free to good home?

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Abnoba

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Quite often you see people wanting to give guinea pigs to a "good home". And there are lots of them about.
Yet alot of rescues dont seem to be satisfied with it, they want the perfect home.
Who can offer that?

There is always something that is going to be wrong.

As an example, my piggies have a huge cage, get to run around, get cuddles, and there is no quibbling about money when they need vet treatment, they get all the veg and hay they want, and I try to make their lives as exciting as possible by building new houses or toys for their run. But I dont feed the super expensive dry food (in fact, I try to not feed dry food at all most of the time), I use woodshavings, I dont bath them, and I dont have a garden. Therefor, I am far from being perfect. But I can offer a GOOD home.

There are so many people who could offer loving homes to piggies, even though the guinea pigs might only get to have floor time three times a week. A wonderful home, even though the food the piggies will get has colourings.

Still rescues often turn people down, just because the home thats offered for the piggies is good - and they want it perfect.

While I can understand them wanted EVERYTHING to be right for the piggies in their care, lets be realistic.
There are so many pets out there wanting homes, and only so many homes for them... maybe rescues should start consider giving piggies to good homes? Someone said it on this forum somewhere - they sometimes are their own worst enemy.
 

Mary

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Would like to know what you feed yours if you dont feed them dry food. As one of mine will not eat guinea pig food at the mo, can he live without it! Hope I am making sence!

Mary
 
H

hairdi

:o Rescue centres have to be strict for a very good reason, but I wish they would be prepare to work with the new possible owner if they haven`t got the perfect home or requirements at that time. :-\
 

Abnoba

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but seriously - who on this forum can say of themselves that EVERYTHING is just perfect in their home?
I would like to meet the perfect person, really, they might be able to tell me how to do it. We are only human after all...
There is always going to be *some* flaw.

And sometimes even personal opinion - as in which dry food is best - where it comes really down to own experience and preference, is counted as a flaw. Someone on this forum, was it chinakit? (sorry if I'm wrong) was not allowed to get some piggies because she was not feeding the food that was recommended by the rescue. I mean, for gods sake.

Id personally rather give alot of guinea pigs a good home where its quite nice for them, but where some improvements could still be done, than sit there in my rescue overflowing with piggies that really would like that forever home..
 

Abnoba

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Mary said:
Would like to know what you feed yours if you dont feed them dry food. As one of mine will not eat guinea pig food at the mo, can he live without it! Hope I am making sence!
This is personal experience and opinion only, ok?
I think that with a good balanced diet of hay and lots of different fruit and veg, they get what they need. I give the occasional dry food as a treat out of my hand, and I also feed them dry food in winter for extra energy because its so cold. But thats it. I personally think they dont need dry food all the time, it just fattens them up a bit too much (I think).
However piggies who are outside all year would require dry food for extra energy. But mine are nice and cosy inside, so...
 
P

piglover

Id personally rather give alot of guinea pigs a good home where its quite nice for them, but where some improvements could still be done, than sit there in my rescue overflowing with piggies that really would like that forever home..

I totally agree with you Abnoba - for any animal. Our house may not be perfect but my piggies are happy and come first before anything else, i.e., me! I'm always changing things round buying them new cosies and toys to play out with I spend a fortune on their welfare including the vet. Mum and I had the same problem getting a cat for her there were loads in the rescue but the conditions had to be PERFECT! When we did get a cat, the RSPCA said oh she'll have colitis for the rest of her life, have to eat special food, her coat may not grow back - 3 years later she has a beatiful coat eats loads of different foods and her colitis has dissappeared! IT was just stress from being at the RSPCA a bit of TLC, time and sorting out her preferences and learning to live with her and shes come on a treat!
 
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cavykind

I run small guinea rescue and I would be the first to agree that not everyone would consider mine to be the perfect home, as let's be honest the concept of perfect is so subjective.

I think I am pretty flexible on many areas...and very strict on others and that is only natural as we will all have our own ideas of what constitutes a good level of care and welfare.
Over the years I think I have re-homed to a diverse group of people and circumstances. I try my best to place the right piggy in the right home, If I make a "mistake" I will endeavour to help and correct the matter and will always take a guinea pig back for whatever reason and at whatever time.

One of my main things is that I will not re-home to anyone who breeds. End of.

I want them to live indoors as family companions, but I have in the past re-homed to some brilliant "outdoor" set ups, where a lot of care and attention has gone into their construction.
Neither would I re-home to anyone refusing a home check.
I don't re-home to families with very young children.

Personally and I only mention this as you have brought it up Abnoba, I would not re-home to anyone who doesn't feed dry food. Where do they get their protein from?
I would try and discuss this with them though and see where that led.

I have always said that in all the years I've been involved with general and guinea pig rescue, only 20% of the calls I get asking to re-home an animal are worth seriously considering :-\
Yep, maybe I am too "fussy" by some peoples standards, but to compromise your own when placing animals in homes is a very slippery slope.
Sure, If I wasn't as "fussy" I would be able to claim that I re-homed huge amounts of guinea pigs...but surely that isn't really the point of it all :)

A really interesting topic and one that will throw up a lot of discussion :)

Barbara
 

Abnoba

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you are right Barbara, certain standards just have to be met.
I mean, the basics, no piggy alone, no piggy with bunnies, the cage must be a minimum size, or have a decent run attached to it with permanent access, all that sort of thing.
And I agree, I would never consider giving an animal to someone who doesnt agree with a homecheck..

But things like, you are giving a food to them which we dont like, otherwise you are fine, but if you dont change the food you give then you wont get the animal? Thats a bit over the top IMHO.
And it gets complicated in some cases - the dry food I give to mine during the winter and the whole year as a treat is from Germany, and I havent seen it for sale anywhere in the UK yet. So how can I prove to people that its good stuff, when there is just nobody around who has experience with it?

I fully agree, that there have to be things that need to be right. But some things are just down to personal preference and circumstances.

I mean, in a perfect world, we would all be feeding them Timothy Hay, and have a whole room with a giant CC Cage setup dedicated to them alone, but we dont live in a perfect world, and have to make do with what weve got... which doesnt mean the piggies wont be loved, and wont have a good home.
 
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cavykind

Abnoba said:
But things like, you are giving a food to them which we dont like, otherwise you are fine, but if you dont change the food you give then you wont get the animal? Thats a bit over the top IMHO.
I think it is important that the new owner at least feeds the rescues chosen food until the guinea pig is settled, then wean it onto the chosen mix. I wouldn't dictate what is fed, I might advise but as long as it was a decent guinea pig food, I wouldn't insist my choice was fed.

It's the same with bedding, I'll tell people what I use and I do use wood shavings (with no problems) but will again leave it up to the individual..within reason ;)
I know that some rescues will not re-home to people who use shavings and again - their decision and I respect that :)

I think most issues can be ironed out within the initial telephone chat if both parties are up front and honest...then it can be taken from there.
I'll generally have a good chat, listen to the person enquiring after the piggy, then if both of us are happy ask them to have a think about what I have said, maybe discuss it with partner/family and if still interested give me a call back later. I never put people under pressure to have a home check or adopt. I wouldn't like it done to me. I don't believe I've ever lost a home that I would have wanted, because someone didn't want a home check. If that makes sense ::) ;D

Barbara
 
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DebbieR

When I was looking for my first piggies. I went to Wood Green Animal Shelter. They wouldn't even consider letting me even look at their piggies because the area they would be living in was too small.

I had a 4ft by 2ft hutch with a mezzanine floor (ramp with sides and footholds so piggies couldn't slip) with a seperate sleeping area. This opened up to a 4ft by 4ft run and they were being kept inside. To my mind, they could have been a bit more accomodating. I was so upset I cried all the way home :(
 
B

Beaney

DebbieR said:
When I was looking for my first piggies. I went to Wood Green Animal Shelter. They wouldn't even consider letting me even look at their piggies because the area they would be living in was too small.

I had a 4ft by 2ft hutch with a mezzanine floor (ramp with sides and footholds so piggies couldn't slip) with a seperate sleeping area. This opened up to a 4ft by 4ft run and they were being kept inside. To my mind, they could have been a bit more accomodating. I was so upset I cried all the way home :(
That is a shame....And if that happened to me it would have upset me too and put me off rescues!

Whilst I like the fact that rescues check out the new owners (I would be worried if they didn't!), it would be a shame if some rescues weren't open to some 'discussion' around animal care. This doesn't mean backing down on the important things but things like brand of food is surely something that can be compromised on, providing it is still a decent piggy food? At the end of the day, you can read two books by so called experts and have two different opinions. I don't believe that 'perfect' care exists. You can only do the best that you can based on what you know - which changes all the time as you get more experience.

For example - my rabbit. He is a solo bunny, unneutered and up until a few years ago he was unvaccinated. He is 10 and a half years old. When I got him, when he was 8 weeks old, I never knew any different. Now at his age, I am limited on what I can do, I can not bond him or neuter him or anything as it would be too stressful. My point is, my rabbit is an old man. Going by the 'text book' as it is known now his care has been 'bad' but he has done so well and is a very happy bunny and completly spoilt as are my piggys. If I had another rabbit in the future would I do things differently - Yes! But I have done the best I can based on the information available at the time.

Ideally the homecheck process should be a two way thing. It is a good opportunity for the rescue to check out how the piggy will live in his/her new home but also for the new owner to speak to someone with a lot of piggy experience and learn loads more about piggy care. I have had piggys for years but am all the time learning new things.
 

kayjay

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DebbieR said:
When I was looking for my first piggies. I went to Wood Green Animal Shelter. They wouldn't even consider letting me even look at their piggies because the area they would be living in was too small.

I had a 4ft by 2ft hutch with a mezzanine floor (ramp with sides and footholds so piggies couldn't slip) with a seperate sleeping area. This opened up to a 4ft by 4ft run and they were being kept inside. To my mind, they could have been a bit more accomodating. I was so upset I cried all the way home :(
Well I personally think that's ridiculous, it sounds an ideal home, what on earth did they want?
 
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DebbieR

They wanted the living area to be at least 4ft by 3ft with a run that was at least 6ft by 4ft. I told them the measurements of mine and they said that it wasn't even worth me looking at the animals because no home visitor would approve me :(
I could have then gone and bought them from a pet shop but I had set my heart on getting rescues. Wood Green was the first rescue we tried and I didn't think anyone would let me have a couple of guineas to love.
 

kayjay

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Well I'm sure not a lot of homes have all that space spare, it's practically the size of a box room, as Abnoba says, there's such a thing as a good home if not a ideally perfect home. That's even bigger area than most rabbit rescues insist on which is silly when you consider that rabbits are bigger than piggies. I agree with Abnoba that some rescues go over the top, surely it would be better for pigs and buns to go to a perfectly satisfactory 'good' home rather than spending months if not years in a rescue waiting for a home to tick every single box on a rescues idealistic list. I think if the piggies have space, food and love what more could a rescue want?
 
D

DebbieR

Well that's what I thought. I told them that I had spent a month researching piggies before building the hutch and run but they wouldn't hear of it.
I wouldn't mind but they had 6 piggies in a hutch that was about 3ft by 2ft with no run! >:(
 
B

Beaney

kayjay said:
Well I'm sure not a lot of homes have all that space spare, it's practically the size of a box room, as Abnoba says, there's such a thing as a good home if not a ideally perfect home. That's even bigger area than most rabbit rescues insist on which is silly when you consider that rabbits are bigger than piggies. I agree with Abnoba that some rescues go over the top, surely it would be better for pigs and buns to go to a perfectly satisfactory 'good' home rather than spending months if not years in a rescue waiting for a home to tick every single box on a rescues idealistic list. I think if the piggies have space, food and love what more could a rescue want?
Agree 100%. That is a huge space for piggys and like you said, bigger than what most would say is required for rabbits! It is also about the bigger picture as well. For example, a person might keep their piggys in say a 3x2 hutch but let the piggys have at least 2 hours a day of floor time. Some one else might keep their piggys in a 5x2 hutch but never let them out. Who has the better set up? It is very subjective.
 
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sgprescue

I am afraid I am one of those rescues that is very picky. At the end of the day our job is to make sure the guinea pigs are getting a really good home, most have a very poor start in life and once they have been rehabilitated I dont want to send them to somewhere where their health will be compromised. If someone came to me wanting to keep pigs on woodshavings and feed gerty guinea pig I wouldnt rehome to them as in most cases it will be detremental to their health. Most people are willing to change once you explain the reasons why they need certain bedding/food etc. Remember us rescues have had experience of looking after hundreds of guinea pigs and have seen what keeping them in a certain way does to their health. I do not use woodshavings and feed a very good pellet food and can honestly say I very rarely have any piggies get ill (certainly much less than when I used to use woodshavings a long time ago) so I must be doing something right. Without looking through my paperwork I would guess i have rehomed around 250+ rabbits and guinea pigs this year, all to excellent homes, I cant see how my being picky has created a problem for myself. Perhaps the people of Norfolk are just more open to new ideas ;)

Cheryl
 

Mary

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sgprescue said:
I am afraid I am one of those rescues that is very picky. At the end of the day our job is to make sure the guinea pigs are getting a really good home, most have a very poor start in life and once they have been rehabilitated I dont want to send them to somewhere where their health will be compromised. If someone came to me wanting to keep pigs on woodshavings and feed gerty guinea pig I wouldnt rehome to them as in most cases it will be detremental to their health. Most people are willing to change once you explain the reasons why they need certain bedding/food etc. Remember us rescues have had experience of looking after hundreds of guinea pigs and have seen what keeping them in a certain way does to their health. I do not use woodshavings and feed a very good pellet food and can honestly say I very rarely have any piggies get ill (certainly much less than when I used to use woodshavings a long time ago) so I must be doing something right. Without looking through my paperwork I would guess i have rehomed around 250+ rabbits and guinea pigs this year, all to excellent homes, I cant see how my being picky has created a problem for myself. Perhaps the people of Norfolk are just more open to new ideas ;)

What do you use for their bedding if you dont use shavings

Mary

Cheryl
 
C

cavykind

I think it has to be remembered that there are lot's of lovely happy guinea pigs now sitting in very loving homes that have been placed there by even the fussiest of rescues ;)
It's obviously all about finding the right rescue for you and by that I don't mean one that doesn't care or dish piggies our willy nilly!

I have had people quite irate because I wouldn't re-home to them as they wanted the guinea for a nursery/school and have turned down a local "animal farm" open to the public ~ sorry but I only consider letting my guineas go to what I consider pet homes...and these ain't ::)
I don't want my rescues gawped at and "squidged" by kids >:(

As I said before it isn't a numbers game.
While no one wants to think of guineas sitting in shelters rescues waiting for the right home, in a good and caring rescue they will be getting lot's of love and cuddles and the very best care if they are ill. I treat all my little rescue girls and boys as if they were my own :)
And that is the way it should be.

The best advice I would give anyone is to ring local rescues, ask if you can have an informal chat about re-homing, ask about there re-homing policies etc and take it from there. If they are not the "right" rescue for you or just as importantly vice versa...what have you lost? Minutes of your time :)
And you might just gain the love of a rescue piggy, while freeing up the space to help another :)

Barbara
 

kayjay

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I totally agree with you about not rehoming to nurseries or farm parks, however if the sole reason DebbieR was given was that her 4ft x 2 ft hutch with 4ft x 4ft run was not enough, I think that's too picky. If you could ask a guinea pig what they wanted I'd bet it would be company, food, cleaning out regularly as no one wants to live in a litter tray, adequate sized home with plenty of free ranging time in a run and love (they'd probably say sex too but hey ho ;D). Convention says you keep them on shavings and I would have thought most people would be open to other suggestions but at the end of the day anyone can 'say' they won't use shavings and then 3 weeks down the line go back to them.

You could also argue by turning down many 'good but not perfect in every way' homes these people will be forced to go to a pet shop and buy their guinea pigs, therefore fuelling demand for breeding.
 
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