Where to Adopt a Guinea Pig
Where to Adopt a Guinea Pig
Hello and welcome! This lens is all about the adoption process for bringing a new guinea pig into your home, and where you should look to find a guinea pig to adopt. This is just one in a series of lenses about proper guinea pig care, so feel free to check out the other pages and become a cavy expert!
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Adoption is the Option!
Why you should adopt instead of buy.
Finding your furry friend at a local animal shelter is the best way to bring a guinea pig into your life. Depending on where you live, you may not have an animal shelter that houses guinea pigs near you, but if you do, be sure to look there first! Guinea pigs, like bunnies and cats and dogs, are in abundance and there are many homeless guinea pigs just longing for a permanent family.
Shelters will have friendly volunteer staff who will take the time to give you some literature to read, forms to sign to make sure you're able to take care of your pet, and can be a continual resource if you have questions after you've adopted, or if you just want to send in a picture of your piggie in his or her new happy home!
Shelters may ask for verification of your residence by bringing a copy of a bill or credit card statement. They may also ask for the contact information for your landlord if you are renting, to verify that you're allowed to bring a guinea pig into your home without getting in trouble or being forced to give him or her away or move.
Getting a Guinea Pig at a Pet Store
Why Pet Stores can be Iffy
If you don't have any shelters near your home, or you have visited several and haven't found the guinea pig for you, you may want to look at a pet store. I generally would not recommend pet stores, and many other cavy parents would say the same. The reasoning behind this is that if you're 'buying' a guinea pig instead of adopting, you're putting your money toward a business of animal commerce.
Beyond the fact that animals shouldn't be considered as objects to buy and sell, there is also the fact that if you purchase a guinea pig from a store, that guinea pig will be immediately replaced with another guinea pig, and the shelter guinea pigs will still be waiting for homes.
It would be hypocritical of me to say never buy from a pet store, however, because my second guinea pig, Max, came from such a place. I picked him up and he looked at me as if to say, "PLEASE get me out of here!!", and that was the end of that. I suppose the best thing to do is to avoid looking in the first place so you don't get attached, but I like to think that regardless of where a guinea pig is, if you buy or adopt, you are rescuing a guinea pig and taking him or her to a better place.
I've been to pet stores that didn't have hay and didn't even mention that hay was necessary! I was tempted to scoop all the piggies up and yell at the manager! Some pet stores house males and females together, which is a big no-no. So be aware that if you get a female, she may be pregnant, and you will need to know how to prepare and deal with that.
Sometimes the urge to rescue a guinea pig from a bad environment can take over the logic to leave them there, and in my opinion, I think that's okay. I don't like the idea that it's furthering the business and creating bad homes for new guinea pigs, but at the same time, each guinea pig is unique and wonderful and deserves a happy place to call home, just as people do. If you feel a connection with one, no matter where you find it, that's what's important.
Prepare For Your Guinea Pig's Arrival
If you do decide to adopt a guinea pig (or two, or three, or more!), be sure you're prepared to house them. You'll need things like bedding, a hideaway house or nook to seek protected shelter, food bowls, water bottles, and more.
Adopting a Guinea Pig from a Guinea Pig Breeder
Breeders aren't just for dogs anymore!
If you know someone who has guinea pigs that that are breeding, or even if you have a friend who has a pregnant guinea pig, you may want to adopt a guinea piglet this way. As with dogs or cats, be careful to find a breeder that's ethical and that truly cares for their guinea pigs. Some people decide to show their guinea pigs, so they will often choose this option to get a 'purebred'.
This also gives you the chance to get acquainted with the parents of the litter to see what their temperament is like, which will give you an idea of what their babies will be like. Of course, all guinea pigs require extensive 'socialization', meaning interaction and development of trust with humans, so this is no replacement for that, but you may have an easier time with that process if you know your guinea pig has been born from a pair of docile, friendly, healthy piggies.
Online Guinea Pig Adoption Resources
Here are some great places to look when in the process of finding a guinea pig to bring home. Websites like Petfinder make it really easy to see what guinea pigs are available near you and see their pictures and everything!
I have not included area-specific sites, since there are seemingly countless guinea pig rescue sites depending on location. A quick Google search will help you with that.
If you go to the animal drop down on the left and select "small and furry", and then for breed, type "guinea pig", you can find all the guinea pigs in your local area looking for homes! This is also a wonderful website to find any type of pet, with a
- Guinea Pig Home
This site is dedicated to finding homes for guinea pigs through online classifieds. You never know what you might find in your neighborhood!
- Cavy Spirit
A rehoming source for guinea pigs. Take a look!
There are many sections of Craigslist, organized by category, where you can search under the pets category for guinea pigs. Find your closest metropolitan area and take a peek!
Other Lenses in the Guinea Pig Care 101 Series
Have a look at the other lenses in this series to help you become an expert on cavy care!
- Are you Ready to Adopt a Guinea Pig?
This introductory lens helps you figure out if you're ready to adopt a guinea pig.
- Preparing Your Home for a Guinea Pig
In this lens, you will learn the steps you should take in preparing your home for your new guinea pig(s).
- Having More Than One Guinea Pig
In this lens, you will learn about your options when adopting a guinea pig in terms of deciding whether to adopt more than one.
- What Guinea Pigs Can and Cannot Eat
If you're thinking of adopting a guinea pig and want to know what to stock up on to prepare, or if you already have a piggie or two and are wondering if you should feed them something you have in your fridge, this lens is for you!
- Finding a Good Guinea Pig Vet
This lens is about finding a veterinarian that will best suit your needs as a guinea pig parent.
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