Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Guinea Pig Rescue


We finally got the new cages set up for our guinea pigs - it seems like I've been working toward this little project for a month.  I finally got all the parts to make my own C&C (cube and coroplast) cages, which are much more safe and hygienic for guinea pigs than standard cages, plastic totes, or any enclosed container.  You can buy the cages partially premade (i.e. all the parts shipped unassembled to your home), or you can buy the parts yourself for a considerably lower cost.  I opted for the second choice, which did turn out to be quite a bit cheaper (about 1/3 less than just buying them online), but was a lot more hassle.  Still, I think it'll be worth it in the long run.  You can buy C&C cage "kits" of all sizes from cc_cages on eBay (she's one of the originators of the idea of the C&C cage).

The guinea pigs are enjoying their new homes.  None of them really know what to do with a hammock (they hide under it so far, unless I put them right on top of it), but they really seem to like the fleece liner and the space to run around.  (The sturdy, soft hammocks are from Silver Beat Creations on Etsy - she makes all sorts of small-animal cage accessories.)  The fleece is laid over a heavy towel, and is washable, which will cut down considerably on the amount of pine litter we'll have to buy.  I've got a couple cage liners for each cage, so I can just swap them out every 5-6 days and wash them.  I think the new cages also look better, since they're up in our office where everyone can see them.  Right now the Guinea Girls are running laps around their cage.

The friend who gave us the Guinea Girls has started a guinea pig rescue.  Our two baby girl guinea pigs are from a  female adopted as a rescue.  I had no idea just how many guinea pigs are taken in by animal shelters each year, but it's quite a lot.  Sometimes people buy guinea pigs for their kids, and when the kids lose interest, they give the guineas away, or take them to a shelter.  Since pet stores often don't separate male/female guinea pigs, or don't sex them accurately, many people adopt a guinea pig who's already pregnant, or adopt a "same sex" pair, only to find out differently a couple months later.  Either way, unexpected baby guinea pigs need homes too.  CraigsList is full of ads from people trying to give away unwanted guinea pigs.  So, here's a plug for CNY Piggies, and a reminder to consider looking up a local rescue organization, shelter, or vet to adopt a pet before you go to a pet store.  Give a pet a second chance - it's a really good idea.