Beatrice and Hero are our newest intakes. These two girls were left at a downtown library in Charlotte, NC. The two were tied into a plastic Wal-mart bag and left in front of the library! Luckily for these girls, the staff of the library kindly brought them in, and then bought them a cage and some provisions until they could find someone to take care of them.
We got a message about these girls, and Andrea, our Charlotte coordinator, was over there that afternoon. We had expected literally anything when we got there — elderly guinea pigs in need of significant medical care, terrified babies that were barely handle-able, guinea pigs who had suffered a heat stroke… and she arrived to two healthy, friendly girls who appeared to have been cherished family pets.
Their background is a mystery. We believe they are between two and three years of age, but they could be as young as one or as old as five or six! Although their nails were on the long side, they otherwise appeared to have suffered no neglect.
On that note, please never leave an animal outside in any location! Most animal shelters will accept small animals. Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Control does. The people at the animal shelter are good people and go out of their way to try and find a home for every animal. We watch the shelters routinely, and they call us when animals come in. Even if everyone is too full, and your pets end up euthanized, it is still a kinder death than the ones which happen outside.
Last year there were two guinea pigs abandoned in an office parking lot. They weren’t as lucky — it was too hot. One of the two died in my arms gagging and agonal about two hours after he arrived to the rescue (and that was with subcutaneous fluids, handfeeding, and a trip to the vet). It is a miserable way for an animal to die, and abandoning or releasing an animal into the ‘wild’ (or even in an urban area) is a recipe dooming them to die of exposure to the elements, of becoming a snack to a lucky predator, or even of becoming the victim of a terrible person who would find it a ‘kick’ to harm a helpless animal. Had these girls been a little less lucky or had someone not noticed them, they could have suffocated in the plastic bag they were abandoned in or died of heat stroke.
A domestic animal released outside does not live out a happy ever after. It lives a shortened, frightening life before it expires or becomes food for another animal.
With everything going on this fall we’ve missed out on SAGP for a while but now we’re back on track! The December piggies, Big Boy and Rosie, need your help to reach their goal!
Big Boy was rescued in March of 2009 by the Cavy House rescue. He had lymphoma, which has amazingly been successfully responding to chemotherapy! They are seeking to raise enough money for four months of chemo.
Please visit Sponsor a Guinea Pig or Cavy House to support these piggies, and please give generously!!
October’s Sponsored Guinea Pigs are Bandit and Silverado from Wee Companions in California! I can’t do their story justice so you’ll have to go read it here. They made it through a terrible beginning to land in an amazing rescue. Please donate generously to these two poor boys and super big thanks to Sponsor a Guinea Pig for featuring these two!
September’s Sp0nsored Guinea Pig is Tagg, from the Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue! Tagg is an adorable little guy who reminds me strongly of our first piggy Chuck. Tagg suffers from recurrent Myxosarcoma tumors on his nose (painful, but not cancerous). They have to be surgically removed every few months, causing both Tagg and the rescue great distress.
Each surgery costs $150 – SAGP and MGPR are hoping to raise enough money for two surgeries, $300. Financial contributions toward Tagg will be greatly appreciated! Please visit SAGP or MGPR today to make your September donation!
August’s SAGP piggy is Dunkin from the North Jersey Guinea Pig and Hamster Rescue!
Dunkin came via owner surrender. He’s approximately 2 ½ yrs old and super sweet. Because he seemed to have labored breathing, NJGPRH took him to the vet only to find out he had previous internal injuries and some type of heart condition. This was complicated by pneumonia.
His lungs improve everyday with a course of antibiotics, but his heart will require medication for the rest of his life. He loves to eat – everything! – and is a super friendly little guy. He has a great disposition and his condition does not seem to keep him from doing what guinea pigs do – squeak and eat!
He will require monthly vet visits as well as 2 prescriptions 3X/day for the heart and lung condition. He will need follow-up x-rays to see if the medicines are helping with the fluid around his heart. So far, his medical cost since late May exceed $358 in vet visits, x-rays and prescriptions. Monthly meds will be approx $80 as well as a monthly check up with the vet costing approx $40. Follow-up x-rays will be needed eventually at the cost of $124. Our goal is to fundraise enough for two months of meds and two vet visits, reaching a total of $240.
Visit Sponsor a Guinea Pig or North Jersey Guinea Pig and Hamster Rescue to donate today!
Once again it’s time to Sponsor a Guinea Pig! Meet Barack, from the Washington State rescue Cavy Companions!
Barack is an adorable, presidential pig! He is five to six years old and came to this small, home-based rescue from a local shelter. He had no where else to go. Barack was severely impacted, was missing a front tooth, had overgrown bottom front teeth, and had bumblefoot on all four of his feet – his bumblefoot will never fully heal. Barack was starving because his overgrown molars covered his tongue so he couldn’t eat. His nails were growing upward, his fur was matted with feces, and he smelled absolutely horrible.
Barack will need to be cleaned out every day for the rest of his life, and he gets medication daily for the pain in his feet. He must be on fleece 24/7 because of his foot pain. The poor guy has a fused ankle joint, and as a result he will never be able to use this foot normally.
A direct quote from the rescue: “Despite the suffering and neglect he had been through, he is one of the sweetest guinea pigs I’ve ever taken in. Because no one paid attention to him, he craves being held and will close his eyes while I stroke him. He is very gentle and needs a lot of my time to help him trust that he will be taken care of. It’s a miracle that he survived this long.”
Cavy Companions and SAGP are hoping to raise $239 for Barack – enough for one molar and incisor trimming. Please visit their pages to make a donation for Barack!
A few days late since I have been out of town, it’s time for another month of Sponsor a Guinea Pig! This month’s piggy is “Bunny” from our friends at the Wisconsin Guinea Pig Rescue!
From the Rescue:
Poor Bunny had so little contact with humans at the start of her life that she was terrified of people and was nearly euthanized by the shelter for being too feral. No one thought to pick her up and give her any love or attention when she was a baby. When she came into the Wisconsin Guinea Pig Rescue’s care, she was so scared that she would sit trembling in her igloo whenever anyone came near her cage. Her foster mom did her very best to help Bunny get more comfortable. In the meantime, the rescue sought a very special home for her (someone with a LOT of patience), but no one stepped forward. After several months, the foster home took in another scared piggy and cautiously introduced her to Bunny. It took days for the introduction because Bunny was too frightened to leave her corner to meet the other pig. Eventually, though, they did meet and now they hide from the scary humans together. So now Bunny has a friend.
After years of being up for adoption with no interest, Bunny is now a permanent part of the WIGPR sanctuary. She is still scared of all strangers but will now tentatively allow her foster mom to touch her on the head for a little scratch every now and then and will even sometimes beg for treats. She will remain in our sanctuary for her lifetime.
Will you help us to provide for Bunny? Our goal is to raise enough money to support her for 10 months in the rescue (pellets, hay, daily fresh veggies and one vet “well-piggy” check-up). At $25 a month for upkeep and $35 for the vet visit, that puts our goal at $285. Bunny had no love in the beginning, so we want to make up for it in her lifetime. Although the Wisconsin Guinea Pig Rescue is a small rescue, we believe in seeing that ALL our rescues live a full life, even if they don’t find a forever home.
Visit SAGP or WIGPR to sponsor Bunny!
May’s Piggy-of-the-Month is Opie from Orange County Cavy Haven! Opie is an absolutely adorable guinea pig who has a serious impaction problem. Impaction is very painful and dangerous, so during May SAGP is going to try and raise the money to treat Opie’s severe impaction by getting him neutered.
Opie’s impaction is so severe that he needs his anal sac needed to be cleaned out every day. This can happen when a pig lives a lifetime of poor low-fiber diet and no exercise-the male’s sac sags over time as muscle tone is lost. However Opie (at age 3 or 4) is too young for the severity of his condition.
While many pigs’ conditions will improve with good diet and exercise, in some extreme cases the male has to be neutered, which removes the excess skin. It also prevents a dangerous condition from forming–unrelieved gas in a guinea pig can lead to gastric torsion, a situation that is almost always quick and fatal. Opie is already suffering from a repeated bacterial infection called enteritis, for which he has to take medication. His entire medication regimine (Metacam for pain, Reglan for G.I. motility, Charcoal for the gas, and Flagyl for the bacterial infection) costs $60 a month, but could be largely eliminated after Opie’s neuter. Opie’s neuter will also leave him much more comfortable, as he’ll be able to pass his fecal pellets without aid.
The goal for Opie is $246 broken down as $68 for the neuter, $15 for pain meds, $100 for Isofluorane, $12 nursing care, $15 fluids, and $36 exam, as well as some painkillers and antibiotics to take home.
Please visit SAGP or Orange County Cavy Haven to donate for Opie today!
April’s SAGP starlet is the lovely Misha from the MD rescue Small Angels!
Misha is a beautiful Pink Eyed White peruvian guinea pig with a very sad story. She came to the rescue from a local animal rescue where her (at least) second owner had turned her in because she was moving. This owner found Misha at a yard sale, where she was discarded with an array of other unwanted items!
Misha had a severe urinary tract infection, cysts, and liver damage. Fortunately, the UTI cleared up with antibiotics, but those antibiotics caused her to stop eating and lose weight. Misha relied on the hand feeding of Small Angels fosters in order to recover. Her cysts are being observed, and may need to be removed in the future, causing further financial strain to the rescue (and strain to Misha). The vet is delaying the procedure because of her poor health.
Misha’s liver damage causes her to drink excessively, leading to excessive urination and incontinence. As a result, Misha’s cage has to be cleaned every other day, leading to great expense for the rescue. Misha must be kept partly shaved and have an ointment applied daily to ensure she does not get urine scald.
Despite Misha’s sad story, and poor health, she remains lively, active, and a joy to be around in the rescue-truly one of the pigs that remind rescuers why they began rescuing in the first place, and why this fundraising program exists.
We are especially eager to see support raised for Misha, because she looks so much like our very own Chuck, who was our first piggy and the catalyst for nearly a decade of rescue efforts. We can really appreciate how such a lovely and loving piggy can be such a wonderful inspiration to her rescuers. Please hurry over to Sponsor a Guinea Pig and show your support for Misha and Small Angels!
Yay for Maddie! Sponsor a Guinea Pig raised an amazing $370 for our little girl in February, that’s $100 over our original goal! We can’t say thank you enough to all the wonderful folks who have donated!
Maddie will say THANK YOU when she’s not catching up on her beauty sleep!
Now it’s time for the March piggies! Meet Josh and Yetti
Josh and Yetti are just two special needs piggies at Thistle Cavies, and they are the best of buds. Josh is 6.5 years old and has been with the rescue for 3 and a half years. Yetti is a white rex who developed heart problems about 18 months ago, at the same as Josh, who had already suffered from a host of other medical problems.
Prior to his heart issues, Josh required extensive surgery for a jawbone abscess shortly after his arrival. An infection had eaten away part of his jawbone and part of his jaw had to be removed, as well as one of his bottom incisors. Despite the most meticulous of care the rescue feared they might lose Josh, and for two months his recovery seemed unsure. But eventually he started putting on weight, and never looked back!
Now his surgery site needs to be maintained with regular procedures, but Josh is the definition of a patient piggy. He is a calm sweetheart who loves being syringefed, despite his mouth issues. He is also a super cuddle piggy who just snuggles into you as soon as he’s picked up.
Yetti is his best friend, and the two simply can’t be separated. Yetti’s heart issues make him a candidate for Sponsor a Guinea Pig alone, but with the close bond they have it’s doubtful Yetti would let Josh go on without him anyway! We hope to help ease the financial burden of this small, home based rescue by fundraising for part of their care, just as the medications will be easing the physical burden on these small boys’ dear hearts.
SAGP is trying fundraise enough to pay for the expensive dental growth removal (£45.oo or $63. 71), six weeks worth of medication: Fortekor (£22.50 or $31.85), Frusemide (£2.20 or $3.11), Rimadyl (£18.30 or $25.91) and Critical Care (£29.29 or $41.47), as well as two additional packages of Critical Care for the boys 2x(£29.29 or $41.47). This is for a total of £175.87 or ~$248.99, using an exchange rate of £1:$1.41574 as of 2/28/2009.
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