The Critter Connection, Inc., is a non-profit group dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of abandoned and neglected guinea pigs. Founded in early 2004 by Cindy Kuester, a long-time guinea pig owner, the rescue was created when she realized that abandoned guinea pigs had nowhere to go because larger shelters are not equipped to care for them. With the help of volunteers and foster homes, the rescue has taken in more than 1,500 abandoned guinea pigs.
The stories of the guinea pigs we’ve taken in are as varied as the pigs themselves. Some pigs have been straightforward owner surrenders due to relocation, unemployment, allergies, or children who were no longer taking proper care of their pets. In many of these cases, the pigs were in good health; in a few, they were a little underfed or dehydrated.
Many of the pigs, though, have sadder stories. We’ve taken in guinea pigs that were severely malnourished and dehydrated, had skin problems and mites because of poor housing conditions, temporary paralysis and permanent blindness caused by undetected infections, and a list of other problems directly attributed to neglect and abuse. These animals have been left behind in apartments; set loose in parks and wooded areas where they don’t know how to fend for themselves; left in dumpsters or outside shelters; or been part of large-scale rescues after authorities have charged breeders or hoarders with animal cruelty.
Some of these guinea pigs were near death when we got them. We’ve lost some, despite testing the limits of veterinary medicine. We’ve saved many more and placed them in new homes with owners who adore them. It’s an ongoing effort, though, and there are always more guinea pigs who need our help.
Our Other Efforts
The rescue also dedicates itself to educating pet owners in the proper care of guinea pigs, providing valuable information about their unique dietary, housing, and health needs. Some of that information is available here on the Web site. We also distribute care sheets when you adopt a guinea pig from us, and at the adoption days we participate in at other shelters and pet stores.
Periodically throughout the year, we sponsor Adoption and Care Seminars. These seminars are a great way to meet some of the rescue pigs, and get information on the proper care, feeding, and housing for guinea pigs. We also offer grooming tips, and will even trim your guinea pig’s nails and show you how to do it yourself.
Our Board Members
Our board consists of:
- President — Cindy Kuester
- Vice President — Whitney Potsus
- Secretary — Ellen Falbowski