Welcome, Sadie & Chester!

Posted in Sanctuary Spotlight at 1:35 am by ACR&S

We’ve got a few new residents up here at the Sanctuary. On June 19, I spent about 5 hours waiting for Midwest flight 2704 from Raleigh to Milwaukee, which had a special climate-controlled, pressurized cargo compartment carrying three new Sanctuary residents. I spoke about Gracie in the last update, now it’s time to introduce Sadie & Chester!

SadieChester & Sadie are a bonded pair of piggies. Sadie is mostly white, with lovely gold and black markings on her head, and a slight coronet (swirl of fur on the forehead). Chester is fawn, red, and white, and is enormous (nearly 3 lbs, over 1300 grams). They came to us through some unusual channels.

When they were about 1 year old, they were rescued by our friends up at Cave Spring Guinea Pig Rescue in Virginia, and then placed into an adoptive home. But after nearly four years, they were returned. ChesterCave Spring was inundated with surrender requests at the time, so having a pair of older pigs was hard on them. But we at ACR&S had very few adoptable pigs. Since these two were already bonded, altered and vet checked, we offered to bring them down to NC and offer them for adoption here, as we’ve done before with other Cave Spring piggies.

We knew that as 4/5 year old pigs, these two would be very difficult to rehome. Guinea pigs only have a 5-8 year lifespan, and we wouldn’t be able to guarantee to adopters that they wouldn’t die of old age very quickly. Also, unusually, Sadie is spayed and Chester is intact, so we couldn’t place them into a home with any other intact females. Chester is also aggressive towards other boys, so other intact boys were also out of the question. We’d pretty much be limited to adopters with no other pigs, who understood that they were taking on elderly animals and was prepared for the medical expenses that might crop up. That kind of adopter is pretty rare!

After several months of offering them up for adoption, we saw they were getting very few views on Petfinder, compared to our younger pigs. Since we were shipping up Gracie anyhow, we decided to ship them up as well, for entry into the Sanctuary. They endured the trip with good health and good spirits, despite having a leaky bottle and damp bedding by the time we made it home. They’ve already settled into the routine and learned when screaming makes the veggies come faster, and when it doesn’t.

We did have to make one special accommodation for these two: our cages are set up so that any empty cage I arranged for them would have to be next to a pair with an intact female. Regardless of how remote the possibility, we had to assume that Chester would scale the divider and impregnate the sow next door, so we had to modify the divider to prevent this. Fortunately, an advantage of having fat piggies is that they aren’t quite so athletic. He’s shown no interest in the other side of the divider at all!

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