Is It Wrong Of Me To Start A Well Cared For Guinea Pig Rescue?

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Hi all, I am new and don't know if I posted this in the right place.

Sometime in the future I would like to start my own guinea pig rescue and I would place the rescued pigs in large c and c cages in winter and sheds in summer. Would it be cruel to do this because when they get adopted they will probably be downgraded a size in cages and not as much outdoor time? I just would feel bad knowing that they would have a smaller living space. Is this wrong of me and should I open a rescue?

Please help and answer xx
 

Piggies&buns

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Space is obviously a consideration, but it’s more about money for you to be able to run a rescue. It will take a lot of piggy experience, potentially hours of hand and syringe feeding poorly piggies, youll need an experienced exotic vet nearby, a high amount of money every single month for all the medical issues, pregnant piggies etc and that will be on top of normal running costs along with the constant need to fundraise. Also knowing how to do home checks and having the time to carry them out etc.

I applaud anybody who wishes to help animals, but running a rescue will be a full time job and incredibly expensive to run
 
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Bill & Ted

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It’s a big commitment and one you should think very carefully about. I imagine it’s very tying too, would you be able to get some help from anyone if you were poorly or wanted a holiday? but if you have it all mapped out and your neighbour is happy to treat them then good on you x
 

Pigoles

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It is to be commended that you are considering this for the future, but maybe it would be a good idea to volunteer at a rescue ... (possibly staying nearby for a week to volunteer daily if not a rescue near you) ... and gain experience and knowledge about how rescues run and the demands and challenges? Just a thought?
 

Siikibam

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Is that pounds or Canadian dollars? How stable is that income and how can you guarantee it will not stop or lessen? Out of curiosity, how are you going to be making that money?

Another thing I see is that you’re at school. If you started it and then went to uni who would you leave it to? If you decide to go into full time work, how would you then run the rescue?

As your parents don’t allow you to bring them inside, what would you do if you had sick piggies that needed round the clock syringe feeding? Also, I don’t know how cold it gets there (pretty cold though I think 🥶) - how would you combat that with housing them outdoors? Do you have any predators around there that could get to them?

There’s also the thing of rehoming. How would you ensure that the homes they go to are of a good standard? How long have you had your guinea pigs? What would you do with those that need long term vet care and thus wouldn’t be suitable for rehoming?

I commend you for thinking of doing so. It is a massive undertaking in terms of finance and time that I think needs to be planned for very carefully.

PS how far in the future are you thinking?
 

Jamjarpigs

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I'd also consider strongly taking time (as in years) to plan this. There are a lot of hidden expenses in rescue as well as in income (eg in the UK council tax, income tax, pension, national insurance to name a few). Take a few years of working full time to get used to it and in a good routine and get everything sorted for a rescue instead of jumping in.
 

Siikibam

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I'd also consider strongly taking time (as in years) to plan this. There are a lot of hidden expenses in rescue as well as in income (eg in the UK council tax, income tax, pension, national insurance to name a few). Take a few years of working full time to get used to it and in a good routine and get everything sorted for a rescue instead of jumping in.
She’s in Canada ☺
 

Piggies&buns

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It good your family is willing to help as you would likely need to many people to help with the basics of cage cleaning etc and for the care of poorly piggies. It would be best to wait until you’ve owned piggies for many years before deciding to do this, not just so you have experience of a range of piggy related issues but also so that you’ve got several years worth of income saved up. Being thrown in at the deep end with multiple piggies with medical conditions and pregnancies is hard in all ways imaginable, so years of piggy keeping experience would ideally be needed before taking on such a commitment as a rescue, particularly as a lot piggies are surrendered due to their owners becoming overwhelmed with ongoing and expensive medical issues.
Syringe feeding every couple of hours through the day and night is exhausting so you’d need a lot of people to be on hand so you can work in shifts and everybody gets to sleep, for that but also the basics of care.
It’s not a case of being able to keep piggies at the vet until they get better. Some will never get better and will have lifelong medical conditions which means they may never be able to be rehomed, so you would have to keep them for their whole lives.
You’d need boars to be neutered before you could rehome them so you’d have to keep them for six weeks post neuter to ensure they are infertile.
You’d also have to be able to bond piggies before rehoming them so they could go in pairs. If you were to let singles go to bereaved piggies, then you’d either need to be able offer a bonding service yourself or ensure you could take the piggy back if the new owner was not able to successfully bond a rescue piggy with their own piggy.
You’d probably also need multiple areas so you could keep bonded boars well away from sows so as to not cause fights and broken relationships, quarantine areas so you can avoid spreading illnesses around.
You’d also have to make sure c&c cages had lids so that boars who were not yet safe post neuter couldn’t get in to the girls.
 

Siikibam

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It’s good that your family are willing to help, but I wouldn’t rely on them. It’s a lot of work to run a rescue. And it wouldn’t be as easy as just getting someone else to run it while you’re away at uni. I think it would be a little unfair to expect your siblings to run it when you do - what if they don’t want to and are interested in other things? That’s quite a lot of responsibility to give them.

As for vetting, yes home checks etc are an essential. But you can’t expect to visit every once in a while. Yes, it would be good if you were on the end of the phone should they have any questions, but I think it’s a little unrealistic to expect to pop round and see them occasionally. What if they’re across the country? And how exactly would you do this test on how to look after guinea pigs? What is it you would be testing for?

:agr: With what’s been said above regards just leaving them at a vet when ill. It doesn’t always work that way, and you’re more likely to have to keep them at home and syringe feed round the clock. Could you do that - wake every two hours in the night - as well as go to school?

It’s good you have potential income but I wouldn’t take it as a given until you have signed a contract. And read it very carefully, including the small print. Still a lot to consider. If I were you I would give it many more years before you think about it again - at least until you’re out of uni (the money could go towards paying for that) and have worked for some years, and owned guinea pigs in all that time.

Actually, what would you do with your own piggies when you go to uni?

Lastly, it’s not really a good idea to keep them in c&c cages outside. Would the heating be on all through winter? Who would pay that bill? And what if it stopped working for some reason? Hutches would be a lot better, and you would have to think about the layout with regards keeping bonded boars far from any sows.
 

Hath

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I would also say try volunteering for a rescue first. Rescue is the best-worst thing you can do. It's heartbreaking and rewarding at the same time. It's best if you can trail it at no expense to you as I've seen many rescuers struggle if their circumstances change or they take on more than they can cope with. Don't ever rely on donations, they can quickly stop. So definitely best to get in touch with established rescue and ask if you can Foster for them. You'll be able to set terms of how many you can have and what condition they'll be at. That way you'll build confidence and knowledge. I am sure you would find someone who would love to have new set of hands and the eagerness to help. You would build links as small resources often have to help each other out.
Me and my colleagues had animals dropped at our doorsteps because people knew we work for a rescue and it was just easy and convenient to just leave a box at our doorstep. So you would end up with rescues you didn't ask for or couldn't look after.
I have heated shed and the cost is high, and that's with mild UK winters. You would have to spend a lot to keep them warm where you are, especially since most rescues aren't in good body condition and need extra care. Many wouldn't be fit enough to be in an outbuilding as you would have to closely watch them, even during the night. Which is why fostering is best option as experienced people could pick you the right piggie for you and guide you.

Just realised I've replied to you on other post regarding the outdoor set up and someone else said it is COLD where you are and outbuilding set up isn't an option.
 

Tigermoth

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At the risk of sounding like the mother that I am...

That sounds like an amazing financial opportunity that could have you set up your future. The rescue sounds lovely and reflects your values as a person which are to be commended, but uni fees, house deposits, car deposits, weddings... As a parent I would be encouraging an investment in your own future before this kind of endeavour, which is 1- a money pit, 2- a potential drain on your time that could impact your education and your future, 3- a money pit 😂

Good luck with Adidas!
 
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