Yay Piglet!

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:04 am by ACR&S

Piglet, our little toothless wonder, has been chosen as Sponsor A Guinea Pig’s Piggy of the Month! SAGP is run by the same wonderful person who runs the two adopt-a-guinea-pig blogs we link to (down there, on your right). This blog spotlights Sanctuary piggies all over the country and helps draw attention to their special needs and the needs (especially financial) of the rescues who care for them. We’re so grateful to SAGP for this great publicity opportunity!

Piglet is still going in every month for an anesthetized molar trim (which is where all the monthly medical costs come from) , but we did have a great breakthrough in the last month – she’s started to eat baby lettuce all by herself, not even needing it cut up! Other veggies still give her trouble, and we still haven’t seen her show any interest in hay, but at this point, any progress is good progress.


Random Rescue Photos – All of the cute, none of the guilt

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:13 am by ACR&S

Since I’ve become a rescuer, I’ve found it more and more difficult to look at cute photos of animals on the internet. I constantly find myself getting upset at the poor husbandry or the rampant backyard breeding, saying things like “That’s a horrible cage” or “Oh no, they’re feeding that bunny a seed mix” or “Why on God’s earth do you have fifteen litters of rabbits right now!?!?!” I feel guilty looking at cute animals when most of them are in need of rescue, and the end result of a search for happy pictures is a very sad rescuer.

So now, for your viewing pleasure, I offer you happy rescue animal pictures instead! Every one of the pictures that displays on this page is an animal which has been rescued by ACR&S or one of the rescues & shelters we support:

I'm a rescue!

Hit refresh on your browser to see a different photo!

A random photo page is also located on the ACR&S website, here.

For more wonderful rescue photos, please check out the House Rabbit Society’s Random Rescue Rabbit Photo Page!


Photo Time!

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:33 am by ACR&S

Ok, long overdue, two sets of photos today.

First we have pictures of the Sanctuary. Our house is a split level, so from the kitchen/dining area you go down a short set of stairs to an area which is pretty much one giant room.

The Pig Room at the Sanctuary

To the left is the Pig Room. In addition to a non-functional fireplace, a couple of couches, and an unused treadmill, it holds our 16 pigs who are housed in six C&C cages which we refer to as the Condos. Three cages are 3’x7′ (2.5 by 6 grids), divided with a pair on either side. Three are 2.3’x7′ (2 by 6 grids); two of them house a pair of boars and one houses a triple. We always try to give the intact boys a little more room. There’s enough floor space between the couch and the condos that we can spread out a big picnic blanket and give the pigs a 4’x8′ playpen.

I clean the top condos by standing on a step stool and having my lovely and talented assistant hand me clean bedding so I don’t have to climb up and down. I’m definitely getting a bit old for all the climbing; I think within the next 5 years we’re going to do away with the top levels. But for now it still feels far easier than in previous houses, where I was ducking a ceiling fan while cleaning. It only takes us about 40 minutes to clean all 6 condos.

The Hospital Cage

We actually only have 15 pigs living in the condo right now, since Pudge is sick. He’s in our hospital cage, which is a 2 by 2. It’s harder to catch a sick pig for daily medication in the condos.

The big buns

At the far left of the Pig Room is a pair of bunny cages. These are our Big Buns and they’re over here because we’re trying to bond Jeannie with BunBun & Roo to make a triple, and they get along better if they can’t see the other rabbits. Jeannie is in a 4 by 3 and Roo & BunBun are in a 3 by 6.

The Rabbit Room

The rest of the rabbits are over to the right in the Rabbit Room. In the front are Rosemarie and Dodger, who share a divided 3 by 6. We’ve been trying to bond them but it doesn’t seem to be going so well. All the bunnies have boxes which they like to climb on, and the partial lids on their pens are to prevent them from going visiting unsupervised.

Daisy’s cageBehind Dodger & Rosemarie are Daisy & Wordsworth. They’re in a 3 by 7, but since Daisy is an especially athletic jumper, we use 36″ dog x-pens for them instead of 28″ cube walls, which makes them lose about 1.5 sq ft on each end. So their pen is effectively 3.5’x6.5′ rather than 3.5’x7′. They don’t seem to mind, though.

One of the nicest features about this new house is that we have a dedicated half-bath right next to the Rabbit Room. We keep extra bowls and bottles in here, as well as medicines, grooming tools, and our scale and weight books (everypiggy gets weighed weekly).

Now for the Plush Pet Adoption Kits!

As I described earlier, we’re raising money and awareness through the sale of some really cute toy “adoption” kits. Each one has care and adoption information (targeted towards kids) along with a toy bunny. Here’s a video of some of the toy bunnies, from Lindsay, who has adopted and fostered for us, and who co-coordinates the SPCA Bunny program and the Raleigh Rabbit Meetup Group:

Now, all of these toy bunnies were donated from supporters. So they represent an, um, eclectic variety of stuffed rabbit toys.

There are some that are very cute. 3bun.jpg

There are some that are fairly ugly. jacketbun.jpg

There are some that are dignified. dignitybun.jpg

There are some that have no shame. yellowbun.jpg

There are some that seem to be missing an eye. bun2.jpg

There are some that seem to be missing ears. earlessbun.jpg

There are some that seem to be missing their entire face. eyelessbun.jpg

(Don’t worry, kids, none of these bunnies are really missing anything.)

There are some that are shaped like realistic bunnies. realistic.jpg

There are some that have no discernible shape at all. fuzzbun.jpg

And there are some who will EAT YOUR SOUL. souleaterbun.gif

The full set of photos can be found here, and you can see the individual kits on Petfinder.


Guinea pig love – theirs, and ours

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:18 am by ACR&S

Love comes in many shapes and sizes, and this is the story of a very special pair of pigs, and the love they shared.


Chuck was our very first rescued piggy. He found us just before Easter 2000. He was a teacher friend’s classroom pet, and when I first saw him I couldn’t believe there existed an animal that looked just like an ambulatory mop head.

Chuck’s House

I offered to pet-sit him over Easter, and was not sorry when he was left with me for good. He came to us in a tiny, filthy cage, with no decent food, and I quickly learned all I could about proper guinea pig care. Unfortunately, that was before I had Internet access, and what I learned was hardly sufficient. I did get him onto a better diet, with hay and lots of veggies, but didn’t yet know about C&C cages, so he lived in a big Rubbermaid storage bin.


We soon came to love Chuck and he was definitely “loving” in return. He would purr contentedly while being cuddled, and one Christmas, I was taking care of Chuck while my parter DKMS was with his family. He called and left a message for me on the answering machine – and when I played the message, Chuck started wheeking frantically as soon as he heard his daddy’s voice! But at this point, Chuck was still “alone” from his perspective – we didn’t have any other piggies for him to play with.


About two years later, I had started getting into rescue. One of my earliest rescues was Spanky, a funny looking white pig with red “glasses” and a red “ribbon” around his belly.

As much as we loved our piggies, we still didn’t know the truth about guinea pigs’ social needs, so we thought (mistakenly) that intact boars couldn’t live together. We kept the two in separate storage bins and they never interacted.

One day, I came home and found Spanky missing from his storage bin. Yikes! (I was also mistaken about how high they could jump.) I looked everywhere, terrified that he’d gotten stuck behind the fridge or escaped into the space where the dryer vented. About forty panicked minutes later, I was near despair, when suddenly Chuck’s cage caught my eye. It looked a little fuller than usual… had Chuck somehow doubled in size?

Sneaky Spanky

Tired of being alone, Spanky had hopped out of his own cage, and into Chuck’s!

From that moment, the two boars were inseparable. They were our first experience with pigs living socially, and learning that this was possible motivated us to start keeping all of our pigs in pairs or groups.

Chuck & Spanky

Another year passed, and we finally learned about C&C cages, and Spanky & Chuck were moved from their storage bin up into a spacious 10 sq ft cage. Some boars, when moving from cramped quarters to larger ones, start displaying aggression as they finally feel able to claim a “territory”. This never happened with these two. They would always follow each other around, would happily sleep in the same pigloo, and Chuck would gently nibble Spanky’s ears to groom him.

In August of 2003, Spanky became ill and spent a few days in the vet hospital. After his surgery, we brought Chuck to visit with his friend. As soon as they were placed together, Chuck started calling loudly. Spanky, still sedated, actually managed to chortle softly in response. Chuck climbed back and forth over Spanky’s shoulders, trying to entice his drowsy buddy to play, wheeking and purring all the while. They had clearly missed each other and were happy to be reunited.

It has been several years since both Chuck and Spanky crossed the Bridge, but they are still remembered as the most loving, affectionate pigs – with one another, and with humans – that we have ever had the pleasure to rescue. Their love for each other, and the love we felt for them, inspired us to go forward with this rescue, and to educate owners about how to give their piggies the best lives possible.

So this day-after-Valentine’s day, if you have a single piggy, I hope you will take a moment to think about how much you love your little furry friend, and whether you could show your love by making his life better. Your piggy will love you more, not less, when he has the love of a piggy friend to share with you!

If you’re looking to adopt, be sure to check out our Petfinder page in the next few days! We just took in eight little piggies last night and their pictures will be up very soon!


New Recommended Rescue Blog: Saving Argus

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:08 pm by ACR&S

I don’t plan to do many unscheduled entries, but I just had to post a link to a newly-discovered rescue blog:  Saving Argus. It’s the story of a horse who was locked in a tiny pen for sixteen years, and just this past December, was rescued and is being rehabilitated. I’m only halfway through and utterly enthralled. I urge everyone to read it.

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