Jack Pine Guinea Pig Rescue:

Jack Pine Guinea Pig Rescue was started way back in 1993. The eight years previous to that I was active in breeding and showing my guinea pigs with the ACBA. When the realization hit me that far too many guinea pigs were not ending up in safe, loving, permanent homes - my focus turned to rescue. As we enter our 12th year of rescue there are some important changes planned again.

Over the last decade we've often housed anywhere from 50 to 80 guinea pigs here, sometimes even more. The rescue is run out of our very small home, with myself the sole guinea pig care giver. Most of the financial burden has been covered by me and my husband. With ever increasing costs of veterinary care and high quality animal supplies, along with other facets of our life demanding more of my time and energy, it's become necessary to cut down considerably on the amount of guinea pigs taken in and cared for here. Over the next year Jack Pine Guinea Pig Rescue will become more of a sanctuary, with emphasis placed on taking in "at risk" animals and less energy put into adopting them out.

By the time I reach my 50th birthday in May 2006, I hope to be semi-retired from rescue and have my herd size down to about 20. I want to be able to spend time with family and friends, and in fixing up my severely neglected house. I want time to enjoy my own pets. Being able to take a vacation would be swell, too. Since starting the rescue I've only had one vacation, 3 days in northern Minnesota.

Unwanted Guinea Pigs

In the past I've pretty much taken in any unwanted guinea pigs we were contacted about and had room for, then tried to adopt them out into loving homes. The last couple years I've had a depressing amount of these adoptions returned to my shelter for various reasons. Considering the amount of time and energy I put into screening potential adopters to ensure my guinea pigs wonderful permanent homes, these returns have surprised and greatly frustrated me. It is a condition of my adoption contract that my guinea pigs are returned to me if the new owner can not or will not keep them, but it always saddens me when this actually happens.

I am now giving priority to the tougher rescue cases, guinea pigs that are "at risk" or in dangerous situations. This includes guinea pigs with problems that make them difficult to adopt out at humane societies or other public animal shelters, and pigs who may even be facing euthanasia. These cases will be given priority for space in my quarantine area and Pig Room as they literally may not have any other safe place to go. I will be working more with organized animal shelters rather than private guinea pig owners.

Open space in my rescue is always in short supply and now that we are committed to downsizing it will be even more precious. Owners contacting me about unwanted guinea pigs that I consider "easily adoptable" (youngish, friendly, healthy) are now usually referred to local humane societies. Humane societies in the Twin Cities area are generally well equipped to handle guinea pigs and do a good job of caring for them while there. These humane societies have more resources to help with funding, routine care and adoptions. I am concerned that bonded pairs may be split up at some shelters and the screening process for adoptions may not always take the special needs and characteristics of guinea pigs into consideration to better ensure them a proper permanent home. However, I simply can't continue to take them all in here. Owners can ask about these things when surrendering their animals to a humane society. There is a link farther down to directories of humane societies and other animal shelters in Minnesota.

Before I find myself contacted by every irresponsible owner in the 5 state area that wants to dump their old or sick guinea pig let me repeat two statements:

1. I will be working more with organized animal shelters rather than private guinea pig owners.

2. Open space in my rescue is always in short supply and now that we are committed to downsizing it will be even more precious.

Owners are welcome to contact me for ideas or referrals to help you deal with or place your "problem" guinea pig. Owners may also ask any animal shelter they do leave their guinea pig with to contact me if there is a problem with that guinea pig and the shelter is unable to adopt it out. The animal shelter can contact me at :

I encourage people with unwanted guinea pigs to take a good hard honest look at their situation and to see if they can't make some changes that will enable them to keep the guinea pig. In many cases "where there's a will there's a way" and the real problem boils down to lack of will. There's a million lame excuses for getting rid of a pet, but in most cases when I try to help people work around the so called problem with keeping their guinea pig - the reality is they just don't want it anymore. Not always, but definitely the majority of the time.

If owners are uninterested or unable to solve whatever problem they're having with their guinea pig, they might try placing the guinea pig themselves. Owners can start out with a free ad at petfinder.com classifieds and a list of questions to help screen folks who respond to make sure they can provide a safe and loving home. Posting flyers can also help.


A good picture attracts attention, along with a cute description of the guinea pig highlighting its adorable personality.

Flyers should be left at veterinary clinics, pet store bulletin boards, dog groomers, any place animal lovers tend to frequent. Don't offer to giveaway pets free to strangers. This increases the chance that guinea pigs may end up in abusive or unsafe situations, and can decrease their value to the new owners.

Owners going this route need to screen folks who are interested in taking the guinea pig. Be nosy, ask questions. This helps increase chances the guinea pig will receive proper care in a safe home with people that are likely to keep it for the rest of it's life. It is hard on pets to lose a home and people they're accustomed to. Hopefully a few questions will prevent this happening again.

The following links offer further advice on finding a new home for a guinea pig:

Help Finding New Home For Guinea Pig: cavyrescue.com

Guinea Pig Overpopulation and How to Find a Home for Yours: homeforgps.com

In the meantime owners should read through the following articles to make sure their guinea pig is receiving proper care now. No doubt improvements can be made on housing and diet. Sometimes the more people learn about their pet, the more fun and interesting it becomes. Occasionally owners change their mind about getting rid of the guinea pig after they've learned more about it's natural habits, quirks and proper care. Kinda puts the animal in a whole new light.

Guinea Pigs: General Information and Care Requirements

Aaaah Choo! I'm Allergic to My Guinea Pig!

Guinea Pig Housing

Adoptable Guinea Pigs

Even though I have dozens of guinea pigs, most of them are not likely to be easily adopted out. Over half of the guinea pigs currently residing at Jack Pine Guinea Pig Rescue are 4 years old or older. Many of my rescues have chronic health problems that require daily medication, special housing or ongoing monitoring. Others have personality problems or simply live with a problem pig. I do not split up bonded pairs so even with dozens of guinea pigs I generally have only 10-12 that I consider easily adoptable.

Family problems and long overdue projects have demanded so much of me over the last year or so that I'm now doing far less adoptions then in the past. Since our focus will be rescuing problem guinea pigs it is likely we'll have less animals to adopt out in the future, though some of our guinea pigs will be available for adoption as "Special Needs" pets. These Special Needs guinea pigs may be old, skittish, nippy or have chronic health problems.

It's hard enough finding good permanent homes for young (or youngish), healthy, friendly guinea pigs - finding folks willing to welcome a problem animal into their home can be nearly impossible. Anybody open to the idea of adopting a Special Needs guinea pig is welcome to email me at :

to see if any are available. Please read through the information and articles linked to in the Adoption section of my web site first. This helps give an idea of what our adoption procedure involves and what we look for in new owners for our piggies. Folks can also write to this email address to see if we have any guinea pigs available that are NOT considered Special Needs.

Note: We LOVE adopting out to folks that have adopted guinea pigs from us in the past and given our "babies" wonderful homes where they've been loved and cherished.

I highly recommend the two Minnesota guinea pig rescues listed below as another source of guinea pig information and possible adoptions. Both are run by gals with lots of dedication and guinea pig savvy. Their animals receive excellent care. Every rescue has their own adoption procedure and requirements, please contact Allysse for details.

Twin Cities Guinea Pig Rescue

All of the humane societies in the Twin Cities area, and many of the rural humane societies, accept and adopt out guinea pigs. Some city pounds occasionally have guinea pigs as well. Most take good care of guinea pigs at their shelter. Staff at these shelters won't have the experience and wealth of knowledge about guinea pigs that a rescue devoted specifically to guinea pigs has. Click on the links below for directories of humane societies and other animal shelters in Minnesota.

Twin Cities MN Shelter Directory

Worldwide Shelter Directory/Minnesota Page

Questions and Correspondence

Because of my hectic life and an amazing talent for procrastination, I've gotten worse and worse at responding to emails promptly. I do read emails right away, but may not have time to compose a thoughtful and coherent reply for a few days. Sometimes email gets lost. Feel free to send a second request if I haven't responded after a few days.

For medical questions and information the GuineaLynx.com site is really one of the best. This site covers an impressive amount of guinea pig care and health topics, providing reliable information and suggestions. Questions can also be posted on the messageboard. Registration is required to post, but not to just read through the medical section or messageboard forums.
GuineaLynx has a wonderful information packed booklet for sale called Cavy Health Records. I consider this a "must have" for all guinea pig owners. Cavy is the "proper" name for guinea pigs, it is pronounced "K-V".

Guinea Lynx - Cavy Health Care

Guinea Lynx/Messageboard Forums

Guinea Lynx' Cavy Health Record Book

Of course it is essential to bring any guinea pig suspected of being sick to a good veterinarian right away. Owners should contact a vet who is experienced and knowledgeable with "exotics" such as guinea pigs. The links below can help you find a good guinea pig vet.

Guinea Lynx -- Finding a Veterinarian

Find A Good Vet Before You Need One/cavyspirit.com

That covers most of the big changes planned for Jack Pine Guinea Pig Rescue. There's also going to be some fun stuff:

New larger cages as we cut down on the amount of guinea pigs and cages kept here.

Walls and cabinets will be painted nice cheerful shades of yellow (I'm so sick of mauve!).

Cracked ripped vinyl flooring will be replaced with tough easy-care laminate.

The whopping mess of a closet will be cleaned and organized with new shelving and containers.

I can't wait. Any donations toward our rescued guinea pig's daily care, never ending veterinary bills or planned Pig Room improvements are always HUGELY appreciated. Donations can be mailed to Jack Pine Guinea Pig Rescue, 26515 Apollo Street NE, Stacy MN 55079

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