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Animal Welfare taking in guinea pigs


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Nov 10, 2011
i think i have put this in the wrong place but anyway...
what are the pros and cons of taking in unwanted piggies like having a small rescue centre
my mum and dad are letting me take in a few guinea pigs as long as i look after them and i can pay for them which i can
i just want to no other people pros and cons

many thanks!
You'd need a large fund for medical expenses. If a guinea pig gets sick or needs surgery, the bills can really add up.
Why don't you foster with your local shelter? They usually pay for medical care and supplies.
Soph, I wouldn't say this unless I knew what I was saying would be the best.

While I think it's awesome what you want to do, I think you need to focus on the pigs you have now. We have talked quite a lot in and out of chat. I know you just became pregnant not too long ago... I would focus on having a healthy pregnancy and baby, and adjust to taking care of the three pigs you have after the baby is born.

Have you built your C&C cage for your current pigs yet? I know you said you were going to order those grids. I would focus on bettering their care, and taking care of yourself right now. If you have the money, time, and space AFTER your baby is born... then I would say it's probably a different story. For now I don't think you should be fostering guinea pigs.
i lost the baby
Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that.
I am VERY sorry to hear that. I can't imagine how hard that would be.

Well I guess that kind of changes things, but I think you have some steps to take before I would suggest fostering. I would first find a job, and start saving for a vet fund/supplies you may need, food, hay, etc. I would make sure your current guinea pigs get into their C&C cages, and that all of their care is up to date. I then would start contacting rescues to see if you could foster pigs through anyone, and if you can't then you could take in pigs. If you take in random pigs from other people you have to be prepared for illness', problems with socialization, or even pregnancy (like my Juno.) Sometimes nothing is wrong, but you'll have to quarantee them from your pigs (in a different room.)

As CavyMama and I know, sometimes people think they know how to take care of a guinea pig... but they do not. When I picked up OPP to transport him, he was on decorative shiney straw as bedding, and only had a small bowl of celery. They then told me that SHE was very picky, and only ate a couple of vegetables. Well, SHE turned out to be a HE... it was very obvious once I picked him up, and he was pooping orange poop from that horrible diet of decorative straw and celerary. He also was emaciated, I could feel every bone in his little body.

I just wanted to give you the example of what happened with us. We thought it was going to be an easy transport of a healthy female guinea pig. OPP turned out to be the opposite of everything they told us. Be prepared for sick, injured, malnourished, skiddish, etc pigs. Some are fine, but most have one problem or a combination of them.
I'm very sorry.....
Sorry about your baby.
But talk to your local shelters about fostering first. It's like being a mini rescue. :) Only with less expenses.
You sound like you've been through an awful lot recently. Starting a rescue with others is a big undertaking but doing it alone could be overwhelming. I agree that fostering might be the answer. If it's the nurturing and caring for the guinea pigs that you enjoy, fostering would give you the chance to do that without all of the financial burden and responsibility. You never know what you'll get when you take in unwanted guinea pigs. They might be sick, requiring extensive medical bills or even untreatable where you'd have to make a decision about euthanasia. I'd move slowly and really think about exactly what you're looking to do. Keep in mind, guinea pigs can live long lives so you'd be making a long term commitment if they don't get adopted out.
While fostering is a noble undertaking, it's important to remember that an animal in foster care is usually there for a reason. Either it's under-socialized, ill, underweight, is physically ailing in some way and needs some extra TLC and/or medical care.

It's a lot to take on, especially if the animal in question needs regular medication. My suggestion would be to wait on fostering. Focus on the guinea pigs and hamsters that you already have. Give them the extra TLC that you are looking to give.

Since you already have a few guinea pigs, adding more to the mix might end up becoming overwhelming, rather than rewarding, especially if the fostered pigs are special needs. You're still very young. You have plenty of time, down the road to foster when the time is right and when you are ready.
It's pretty costly :) that is one con. And would you be able to take in consideration, the very very sick piggies who'll pass on their own or need euthanasia? It's stressful enough for me, having one piggy who might end up being put down ;(
On the upside, if you get yourself in a good position to do it, it can be rewarding and you will be helping with getting piggies homes, and making sure they are healthy beforehand!

If you want to do this, I say give yourself a year. Save up, a little each month, see if you cannot make or find pens and enclosures for indoor/outdoor, when it comes closer to the end of the year and you still think you can and want to do it, get what you need for supplies, contact an exotic vet so you can know him, and be able to know who to take the sicker ones to, and find out costs of spay/visits/meds :)
I started out with betta fish rescuing lol - and that's tough enough for me :3
There's nothing to say that you can't foster only one and one that is socialized. Many rescues have a lot of guinea pigs and need homes to care for them, whether or not they're socialized. Sick or special needs guinea pigs tend to be housed in homes that are more experienced caring for them. Some of the smaller rescues in my area regularly look for foster homes for one or two. What you need is a proven track record of having cared for guinea pigs and the ability to let them go once someone wants to adopt them.
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