My adventures in fostering

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Ibepatience
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:43 am


I've decided to start a chronicle of my fosters, mostly as a diary type thing to remember them all. I'm going to go back and try to post photos and mini bios about those that have come and gone (and those that have stayed:-)
I've had 24 fosters so far!!

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Ibepatience
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:31 am


On March 20, 2013 I responded to this Facebook post and offered to "temporarily" foster this piggy who was in danger of being pts.

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I met a transporter on March 23 to pick her up and we decided to call her Sunshine (OCCH referred to her as Linda)
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I fell in love with her instantly and within a few days I decided to adopt her. My first foster failure.

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Ibepatience
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:36 am


On April 13 I picked up Tiana and Bijou, an older pair of girls who had been with OCCH for a while and they were being shuffled around. They only stayed with me for about a week and were moved to another foster home and were adopted shortly after.

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Ibepatience
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:46 am


On May 5 I picked up Ellie. She had been adopted from the rescue and paired with a piggy. I'm not sure how long later, her cagemate passed away and her owner couldn't keep her so she was returned to the rescue. They tried several times to pair her with piggies but she was a bit aggressive.

I had her as a single pig for a few weeks until we got two little babies, Abigail and Elizabeth. We paired Ellie with Elizabeth and it was a perfect match!

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Ellie was too young to be alone so we put her with Jessie and Delilah for a while. On June 15 Abigail was adopted as a friend for a piggy named Bubbles.
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Ibepatience
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Post   » Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:01 am


On June 19, 2013 my daughters pulled two single females that were turned in separately as owner surrenders. Hanna is a gorgeous Peruvian, about 4-5 years old and Patches was all black except a patch of white on her butt. I felt bad for them so I put them together. It seemed good at first but after a while Hanna started acting stressed. She developed diarrhea which I was told can't be caused by stress but she was fine in a cage alone and once I put her back with Patches, the diarrhea would come back.
We all fell in love with Hanna and I decided to try her with Sunshine who I was convinced was destined to live alone forever because she was scared to death of all other pigs. Well, it worked out perfect! They get along great, neither one is dominant but Hanna takes it upon herself to be queen of the ramp and blocks Sunshine when she is running laps. Sunshine, the goofball that she is, doesn't let old fuddy-duddy Hanna stop her, she runs halfway up the ramp and turns around, round and round the cage then up the ramp again.

Patches was adopted by one of OCCH's volunteers after her piggy passed away. A week or so later she adopted a baby to pair with Patches and they're doing great!

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Ibepatience
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Post   » Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:25 am


On July 16 I pulled the SB Trio as they were referred to. They were at the worst shelter in our area and were being housed outside in triple digit heat in wire bottom cages. There were two younger females and a huge Peruvian male about 3 years old. I went to check on them but our rescue was full so I knew I couldn't pull them. I was a wreck, this shelter was awful and I hated leaving them there. We posted to Shelter Exchange and Wee Companions offered to take them if we could pull and transport. Ecstatically, I went back to get them that afternoon. I took them home, bathed them and trimmed their VERY long nails. By the next morning the girls were popcorning happily but Gonzo (as my husband named him) was not doing well. I syringe fed him critical care and gave him some Reglan. That afternoon he seemed to be a bit better. I took them to another fosters house where they stayed the night then she transported them to Wee Companions. Gonzo went to the vet and they think he was suffering from heat stroke. He recovered nicely and was adopted by a great family. I haven't received an update on the girls, I'll have to check on that.

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Ibepatience
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Post   » Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:49 am


On July 20 I got Hope and Faith, a young mother / daughter pair. They were very sweet and very bonded but also very skittish. I had them about a month and they were adopted August 18 by a mom and her two daughters. They fell in love with them right away and I'm sure they're being spoiled!

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Ibepatience
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:01 am


On July 23 my daughter and her boyfriend pulled a pair of boys and she named them Paco and Leo. They were in pretty good shape except Leo had a spot of missing fur. They both received their ivermectin and Leo's fur grew back nicely.
About the second day we had them I noticed Leo had labored breathing. I took him to the vet a couple days later and he was diagnosed with a very enlarged heart. He was put on Lotensin and Lasix and a course of antibiotics. Because of the severity of his heart and his advanced age (about 4-5) he will be a sanctuary pig and stay with a foster permanently.
After they adjusted to their new environment I noticed Leo was bullying Paco. We decided since they weren't bonded very well and since Leo would remain a permanent foster, we would split them up and find a new home for Paco.
Paco went with a new foster on September 22 and Leo got a new friend!

Paco was adopted as a friend for a lonely boar on October 13.

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Ibepatience
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Post   » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:14 am


On August 10 I got a big, beautiful girl we named Darla. She's probably about 3-4 years old a super sweet and mellow. She's remained a single pig and is looking for a new BFF. She was with me until September 22 when she went to a new foster home. Everyone who meets her falls in love with her. If she could just learn to get along with other piggies!

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:51 am


They are all real cuties!

I celebrate your failures! (and successes!)

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Ibepatience
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:15 am


Thank you Lynx! I absolutely love fostering! I'm almost caught up to present fosters then I can add them as I get them. It'll be nice to look back someday and remember all my little babies :-)

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Ibepatience
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:47 pm


On August 19 I pulled the "Harbor Boys". Two very bonded boys, about 1-2 years old. They were not used to being held and were very leery of people. We named them Buzz and Andy. Buzz is the adorable white crested guy and he LOVED to be on top of his pigloo watching what was going on. Andy was more scared and hid most of the time. I discovered I am not a good piggy tamer so they were moved to a more experienced foster on September 22. They're currently looking for their forever home.

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Ibepatience
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:55 pm


On September 3 my brother Messaged me that his roommate had a guinea pig he needed to find a home for. The rescue doesn't usually take private surrenders but he was going to take her to the shelter and we'd end up pulling her anyway so we saved a step. He brought her to me that day and she had such a personality! She was brown and white with a ridgeback, about 9 months old. Rita slept on top of her wooden house all the time and she loved to popcorn! She was adopted on September 22 as a friend for a baby named Butterscotch. They renamed her Ginger and send me updates often.

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Ibepatience
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:03 pm


On September 22 I brought home Winky as a friend for Leo. Winky was born in a shelter and was pulled the day he was born. His momma is a big 3 lb girl who had two tiny babies, Winky and his teeny sister
Pigsqueak. The babies struggled and didn't gain any weight for the first two weeks so their foster supplemented with critical care. He was three weeks old the day I brought him home. He was born with no left eye and we discovered the day I got him he was going blind in his right eye due to a cataract. Because of his eye issues he will remain a sanctuary pig so being paired with Leo was perfect.
Leo loves Winky! He takes his nanny boar role very seriously! Winky is growing everyday and has provably tripled in size. I am completely in love with him and Leo and hope to remain their permanent foster mom.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:38 pm


Such personality these pigs have! If I lived in your area and wanted to adopt a guinea pig, I'd be contacting you in a heartbeat!

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Ibepatience
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:44 am


On September 25 I pulled a male and female from the hellish shelter where Gonzo and his ladies came from. They were turned in by people who claimed they found them so they were held for 5 days. Unfortunately they were brought in together in a box so the shelter decided to keep them caged together even though they knew they were male and female.
I named them Bonnie and Clyde. They look almost identical, in fact I'm not sure which is which in this picture. I know Bonnie has a greyish snout so the middle one is her. I think. They're young, I'd guess under a year. Bonnie is very scared but relaxes quickly when held. Clyde is a goofball and popcorns uncontrollably about 20 hours a day. They seem in good health except both have red back feet, nothing serious yet, just a little irritated. Nothing Gorgeous Guineas can't fix I'm sure.

Bonnie is on pregnancy watch but so far so good. I haven't noticed any signs of pregnancy. Clyde is already looking for his forever home and I'm sure will make a great BFF for a lonely boar.

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Oh and that's me holding them. Not my most flattering photo. I'm not angry, I'm squinting cause I was trying to see myself on my camera phone screen - this was pre-wear your glasses all the time as I was instructed by my eye dr last week. My rescue boss said its good - makes it look like rescuing piggies is serious stuff :-)

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Breadfan4

Post   » Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:14 am


I love reading about all the rescued pigs! :)

Brambles

Post   » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:41 pm


That's a great picture Ibepatience!

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Ibepatience
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:04 pm


The night of October 13 I received an email from our rescue crew that there was another girl at the hell we call SB City shelter. This is where Gonzo and his ladies and Bonnie and Clyde came from. I emailed right back that I would go check on her and was given permission to pull her if she was healthy. We have been bombarded this year with pigs we've pulled ending up with serious medical issues and financially the rescue can't pull any right now. We would be doing a disservice to those already in our care if we take on more than we can handle.

The shelter is closed Mondays so first thing Tuesday morning I called and they said Molly was an owner surrender, in good health and about 2 years old. They told me she was on hold until the 19th which I thought was strange since she was an owner surrender but shelters have weird rules sometimes so I didn't question it. I was hoping to go by that day and check on her and take them supplies but things got crazy at work and I didn't get out in time to make it out there.

Wednesday afternoon I left work early to go check her out and hopefully talk them into letting me take her early. When I checked in at the front desk I was told since she was an owner surrender she was available now. Excitedly I went around back and asked to see her. I could see her cage from the door and watched the worker lift the pigloo to pick her up and she turned t me and said "she doesn't look very good" I started to walk towards her and she stopped me, employees only. She said she was going to take her to the vet tech real quick.

When she returned with Molly and handed her to me I knew instantly she was in very bad shape. Instead of fur her lower half of her body was stubble and what fur she did have was coarse and wirey. She was cold and limp and I could feel her labored breathing. I immediately laid her across my arm and gently held her close. I sat down on a bench trying to stop my mind from spinning. Scurvy? Mites? Pneumonia? All of the above? I called my boss but got her voice mail. I called another rescue volunteer, she was as unsure what to do as I was. The a-hole worker I have dealt with a few times came up to me and for the first time appeared sympathetic. He said the vet tech thinks she is just old. I told him she wasn't, she just looked old because of the hair loss. He said people bring their sick animals here thinking we can take care of them but we can't. We don't have the funding or the resources for that, especially with a guinea pig and no knowledgeable vets in the area.

I called my husband and he agreed, we couldn't leave her there to die scared and alone surrounded by barking dogs. We would take financial responsibility for her and bring her home. I didn't even give her back to them, there was no way I was letting her out of my arms. I went to the front desk and told them I thought she was dying, I was in their system and here is my $2.00 to pull her.

I laid some fleece across my lap and drove home with her there - hoping some syringe feedings, water, metacam and antibiotics might save her. If nothing else she wouldn't be alone when she died. The closest guinea pig vets to me are about 70-80 miles away and at 4pm in Southern California traffic that could be 2-3 hours. I called the vet and left a message hoping for some advice. I called my boss again and she said go ahead with what I was planning - food, water and meds and keep her posted.

When I got home I tried to syringe her some water but I couldn't even get her to swallow. It seemed uncomfortable for me to pet her but gently stroking her nose seemed to calm her. Her breathing got worse and she started to seize a little and I realized she wasn't going to peacefully fall asleep and pass away like I had envisioned. I had to take her and have her pts because she was suffering. I called the vet up the street and explained the situation to them and they said they would "gas her down" so she would relax and go comfortably (as possible I guess).

My daughter went with me, crying but insisting she needed to be with her too. The vets office was great and gave her back to us in a box so we could bury her. My daughter kept saying "i hate people" so I told her that we need to take that anger and sadness and use it to try to change things, to make a difference for future piggies. Later that night she came to me and said "you know, we rescue pigs to help them and I think we helped Molly too. At least we held her and helped her to die in a better way."

I was very angry at the shelter and was planning on filing a complaint but decided that would do nothing for future pigs, I would just turn the shelter away from our rescue. I am instead going to go in and meet with them. Our rescue won a grant for a shelter outreach project so we are putting together supply boxes with hay, pellets, pieces of fleece and laminated care instructions, contact info for the volunteers and proper sexing. I am going to befriend them and try to become their ally. I am going to ask them to call e as soon as they get a guinea pig in and I will come in, check them out for illness, determine their gender and get their cage set up properly. I really think they will embrace this because they don't have the knowledge or time to do it theirselves. I will be relieving them of some of that burden and will be working on getting the pigs pulled either by our rescue or another in the area.

Anyway, here is Molly. I will never, ever forget her.
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Here is a video, its tough to watch but I wanted something in case I did file a complaint.

http://s152.photobucket.com/albums/s182/ibepatience/?action=view&current=1382277076_zps370ab351.mp4

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mmeadow
Supporter 2004-2017

Post   » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:39 pm


Poor Molly. At least you were there for her at the end.

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