Lifelong Residents

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JohnnyPig & Merrick


JohnnyPig has poor dental health and requires filing every month. He has earned his place at the rescue by becoming the resident Uncle Pig to all the baby boys that have to leave their mothers at 3 weeks old so no accidental pregnancies occur. He has a kind and gentle nature, is very sweet with the boys and teaches them guinea pig manners. Despite being the heaviest pig in the rescue at over 1.5kg he plays with the babies and popcorns as much as they do.  JohnnyPig now has a best friend to share his life with, Merrick.

Merrick came to the rescue after being dumped at a rabbit rescue along with his rabbit companion.  When he arrived he was suffering from bumblefoot, cataracts and also had a small bite wound to the back of his neck from being mated by the rabbit.  The wound has proven to be the most difficult injury that I have had to deal with in the history of the rescue.  He required 2 major operations due to the deep tissue infection the bite caused, and weeks of open wound managementIt was the skill of the vet and vet nurse at St James vet group and weeks of round the clock care here at the rescue that saved his life.  

2 weeks into his 6 week open wound management.
He still has ongoing issues as the chronic bumblefoot has disfigured his feet, he is blind due to the lack of vit C in his diet for so long, this has also left him with very stiff joints.  All through his treatment and recovery Merrick remained a very happy and cheerful pig, always ready for a chin tickle and a cuddle.  It was his lust for life that gave me the strength to continue with his often painful treatment as he coped remarkably well with everything he went through.

Merrick remained bright and cheerful throughout his treatment, continuous antibiotics and pain relief helped a lot!

Merrick and JohnnyPig have formed a very strong bond and live so very happily together, here they are indulging their favourite dandelion salad and dried carrots.


Lucy & Esther (RIP)

Lucy & Esther
Lucy arrived with two 2 day old babies and already pregnant with three more - she had one of the worst cases of mites I've seen and had been bred back-to-back at a very young age. Once her babies were weaned Lucy proved to be extremely difficult to pair with adult females - she happily adopts baby girls but once they reach 3 months old she tires of them and rejects them too. Consequently Lucy stayed and has acted as surrogate mum to young girls that come into the rescue. She is happy in the company of Esther, a blind, deaf agouti that is also a lifelong resident. Most recently she had the opportunity of a home if she accepted the advances of a neutered male - she declined!

Sadly earlier this year Esther passed away.  So far Lucy has not bonded with any of the other girls here at the rescue but hopefully it won't be too long before she finds her perfect friend again.


 Sorrel and Angel Baby

Sorrel came into the rescue as part of a group of 19 that were found by chance, dumped and let loose at an abandoned, derelict farm in West Wales in Oct 2010. Although I was already over my capacity of 40 when I got the phone call about them I could not turn them away. They arrived thanks to Clare of the Rhydowen Rodent Refuge and Lucy & Alex - they organised the capture, collection and transport for all the pigs to get here safely within 24 hrs of them being discovered. Super-piggy-heroes! The full story of their rescue is covered on Clare's website - on the links section of home page.
Of the 17 from the farm that came here, 8 were pregnant. Sorrel was the last to go into labour and safely delivered 3 healthy, beautiful babies. Perfect - or so it seemed until I examined her. There was obviously another pup or two still to be born. So an early morning dash to the vets was in order to administer a shot of oxytocin to restart the labour to deliver the last of the litter. This failed, so she needed a C section to remove the baby that had now perished. She came through op very well, though it took a few days before she regained an appetite, so needed syringe feeding. On day 4 she pulled a few stitches out and reopened her wound - another trip to the vet, another GA and she was restitched. Following complications she developed abscesses at the wound site from a reaction to the suture material and it took a few weeks of antibiotics and draining to get her well again.  Through all this she has been the most amazing mum and her babies have all thrived.  As she has been through so much in her short life already I do not feel that another upheaval is fair, so she and one of her babies will be staying at the rescue for life.

Sorrel and her daughter Angel Baby, all grown up.


Fergus Montague

Sept 2010. Fergus was given away by a fake rescue as too ugly to sell, they were advertising as a rescue and taking in free-ad guinea pigs only to breed from them, instead of finding them new homes.  The babies were sold through online ads and to petshops.  To breed from any pig that you do not know the genetic or health history for is highly irresponsible, to breed from rescues is an appalling abuse of the guinea pigs and the trust of the owners that entrusted their animals to a supposed safe haven.

Fergus had a horrific eye infection and abscess when he first arrived and it was only through the use of very innovative medical treatment that he survived, amazingly his eye is fully functional too.  As he was in such a poor condition when he arrived he will be staying at the rescue for life as he is likely to have other health issues in the future.

Fergus on the day of his arrival

6 months later.

Baldric & Edmund

Baldric came to the rescue on Halloween 2010. He and his brother were handed into a rescue in the South East, as mine was the only placement offered that had no connection to breeding they were entrusted to me for their lifetime as I could guarantee they would never be used for breeding. Sadly Baldric's brother had serious health problems and he passed away not long after arriving at the rescue. Baldric is now 3.5 years old and thriving, he is paired with Edmund, son of Sorrel the C section mum.  Edmund is now 2 years old.

Baldric & Edmund

Baldric in his favourite place: A snuggley fleece cosy on his heat pad.


The only thing in life Baldric loves more than his heat pad is his adoring companion Edmund, these two are utterly inseparable.

As a breed, I find hairless guinea pigs to be an aberration and a prime example of just what breeders are prepared to do irrespective of whether or not it is in the animals best interests. Baldric would certainly not choose to be bald. As an individual he is adorable and a much loved member of my piggy household, he would be just as adored if he had hair, as it is his personality that makes him unique, not his looks.


Lil' Dave & Magdalena

Magdalena came to the rescue aged just 10 weeks old and already pregnant, she went on to have a very good labour and seemingly easy birth of her 2 babies.  She soon became very weakened and had signs of internal bleeding.  Magdalena was very close to death at several points in the coming days, yet she rallied and has blossomed into a beautiful and very strong willed piggy.  The story of her and the other pigs she came to the rescue with can be found here, please click.

Magdalena during her pregnancy

Dave came to the rescue as a companion for Magdalena as she has flatly refused all female companions, including her own daughter.  He is a very happy boar, neutered of course, and loves his Miss M so very much, even though she does boss him around dreadfully at times.  Watching them popcorn around the cage together just confirms that they are in actual fact a very happily married couple.

Dave & Magdalena


Pip has very recently returned to the rescue after the passing of his cagemate/brother Perry.  As he has had several homes in his short life, this is his forever home, he is 3.5 yrs old.  I hope to bond him with a new friend when the time is right.


In Memorial

Guido & Luigi : RIP

Guido & Luigi on the day of their arrival

Guido's story - he was the result of a petshop pregnancy when a rather surprised owner of a lovely pair of girls woke up to find more piggies than she bargain for shortly after buying them.  He was homed privately by the owner of the mum.  The home seemed perfect, indoors with a new male companion.   Months later she returned to find them living in a small damp hutch outside in the sub-zero temps of the winter, in appalling condition.  She persuaded the owner to let them come into rescue as she obviously had no intention of getting them treatment.

Guido was suffering dreadfully from overwhelming fungal and mite infection, he was having seizures too, 6-8 a day during which he could have had a heart attack at any point.  He was very determined to survive and is tolerating his painful treatment well.  Guido discovered the joy of syringe feeding and polished off over 20 ml each feed.  It took 2 weeks of intensive care to get him strong enough for a vet exam, up until then he was far too fragile to withstand it.  The prognosis wasn't good and it was clear he was unlikely to survive.

Thick crusting and scabs covered his entire body - the hair was held in place by the crusts, it came away in clumps.

He loves his food!!  He had to be fed in a bowl as he was in too much pain to pick up.

Many weeks of treatment followed and finally the last patch of infected hair could be removed to allow his skin to heal - the crusting on his body and face was 5mm thick.  He made good progress but the biggest hurdle to his recovery is a small area on his back - if he manages to scratch it he triggers another seizure.  He has to wear a protective coat to prevent this and he copes very well now.

The last area of crusting was removed, only a small area at a time could be dealt with as the pain level was very high - the infections have left his skin extremely sensitive.

Bandaging his back 24 hrs a day was the only way to prevent him triggering another seizure.

He and Luigi are the very best of friends and as Guido needs lifelong treatment and management of his condition both are staying here at the rescue.

Now that all the wounds have healed Guido has a jacket to wear all the time - apart from short breaks for an hour or two when he has laptime and I can make sure he doesn't attack his back again. 
UPDATE: After a short battle with a severe chest infection and fluid in his lungs Guido passed away in August 2011.  Luigi passed away in Sept 2012, also due to issues from their long term neglect.


DaddyPig & Dyson : RIP

DaddyPig is a lifelong resident as he has a cyst on his head which is in a difficult place to operate on, so I clear it out every week for him to ensure he is comfortable and it doesn't get infected. He's a lovely pig with a great sense of fun although what makes him really happy is if he can bite me - really hard! It's very unusual for any pig to bite but he really enjoys it. Good job I love him so much.

DaddyPig is also extremely aggressive towards other males so lives next door to Dyson, one of the most aggressive males I've had come into the rescue and who will probably stay for life unless he finds another equally aggressive male to move in next door to, so that they can swear at each other through the bars but not attack! I call him my pocket rottweiler.  Sadly Dyson passed away in August 2011, DaddyPig passed away June 2012.


Pandora : (RIP)

Pandy has come to live out her remaining years here at the rescue after the death of her last cagemate, she is 5 years old and a bit of a crabby old lady. Although she is not keen on piggy company she loves cuddles and chin rubs.  Pandora passed away suddenly in September 2011 with no sign of illness or distress, she just went to sleep.