Cuddle up for this one:
Saturdays are always quite busy at "The Critter Connection," but a recent Saturday was much busier than usual.
This photo shows two females that recently arrived at The Critter Connection as part of the rescue of eleven guinea pigs from a roadside zoo in western New York State.
Cindy Kuester, president and head critter wrangler of the guinea pig rescue based in Durham, recently had her hands full, literally. There were cages to clean and guinea pigs to cuddle. Adopters arrived to pick up and bring home five pigs.
Meanwhile, Cindy's husband William drove to New York. His mission: to complete the rescue of 11 guinea pigs saved when a roadside zoo in western New York closed its doors and auctioned off its "inventory."
Cindy has been through similar rescues before, and she was prepared for anything. She alerted Pieper-Olson Veterinary Hospital in Middletown. Just in case, Cindy and the vets were ready to treat respiratory illness, hair loss resulting from mites, foot blisters from being kept on wire-bottomed cages, and pregnant females. This time, they were lucky. The guinea pigs were in very good shape, and only one of them needed to see a doctor. However, since pigs of both sexes had been kept together at the zoo in a single cage, the five females will be kept on pregnancy watch. Some of the males will be ready for adoption soon. In the meantime, Cindy and her foster families will make the newcomers welcome. The pigs will enjoy spacious cages with room to run, plenty of timothy hay, pellets, and fresh vegetables and fruits.
"Boy, do they eat," Cindy reports. "I've been spacing out their feedings so they don't overeat."
They will get regular lap time to help them become socialized for their eventual homes.
"A few are skittish but settle in quickly for a snuggle," says Cindy.
It will also give the rescuers a chance to observe their individual personalities for making the best matches, between guinea pigs and other guinea pigs, and between guinea pigs and humans.
The Critter Connection, Inc., is a non-profit group dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of abandoned and neglected guinea pigs. Since 2004 the rescue has placed more than 600 abandoned guinea pigs into new homes.
For more information, including how to help and how to adopt, visit http://www.ctguineapigrescue.org/, or write to The Critter Connection, Inc., P.O. Box 371, Durham, CT 06422.
Editor's note: This story was submitted by Ellen Falbowski, firstname.lastname@example.org
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