Second Chance Cavy Rescue was started by Diana Sandlin in 2012
The founder of a Texas guinea pig rescue is asking for help as the rescue’s current location runs out of space for the growing number of animals in its care.
“Just two rooms, and the bathroom. That’s it,” founder Diana Sandlin told WOAI. “About 1,000 square feet. That’s all we’ve got.”
The outlet reports that Sandlin started the non-profit, Second Chance Cavy Rescue, out of her house in 2012, but moved the rescue to a larger rented space in February 2018. The new location holds as many as 100 guinea pigs.
“We grow them up until they’re three to four months old, and then we match them up with the same gender, and we adopt out,” Sandlin explained to the outlet. “We’ve adopted out over a thousand guinea pigs in seven years.”
Sandlin told WOAI that she decided to start the rescue after she found that new guinea pig owners often didn’t know where to turn if they wanted to give their pets a new home.
“We are the only guinea pig rescue in all of South Texas,” she said of the San Antonio-based rescue. “People come to me from El Paso. They come from Corpus Christi.”
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“They say, ‘Please help us. We have 12 guinea pigs and we don’t know what to do with them,'” she added. “People don’t know what they’re getting into, they get them, and they’re too much work. We’ve had people put them in carriers and dump them in dumpsters.”
According to the Humane Society of the United States, guinea pigs require regular grooming and time out of their cage every day. The animals can live for an average of five to seven years, and the Humane Society warns that they shouldn’t necessarily be considered a “great starter pet.”
Due to increased demand and awareness of the rescue, Sandlin said, “it’s getting to the point where we have to move.”
Sandlin told WOAI that she’d ideally like to “find somebody who wants to donate land and a building.”
“That is my biggest vision,” she said, adding that she wants the new location to be at least 1,500-2,000 square feet.
Speaking to WOAI, Sandlin emphasized the importance of guinea pig rescues like Second Chance Cavy Rescue.
“It gives people an option that’s not throwing them outside,” she said.