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Guinea Pigs in Need of Forever Homes

Posted by SusanStokes on December 23, 2021

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) and animal welfare organizations across California are experiencing an uptick in guinea pig populations in their care. Overall, this increase is a result of "owner surrenders," meaning the pet was relinquished to a shelter by an owners who could no longer care for the animal. 

Sadly, many are unaltered guinea pigs who were originally purchased from pet stores. They were relinquished to the animal shelter with a litter after being housed with a guinea pig of opposite sex and producing a litter. In some cases, they were adopted from the shelter and now being returned. The reason most often cited for relinquished pets is loss of housing or the inability to provide care.

The shortage of spay/neuter resources may also be a contributing factor. Many organizations paused spay/neuter programs due to COVID. In addition, not all veterinarians offer spay/neuter services for guinea pigs and rabbits since their surgeries can be higher risk.

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Small animal rescues, both city-operated and private, are looking for ways to transition guinea pigs from the shelter to a home. Many have tried identifying animal transport opportunities - moving pets from one city or state to another – to no avail, since shelters across the country in places like Connecticut, Long Island, and Massachusetts are also dealing with their own deluge of guinea pigs and small animals.

"The first wave of the pandemic brought many small pet or 'pocket pet' adopters," said Madeline Bernstein, spcaLA President. "Now we are experiencing another wave, but this time the tide is not in the animals' favor. Small animals are coming in, but we aren't seeing as many adopters for them." 


Anyone interested in adopting a guinea pig or rabbit from spcaLA may visit spcaLA.com/adopt to begin the adoption process. For those living outside the state, visit your local shelter or animal rescue group.

Source: spcaLA

spcaLA is an independent, nonprofit animal welfare organization serving Southern California since 1877. Donations run programs and services including Cruelty Investigation, Disaster Animal Response Team, Humane Education, and a variety of shelter services.