ADOPT A RESCUE GUINEA PIG
RESCUE is not a verb. It is a promise.
Penny & Wild: Smalls of South Florida is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, no kill small animal rescue that specializes in rabbits & guinea pigs. We are 100% foster home and donation based. By adopting a rescue rabbit or guinea pig from us, you are not only saving one smalls life, you are also opening up a space for us to save another so THANK YOU!!
All of our guinea pigs are seen annually by an experienced exotic veterinarian and spayed/neutered prior to adoption. Guinea-pigs are housed indoors in foster homes throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties and we only adopt out to indoor, no-cage/hutch forever homes. You can see our adoptable guinea pigs’ profiles below and if you would like to arrange to meet them, you can submit an adoption application. Submitting an adoption application is not a commitment; you will not need to sign an adoption agreement or pay a fee until you are approved to adopt. After receiving an application an Adoption Coordinator will contact you with 24-48hrs to discuss the next steps.
Adoption Fee: $75/guinea pig
Are you thinking about adopting a guinea pig? Did you know …
- Lifespan 4-8 years with the proper diet & care.
- 2-3hrs of attention and care per day.
- $800 or more per year in food, supplies and veterinary care.
- Are considered Exotic Animals and require specialized veterinary care.
- 2FT x 4FT (8sq ft) of living space per guinea pig.
- Guinea Pigs are social and need to live in pairs or trios.
- Vitamin C Deficiency is common in guinea pigs because they do not produce it.
- Guinea Pigs are very vocal and can be quite loud. Google: guinea pig noises & what they mean
- Submit an Adoption Application
- One-on-one Adoption Call
- Ordering Required Supplies
- At Home Set-up Approved
- Adoption Fee Paid
- Schedule Pick-up
- Guinea Pigs should be housed and kept indoors at all times.
NO: patios, porches, backyards or walks / outdoor play time.
- Minimum 2FT x 4FT living area when enclosed.
NO: Hutches or cages.
- Guinea pigs need soft surfaces like fleece or a cage liner.
NO: plastic, wire bottom or wood shavings.
- The enclosure should be in a bedroom or a central, high traffic area like the living room.
NO: laundry-room, garages, patios etc.
Are Guinea Pigs Easier to Care for than Rabbits?
Yes, and also no.
Guinea-pigs do not need to “free-roam” 3-4hrs per day and you will not need to guinea-pig proof your room or home like you would with a rabbit. A pair of guinea-pigs also require half the living space a single rabbit would:
- 4FT x 4FT (16sq ft) per rabbit
- 2FT x 4FT (8sq ft) per guinea pig pair
Guinea pigs live half as long as rabbits do:
- Life expectancy is 10+ years for rabbits
- Life expectancy is 4-8 years for guinea pigs.
Unlike rabbits, guinea pigs are not likely to litter-box train:
- When cleaning up after rabbits; most of their pee/poop will be in the litter-box.
- When cleaning up after guinea pigs; their entire enclosure will need to be cleaned.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself BEFORE Adopting a Guinea-pig
Where do you see yourself in the next 5-8 years? Guinea pigs are a long-term commitment and can live up to 8 years. Do you see yourself loving them as much in a few years when the initial excitement fades? What about if your children lose interest? Are you willing to clean their cage multiple times a week for the next few years? Are you willing to provide supportive care at the end of their life when they have arthritis and mobility issues?
Are you getting guinea pigs for your child? Children will get bored. Guinea pigs are prey animals which makes them fearful by nature. When they are being held, most of them are calm. That being said, they often run away when people try to pick them up and flinch away at loud noises like yelling. If you have a loud household, the guinea pigs may spend a good part of the time hiding in their hideys. They can be extremely social when they get to know you and settle into a routine but they are not animals that (usually) come when called, learn tricks, or frequently interact with children (although there are always exceptions). If your child becomes bored and stops wanting to hold their guinea pigs, are you prepared to do the work to clean up after them and socialized them? 50% of our guinea pig surrender requests each year come from parents who bought guinea pigs from a pet store and their children stopped interacting with the guinea pigs not even two years later.
Do you travel often? Or would you like to? Would you like to do a road trip across the country? Or backpack through Europe? Take a week-long cruise? Or stay with family over a long weekend? Guinea pigs cannot be left alone for days at a time and need daily care and attention. Finding a pet sitter can be tricky and boarding with a rescue or a vet can cost $25-40 per day for a pair.
Are you willing to spend $300-$1200 on Veterinary Care? Guinea pigs should be seen by an exotic vet every year. A wellness exam costs $75-100 and annual bloodwork costs $200-300. In the event of an emergency, x-rays and surgery can cost $1,200+ in a single day. Spay/neuter costs $400-800, and 80% of female guinea pigs will develop ovarian cysts by the time they turn 1.5 years old. Ovarian cysts are extremely painful and without surgical removal, guinea pigs can go on to experience crusty nipples, hair loss, bite their sides because of the pain, and even have the cysts rupture internally time and time again over a period of years. They are also predisposed to uterine problems that can result in death, especially as they get older. Three out of every five female guinea pigs that we receive have cystic ovaries, an abnormal uterus, or both. The other two out of five are generally younger (though we have seen cysts as young as six months old) and would have encountered problems as they got older.
Are you willing to make sure that your guinea pigs always have a friend? Guinea pigs are extremely social animals and do not like to be alone. Adopting guinea pigs is a commitment to each pig, knowing that when one of your two pass away, you will have to get a friend for the remaining one. Guinea pigs are not animals that can be left on their own to age until they pass away after losing a friend. You can absolutely adopt a senior if your remaining guinea pig is older but they can’t just be left alone for their last few months/years. Are you prepared to make sure your guinea pigs always have a friend, regardless of age?
Can I Adopt Just One Guinea-pig?
Guinea pigs are extremely social and should not live in isolation. They can (and often do) become depressed and can develop behaviors specific to guinea pigs in isolation, similar to orcas in captivity or even people in solitary confinement. If you already have a guinea pig (or multiple), you can absolutely adopt just one guinea pig to bond in with your current pig(s). If you do not currently have a guinea pig, you will need to adopt two in order to make sure that your new guinea pig is not alone!
Our rescue follows this protocol in foster care as well. All of our guinea pigs are paired up in foster homes. You can choose to keep them in the pair they are already in or you can choose to introduce the guinea pig to a different potential friend (unless they are a bonded pair).
Out of State Adoption
We do not adopt Guinea-pigs out of state.
Should I adopt males or females? What about old guinea pigs or young guinea pigs?
This is one of the most common questions we get from new guinea pig owners, especially since Google has so much conflicting information. One of the things that we encourage adopters to keep in mind is that all of our guinea pigs are spayed and neutered which means that hormonal behavior from either gender is significantly lessened or nonexistent. Many people believe that males are sweeter – that’s not always the case. Every guinea pig has their own personality and we’ve had many sweet females who are sweeter than males. Our adoption coordinator will be able to tell you about the personalities of our guinea pigs so that you can make a good decision! Since all of our guinea pigs are fixed, it’s most natural to keep them in male-female pairs. That being said, pairs of females generally do quite well together. Males should only be paired together if they are both neutered or are pre-bonded.
As for age, that really depends on what your family is looking for! Young guinea pigs (under two years old) tend to be much more energetic. That being said, they are also generally more wiggly when being held, have a much shorter attention span, and don’t sit still for nearly as long when being held. The younger they are, the more this applies. Six-month-old piggies take time to mellow out which is definitely something to consider if you have children. Senior guinea pigs (5+ years) tend to be the most mellow and are often the most affectionate as well. These piggies know how lucky they are to have a home when they’re older and are often grateful for every head rub, treat, hidey, and cuddle they get. Middle-aged guinea pigs (2-4 years) are the most popular age range to adopt (and the most recommended for families). These guinea pigs have mellowed out enough that they’re happy to hang out, take treats, and do head rubs and they aren’t as wiggly as their younger counterparts. Our rescue also generally has at least 2-3 pairs at any given time who are used to living with children in the home, feel free to ask our adoption coordinator about these pairs after applying if you are looking for family pets!