March is for Rescue!

Guinea Pig Welfare is dedicating the month of March to the rescue cause. Somewhat timely as very recently a rescue needed to be “rescued” and the animals, including some guinea pigs, were relocated. This is by no means the first or last time this will happen and the public must decide whether they wish to rescue a guinea pig from such circumstances or support those who rescue responsibly and can be referred to as a reputable source. Reputable guinea pig rescues are working with their vets and guinea pig friendly businesses to try and promote quality care for guinea pigs. This is a massive step forward and it is good to see information being shared. It can only mean an improvement in the lives of our guinea pigs.  See for details of guinea pigs needing homes (UK).


There are also, of course, different schools of thought on what is “reputable”. Guinea Pig welfare believes that the majority of rescues, if not all, are doing a good deed by removing a guinea pig(s) from an inappropriate situation, it is what happens next that defines reputable….

* Is the rescue a guinea pig specific rescue? Being guinea pig specific doesnt make anyone reputable it does however show that there is likely to be a keen interest which should be backed up with experience in keeping guineas.

* Does the rescue have a sensible limit on how many guinea pigs they will take in? What is this limit based on? Amount of cages? How many guinea pigs can be rehomed to Animal Welfare Act friendly homes annually? Financial outlay?

* Does the rescue have a reliable income? In the real world guinea pigs are potentially expensive when they go wrong and whilst that rescue will be promoting vet care by providing lots of little customers and educating their vet, it all comes at quite a cost. It is heart wrenching to have to turn guinea pigs away that need your help but there comes a point when their quality of care declines as numbers increase.

* Does the rescue provide information for potential owners? A point of contact (email, Facebook page, etc) means that the guinea pig receives ongoing care for the rest of its life.

* Do the rescue homecheck you? This is a chance for you to ask questions and for the rescue to see where the guinea pigs are going to. You shouldn’t be told that you have “a lovely house and I’m sure you will look after them”. You should feel that you have earned the right to be responsible for these little lives and therefore you are proud to offer them a home knowing you have back up if needed.

* Will the rescue take back any guinea pigs should your circumstances change? What would happen if the rescue closed, could you still take them back? 

Maple, right, was born in rescue, one of 8 boars...

Maple, right, was born in rescue, one of 8 boars…

These are just a few points that can be considered. As the quantity of rescues varies greatly from area to area many people dont have the luxury of choice when going to a rescue…. Similarly the quantity of Animal Welfare Act compliant homes offered will vary  meaning, obviously, that rehoming figures will differ.


March 2, 2014   Posted in: March 4 Rescue Guineas, Planet Guinea