04.24.10

A happy ending for Petal

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by Jenn

Petal, daughter of Noelle, was born in our rescue in late February along with her brothers, Bud and Leaf.Petal and Lucy

This past Saturday, Petal found her forever home with James and Amanda!  James and Amanda’s pig, Lucy, was looking for a friend after the passing of their beloved Daisy.  We talked about several single female pigs, scheduled a day for dating, and crossed our fingers!

Turns out we didn’t need to do much finger crossing.  Petal scooched right over to Lucy and snuggled down.  Lucy was pretty patient with the tiny interloper, and they were soon sharing carrots and veggies together.  (Well, Lucy was sharing — Petal was eating right out of her mouth!)  After a quick cage cleaning, both girls went in, noshed on some pellets, and fell asleep inside their towel tents.

Thanks to Amanda and James for offering our Petal such a wonderful forever home!  Also for not letting me steal Lucy who is adorable and puffy and likes to give kisses!

04.23.10

Meet Valor

Posted in intakes at 6:00 am by Jenn

valorValor’s story, as so many, starts off with an email.

We have a young 4-5 m.o. male guinea pig we named Toffee (for his lovely color) we bought as a companion to our beloved Snuffy (also male).  They get along OK, but Toffee and I (human owner!) don’t really get along.  He is very restless, and squeaks constantly.  He doesn’t seem to be very happy.  I think he might need to be with a larger group or maybe a different owner.  We looked at a list of local shelters offering guinea pigs and found one named LEAF from Morrisville.  We thought Leaf might be a good companion for Snuffy and a nice pet for us.   I’d like to offer an exchange.  Would this be possible?  I’m also open to other male guinea pigs if Leaf is taken.

We were pretty flabbergasted — Toffee was a young guinea pig.  Young guinea pigs, by definition, are loud, restless, squeaky, and (dare I say it?) can be pretty obnoxious to deal with.  It’s one of our primary educational points when people want baby guinea pigs.  They will not be cuddly, friendly companions!  They are like toddlers who have eaten an entire candy store worth of chocolate and will constantly run, scream, bounce, and squabble with each other until they mature into adults who are too lazy to bother with such antics.

It’s one thing to try another partner when your two pigs aren’t getting along, but realistically trading an even younger, more reactive, louder, and more restless guinea pig for one which was already causing dissatisfaction was unlikely to help the situation.  We wrote to her, described the personality of young pigs, and recommended that she persevere with Toffee and he would (over time) become calmer and more affectionate as he became used to her and aged out of the terrible teens.  This was especially important because the guinea pigs were bonded, and often reacted poorly to being torn apart from their herd.

The following Monday, we were contacted by one of the local shelters who said they had a young male guinea pig.  Not unusual — the shelters are full to bursting with all kinds of small animal right now.  We said that we’d take him and arranged a pickup.  They sent back pictures letting us know that his name was “Toffee”, and that he was five months old.  His owner surrendered him because he didn’t get along with her guinea pig and he was a show pig.  Toffee had been abandoned.

When Toffee arrived to foster, our hearts broke.  Toffee wasn’t “restless” and “squeaky”.  Toffee was terrified out of his little mind.  He stood in his quarantine cage, legs trembling, as he cried softly to himself.  I’d never seen such a scared guinea pig (and guinea pig owners will realize what a feat this is — they’re timid animals by nature!)  Finally he gathered up all his courage and dashed into his hidey house, not to be seen for the rest of the night.

Over the past few days, Toffee (now Valor — we felt like he needed a little confidence boost!) has slowly come out of his shell.  Though he is still very scared by the hands which enter the cage, he’s brave enough to come up to the side of the cage to see what’s going on, and has started begging us for veggies like a normal guinea pig.  Still wiggly in laps, he’s slowly learning that people aren’t big scary monsters and that there’s really no need to skitter off and hide from them.

In addition to being a scaredy-pig, Valor has another obstacle to overcome.  He is a satin guinea pig.  The satin coat (which is especially shiny and has an unusual sheen) is genetically linked to a condition known as osteodystrophy.  Our own Picadilly (also a satin) dealt with this problem.  Basically the bones of these guinea pigs can start breaking down from the inside.  Typically, these guinea pigs will need to be monitored with x-rays (so that the bone loss is caught in a timely manner) and then afterward treated with calcium supplements and a special light to help them absorb it, and pain medication as needed since the pigs often become sore and almost “arthritic”.

Valor is available for adoption and is looking for the perfect home!

04.22.10

Sponsor a Guinea Pig in April — Clarence!

Posted in Other Rescues at 6:00 am by Jenn

clarence-04-09

Clarence is Sponsor a Guinea Pig’s pick for April!

Clarence is an absolutely adorable piggy. He came into Small Angels in April of 2009 as part of a large group taken to a local animal shelter when their owner was moving away.

He was in a poor state on arrival, thin, weak, and dehydrated. He was thought to be an older piggie, due to his conformation, but the lady piggies who came in with him were all pregnant and in due course gave birth to babies who bore a striking resemblance to him (!)

Clarence suffered from chronic diarrhea and on and off he also had a runny eye and nostril for most of the summer. After being neutered he remained in the rescue for an assortment of treatments. In the Autumn he was found to have an abscess under his jaw and the prognosis was poor, so we had to decide if he was a good candidate for surgery or not (the alternative being euthanasia). It was a difficult decision, but throughout all these months he had remained perky and lively, in spite of still being somewhat thin. So we decided to give surgery a go.

Clarence tolerated a long course of antibiotics and then had surgery to drain the abscess and remove a rotton tooth. It was successful! Since then, he has remained on anti-biotics twice weekly and needed probiotics to address the resulting diarrhea.

Clarence is a delightful little guy, amazing us with his upbeat character and endearing manner. Recently he has gained a little weight and he gets very excited about having his veggies, hopping up on his wooden house to wait for them.Clarence also still likes to chat to the ladies 🙂

Visit their blog for more info on Clarence!

04.21.10

A sad farewell to Huckleberry

Posted in Memorials at 10:11 am by Jenn

swoozandfamilyIt it with a very sad heart that we wish Huckleberry (formerly Buddy Holly) a swift trip to the bridge.

His adoptive mom, Swooz, emailed us this morning to let us know that he’d passed away — just two days shy of his four month adoptive anniversary.  We first write about Huckleberry back in September of 2009, when he was abandoned at a local animal shelter in a skeletal, emaciated sate.

After fixing his dental issues, he went on to be adopted and became part of Swooz’s herd of older boars — Goldie and Shamojo and they fell in love famously, sharing cuddle cups and tunnels and most especially salads.  Everyone at ACR&S was saddened to hear of his passing, and was thankful that he spent four months being loved and spoiled in the company of his brothers after spending so much time being neglected and starved.

We send all our thoughts and prayers to Swooz, Goldie, and Shamojo, and thank yet another one of our amazing adopters for providing an amazing home for one of the many special needs animals that arrive on our doorsteps.

03.25.10

A happy ending for Carnelian

Posted in Adoptions at 6:00 am by Jenn

Another rags to riches story from the annals of ACR&S.

Carnelian began life as a feeder rat.  We don’t know anything about her life before coming to us.  She was left at a wildlife rehabilitation center by a mean spirited woman who had brought her (along with six other rats) to feed to the animals there.  The compassionate staff did not feed live animals to their wards.  When the woman threatened to take them home and “run them through a blender”, they kept the rats, but contacted us for help.

Unfortunately, two of the rats were male.  We split the five girls with another local rescue, keeping two girls and both boys.  Carnelian was spayed, as we feared she was in the early stages of pregnancy, but it turned out she was not.  The other rat, Onyx, did not appear pregnant, but surprised us with a hearty litter of 13 soon afterward.

Lauryn contacted us looking for a friend for her rat, Ebony.  Ebony’s partner, Ivory, had recently passed due to complications from a tumor (not unusual for rats, sadly).  She said she could tell that Ebony was lonely, even with the hours of attention that she lavished on her.  So we decided to make it a date.  The meeting was pretty laid back — both rats peed on each other and then started heartily ignoring each other.  (Which is actually a good sign — ignoring is much better than fighting!)

And a few days later, we got some great news:

I thought I would give you an update. Everything is still going great! They are already sleeping in the same cage! It kind of happened by accident, but we have not had any issues! I think Carnelian is the dominate one. She gained confidence after becoming familiar with the sights and smells of the room. As an extra precaution, I am not leaving them in the same cage when I am not here. I really don’t think we will have any issues.. I’ve only heard a few squeaks of protest when someone is grooming another too forcefully. And as I type they are both sleeping under a pillow!

Sometimes the best parts of adoptions are getting to meet people’s animals, and this was definitely one of those times.  I’ve rarely met a rat as friendly and sweet (and spoiled!) as Ms. Ebony, who immediately tried to crawl into my shirt and make herself at home.  Thank you so much Lauryn, for offering one of our sweet rats a forever home!

03.24.10

A drawn out happy ending for Ivy and Noelle

Posted in Adoptions at 6:00 am by Jenn

ivynoelleIvy and Noelle had an especially long and drawn out happy ending.  Pulled from the Charmeck Animal Control shortly before Christmas (along with one other sister, Gloria, and a brother, Kris), they had immediate interest from Sunshine, David, and family.  Because of their extremely young age, we felt like the chance of them being pregnant was very small.  They were taken to the vet for an exam, and we couldn’t feel anything at that point, either.

So we sent them to foster for another month, promising the patient family that their piggies would be ready to adopt soon.  When we went to the foster’s house to pick up Noelle, we had a shock — she was definitely pregnant!  We called the poor adopters to let them know that she was in a teenaged motherly way, and they graciously agreed to let her reside in the maternity ward until she gave birth.  (Which she did, with no problems, to Petal, Leaf, and Bud).

The babies finally weaned and the girls were able to go home this past Friday, where they were treated as small queens with their parsley trees and each given a celebratory carrot (which didn’t last long).  Thanks again to David and Sunshine (and their wonderful girls) for building their new family members an amazing cage and being so gracious and patient when the unexpected happened!

03.23.10

A big happy ending for little hamsters.

Posted in Adoptions at 7:32 am by Jenn

bellamaranthBella and Amaranth, who were some of our longest-kept fosters  (and officially the smallest!) found their forever home last week.  Their new mom Erin wanted hamster friends to share her life with, and she was committed to saving a little life in need!  She contacted ACR&S, and we had to be up front — Bella and Amaranth were older, and being dwarves, had a tendency to be a little nippy.  That was ok, she said, if they wanted to hang out and enjoy themselves and not be handled, they had the right!

The adoption was a great success, and the girls immediately went to work on their food.  (They were barely phased by the car ride).  Afterwards, they spent a charming evening running loudly on the wheel until poor Erin had to remove it so she could get some beauty rest!

Thank you Erin, for giving these older girls a place to live out their lives where they can be appreciated for the marshmallow puffs that they are!

03.16.10

A happy ending for Russell and Royce

Posted in Adoptions at 6:00 am by Jenn

Congratulations to Russell and Royce, who have found their forever home with Sharon and family!  Sharon had an older boar namerussellroyced Woody who had recently lost his friend.  She wasn’t really sure who he would like to have as a friend, so we loaded up Russell, Royce, and Audrey to do some dating.  Audrey turned out to be a fourth wheel!  Russell and Royce ran to Woody like a long-lost dad and spent the entire time cuddling up to him and hiding under his expansive hair.  Woody, for his part, seemed intrigued and charmed by the minature guinea pigs currently using him as a hidey house.

We’re happy and excited for the two boys, who can provide much needed companionship to an elderly and well beloved boar, and provide much happiness to a family who loves piggies!

03.15.10

Baby Boom at ACR&S

Posted in Day-to-day at 6:00 am by Jenn

Spring is the season of romance, and it’s been no different this year for ACR&S!  Though we have been unusually lucky in the past and received few animals in mixed sex groups, this year has been a veritable lotto of wayward teenaged rodents with accidental pregnancies.

We first took in a group of four baby guinea pigs who were in a mixed sexed group.  We believed the guinea pigs (Noelle, Ivy, Gloria, and Kris) to be young enough that pregnancy wouldn’t be an issue.  However, nature does find a way, and on Friday, February 26th, Noelle delivered three baby guinea pigs to much fanfare in the house (but not much fuss on her part).

noellebabies

Roughly 2 months after the Charmeck group came in, we took in 6 more guinea pigs from a private party who was keeping them in mixed sex pairs.  Ruth arrived already huge and barely able to waddle.  In early February, she proudly produced three babies of her own:

ruthbabies

(These are the culprits at exactly 3 weeks of age, having just been weaned).

Around a week after Ruth’s birth, ACR&S accepted a group of “all female” rats.  2 were adult males, and we split them up so that we could do emergency spays since none appeared to be visibly pregnant.  Visibly being the key word, because less than 12 hours before her spay appointment, Onyx produced a robust litter of 13 babies:

onyxbabies

This is their 2 week picture, and they’ve just recently opened their eyes!

And then finally, Ms. Wanda the guinea pig gave birth to her litter on March 12, 2010 (a thankfully small group of two!)

wandasbabies

03.13.10

A happy ending for Elmer and Toby

Posted in Adoptions at 6:00 am by Jenn

Elmer and TobyCongratulations to Elmer and Toby for finding their forever home, and thanks so much to Jenn for offering it to them!

Jenn saw Elmer on Petfinder and fell in love with him.  She was adamant — she understood he was an older rat, and somewhat lazy, and (dare we say it) a bit of a fattie.  But she didn’t care.  We’d recently had an older guy named Toby come in, so we paired Elmer and Toby and they began their their trip to Jenn!

The two boys are now lazing around in a palatial ferret cage covered in fleeces and pillow and toys.  Jenn reports that Toby spends a lot of time sleeping, and is prone to be let out for exercise time only to be found underneath desks and boxes snoozing away.  Old man rats do tend to be a bit on the lazy side…

At any rate, thank you Jenn for offering these two older fellows a comfortable and loving place to retire.  Score one for retirement rats!

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