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 free...no 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!