Our newest inmates, Icarus and Leda.

Posted in intakes at 10:43 am by Jenn

A sad welcome to our newest friends, Icarus and Leda.Icarus

These two piggies were taken into our rescue on June 11th after we received a frantic call from their original owner.  She had taken in a dog and a cat on their way to the euthanasia chamber for various behavioral problems several months ago, and thought there would be no problem.  However, both animals continued to harass their guinea pigs, and they became concerned for their safety.  She opted to rehome them because they were healthy and did not have behavioral problems, whereas the dog and cat would be virtually unadoptable.

A child in her son’s class expressed interest in the male pair, and she travelled over to their house, spoke with the parents, educated them on care, and felt very comfortable with the adoption, even going over on holidays and vacations to petsit for the family when they were out of town.  She received a call out of the blue yesterday informing her that the child was no longer interested in the pigs, and could she come over today and get them.  Oh, and by the way, one of the original two pair had died earlier that month when the child threw him to see if he could fly.

LedaTheir original owner was shocked and frightened for the remaining pig, and she contacted us as soon as she could to get the pig out of that situation!  Imagine her surprise when she arrived and the remaining male pig had a female friend sitting in the cage with him!  Apparently the child had just brought this female home and placed them together.  She took them both and drove them out a substantial portion of the way to meet me, and was very grateful and thankful that the pigs had somewhere to go and where she could be sure they were safe.

Thankfully both pigs appear to be in excellent physical health, and have already been preventatively dosed with Revolution in the case of mites.  They will be having their vet checkup early next week, and we anticipate that poor Leda is probably already pregnant, though we have separated the pair in hopes that she may not have been receptive to romantic advances in such a stressful situation.  Both pigs have been named in memory of the lost piggie who paid so dearly; Icarus after the mythological figure who flew too close to the sun, and Leda meaning “winged one”.

Sadly, we hear stories like this time and again.  Guinea pigs are exceedingly fragile animals, and they are often injured by children’s rough-housing play.  A drop which would not phase a cat or a dog can literally cripple a guinea pig for life.  One of our own board members dropped a struggling guinea pig from a distance less than 12 inches high by accident one day, and it resulted in a severely broken leg.  After immediate emergency care, that was pig fine, but it illustrates just how easily damaged they can be.


  1. Jan Moretz Lowry said,

    June 20, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Wonder if that kid could fly?

  2. Celia said,

    June 23, 2009 at 11:44 am

    If the parent’s aren’t supervising the child’s handling of pets, they are not likely to be supervising any other activities either. I’d say that puts him on the endangered list.