Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Day 1: Arrival

On the evening of Friday 27th January 2012 firefighters and RSPCA staff from both Bury & Oldham and Rochdale Branches worked through the night to rescue hundreds of animals caught in a fire at Booth’s Garden Centre in Royton, Oldham. Many animals sadly perished in the blaze including fish, reptiles, chickens, rabbits and birds. However, due to the dedication of a small number of people many animals survived, including Mouse the guinea pig.

I was inspired to start this blog by Mouse and the terrible ordeal her and her fellow companions suffered. This blog will be 'The Diary of a Guinea Pig' following her recovery & (hopefully!) her future adoption. But this won't be the diary of one singular guinea pig, because Mouse is patiently awaiting the birth of some piglets!

So first of all, how did I end up a guinea pig fosterer? Well, I'm a trustee & fosterer for the RSPCA Manchester & Salford Branch. I'm very proud of our branch and we have a excellent reputation for our rabbit and guinea pig expertise. So when we heard about the terrible fire in Oldham we contacted RSPCA Bury & Oldham and offered our help to our favourite furry friends.

After visiting Bury & Oldham Branch we came home with:
* 1 adult rabbit and her 4 newborn babies
* 3 heavily pregnant adolescent female guinea pigs
* 1 adult male guinea pig
* 1 adolescent male guinea pig
* 1 adult rabbit

It was quite a comical ride home. I held on to a carrier with a rabbit on my knee (he had decided to start scrapping with his travelling companion and we had no spare boxes!), holding the carriers in the back so they didn't hit Susie (our branch manager who was driving) on the back of the head! Then of course we got stuck in traffic so used the time to name our new arrivals. Enter Mouse.

Mouse is an agouti and white female piggy, around 4 months old. She's in her last trimester of pregnancy and is BIG. If you put your hand on her stomach gently you can feel several heart beats and some kicking! Sadly, many of the guinea pigs rescued had bite wounds from fighting amongst themselves. Poor Mouse came off the worst and has a nasty ear wound & I'm guessing some infection. She definately needs vet treatment so I decided to foster her at home (luckily I live 10 minutes from our wonderful exotic vet).

After dropping the rest of the gang off at our private boarding facility we headed back to my home. I set Mouse up in a indoor cage, gave her some hay, greens, water and a nice dark place to hide under until she was brave enough to come out.

As you can imagine she's utterly terrified at the moment, not suprising after everything she's been through. Tomorrow we are off to the vets to take a look at that ear.