We have two guinea pigs that need to be rehomed ASAP because we are moving into apartment that doesn’t allow them. How do we find them a new home?
I’m going to assume that you already asked your friends and family about taking on your guinea pigs. If you have a little time there are several sources you can use to list your guinea pigs for adoption.
1. Your local elementary schools often have an internal newsletter that may, for a small fee, let you list your guinea pig.
2. The elementary school may have a bulletin board that you can post your advertisement on to attract a family or a teacher.
3. Set up a lawn chair near the local elementary school with your guinea pigs and see if you can connect with parents to adopt your guinea pig when they are picking up their kids. This may seem extreme but I have seen it often work for others. Be sure, though, that you are NOT on school property and be sure you have a sign that clearly states your intentions.
4. Try Yahoo classified or Craigslist and choose your state and your city, they will have a tab for pets. In all cases in listing an animal on a site or paper, charge something for the adoption. It does not have to be a lot, just something to prevent snake breeders or collectors of animals from contacting you.
If you do not have time to try to adopt out your guinea pigs, look for an animal shelter that has an open door policy. An open door policy means they take any species, they are not limited to just cats and dogs, but are versed in the basics of most creatures. Even if they are a kill shelter they usually work with a huge number of foster homes, rescues and other shelters and will contact them to transfer the animal to them. Despite what you may have heard, shelters have to keep track of the number of animals that they euthanize and often funding is dependent on how many they do NOT euthanize. They will actively seek out other solutions to helping an animal than automatically putting them down.
When you surrender to this type of organization you usually lose all rights to the animal as soon as you sign off. You will not be able to contact the animal shelter to see if the animal has been adopted but you can watch their progress on its website if they are not transferred to another organization. Often animal shelters post pets to advertise their availability.
If your guinea pigs are at an animal shelter for a long time and they do not seem to be getting adopted you can develop an action plan if you want to pull them out by adopting them back and then returning them at some point for another run at a chance to be adopted. Use social media! Facebook your guinea pigs’ availability, use Twitter or list on whatever social networks you are using and always include a picture. A picture, as they say, speaks louder than words and will more than likely attract someone to adopt. You will have to screen people, so think of questions that you want to ask an adopter. Sometimes other animal shelters will provide a courtesy listing even if they do not adopt out the species.
By: Shannon Cauthen
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