Feb 8, 2009
The Good, the Bad, and the Fuzzy - Milwaukee Pet Expo report
It was a wonderful experienced to see so many people coming to learn about the animals in all the rescues. If you dropped by our booth, your kids got a free tattoo and a piece of candy. You may have seen our star attractions… our two rescue pigs, Cassie and Carley who got to show off their cuteness. We also want to thank so many people for stopping to read about little Mia and for donating toward her care. We were able to raise $64 for her, so thank you, thank you, thank you!
When we are at these types of events, we are just amazed at the number of people that have owned guinea pigs when younger. We love to hear the stories about all of them. Of course, we also get a few, “I had a guinea pig when I was young…” followed by, “but it died…” followed by, “but we buried it in the backyard.” THOSE stories we are not so thrilled to hear about (the died and buried part).
I think the most common statement made by people seeing our booth was, “I never knew there was a guinea pig rescue in Wisconsin!” Yes. We’ve been around since 2001. It’s true that we usually keep a low profile because we just don’t have the means to take in ALL the guinea pigs that need re-homed in the state (we would be overwhelmed in no time!). I think the funniest statement heard was an inquiry on how much we get from the government to run the rescue. Oh boy, we wish! Like all rescues, we get by on the generous donations from good folks like you. Sometimes, we have to dig into our own pockets to make up the differences when things get tight (they seem to get tight a lot, unfortunately).
I think the next most common remark from folks was a question about how long guinea pigs live. If you took our quiz and checked your answers, you now know that guinea pigs can live from 7-8 years. People think that their lifespan is much shorter because back only 10 years ago or so, people thought it was okay to keep guinea pigs in aquariums and pet store cages and to feed them only pellets. There was also the prevailing thought that guinea pigs were not deserving of being taken to a vet when sick (“I only paid $4 for it!”). Naturally, that kind of care often led to an early demise for the animal. Isn’t it wonderful that we now know so much more about how to keep our guinea pigs healthy (hay, fresh veggies, plenty of running room, etc) and we can have them to love for their full lifespan?
Unfortunately, if you came to our booth in the afternoon, you were not able to see our Cassie and Carley anymore. All that really loud barking from all those wonderful dogs (where they not just great?!) was just sort of freaking the pigs out. It is a rather stressful environment for a very sensitive animal like a guinea pig. Now that Cassie and Carley are back in their foster home, they are eating hay like there’s no tomorrow and are enjoying the peace and quiet.
If you came to our booth and you are interested in adopting any of the pigs you saw in our book, do check out our rescue website and ask us for an application. Even if you didn’t see any pigs that caught your eye, go ahead and fill out an application anyway. We are always getting in new pigs that need homes, so your special darlings may be just a few weeks away from coming in.
We hope we can be back at the expo next year to see all of you again!
From Charlene here in the Janesville Pig Pen