Rescue News — 2008

December 2008

Guinea Pig Featured In A Theatrical Release This Christmas

Okay, so it’s not our news to announce, but it is news that we’re excited to share, because not since the “Dr. Doolittle” movies with Eddie Murphy has a guinea pig been featured in a theatrical film.

On Christmas Day, “Bedtime Stories” starring Adam Sandler opens. In the flick, Sandler is stunned to see that the bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew start to come true — only to be rendered chaotic when the kids start adding their own contributions to his stories. Their pet guinea pig, Bugsy, captures his share of screen time. Read more about it over on our Pig Notes blog…

November 2008

Back By Popular Demand — The Critter Connection Calendar!

Thanks to the hard work of our volunteer, Aimee Belair, the 2009 Critter Connection Calendar is ready, just in time for holiday shopping!

Featuring 12 full-color close-up photos that will make any guinea pig lover swoon, this year’s calendar includes Barbie, Becca, Chief, Rouge, Madison, Maxie, and The Critter Connection sanctuary’s newest “It Couple” — Sedona and Bud.

The calendar is available for purchase in our Zazzle gallery. You can choose from three sizes: 7″ x 11″, 11″ x 17″, and 14.5″ x 22″ (we recommend the 11″ x 17″ size). A portion of every purchase goes toward the daily and medical care needs of the adoptable and sanctuary pigs at the rescue.

Last year’s calendar sales exceeded our expectations, and provided the rescue pigs with many wonderful veggies. We’re hoping that this year will be even better!

September 2008

Tricks ‘n’ Treats Open House

South Wilton Veterinary Group (SWVG) will be holding their annual Tricks ‘n’ Treats Open House on Sunday, October 26 from noon to 4 p.m.

The afternoon will include booths from local pet-related businesses, pet rescue groups (we’ll be there!), Q&A with the veterinarians on all types of pet questions, a pet costume contest with great prizes, staff-run booths for pet owner education topics, and Q&A with the hospital’s drug and supply vendors. There is an overall Halloween theme!

SWVG is located at 51 Danbury Road in Wilton, CT. Visit their Web site for directions and more information about the hospital.

August 2008

Another Fall Appearance Announced

There will be a Blessing of the Animals on Saturday, October 4 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Hartford, CT. Co-sponsored by the church and the Ferret Association of Connecticut, the day will include representatives from animal organizations offering information about adoptions (including us!), a Silent Auction of pet and people goods, and a low-cost vaccination clinic. Reverend Richard Silbereis will provide a Blessing for your pet (or pet photo). Each pet will receive a small Blessing memento.

Admission for the public is free, although a gift of pet food is requested. The Church of the Good Shepherd is located at 155 Wyllys Street in Hartford, just south of the Convention Center. Blessing will begin at 1 pm.

July 2008

“Pet Expectations” Presentation

On Saturday, August 9, 2008, from 1-3:30 p.m., Written Words Bookstore in Shelton, CT, is teaming up with Our Companions and The Critter Connection to talk about picking the right pet, where to find reliable information, and the wide array of resources available to you for Q&A about specific species and breeds.

The event kicks off with story time for the kids, featuring “The Perfect Pet,” a book the whole family can relate to! Our Companions will then present on dog and cat adoption and ownership, followed by the The Critter Connection on adopting and owning small/exotic pets of the furry persuasion.

The human educators will be accompanied by kid-friendly furry ambassadors. In addition to Q&A opportunities with the presenters, there will be handouts, fact sheets, rescue lists, and book lists available for you to peruse and take home.

June 2008

Fall Appearance Announced

On Saturday, October 11, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., we’ll be at the Second Annual Celebration of Pets & Blessing of the Animals Festival. The event is held by St. George’s Episcopal Church in Middlebury, CT.

Please mark your calendars and come out to see us!

April 2008

Guinea Pigs At Aetna (Again!)

On April 30, we participated in the Spring Non-Profit Fair at Aetna in Middletown, as part of the company’s observation of National Volunteer Week. Once again, Sparky (one of our adoptables) accompanied us as the rescue’s furry ambassador. Our booth received a fair amount of traffic from people who were curious about guinea pigs, why guinea pigs need rescues and shelters, and the different ways that people can support or help the rescue. Many copies of our iGive brochure, GoodSearch fact sheet, and “How To Help” fact sheet were taken by prospective supporters and volunteers. And, of course, many people stopped by just to visit with Sparky!

Many thanks to Aetna-Middletown for the invitation to participate, and to everyone who stopped by and visited with us!

Celebrating 4 Years & More Than 650 Rescues!

With our fourth anniversary, we are, as always at anniversary time, reflecting on the last year.

The last year has been one of our toughest, both financially and in terms of the cases we’ve taken in. There was a surge in surrenders and requests to surrender, particularly those that we call “loss-of-interest” cases. There were also several owners who’d gotten in over their heads with too many pigs (anywhere from 8 to 15) — not necessarily hoarders but, rather, well-meaning folks who somehow got caught in a tidal wave. The number of intakes had increased enough that, beginning in October, we had to stop accepting surrenders for several months until adoptions could catch up.

And there were a lot of surprises — seemingly healthy pigs who, shortly after being surrendered, displayed health problems that ended up being very expensive to diagnose and treat. In too many cases, follow-up questioning with the former owners revealed that they’d noticed that “something wasn’t right with the pig” before the surrender but hadn’t sought diagnosis/treatment and hadn’t been forthright with us. Most of the guinea pigs were healed, rehabbed, and ultimately adopted to new homes — but our bank account was depleted several times, requiring Cindy to dip into her personal account to cover vet costs. And most of those owners, unfortunately, never offered any kind of donations to help cover costs.

As we start our fifth year, we hope and pray that we’re on track for a stronger future. A holiday fundraising drive along with a grant from Petco let us start the year off well — but we need regular financial support to keep up with expenses. As always, we are very grateful to our adopters, foster homes, and donors for their support of our critters and our efforts; you play critical roles in our success and survival. We hope we can continue to count on your support, and your help in spreading the word to “Adopt — Don’t Shop!” Our guinea pigs — as with all animals who share this planet with us — depend upon our compassion and stewardship.

March 2008

We’re In The New York Times!

We were one of several specialty rescues interviewed for an article that appeared in the Connecticut section of today’s New York Times. The article, titled “For Abandoned Pets, the Kindness of Strangers,” is currently available on the newspaper’s Web site. The print edition of the article ran with a great photo of Cindy and Pogo (one of the rescue’s sanctuary pigs…and one of Minerva’s roommates).

Our thanks to the article’s writer, Gail Braccidiferro, for doing the article and helping to raise the public’s awareness of specialty rescues in our state.

Guinea Pigs At Aetna

On March 12, we had a two-hour educational exhibit at Aetna in Hartford. One of our adoptables, a lovely little male named Sparky, accompanied us for the visit. The booth was practically swarmed, non-stop, for the entire two hours as folks stopped by to “oooh” and “ahhh” over Sparky, ask us care questions about the guinea pigs they already have, or to talk with us about whether guinea pigs would be a good fit for their households and lifestyles. Many copies of our care brochures and fact sheets were taken by owners and prospective adopters alike.

Many thanks to Aetna-Hartford for inviting us to come up, and for being such a gracious host. And thank you to everyone who stopped by and visited with us!

March Is Adopt A Rescued Guinea Pig Month!

Our beloved little ones get a whole month of their own (thanks ASPCA!)!

We’ll be appearing at Aetna on March 12 as part of their ongoing program to connect employees with the non-profits operating in their communities. Pets Press is also running an article about guinea pigs in its March issue, due to hit stands any day. We’re also awaiting word on the publication date of an article — featuring specialty rescues around the state (including us) — in the Connecticut section of The New York Times. (The reporter said it’s likely to be in the last half of the month.)

If you know someone thinking of adding guinea pigs to their family, please encourage them to adopt!

You also can support the rescue by registering for and using IGive for all your online shopping (even online shopping for office supplies!) — this month and throughout the year. Don’t forget to check out our Zazzle gallery too!

February 2008

Rescue Featured On Best Friends Network

We were just featured in an article in the Connecticut area of the Best Friends Network. The article, titled “A Special Place for Connecticut’s Guinea Pigs,” was written by Kelli Banet (who also fosters a pair of guinea pigs for us). In the article, Kelli talks about the rescue, underscores the importance of not buying guinea pigs on impulse, and highlights their unique care needs. Check it out! And, thanks Kelli!

Mark Your Calendars!

We’ve just signed up to run an adoption & care information exhibit at Aetna in Middletown, Connecticut on Wednesday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you are an Aetna employee and are interested in adopting guinea pigs, or have questions about guinea pigs you already have, please stop by!

January 2008

Mark Your Calendars

We’ve just signed up to run an adoption & care information exhibit at Aetna in Hartford, Connecticut on Wednesday, March 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

If you are an Aetna employee and are interested in adopting guinea pigs, or have questions about guinea pigs you already have, please stop by!