Thank you for your interest in adopting a rescued guinea pig! To help you make an informed decision about adopting, we want to let you know how our cavies ended up in a shelter and about our intensive adoption process.

How Our Guinea Pigs Came to Live at JPGPR

These guinea pigs come to us for a variety of reasons -
Some suffered from abusive neglect and owner ignorance.
Some are no longer wanted by owners who are tired of cleaning their cages and caring for them.
Some are no longer needed as the kids have grown bored of them.
Some are from irresponsible overcrowded breeders or uncaring pet shops with dirty cramped conditions.
Some come from other animal shelters that cannot adopt them out for whatever reason.
Some have actually been found abandoned, thrown away with no concern given to their fate.
A few are reluctantly given up by caring owners who cannot keep them any longer.

All come with their own sad story, and all need a wonderful home of their own.

How Our Guinea Pigs Can Come to Live with You

Because our guinea pigs are a part of our family, we don't operate like a pet store where anyone can plunk down cash and take home any guinea pig they fancy. Therefore, we want to give you an idea of what to expect when applying to JPGPR for adoption.

We carefully screen potential owners to make sure our "kids" are getting a proper, safe, loving and permanent new home - with somebody that can afford the time, effort and money needed to keep them healthy and happy. The average life span of a cavy is 5 - 7 years, and we have heard of some making as old as 10! Potential adopters need to be aware of this, and should consider how this pet will fit in the future lifestyle of the family. Example: A child that gets a guinea pig when she is 10 or 11, may be working/dating/driving as the guinea pig enters its senior years. Will the child and family still be interested and committed to that guinea pig? Potential adopters must be willing and able to make a lifelong commitment to keeping the guinea pig safe, comfortable and loved.

When families adopt, we feel it is important for parents to assume responsibility for the guinea pig as well as the children. No matter how mature or responsible a parent thinks their child is, chances are very good that in a year or 2 or 4, the appeal of cage cleaning will wear off. The child may feel he is too busy or has more important things to do then take care of and love an aging guinea pig. That is when the guinea pig will need the parent to make sure life is still good.

I don't generally recommend guinea pigs to families with children under 7 years old. I think young children can be too chaotic for guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are typically a gentle, easy to handle animal. However, if they feel threatened or stressed or uncomfortable they will bite - and being as guinea pigs are a good sized animal the bites can be painful. Eleven years of dealing with families who no longer want their guinea pigs also shows me that very young children often don't really appreciate the animal and tend to quickly lose interest in it.

It is important to know that guinea pigs require a lot of time and care, and they can be a messy pet. Guinea pigs are NOT an easy, low maintenance pet! The majority of the animals I get in here are given up because the children they were purchased for have lost interest and stopped caring for them and cleaning the cage adequately. Inadequately cleaned cages really stink.

It is a good idea for all members of the family to handle some guinea pigs before getting too set on adopting one or two. Many guinea pigs are given up because of allergies in the family. Sometimes people are allergic to the guinea pig's hay or wood shavings rather than the animal itself. If you'd like more information on allergies and guinea pigs, read my article Ah Choo, I'm Allergic to My Guinea Pig!

There are some requirements (such as an approved size/style cage and where the cage is kept) and a short adoption interview. As of April 1, 2004 adoption fees are $30 for a single cavy and $45 for two cavies (same sex). Discounts are given to folks that have previously adopted from JPGPR. Bonded pairs will not be split up. The JPGPR Adoption Package includes the following:

30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Lifelong Welcome Back Guarantee
1 Pound Guinea Pig Food
A Small Bag of Bluegrass or Timothy Hay
A Sample Packet of Treats
Lots of Guinea Pig Care Information
Cavy Health Record Book (as seen at
A Web Site You Can Visit for Information and Interesting Articles
Someone You Can Call With Questions
Someone Who Will Always Care About Your Guinea Pig

We do our best to adopt guinea pigs that will work best for each owner or family. Sometimes even though a person or family is approved for adoption, we might not currently have an animal we feel would be happy in a certain situation, or would best suit the life style of the owner(s). In that case we may prefer to put you on a waiting list until a better candidate is available, or may even refer you to another shelter or rescue.

When contacting us about adoptions, please tell us a little about yourself and your family. Approximate age, what you do and what your family is like, do you have children or other pets? What are you looking for in a guinea pig, what are your plans for it in your home and life, have you had previous experience with guinea pigs, etc.? Whatever you'd like to tell us about the guinea pig's potential new home and family. If you would include your phone number and a good time to reach you, we can call and talk to you further about the pigs currently available and the adoption procedure. We do not have an updated list or pictures of available guinea pigs at this web site because we do not have a digital camera or scanner.

The guinea pig shelter is run out of our home, which is in Isanti -- about an hour drive north of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. We do have a lot of things going on here, so adoptions need to be worked in around the other jobs and responsibilities of our lives. If you are in a hurry to adopt you might want to check out some of the humane societies in the cities. They often have guinea pigs, and do have staff and regular hours they are open for adoption. Check the following for a list of animal shelters in the Twin Cities area: Readers in other areas of the country might also find the following web sites helpful:

Critter Corral ( Rose Pooler's guinea pig rescue near Chicago, Illinois.

The Home for Unwanted and Abandoned Guinea Pigs ( An informational/educational site for better guinea pig care and lives.

Hugs for Homeless Animals - Worldwide Shelter Directory ( A list of animal shelters all over the US and in many other countries.

If you have not already done so, please read some of the articles on our web site covering guinea pig care. The articles Guinea Pigs: General Information and Care Requirements, Guinea Pig Housing, and Adopting a Shelter Piggie are especially helpful when considering adding a guinea pig to your family. Again, it is important to know that guinea pigs require a lot of time and care, and they can be a messy pet. These are NOT an easy, low maintenance pet! So You Want to Adopt a Guinea Pig offers a rescuer's perspective of adoptions.

Thank you so much for visiting our web site, and for taking the time to learn more about these delightful animals. Please feel free to email us at with any guinea pig questions you may have - whether you adopt from our shelter or get your guinea pig elsewhere. We look forward to hearing from you.


Cocoa - adopted by Laura Seibert

Serafina and Natasha - adopted by Paul & Barb Reid

Cheeks and Turnip - adopted by Stacy Bestrom

Hambone - adopted by Jill Weimer

Poof - adopted by Angie Steer

Bhel and Kailo - adopted by Sybil Bohnett

Snowy - adopted by Holly Andreen

Bo and Jangles - adopted by Kara Khan

Rodney - adopted by Holly Rutten

Grant - adopted by Deb Dalton

Peanut - adopted by Amanda Bromen

Aries - adopted by Anna Lebak

Pumpkin - adopted by Silke Siepman

Moby and Baxter - adopted by Allysse Henry

Beanie - adopted by Sue Molloy

Buford - adopted by Kim Bosworth

Jelly Bean - adopted by Dawn Lange

Rumpy and Tweak - adopted by Sarah Etheridge

Oreo - adopted by Susan Brunell

Petunia and Oona - adopted by Melinda Fierro Westberg

Rooty Tooty - adopted by Mary Jo Wagner

Lindy - adopted by Sarah Etheridge

Sweety, Cinnamon and Stinker - adopted by Marvin Bohnett and family

Ramone - adopted by Lindsay Peterson and Piggy

Sidney - adopted by Deb Dalton and Grant

Ferdinand - adopted by Allysse Henry and Picasso

Tristan - adopted by Holly Andreen

Speedy and Oreo - adopted by Melinda Goedeke

Gingersnap and Grace - adopted by Loralee DiLorenzo and family

Fitzger (Fitz) - adopted by Sybil Bohnett and Bitz

Dewey and Zander - adopted by Sarah Groves-Speece

Hamlet - adopted by Karen Moore, Richard and Bissell

Oops - adopted by Karen and Danielle Sabat, and Pellet

Molly and Charlie - adopted by Eric and Vicki Fuglister

Dolly and Marshmallow - adopted by Karen Thimm

McKenzie - adopted by Sybil Bohnett and family

Stanley (AKA Pickles) - adopted by April Champion and Martin

Oliver and Andrew - adopted by April Champion, Martin and Stanley

Bug - adopted by Leann Ticknor, Jasper and Winnie

Willow and Anya - adopted by Melinda and Paul Westberg, and Oona

Louie - adopted by Lynn Kowalski and Clint

Kupo, Roz and Pickle - adopted by Ann Hagen and Rob Gibson

Harvey - adopted by Barbara Foster and Dodi

Lucy - adopted by Lynn Kowalski and Sally

Cokie - adopted by Jill, Holly and Jesse Weimer

Boomer and Murphy - adopted by LeeAnn, Taylor and Megan Stickler

Bear and Moose - adopted by Mickey Short and Buckwheat

Cookie - adopted by Jill, Holly & Jesse Weimer and Cokie

Rosy and Marigold - adopted by Tess Peterson

Andrea Ann and Charlotte - adopted by Heidi Greger and Muriel

Treble, Ms. Pigglesworth, Sydney and Bobbers - adopted by Nancy Cooper, Bubba and Pip

Charles and Revel - adopted by Susan Dannen and family

(In most cases adopted guinea pigs are listed with the names they had here at the shelter.)

This article and the logo are © 1993-2004 Vicki Palmer Nielsen - Jack Pine Guinea Pig Rescue. No copyright is asserted herein regarding the accompanying illustration; copyright of the illustration is retained by the original holder(s). If you would like to reproduce anything from the website, please first e-mail Vicki at for permission.