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.

No comments:

Post a Comment