Little Dave had had a busy life so far, all three days of it. Born into a crowded guinea pig environment, Dave’s primary goal in life focused on sticking closely by his mother, Hailey, and two sisters, Oreo and Macaron. What had started as just a few guinea pigs from the pet store was rapidly turning into a guinea pig overpopulation. Dave’s owner’s home now teemed with over 40 guinea pigs and there were more on the way.  Where could his owner turn for help?

Once again, Lycoming County SPCA supporters stepped in to save the day. With their support, the SPCA is poised to take in and care for pets of nearly every variety. That variety and not knowing what will come through the door each day is the spice of shelter life! 2018 had already been a rodent-heavy year, with more than the usual number of rats, guinea pigs, and bunnies filling the new cages in the lobby. A total of 39 guinea pigs had come through the doors in 2017, spaced out evenly over 12 months. “Did the SPCA have room for thirty or so guinea pigs to be surrendered all in one day?” Dave’s owner asked. Staff turned to one another in wonder, rummaged through the closets to pull out all available cages, and began to count out water bottles and food dishes. A total of 42 guinea pigs were brought in that day, including what turned out to be two pregnant sows.

A cage of young female guinea pigs shortly after they arrived.

You should have seen the board room! Filled with cage after cage of cute little rodents, the room quickly became a hive of activity as staff honed their guinea-pig-gender-identification skills to make sure that future litters did not occur. The pigs were difficult to handle. Unused to human contact, they scrambled with sheer terror and prey instinct to fling themselves out of the arms of caregivers. Their needle-like nails had never been cut, so towels were used to wrap the pigs in a sense of safety and protect caregivers’ skin from their flailing paws. As staff ran out to purchase extra guinea pig food, others were busy photographing and cataloging the new arrivals. Babies were carefully watched to ensure that they went with their mothers. Fighting boars were separated. At the end of the day, the room was filled with the sound of content pigs and the smell of timothy hay.

Baby Dave’s intake photo

From the camera used for photographs to the purchase of extra food, SPCA supporters gave the guinea pigs what was necessary in their time of need. What a blessing to the pets of Lycoming County! Out of the forty-two little piggies, just four remain for adoption. One is little Dave, also known as Keebler, and his bonded penmate, Milano. He spends his days in the lobby, watching the people from his tiny igloo and waiting for his forever home. However long he needs to remain at the shelter, SPCA supporters will make sure that he has a clean, caring environment. As we approach this #GivingTuesday, will you consider giving so that the life-saving work of the SPCA can continue in 2019? You just never know when forty-two guinea pigs might walk through the door!

Read more #GivingTuesday animal stories

Interested in adopting little Keebler, aka “Dave”? Check out his online profile or visit him in the lobby. He would love a home for the holidays!



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