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Surrendering your Guinea Pigs

Cavy Spirit works with the San Francisco Animal Care and Control, the Peninsula Humane Society, and the Humane Society of Santa Clara Valley. Our first order of priority when we have room at our rescue is to take in the animals on death row. Sometimes a volunteer for the Humane Society will drive the guinea pigs to us so that we don't have to go get them. Other than that, we receive no financial support or supplies from the humane societies. 

The animals on death row are those about to be killed. Either their time is up or they were never granted any time in the first place. Some shelters across the country do not adopt out guinea pigs and will kill them upon receipt. At many shelters, if there is no room available and the animals are marginal, that is, not highly adoptable, they may be killed right away. The normal process is to place them in the small animals adoption area for a period of time. When they have been there too long, which be may days, weeks, or months, or new animals arriving need space, their time is up. In addition, most shelters will only keep the "adoptables." The "unadoptables" have a short stay on death row. What makes a guinea pig unadoptable? It can vary from shelter to shelter, person to person, and day to day, based on circumstances. Some shelters consider babies to be unadoptable. Some pregnant mothers. Some will abort pregnant mothers. An animal that isn't healthy or doesn't look healthy can be considered unadoptable. A senior guinea pig or an anti-social (scared) guinea pig can be considered unadoptable. Very few shelters in the country are no-kill shelters. Some shelters say they are no-kill, but they are usually referring to the adoptable animals.

Why talk about these unpleasant topics on this happy guinea pig site? Because that is why this happy guinea pig site has to exist in the first place. That is why we rigorously screen adopting families, so that the animals find loving forever homes and never need to be surrendered again.

Surrendering your guinea pigs to Cavy Spirit

1st   We don't want you to surrender your guinea pig! Maybe a visit here to talk about care and how to work with your guinea pig, how to enjoy him or her more, might help. If your kids are bored and no longer taking care of the guinea pig, what about you? Most frequently we hear you don't have the time, you are too busy, they are being neglected, they deserve a better home. And usually, that's because they were bought for a child who has now moved on to other things, as children do. Guinea pigs make wonderful pets for adults. Perhaps seeing guinea pigs in an adult-only home in a different way would help. Guinea pigs can be a great stress reliever. Maybe your single piggie needs a friend to show you how much more interactive and interesting he can be? You probably have your guinea pig in a pet store cage. A different, bigger cage can make a huge difference to you and your guinea pig. You'd be amazed. Our cages are really nice and much easier to clean! Let us show you how to re-integrate your guinea pig into your life.


However, if no other options exist, then the health and happiness of the guinea pig must be considered. And you have a responsibility as the owner and caretaker of that animal to provide it a decent life.

2nd   If you must find a new home for your guinea pig, we expect you to make EVERY EFFORT on your own first. It can take time and creativity and potentially money for advertising. But, it is the right thing to do. For more help on how to go about it, check out How to Find a Home for your Guinea Pig.


3rd   If we have room and agree to take your animals, we have a $75 per pig surrender fee. AND if they are males, we also have a $75 per pig neuter fee (our cost). So, if you have two males to surrender, plan on $300. It costs us $150 right away for neutering. The only time we won't neuter is if it is a bonded male pair. The AVERAGE length of stay with us is 6 months. That is between $350-$450 in bedding costs alone, not to mention all of the other expenses. If we don't have room, we can take your information and call you when we do, so don't wait until the last minute. We do make exceptions for special circumstances. So, please call us to discuss your situation.


4th   We expect honesty. Please don't insult us with wimpy, lame excuses. We try very hard to educate prospective adopters. Cavy Spirit will be picking up where you've left off, in time, commitment, money, and love for the animals. At Cavy Spirit, we work very hard to try to break the cycle of homeless pets. So, help us to know that it won't happen again.

5th   You can contact us directly via phone or email to discuss surrendering your animal. If you do surrender your guinea pigs, we have a Surrender Contract you will need to fill out and sign when you are here.


6th   Know that if your guinea pig does find a temporary home here, the animals in our charge receive very high quality care and housing and should end up in a happy home to live out the rest of it's life.


A visit might help

We have had quite a few people tell us they wish they had known about us sooner. Arrange a time for a visit and try to prevent a surrender in your future.

The interest that may be waning in your kids for their guinea pigs might be revitalized with a field trip to see the Cavy Spirit piggies.

If you have friends or know of people who have guinea pigs, PLEASE tell them about us and this site. Odds are they need some additional education and ideas on caring for their guinea pig. You can help prevent future surrenders by others by helping those around you.

 Re-examine your issues 
Is your reason "allergies?"
Many people with allergies have found creative ways with a little bit of effort to work with their allergies so that they can keep their animals. Please see our page on Allergies!

Is your reason "moving?"
Again, there are solutions for the move itself as well as working with the landlord if that is relevant. Please see our page on Moving!

 Don't be a Dumper 
Find out what it means to be a dumper . . .

Make every effort to find a home for your guinea pig.

When all else fails, try a rescue. If a rescue is not available or has no room, then take your guinea pigs to a shelter.

to our
Surrender Policy
At this time, September 2002, we will no longer be accepting private surrenders unless there are VERY SPECIAL circumstances. We will only be taking in guinea pigs from the shelters.

Please see all of the suggestions and resources listed on this page to find a home on your own. 

Remember, if you are desperate to "get rid of" your guinea pigs, DO NOT 'let them go free' outdoors. You are consigning them to a guaranteed painful and torturous death. DO NOT try to take them to a pet store or leave them on some door step. See the Dumping page for reasons. Take them to your local shelter where they have a good chance at being adopted by someone who wants them as pets, not snake food.


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16 Nov 2006

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