Submitted by Steve on 10:59, 2nd Mar, 2018 | 0

Each March around the world rescues celebrate and promote Adopt a Rescue Guinea Pig Month.

March last year we had none at the Shelter looking for homes but this year we have 14 currently in our care.

All 14 are males and two are awaiting their homes, which are Cassiopeia and Alfie.

The 12 currently in need of a loving new owner are Yertle, Terrific Whatzit, Raphael, Mudface, Morla, Moriarty, Michelangelo, Mack, Filimore, Filigree, Donatello and Alderman Ptolemy.

Guinea pigs or their Latin name Cavia porcellus can be lovely pets, but there are a few things you should know before making that big commitment. From expected lifespan to the social nature of guinea pigs, here are some things to consider before choosing a guinea pig as a pet.

Guinea Pigs Are a Long-Term Commitment

While a guinea pig doesn't live nearly as long as a cat or dog, they're still a large time commitment. Guinea pigs live on average around five to seven years, sometimes longer, so be prepared to provide care over the long term.

Guinea Pigs Are Social

Guinea pigs are very social animals and will be happiest living with other guinea pigs (and don't worry, they will still bond with their owners, too). Keep a same-sex pair to ensure you don't have any unwanted litters. Females can be kept together, as can males without any issues. Be aware that sometimes personality differences in the animals will mean certain guinea pigs won't get along. Introducing them as babies is the best way to get a pair to bond, though even adults can usually be introduced with care.

 Guinea Pigs Need a Large Enclosure

Guinea pigs need a lot of floor space, and most cages marketed as guinea pig cages are much too small, especially for a pair. Making a homemade cage is very easy, though, and since ​guinea pigs are a good size and not escape artists, a homemade cage is a great option.

Guinea Pigs Are Quiet, Sometimes….

Guinea pigs make a distinctive wheeking or whistling type sound, often in anticipation of getting a favorite treat or when in need of some attention. Though generally not loud enough to annoy the neighbors, a wheeking guinea pig can be surprisingly loud. If you're looking for an animal whose vocals will never interrupt a dinner party or afternoon nap, a guinea pig might not be for you

Guinea Pigs are Generally Easy to Tame

While guinea pigs may be nervous or skittish at first, with consistent gentle handling, they usually become tame very easily. Careful handling is a must, and children should be supervised with them, but they are unlikely to bite even when stressed.

Guinea Pig Require Vitamin C

Guinea pigs are one of the few animals (humans are another) that cannot manufacture their own vitamin C, so they need to get it from their diet. Choosing a good quality diet and providing a variety of fresh foods is important, but most owners choose to also give their animals a vitamin C supplement. Vitamin C tablets are considered a better way to supplement than adding vitamin C to your pet's water.

Many guinea pigs end up at shelters and are in need of a second chance at a forever home and the reasons vary greatly. Shelter guinea pigs like those here at the GSPCA are generally social and easy going. It can be very  easy to bond with an older piggie!

Beckie Bailey Animal Care Assistant said “To celebrate Adopt a Rescue Guinea Pig Month we have been taking some pictures of our lovely guinea pigs.”

“We have 12 in need of homes at the GSPCA and it would be lovely to rehome them all during Adopt a Guinea Pig Month to lovely new owners.”

Helen Holmes Admin. Manager said “Due to the snow we didn’t have many visitors to the GSPCA so after the morning clean we created a photo studio and gave our guinea pigs some extra warm cuddles and treats while they enjoyed their circus piggy photo set.”

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager “We certainly don’t promote or advocate wild animals at all in a Circus but we have some lovely props that we used yesterday for a bit of fun to take pictures of some of the guinea pigs looking for loving new homes at the GSPCA.”

“They seemed to enjoy the attention although it was their first professional photo set.”

“Last year at the GSPCA we rehomed more guinea pigs than cats and dogs and we had many challenges to care for nearly 100 which is more than we have ever seen in a 12 month period.”

 “Many arrived with illnesses but after months of care we got them fit and healthy and most are in loving new homes.”

“We currently have 12 male guinea pigs in need of homes at the GSPCA and viewing times are between 11am and 4.30pm 7 days a week.”

“If you can’t adopt a guinea pig you can always sponsor a pen through our Angel Pen Pal sponsorship scheme.”

Helen continues “The three we took pictures of yesterday were Moriarty who is all brown and ginger, Filigree who is grey and white and Alderman who is long haired and black.”

“When we get more time we will hopefully get more pictures of the others looking for homes.”

For more information please call 01481 257261 or email [email protected]

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