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Old 08-31-2010, 07:54 PM
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Default Surrendering my guinea pigs?

I know I recently posted that I was considering returning my two guinea pigs to the shelter where we adopted them, but I am really seriously considering it now. I plan on emailing the shelter tomorrow to get their opinion...

Why I want them to go is:
-I can barely breathe in my own house. I have developed such terrible allergies to their hay. (bedding is not an issue for allergy because we changed it to fleece)
-They are pretty high maintenance. Fully cleaning their cage takes hours, and it is disgusting within minutes again afterwards.
-The smell and the noise. Just..terrible. (they're in my bedroom..there is no where else in my house for them) It's impossible to make my room smell good at all...and they can be so loud at times.

Why I don't want to surrender them:
-I feel REALLY uncomfortable letting them go home with a stranger. When we adopted them, I realize the shelter never educated us on how to properly care for them. They never told us what to feed them, how to hold them, how fragile their backs are, what their housing requirements are..(I already knew alll this when we got them, but if the average person and their two kids come in looking for a new pet..I doubt they will know.)
-You know the feeling that no one else could care for your pet but yourself? I kind of get that..but at the same time..I know I'm not giving them the best life they could have. --Please don't bash me for this--..but their cage doesn't get cleaned nearly as much as it needs to, and I rarely take them out to spend time with them
-I can't rehome them to somebody I trust, because the shelter requires us to return them.
-I've never turned any animal into the shelter. Ever.
-I don't know how adoptable a bonded pair of 3 1/2 year old guinea pigs are, who don't like to be handled, who need to live together but have to have enough space or they'll fight, and are just generally loud and smelly.

I need you guys to offer your honest opinions on what I should do. Should I let them go have a chance at a better life, or let them stay here where at least there's carrots and consistency. I know if I return them that means I've failed as an owner and guardian, something that I promised to do my best at when I agreed to take them in, but I feel like I'm failing them already.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:57 PM
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Have you thought about rigging up an outdoor home for them?
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:01 PM
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I really don't think the weather in VA is consistant enough. They (so I've read) need a mild-warm climate year round, and this whole summer's been 90+ every day, and this past winter was, well, extreme.
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:18 PM
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Maybe try finding a home for them yourself? and then letting the shelter do the ownership transfer.

Put an ad up on craigslists and talk to some people. Many people either really know a lot already or are ready to learn how to properly care for them. and you can have peace of mind knowing you KNOW where they are.

Surrender them and have the new owners pay the fee and put in an application then and there.
I'm sure the shelter would be fine with it. I mean.. isn't the whole point of shelters to find animals a good home?

Explain to them the situation. Find a suitable new home. and then go from there

I know you love em, but its no sense keeping them when your miserable lol
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fransheska101 View Post
Maybe try finding a home for them yourself? and then letting the shelter do the ownership transfer.

Put an ad up on craigslists and talk to some people. Many people either really know a lot already or are ready to learn how to properly care for them. and you can have peace of mind knowing you KNOW where they are.

Surrender them and have the new owners pay the fee and put in an application then and there.
I'm sure the shelter would be fine with it. I mean.. isn't the whole point of shelters to find animals a good home?

Explain to them the situation. Find a suitable new home. and then go from there

I know you love em, but its no sense keeping them when your miserable lol
That's a really good idea, thank you! (:
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fransheska101 View Post
Surrender them and have the new owners pay the fee and put in an application then and there.
^^^This.

I can't imagine how frustrating it must be for you to be in this situation, and I'm sure that the thought of returning them to the shelter makes you ill. But just know that you're not a bad person at all for doing this. *hugs*
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:02 PM
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In the meantime, there's another hay similar to timothy hay that's good for guinea pigs, I believe. My coworker has a dog who is allergic to timothy hay, so the vet (who has a horse) would bring her the other hay for her pig. Perhaps that would be an option to lessen your symptoms in the meantime

I have to say, though, that when I had pigs, mine weren't too smelly. Maybe my two were just unnaturally clean, though.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grab View Post
In the meantime, there's another hay similar to timothy hay that's good for guinea pigs, I believe. My coworker has a dog who is allergic to timothy hay, so the vet (who has a horse) would bring her the other hay for her pig. Perhaps that would be an option to lessen your symptoms in the meantime

I have to say, though, that when I had pigs, mine weren't too smelly. Maybe my two were just unnaturally clean, though.
There are other types of hay - lots of types - but that won't necessarily solve the allergy problem. We use prairie hay at the zoo.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:18 PM
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We use orchard grass for the chinchillas. Conversely, there are also hay cubes, which are compressed cubes of chopped hay. They work really well and I know of people with hay allergies who use them very successfully with their chinchillas.

Feeding Horse Hay Cubes | MyHorse.com

You can get large bags of them cheaply at the feed store.

What sort of cage are they in? It shouldn't take hours to clean and still be smelly afterward! Those galvanized metal cages are junk, because eventually the urine eats through the coating and starts a stinky chemical reaction with the metal.

We always kept our guinea pigs in tupperware bins. Specifically, a clear one that was about 3 feet long, 1.5 feet tall and 1.5 feet wide. We just put shavings in it, their little house, and drilled a tiny hole in the side for their water bottle spigot. It was kept in the kitchen with no lid. 2-3 times a week we'd toss the piggies in a laundry basket and dump the old shavings in a flower bed, hose it out, towel dry, then refill and insert piggies. It took less than 10 minutes and kept the kitchen smelling piney fresh.

Plus the soiled shavings make a great mulch for flower beds.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saeleofu View Post
There are other types of hay - lots of types - but that won't necessarily solve the allergy problem. We use prairie hay at the zoo.
I was thinking perhaps some short term relief until a home or permanent solution is found
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