Delhi woman creates haven for rescued guinea pigs

A Delhi woman’s desire to take in a three-year-old guinea pig named Tim, who needed a new home, has snowballed into running a full-blown rescue center.

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“When I saw that (ad) I thought, I haven’t had a guinea pig in a long time, but we’ve had hamsters and stuff and they’re not as sociable with young kids,” said the 33-year-old old mother of three. “We’ll have to get a second one because he needs a friend.

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“Actually, it’s illegal in Switzerland to only have one, which is kind of crazy to wrap your head around because they’re little animals.”

Cahill reached out to local people online and found a companion for Tim.

“I joined some (online) groups to find some cage ideas and I saw more and more people who had these pigs that they couldn’t keep for one reason or another,” she explained, deciding to create a rescue and “build a kind of pig mansion in a room in our house.”

Social media pages called The Rescue Room were created on Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram in October.

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The Facebook page has about 150 followers so far, and Cahill provides what she calls Wheekly updates to share stories on surrenders and guinea pigs that are available for adoption.

The Rescue Room can house as many as 25 guinea pigs at a time. She has also connected with the Simcoe & District Humane Society and will foster guinea pigs if their shelter is at capacity.

Cahill has also lined up foster families when needed.

The diet for the furry critters consists mainly of Timothy hay, fortified pellets, and fresh vegetables. Cahill notes that guinea pigs make a “wheek wheek” sound when they know it’s feeding time.

So far 35 guinea pigs have been adopted from The Rescue Room, and most have been to add a companion for an existing one that people own.

Cahill said her husband Robert shares her passion for helping animals and hopes they will soon be able to construct an insulated and heated outbuilding on their property to house the Guinea pigs.

“People in general should give guinea pigs more of a chance when it comes to being a family pet,” she observed. “There’s a stigma attached to them because they’re rodent, but they really are personable. They are more like a cat: they know their name, they come to you, interact with you, and like to play games.”

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