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Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Looking For A Baby Guinea Pig? Try Rescue!

By Joanne Colangelo
Joanne Colangelo volunteers for a number of animal rescue organizations. She shares her experiences in giving guinea pigs another chance at a forever home.

Click image to enlarge
Merri the guinea pig
Photo Courtesy Joanne Colangelo
Merri when she was a little piggie.
guinea pigs at the rescue
Photo Courtesy Wendy Culkin
Baby guinea pigs at Katie's Critters Small Animal Rescue.

Like all baby animals, young guinea pigs are absolutely precious. Guinea pig babies are born fully furred, with open eyes, and ready to eat and walk. They should remain with their mothers for at least three weeks, and if they are handled a lot (but gently, please), they will grow to be quite tame. It’s no wonder so many pet parents want them – they’re so hard to resist!

When I adopted 18 month old Spicy, I also ended up adopting a young pig. It just happened that The Critter Connection had a baby piggie that needed to be removed from her mother. Most guinea pig moms love and protect their young and only reject them if they are sick. However, even though Merri was healthy, her mom abused her by chasing and biting her. Her brother was well cared for, but Merri was separated from them for her own safety. When I met Merri, she had scabs that were healing, yet looked bright-eyed and active. I actually gasped when I saw her, because she was just too cute for words.

Potential adopters often think that guinea pigs in rescue groups and humane societies are all adults. This is not the case. Guinea pigs are very prolific and rescue groups get many pregnant sows and mothers with newborns. Wendy from Katie’s Critters Small Animal Rescue of Center Moriches, New York, recently took in 35 guinea pigs and 23 were pregnant! Each litter had between one and four babies. Sadly, Wendy knows that each day could bring her many more – more that need permanent, responsible homes.

Baby guinea pigs in rescue are not adopted out before they are 6 weeks old or older. Their caregivers want to be sure that the baby pig is growing properly and does not display health problems. This is for the sake of the animal as well as its new, loving family.

Young guinea pigs are fragile and need special handling. They need extremely close supervision with children who might inadvertently drop the baby pig or hold it too tightly. Shelter and rescue group workers take the time to show adopters how to handle the baby and inform them of the care guinea pigs need. Even after the adoption, shelter and rescue workers are willing to help with any concerns that may later arise. When adopting through rescue, you find people who truly care that the adoption is “the right fit” for your family and lifestyle. These people can answer all of your questions, they are your greatest resource.

My little Merri grew up to be a sweetheart of a pig – like all piggies, whether they are adopted young or old.

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Looking For A Baby Guinea Pig? Try Rescue!

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Reader Comments
i love your blog also can i have a guinea pig
kelsey, flagstaff, AZ
Posted: 4/10/2010 8:06:43 PM
Aaaaaaaah...Baby Piglets are soooo Precious!!! But, you know, I am kind of growing quite fond of the older pigs. Maybe, it's because I like how they know how to do things. I don't know. I guess I don't really have a preference. I think ALL Guinea Pigs are AWESOME!!!
Leah, PS, & BP :-), Charlotte, NC
Posted: 11/24/2008 1:31:08 PM
There are many small critters in the local animal shelter that needs to be adopted!!!!
Karen, Standish, ME
Posted: 9/9/2008 6:19:27 PM
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