You might think of a shelter or a rescue as a place for dogs and cats, but what about guinea pigs? All kinds, sizes, and breeds of animals can be found in shelters and rescues around the globe. Most species of domesticated animals are at crisis with overpopulation due to a high number of breeders and irresponsible pet owners. Do your part to help solve the overpopulation issue by adopting a homeless animal from a shelter, rescue, or Craigslist, instead of supporting breeders and pet stores who only add to the growing number of homeless pets.
Here are a few ways to find a homeless guinea pig in your area:
- Check out Petfinder. Many rescues and shelters list their adoptable pets on this homeless pet database. You can search by age, gender, and breed.
- Take a look at Guinea Lynx’s rescue page. This helpful page has lists of rescues in the US, Canada, and the UK, as well as additional placement websites that may be of assistance. Be sure to browse rescues’ websites. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, contact the rescue directly to let them know the type of guinea pig you want.
- Try Craigslist. Check the “for sale” section, as well as the “pets” subsection in the “community” section. Beware of breeders. They are not allowed to post their listings on Craigslist but often go against this rule. They can be very clever and try very hard not to get flagged and removed. A few things that may indicate a breeder is behind the posting: using the words “I have available” or “I am selling”; pictures of babies that all look the same/similar (would indicate a litter); wordings like “show quality”, “pedigreed”, “for sale”, “come from great lines”. You want to look for rehoming ads. These usually have a moderate rehoming fee; somewhere around $25 is reasonable. These are usually legitimate people who simply need to rehome their guinea pigs. There might be a cage or other supplies included, as well. Look for words like, “need a new home” or an explanation for why they cannot keep the animals. If the guinea pigs are named, you can usually trust the person is not a breeder. Pictures of the guinea pigs will also help you make a decision as to whether the poster is a breeder or not.
Tips and Tricks:
- Keep looking! Check back to different websites often, and be sure to contact rescues and shelters in your area to let them know you are interested in adopting a guinea pig. You can ask them to contact you next time a guinea pig comes in.
- Contact rescues of interest in your area. Even if the rescue is a bit too far away to drive, some rescues have foster homes spread out throughout the area. One of them may be closer to you.
- Consider taking a weekend to go adopt your guinea pigs. In smaller towns or more rural areas, you may need to drive a bit farther than you would prefer, but in the end it is so much more worth it to adopt than to give in and support the abusive breeding and negligence that are pet stores.
- Do not give up or give in. Where there are pet stores and breeders, there’s often a rescue or shelter. A homeless piggy will come around eventually. Taking the easy way out and going to a pet store will not be a good example for your children, nor will it comfort you to know you’ve filled the spot of a homeless guinea pig somewhere, one who will be euthanized because it was never adopted. Be patient and wait for the right guinea pig to appear.
- Consider the age of the guinea pig. Babies or young guinea pigs are rarely a good choice for families with children because they are squirmy and hard to handle. It may be a better idea to adopt an adult guinea pig who is mature and mellow. If you have a stable family situation and are willing to help a guinea pig in need, consider adopting a senior or special needs guinea pig. These are always hardest to adopt out. Assess your family’s schedule and the maturity levels of your children to determine the best age and temperament for your future guinea pigs.
- Make the guinea pig(s) part of the family. A pet that is part of the family and is located among highly trafficked areas will mean a happier pet and easier supervision of the animal’s care and handling.
Good luck! If you have any questions, feel free to comment!