Saskia Chiesa runs Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue and is dedicated to finding every guinea pig in need a forever home

By Jamie Spain
June 26, 2018 05:20 PM
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Dutch-raised Saskia Chiesa is the guinea pig whisperer. After growing up in the Netherlands, the passionate animal lover now lives in Los Angeles where she founded Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue. She strives to find homes for all of the ‘pigs and to give them comfortable happy lives until there find their forever family.

Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue currently houses around 400 guinea pigs. The company also offers free health checks, nail clippings, and advice for pet parents to guinea pigs. But the most remarkable thing about the rescue is Chiesa’s connection with the animals she takes care of.

“People ask me sometimes, ‘Is there a special way that you talk with the guinea pigs?’ To be honest, I don’t even know. I can read them really well. I can tell what frame of mind they are in. I just kind of instinctually know how to approach them,” Chiesa told Animalism.

She emphasizes that guinea pigs communicate through food. They have a special noise they make, that she says is only for humans, and is not used when they communicate with each other. This noise, described as a “week week,” is the noise they apparently make when they are hungry. It is their way of asking a human to give them food.

Recently, Chiesa did her largest rescue. She was called by animal control in Eureka, California, to rescue what they thought was maybe 150 guinea pigs. “[When we got there I could hear them from the street. There were so many I was speechless,” she said.

According to Chiesa, there were far more than 150. “We actually counted 729, they were all having babies so every day that number grew.”

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The rescue was able to take 400 females, but many were pregnant. “For about two months after the rescue, babies were being born every single day, “the total amounts swelled to about 1100,” Chiesa said.

Chiesa strives to find homes for all the animals, saying that they actually have one very important thing in common with humans: the desire for love.

“They love being pet and they just will practically beg for you to rub their head,” the animal lover said. “That real need for affection, I think people really connect with. There is something beautiful in giving that to an animal or another human being.”