Good homes wanted for guinea pigs
BUYING a dog or cat is a major commitment, and small animal ownership should be seen as just as big a deal.
This is the call of Palm View Guinea Pig Rescue Shelter manager Alina Davis, who wants people to seriously consider the decision to buy a small pet this Christmas.
Ms Davis hopes to find many of her Camira shelter's 117 rescued animals "forever homes".
"I don't mind people adopting for Christmas as long as they spend the next few weeks researching and preparing," she said.
Ms Davis said she was shocked by people calling up to adopt guinea pigs as late as Christmas Eve last year.
"The great thing about shelters is that we are happy to give you the correct information about cages and food and anything else, and we can also provide bonded same-gender pairs so that no problems happen further along," she said.
"It's a typical pet shop thing, to take some guinea pigs you think are both girls home, and to have them breed - or worse, to find out they were already pregnant."
RSPCA Queensland's Michael Beatty said small animal surrenders "always picked up around holidays".
"We don't see a lot of animals being surrendered around Christmas, it's more the next school holidays after the novelty has worn off," Mr Beatty said.
Ms Davis encouraged prospective owners to contact the shelter through Facebook or via their website at www.acslakesshelter.com.
GUINEA PIG FACTS
Guinea pigs usually live for 5 years, with some living up to 8
They have been popular as pets since the 16th century
The rodents are fast breeders, able to produce 5 litters of 1-6 pups per year