66 Percent Increase in Rabbits and Guinea Pigs in Last Year has Shelters Bursting at the Seams
BOSTON—July 27, 2021 – Dogs and cats may have left animal shelters in droves in a once-in-a-generation pet adoption boom spurred by the pandemic, but many other animals—namely rabbits, guinea pigs and other small pets—were left behind. Now animal shelters, including the MSPCA-Angell and the Northeast Animal Shelter (NEAS), are overwhelmed by their numbers and eager to find new and loving homes for the animals.
The MSPCA has seen a whopping 66 percent increase in rabbit and guinea pig surrenders in just the last year and, to encourage adoption, announced today a special fee-waived adoptathon on Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, Aug. 1. Other small pets, including mice, hamsters, gerbils, and birds, will also be available for no fee.
NEAS will also participate in the fee-waived adoptathon and, with 194 small pets available across the MSPCA’s Boston, Centerville and Methuen location, there are plenty of animals to go around.
Adoption appointments can be booked in advance at mspca.org/smalls and neas.org/smalls.
“Perfect Family Pets” Take the Spotlight
Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs at the MSPCA-Angell, and interim executive director at Northeast Animal Shelter, hopes that families anticipating a return to the workplace will focus on animals that are great companions for those with busy lifestyles.
“Many people we talk to don’t realize we work to find homes for more than just dogs and cats. Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and birds make wonderful pets—and we hope families looking to adopt will take advantage of this fee-waived adoption weekend,” said Keiley—who stressed that small animals still require careful feeding, cage cleaning and time spent with their families for exercise and play.
“Rabbits and other small pets are also great co-workers for people working at home and a good choice for those concerned about returning to the office and spending less time at home,” said Keiley.
Keiley added that temporary foster homes will also be considered given that the adoption centers have become so crowded. “If folks cannot commit to adoption but might be able to house some of these pets until permanent homes can be found, we’d absolutely be interested in those conversations as well.”
The cost savings are substantial: Rabbit adopters will save $85. The $35 for guinea pigs, and $10 fee for hamsters, mice and gerbils will be waived, as will the fee for birds—which can range from $10 for finches to $150 for parrots.