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More Than 150 Guinea Pigs In Distress

Small animal rescue groups in Southern California are fighting for the lives of more than 150 guinea pigs.

By Marylou Zarbock
Posted: September 8, 2011, 7:45 p.m. EDT

Page 2 of 2

mother and baby guinea pigs
Courtesy Orange County Cavy Haven
This shows a rescued guinea pig pup trying to nurse from a mother with mites.

What does the future hold for these guinea pigs? “We plan to transfer some to other rescues in California and Arizona, but will not move any until we are confident they are fit to travel and not harboring any illnesses,” Rothstein said. “We — and Orange County Cavy Haven — work together with the other rescues to help move guinea pigs in need to safe places where they can await great forever homes.”

Lee said that Orange County Cavy Haven plans to take care of the 38 guinea pigs until they’re placed in new homes.

guinea pig with hair loss
Courtesy Orange County Cavy Haven
This rescued guinea pig shows signs of poor health.

The health of the guinea pigs is a main concern for Wee Companions. “We will keep them within rescue until they are healthy enough to transfer to other groups or to be adopted out in our area,” Rothstein said. “We will be keeping all pregnant females with us for close monitoring throughout their pregnancy and delivery. The first ones from this group who will be ready are the adolescent and adult males, plus the many tiny babies who were under 1 month old at the time of intake. Once they are thriving well, we will be transferring some to other rescues, and we will have some available as well.”

Wee Companions operates as a network of private homes where the animals are cared for by volunteer foster families, Rothstein said. She noted that it already had 200 guinea pigs in its network prior to taking in the 114 from this single rescue. It also currently provides homes for approximately 25 rabbits, 40 rats, 20 hamsters, 25 chinchillas and 10 mice. She added that the rescue usually takes in 500 to 800 animals each year, the majority being guinea pigs, and it has already taken in more than 600 animals in 2011.

Orange County Cavy Haven is also a foster organization and had 85 guinea pigs in its network before taking in the 38 from this rescue. It usually rescues about 100 to 130 guinea pigs each year. “It depends on how many foster homes and volunteers we have,” Lee said.

“Wee Companions and Orange County Cavy Haven have been getting a lot of inquiries about these pigs, but they are in no shape to be adopted or transported out to other areas anytime soon,” Lee said. “We need donations for them, fosters or adopters for our healthy pigs so they can get more attention, and donations for them. Scurvy is an easily preventable illness.”

Related Links
Learn Local News Video Report
Guinea Lynx Forum Thread
Wee Companions Facebook Page

Other members of the guinea pig community are doing what they can, from offering to help transport guinea pigs to helping with fundraising to spreading the word. It’s a huge task and, as one guinea pig enthusiast pointed out, these guinea pigs are going to need help for some time to come.

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More Than 150 Guinea Pigs In Distress

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Poor pigs. so happy there are people out there trying to help them.
Brooke, Providence, NC
Posted: 9/9/2011 12:09:52 PM
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