can be ground into it.
Fleece is an attractive option for guinea pigs, as it is comfortable and washable, and can be made or cut to fit any cage. I put Prescott on fleece when his bumblefoot wasn't healing quickly enough; all I have to do is wash it out every 2-3 days. It's warm and snuggly...much better than the newspaper he had been on before!
You can also use aspen bedding, Yesterday's News, or Cell-Sorb, but be prepared to pay for it. Aspen is relatively inexpensive, but the other two are not, especially if you have a LOT of guinea pigs like I do.
Whatever bedding you choose, make sure you keep the cage clean. Sometimes I change bedding out twice a week, depending on how "productive" my piggies are. If you walk in the room and the cage smells bad to you, it's beyond time to change it...and imagine what your guinea pigs are smelling living inside it! Keeping the cage clean is even more important if you have long-haired breeds like silkies or Peruvians. Ammonia and solid waste buildup can lead to respiratory problems, and the waste can get matted into your guinea pig's coat and feet. Keep everything clean and it will save you a lot of headache (and vet bills) in the future!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reaching the Limit

Every day I go on Craigslist to see what's going on as far as people giving animals up, and lately there have been an alarming number of guinea pigs being sold or given away. I used to respond to most of these ads; I would at least offer our rescue as an alternative to taking the guinea pigs to a shelter, or worse. (Believe it or not, some guinea pigs end up being let go into the wild, thrown in the trash, left out at the curb, etc.)
At this point, I have a hard time telling anyone no, but I'm also maxed out with guinea pigs for the moment. Adoptions have slowed, but the demand for rehoming is always there. I am literally running out of space in my house.
I never thought the need for a guinea pig rescue would be so great, but as each year goes by, I find the need even GREATER. I am always willing to help in any way I can, but because I am the only cavy rescue in the area, I end up with so many...a few people have volunteered to foster, but we really need more help. If you've ever considered getting a guinea pig, and just want to try it out and provide a temporary home, please contact me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Post-Holiday Saturation

Although things were VERY busy around here just before and during the holidays, with both getting and adopting out piggies, everything has now slowed to a crawl. I see a lot of guinea pigs being sold or given away on Craigslist, some of them Christmas presents. Amazing how quickly people tire of their pets...
Right now, I actually have more unadoptable than adoptable pigs. Most are too old, one is still recovering from illness, some do not like being handled, and some I've simply grown attached to and can't let go. My biggest worry is the arrival of Poppy's litter, along with the five guinea pigs I'm picking up Saturday, some of which may be pregnant as well. I've asked a friend if she would be willing to help out and she said yes, so I don't get completely overwhelmed, but we are most likely in for a bumpy road ahead!
Adopting any animal should be a commitment to its life, not a spur of the moment decision. I'm hoping to find the pups homes, but if not, they will have their forever homes here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I've been talking about applying for NY nonprofit status for, oh, probably about a year now, so today I printed out my certificate of application and MAILED IT along with my fee...hooray!!! Now, let's all hope I did it right and get accepted...
I applied under the name Cloverleaf Farm, as we do take in other abused, neglected or abandoned animals (including goats, feral cats, llamas, etc.). What I am hoping is that once we get our nonprofit status, we will add a "donate" button to this site and set up an account that will be used exclusively for our animals. This will also enable us to keep track of our expenses regarding all our animal welfare stuff. The nonprofit status will also enable donors to put their donations on their tax returns, whether those donations are monetary or material (food, bedding, cages, supplies, etc.). Lastly, I feel it will finally make us "legit" on paper, in case anyone has questions about what we do.
What I want to make absolutely sure of is that our donors know that their generosity will NEVER be abused, and is always appreciated. Today I received a large bag of pellets, two bags of timothy hay and an outdoor enclosure from someone who adopted from us; they are moving (taking our piggie Gizmo to Austin, TX with them) and thought of us when they needed to give away the cage. Now our piggies will have a shady outdoor place to play when the weather gets better!

What About Rats?

I've had a few people ask if I have rats for adoption, or if I rescue them. I USED to; in fact, one of the first rescues we had when we moved out here was a pregnant rat that someone found on the side of the road (in a box, in the dark, while it was SNOWING). It was a miracle that she was found. All seven of her babies were female; I adopted out two, and the others all stayed here until they passed away.
I like rats, and I think they make excellent pets, despite the public's general phobia about them. I've owned quite a few in the last six years, and even adopted three from the CNYSPCA when they had several dozen. I was down to four a few weeks ago, then suddenly lost three to old age, so I have one female remaining, and I don't plan on taking anymore because the guinea pig rescue has gotten so huge.
However, if anyone is interested in rats, I do know someone who does rescue and adoption, and I will pass on her e-mail if you contact me. Like guinea pigs, many rats end up in shelters or rescues, and they need our help as much as any other type of animal!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

We Have a "Situation..."

While I was at work today, I got a call from someone near Binghamton who is looking to rehome a mother and four baby guinea pigs. She tried all the pet stores in the area; they are full, and there are apparently NO guinea pig rescues down there that we know of. The babies are 9 weeks old and are all still with the mom. At this point, I may be taking in two more adults, and I have a most likely pregnant mom due in a few weeks. I do have a cage on the way, and got one last night, but let's just say I'm running out of house space and cage space. If ANYONE out there would be interested in taking one or more of this person's guinea pigs, please contact me via my Gmail address. Worst case scenario, they would end up either at a pet store, or I would have to add them to the clan here. I love my pigs, but I have so many it's getting nearly impossible to give them a lot of attention (but they are very well-fed and clean).
Any help would be appreciated, even if you just pass on the website and spread the word around. I don't have any pictures right now, but one baby is an albino, two are black and white, one is tri-color, and I don't know which are boys or girls.
And check out "guinea pigs flood mealtime" on YouTube..that's how I feel right now! haha

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Very Piggy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone! We got our first piggie of 2010 today, our little "biter," who I've decided to name Taz (I was going to use "Fang," but he's kind of energetic and reminds me of the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Tunes). I will be posting pics in the next day or two, but wanted to remind everyone that I do still have several guinea pigs ready for adoption!
I wasn't expecting to get so many new guinea pigs in the last week, so I'm "overrun," so to speak. Still available are Rodney and Buttons (males, between 1-2 years), Duff (young male), Foxy and Roxy (1-2 year old females), and Salty (adorable, squeaky, approx. 3-4 month old male). I am currently evaluating Taz and Martini, both of whom seem to be "nibblers," so I want to give them a few days to settle in before handling them as they may be stressed. I am also completely out of spare cages, so I will not be able to take any new piggies unless they come with a cage!
Hope you all enjoyed your holidays, and new pics will be up soon! :)