Would like to foster a pig

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Post   » Fri Jun 25, 2004 7:40 pm

I live in MT, I dont see a lot of shelters here with pigs, sometimes occasionally, but not an overabundance of dumped pigs.

I have two pigs now, a sow and a neutered boar, I would love to foster a sow.


Post   » Sun Jun 27, 2004 8:52 pm

It is very nice of you to offer your home for foster care, but it really isn't very feasable unless there is a shelter near you that needs the help. The pigs need to be able to get back to the rescue or shelter in order to get adopted. Have you considered starting your own rescue in Montana and helping needy pigs there? Do you have a cavy savvy vet that you could rely on?

Where are you in Montana?

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Post   » Sun Jun 27, 2004 11:18 pm

Thanks, I offered to foster for our local shelter, but the two pigs were finally adopted.

I thought about starting my own rescue here, but I dont know how to get started, I guess word of mouth through the shelters???

I just moved here about three weeks ago, so I havent found a vet yet, but have two in mind.

Knee Deep

Post   » Sun Jun 27, 2004 11:20 pm

I get most of my adopters through petfinder, haven't gotten anything but surrender calls from people who've gotten my information from the shelter. Go figure.


Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:26 am

Jezie, do you live in a decent sized town in MT? I am just wondering how many piggies are in your area. I grew up in Eastern Montana and never in my 18 years of life there, encountered a small pet. The only "exotic" animals around were pet birds and I had most of them in town. It might just turn out that if you started a rescue, it might be very slow paced and you might only end up having a few at a time. I think it depends on your location.

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Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 1:44 am

I live in Missoula, which isnt a very big city to me, as I am orginally from Southern CA. and WA state, but its I think, the third or second largest city here.

Erin~What is your rescue called? So is your rescue listed on Petfinder?

Actually critter, I have seen a lot of pigs come through this shelter. I had adopted my pigs from the Hamilton area, go figure, I thought the same thing, who would have a pig around here, as it is so conservative, but I think there are a lot of uneducated people here, and they end up buying from a petstore, then get sick of the pig and dump them at the shelter.

I called the shelter and asked them how much they knew about Cavies, there suprisingly was a women that knew some things about them, which is good.

I filled out some info. and they said that they would let me know when they get a pig or pigs in.

I have seen several pigs in the Bozeman shelter too.

Knee Deep

Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 1:54 am

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Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 4:37 am

Erin~I love all the pics of the pigs past and present! I love how you did the background with what looks like shimmery satin and the lavender and pink backgrounds! Too cute!

Looking around on your site I am really learning the different breeds of gps.

I really like Peggy Sue what a pretty pig! To bad I wasnt closer!

So do you run the shelter alone? That must be a lot of work.

I cant believe the bast*rds that dumped the babies in the dumpster, how mean!!!

How are they all doing now???


Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:25 am

Jezie - I hope that you can get started and begin to spread the word around there about proper piggie care. Missoula is a great town and along with "Boozeman" are the most likely places to have residents that are open to learning about small pets. Billings would probably be a good place as well.

The smaller rural areas tend to be made up of mainly farmers who don't even welcome their dogs indoors when it is below zero. They are viewed as something less than family members as they are used to work on the farm. This does not mean that EVERY farmer is this way, just the majority of them. No one needs to tell me about their farmer uncle who loves his dog. Most of them do, they just don't care for them the same that most of us do. It is also very difficult to find a vet in rural areas that will even treat a dog as most of them specialize on horse and cattle.

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Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 11:41 am

Fostering and Rescuing are noble causes, but there are other roles that are needed, such as the adopter. If you have the time and room for more pigs, I suggest you adopt to keep the pigs from being shuffled around more. If you look at the amount of potential adopters in your area and there aren't many it seems to me that you might want to open up a sanctuary, not a rescue.

Just my two cents...


Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:01 pm

That is another very good idea.

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Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:07 pm

Thanks for you ideas and thoughts.

critters-"Boozeman" LMAO! My bf's sister goes to college there, I have only been there once, so I don't know that much about it, except that its a huge college town, but then again so is Missoula.

A sanctuary, hmmm, something to think about, but how do you determine your limit for those pigs needing homes??

Can you give me some more info. on it? I know if I were to foster I would end up adopting them, as I love pigs so much! Sometimes, now this may sound stupid, more then my own dog!

They just love so unconditionally, and they are just the cutest creatures. My Jezzie, is my comfort, my love bug, she has the biggest personality!

She begs for her veggies, bitches at Potter, is the main wheeker in the family, and I all around love her to peices.

Potter is a little more shy, but he has come out of his shell so much from living here. I adopted them back in January, and I could barely touch him, now he lets me reach in his cage and pet his head without being jumpy or scared.

I just worry about Jezzie's age, as I think she is quite a bit older.

Ok sorry for rambling on....

Thanks again, and I know you guys must be great people, as you all are Cavy lovers!!!:)


Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:31 pm


I love Bozeman and Missoula equally. Have had a lot of fun in both towns and enjoyed the people as well. They tend to get the better bands and entertainment than Billings ever did. We went to Bozeman for music when it was there. I had lots of HS friends that went to college in Bozeman and while it was pretty wild and crazy there, many of them came to our wild parties in Billings as well. I lived in Billings for 7 years before moving to Phoenix. I miss it terribly, but had to leave to earn a living.

As far as operating a sanctuary vs. a rescue...I think with a sanctuary you have to be very disciplined and chose only the pigs that truly would have a difficult time being adopted elsewhere. You would only want to fill your space with pigs who really needed it. I think most people, at least I do a bit a both. I operate a rescue with my own shelter facility. Over time, some of the pigs I have taken in have developed health issues which will make them more difficult to find homes for. It is not impossible, but I have the mindset that they may end up living here for the remainder of their lives. From time to time, special people come along who don't mind the extra care they require and really want to offer a home to a less fortunate piggie. They don't come calling very often though.

With a rescue, it really isn't all the difficult to get going, you can actually get going really fast and end up in over your head in no time. You need to really be careful and don't take in more than you can handle. Try with a small amount first to get a feel for your community and start getting established with getting your name out and advertising. Be sure people know you exist and can find homes for the pigs before you take in a large number and find it very difficult to find them homes. There is nothing worse for the animals than someone who proclaims to be doing rescue work when really they are hoarding animals. It won't take long to become overwhelmed and that is when neglect sets in.

T has some good info about getting started on her site you should read over. I just cannot stress enough to take your time.

You are welcome to email me as well with questions. Remember that as far as setting up a non profit corp, the laws in Montana probably differ from those in Arizona so I may not be of much help to you in that regard.

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Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:47 pm

Thanks critters!

Who is T?? I would really like to check out their website.

So you work side by side with your local rescue?

Doesnt it get very expensive to run with the vet bills? I know usually a non-profit org. works on donations alone.

I have heard that you can get donations of hay, food, and sometimes veggies.

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Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:54 pm

If you were to become a sanctuary you would only take in pigs that needed to retire. Retire meaning old, medical problems, severe abuse, or simply that the guinea pig has been moved around too much and needs a stable place to live out its life. It could be a tad more financially straining than a rescue, simply because since you're not adopting them out you're not getting any kind of small donation for taking care of them. This is where fundraising becomes extremely important. Being a sanctuary you're basically agreeing to pay for elderly pigs' medical problems and help them live out their life as best as you can accomodate them. A sanctuary doesn't have to be big, say 5-30 pigs depending on how much you're willing to care for etc.

It would be wonderful to see some of the older needy pigs from the heavily populated guinea pig areas of the U.S. transfered to a sanctuary, because in theory a rescuer is supposed to be rehoming most of their pigs.

Then the guinea pigs who do not qualify for the sanctuary you would work with the owner/shelter to find them homes, but do not take them in.

It would be very cool to see a system set up where if the owner wants to surrender it to the sanctuary they would have to pay a fee (for instance $200) - which you could explain is a minimal amount to keep the guinea pig and to pay for the enivitable vet care. Because you're taking on their responsiblity.

If you're up for it, it would be very worthy cause.

You can quote me

Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:55 pm

"Who is T?? I would really like to check out their website. "

Teresa, who posts here:


Probably the most comprehensive and accurate site on the internet for all things related to care and rescue.

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Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:57 pm

This page on the rescue site is devoted to rescue resources and starting a rescue: http://cavyrescue.com/rescuerresources.htm

(I'm T) :)

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Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:58 pm

>>I know usually a non-profit org. works on donations alone

Non-profits have no share-holders, meaning money doesn't go to the shareholders like other companies. Non-profits can make money. A non-profit will usually refer to their profit as a "donation".

Knee Deep

Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:23 pm

Basically, yes, I do everything on my own. My mom does help out on occasion, especially in the past couple weeks that I've been pretty sick.

The dumpster pigs are all doing well, hopefully they will be adopted soon.

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Post   » Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:53 pm

Thanks everyone for the great sites!

I have a few questions, so I assume there are many different ways one rescue pigs, what do you do if you see an ad in the paper for a free gp? Do you ask for a surrender dontation or fee? I would think not, as they will just look to the next person to give the gp to without having to pay any money.

Is this always the case??

Also, if you were to take a gp from a shelter, do they charge an adoption fee or a pull fee? You would think they wouldnt charge anything for the pig, as you are taking the pig off of their hands...

Thanks, I may have a lot more questions:)

Nice to meet you T:)

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