Enjoy these super cute Valentine’s photos of my kids!
(Update on Buster 2.13.15 – He was taken in by Sharon of AZ Piggie Poo Rescue. He will be loved and cared for in her wonderful home for the rest of his days!)
I’ve been involved in animal rescue for over 7 years. It never gets easy. The most common thing I hear from people is “I don’t know how you do it! I could never do it.”
Some days, I don’t know how I do it either. It’s hard. I cry. I’ve seen animals die, suffer abuse, get thrown away by their owners. Nothing about it is glamorous.
Recently I started volunteering for the only small animal rescue in the state of Arizona. I absolutely LOVE it. The people are wonderful and the cause is just outstanding. I didn’t really know how small animal rescue would differ from dog and cat rescue. Turns out, they aren’t very different at all, especially when it comes to the tears and anger I feel when owners surrender their innocent animals.
Today, I was at my weekly volunteer shift – cleaning cages, feeding the piggies, spending time with them…the usual. Then, one of the ladies comes up to me and says “Well, we have a surrender. He has some issues.”
Okay, deep breaths. I head to the front of the rescue (I work mostly behind the scenes) and the rescue owner and volunteer are bringing in supplies from the woman’s car. They walk in with the piggy. The woman who was surrendering him had adopted him from the rescue several years prior…in 2009. This pig is now almost 7 years old.
He’s in rough shape. His nails are curled under. He’s severely impacted (which basically means he’s clogged with poop) and he has a MASSIVE mammary tumor. The woman says “He has a lump on him.” Um, you lady, are an idiot. This is an insanely huge tumor. Ever hear of veterinary attention?
Keep in mind, this woman looked like a very normal, capable woman. She then proceeds to tell us that her 16 year old son hadn’t taken care of the pig in about a year. Seriously? Are you on drugs? What kind of human being are you…and you’re raising irresponsible children?! GAH!
We take Buster to the back, trim his nails and attempt to free him of the blockage he’s suffering from. We had a nice clean cage area ready for him, with some fresh veggies. Who knows when the last time he had some veggies was. He was also eating crappy store brand pellets made out of corn and who knows what else.
This is the downside to animal rescue. I want to punch many people in the face and tell them to NEVER adopt another animal. This ignorant woman didn’t want to deal with this poor little piggy anymore or invest the money to care for him at old age. It’s just heartbreaking.
I’m not sure how much longer Buster has on this earth, but at least he’ll spend his last days in a clean, loving environment filled with fresh garden vegetables and friends.
Please, don’t adopt an animal if it’s not for life. Animals are not trash for you to dispose of. They are a commitment, just as a human child is. If you can’t afford it or take the time to care, don’t have animals. It’s simple.
Animal rescue resources:
Who would have thought that 3 days after I simply intended to donate Kirby’s items after his passing that I’d be volunteering for that same rescue! And on top of that, I didn’t think I’d already have a pig from there as well!
When Kirby passed away just over a week ago, I never thought I’d be able to open my heart or home to another piggy. Kirby was my first Guinea pig and I figured he’d be the last because he was so special.
I fell in love with Sammie at AZ Piggie Poo Rescue on Friday and I had such a connection with him, that I was in front of the rescue 30 minutes before they opened yesterday so I could make him my own. The previous evening I had gotten approved to adopt him and I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep.
After an amazing adoption experience, I drove 45 minutes home with Sammie. As soon as I walked in the door, I was bombarded by a herd of wild animals wanting to see who was in the carrier. Okay…maybe not wild animals, but MY animals…which pretty much makes them wild.
Wynston was beside himself. He wouldn’t stop crying. Not only was he crying but he was crying loudly, almost to the point of howling. When I took a moment to assess the situation, I began to wonder if he thought Kirby was home at last!
Not so much, my dearest Wyn, but I did bring you home a new brother! Matt and I got Sammie settled in to his new fantastic space. I bought brand new EVERYTHING for Sammie since I donated my leftover items. The rescue offered my items back but I told them I’d rather them keep the items and I would purchase new from them to support the rescue.
Sammie was an instant hit with our kids. Khloee, Wynston and Sadie surrounded the cage, curious and crying. They all grew up around Kirby so to see a new piggy must have been terribly exciting!
I decided to introduce Wynston and Sammie one on one. Sammie didn’t seem scared and he’s so laid back that I figured it’d be alright. Well, that made Wynston’s day. I don’t remember the last time I saw him that genuinely happy. He’s a happy boy but wow, the excitement he displayed was indescribable. At that moment, I knew I made the right choice in adopting Sammie. Wyn and Sammie kissed, played and hopped around together. It was an instant bond.
Since Kirby’s passing, Sadie has been displaying signs of depression setting in. She’s back to howling and slinking around the house. It didn’t take long for Sadie to realize that she has a new brother. There was an introduction between Sadie and Sammie and it was fantastic. Sammie immediately took to Sadie, as she put her paw around him and licked his head, almost to say “Welcome home brother. Mom will give you a good life.”
Emotional. Seeing my animals react to one another is what makes my world go round. I caught Sadie sleeping next to Sammie’s cage yesterday and she’s next to him as we speak. Not only has adopting Sammie brought new hope and joy into my life, but it’s done the same for my other animals which is the most important of all!
I have created a new page in memory of Kirby and dedicated to all things Guinea pig. Check it out here!
Gosh, this past week has been crazy. A week ago today, Kirby died in my arms. And what’s weird is that around 2pm today (the time Kirby passed last Friday), I was holding a new Guinea pig in my arms.
The morning Kirby passed, I had purchased new bedding, food and hay. Instead of returning it, I thought I’d find a guinea pig rescue to donate the items. I found ONE small animal rescue in the greater Phoenix valley, about 45 minutes from my house.
In the pouring rain, I packed up the car with the items and made the trip out to AZ Piggie Poo Rescue. When I walked in, I was greeted by the wonderful owner and a volunteer. Talk about the nicest people in the world. But better yet, I was greeted by the squeaks of guinea pigs surrounding me and it was music to my ears!
As I was handing over my donation, I was telling the owner my story of Kirby and what happened a week ago. She was absolutely amazed and immediately said “No pressure, but I have someone I want you to meet. I think he’d be a perfect fit for your situation.”
Oh dear God.
Of course, I didn’t deny meeting the little guy. When they brought him out to me, there was an instant connection. At that moment I felt so happy. I know Kirby was with me, letting me know that it’s okay to open my heart and home to another piggy.
The little boy’s name is Sammy. He’s about 2 years old and full of personality. He was squeaking so loud out of happiness and a few times he would just stare at me. Our souls connected. I was petting and tickling him, and he would purr and squeak some more. The owner and volunteer were stunned at our connection.
I can’t stop thinking about Sammy. It’s only been a week since Kirby passed and I never thought I’d be able to have another pig again because Kirby meant so much to me.
When I got home, I filled out the adoption application immediately. Something tells me I’m going to be making a trip out there tomorrow morning…I’m so in love.