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Thread: Need some advice

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    Need some advice

    As the title says, I need some advice. I am the foster for all the females in our local rescue. Right now I have 8. I have them all together in a HUGE cage. They have tons of space to run around and play. I know it's not ideal to add and remove pigs as they get adopted but rescues sometimes have to do what is necessary to get pigs out of bad situations. Someday I hope to have a building full of 2x4 cages and pigs living as pairs.

    With that being said, here is my dilemma. We had a great family come today and do a meet and greet with the pigs. The little girl held 3 of them, and really took a liking to one of the babies. Both the mom and the girl did well with the pigs, and I would consider them to be a good family to adopt to. The problem is that they only want one pig, and the babies came together and have lived together always. I do not believe in pigs living alone unless it truly is a pig that can't get along with others.

    After the family left the director and I spoke (she was present during the meet and greet) and agreed that the babies should not be separated. Even if they chose a different one to adopt I do not think it is right to have pigs living happily with other pigs, only to be taken away and left to live alone. I understand that I should not be having so many live together if they are going to be adopted, but they would be in pairs regardless, if I had the resources, so this would still be an issue. The director of the rescue just loves the work I do for the pigs and the rescue, so pretty much any decision I make she will back me up. She knows I truly do this for the animals and no other reason. I just don't know what to do in this case. Any suggestions??
    Last edited by foggycreekcavy; 01-04-16 at 03:46 pm.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: Need some advice

    If the director has your back, I would refuse to adopt a pig out alone, except in the case of pigs who are aggressive to all others. Even in those cases, though, there are experienced people who believe those pigs should still be able to smell and hear other pigs even if they don't live with them. As you know, guinea pigs are social animals and keeping them alone is leaving an important need unmet.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Need some advice

    I am leaning towards that, as I think it would be traumatic to rip the pig away from other pigs for the rest of her life. I would never be able to get it off my mind and the regret would run deep if I allowed it. The lady is supposed to give her decision on which pig and how many tomorrow. I hope she does decide to go with 2. She has been doing her research, which I love, so hopefully she will run across the facts of pigs needing a friend.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Need some advice

    This is a good opportunity for the rescue to put a policy in place for adopting out singles, pairs or multiple guinea pigs. Most rescues I know of will require that bonded pairs stay together. I'd discuss it with the person who runs the rescue and let it be their decision.

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    Re: Need some advice

    Pinky has the best solution here. Having a piggy friend (unless there is some problem like aggression or contagious illness) is not just a nice idea, it is critical to these animals' well being. Tell the nice family about Switzerland and Sweden, where it is illegal to adopt just one. https://m.reddit.com/r/todayilearned...keep_just_one/

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    Cavy Slave CavyChrissy's Avatar
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    Re: Need some advice

    It's sounds like you know what the best thing for the pigs is (and your director does too, awesome) - it's just a matter of communicating it to the new family. I would contact them ASAP. Don't let them sit at home and make a decision without this knowledge. Let them know you discussed and the rescue feels all pigs must have a buddy (except those rare situations mentioned already) and that they should be prepared to adopt two. If they say yes and agree to two, then that's a good sign that they will be a good family and keep the pigs best interests in mind.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Need some advice

    I agree that a lone pig shouldn't be adopted out unless it has been shown (by people who know how to do introductions) that it is aggressive to other pigs, or is going to a home to be a companion for another lone pig. No rescue I've ever dealt with has been willing to adopt out singleton pigs except in those conditions.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Need some advice

    We have decided to not let her adopt a single pig. I feel bad because she was already approved for an adoption. Because she was kind of inconvenienced with driving quite some miles to my house, staying a couple of hours at my house, falling in love with a pig, only to be told she can't have her, I told my director that I will personally help her find a single pig on Craigslist and I will even pay for it. I still don't agree with a pig living alone, but at least it will be one that is already alone. She's going to do what she's going to do regardless of the advice we give, so this will be better than her running to the pet store.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: Need some advice

    Did you tell her the reason that guinea pigs should be kept in groups? I imagine you did, but just verifying. Do you know why she insists on only having one?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Need some advice

    I did. I even said it would be the equivalent of her having friends and family one day and never seeing another human ever again the next day. Some people will do what they want to do anyway. This will be their first guinea pig. I think she doesn't want to get overwhelmed, but honestly we all know 2 is no more work that 1. Heck, I have 8 fosters and 6 of my own and it's not really all that much work. If you have a schedule and stick with it ,it's not that bad. I timed myself once for spot cleaning. 6 minutes for my cage (4x4 connected to 2x4 via a bridge) and 6 minutes for the fosters' cage (identical cage). That's only a total of 12 minutes.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: Need some advice

    I think the bigger defining factor with work involved is how many cages you need to take care of, not how many pigs. When one of my boys was separated to recover from surgery, it was more work for me since I had to maintain two cages instead of the usual one. It's a shame your potential adopter didn't think that way. I think you're doing the best thing in a less than optimal situation by offering to help her find one on Craigslist.

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Need some advice

    I wouldn't go to so much trouble. Your job isn't to make everyone happy, it's to foster and adopt out guinea pigs. There's no reason to cater to this woman. Your policy is to adopt out pairs of guinea pigs, not singles, and tell her so. Apologize for the oversight, and let it go. If she really wants the pig she should adopt another one of yours.

    I would be more concerned that she has an appropriate sized cage for a pair of guinea pigs.

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    Cavy Slave CavyChrissy's Avatar
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    Re: Need some advice

    I see you are in Indiana. If you are in northwest Indiana, there is a pig at a rescue in the Chicago suburbs that may work. I happened to notice it when I was browsing Petfinder (for no good reason other than curiosity). Here is a link:

    https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/32643792

    This rescue has several fosters all around Chicago and you will have to contact them to find out where this one is. Steger is the town where the person who runs the rescue lives, not all the pigs are there. This is the rescue where I got my Randy from.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Need some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by foggycreekcavy View Post
    I wouldn't go to so much trouble. Your job isn't to make everyone happy, it's to foster and adopt out guinea pigs. There's no reason to cater to this woman. Your policy is to adopt out pairs of guinea pigs, not singles, and tell her so. Apologize for the oversight, and let it go. If she really wants the pig she should adopt another one of yours.

    I would be more concerned that she has an appropriate sized cage for a pair of guinea pigs.
    Our policy wasn't to adopt out only pairs. It is now, as of this evening. I already knew the director was going to make that a rule, but couldn't say anything until we had our monthly meeting today. There are some fosters on the forum here and I didn't want them to hear it from me. The issue was that this woman was approved for a guinea pig and we were going to all of a sudden make her adopt 2 or not be allowed to adopt. Now that it is a policy, future potential adopters will be notified in advance. We will able to adopt out single pigs if they are going to a home that already has a pig(s). I do have great news, though. The adopter called this afternoon and said she agreed with us that pigs should not live alone so she will be adopting 2. I am so happy!! I do harp on cage size as well. If I don't like the cage size that my fosters will go to I recommend C&C cages/Midwest cage. If they refuse to do something about the living arrangements I can tell the director I don't think it's the right home and she will deny the adoption. I am not trying to be all high and mighty, but it's my responsibility as a foster to see to it that the pigs I have in my care are going to a happy, healthy home.

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Need some advice

    Oh, good!

    It's a good idea to have your policies all mapped out before you begin adopting out to people. I have it in writing in a few places (website, Facebook, etc) that I will only accept appropriate sized cages (a 2x4 C&C is the smallest acceptable). In the letter I send out to people when they inquire it is also stated. I require a photo of said cage before the guinea pigs can go home. The only time I'll budge on this is if it's a pair of sedate older females who have been together forever, and then it must be at least the size of a Midwest Guinea Pig Habitat (8 square feet).

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