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Rescues and small animals

(10 Posts)
Rain1975 Thu 10-Jan-19 12:03:00

Hi. We lost our old girl last year and have decided after a lot of thought and discussion that we are ready to have another dog join our family. I am home during the day and as a family we are very dog centred so thought a rescue would be ideal. Have just been turned down by the first centre we contacted as my daughter has a guinea pig. Am I likely to find this at all shelters? I don’t want to waste their time if we are going to be unsuitable. Feel a bit upset to be honest although I do understand they need to be sure their dogs go to the right home. What have been your experiences with rescues? Thanks

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bobstersmum Thu 10-Jan-19 12:04:28

That sounds bizarre! And ridiculous to be honest. You are obviously a responsible pet owner and not going to let the dog eat the Guinea pig! I maybe wouldn't mention it next time, and hide it!

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Thu 10-Jan-19 12:08:31

Is the Guinea pig kept above the dog's eye height and out of reach?

My own dog spent 6 months trying to murder the hamster, and I've heard of dogs being returned to the rescue for killing another household pet ("every time we looked at the dog we thought of how he mauled the Guinea pig to death") so I would discuss with them how you will keep the GP safe.

Do you only have the one GP? They need to be kept in pairs+, so if you do it would raise alarm bells with some rescues about your willingness to meet the species specific needs of your pets.

Rain1975 Thu 10-Jan-19 12:22:37

No @AvacadosBeforeMortgages there are two pigs and they live in the kitchen so they can squeal loudly at us when we go to the fridge. Our lovely old dog completely ignored them so I didn’t think they would be an issue.

@bobstersmum They asked if there were any other pets and there are so didn’t want to give them the wrong information .

Was expecting to be asked about cats didn’t even consider the pigs.

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AvocadosBeforeMortgages Thu 10-Jan-19 12:42:20

I can understand a rescue being worried about the GPS - they do need to be kept secure. Mine would kill them in seconds for fun - he's constantly after squirrels, but they have an escape route so he's never caught one. It's unrealistic to keep the dog out of the kitchen, and they can't guarantee new DDog won't want to chase them.

Would you be able to move the GPs to more secure accommodation in a room DDog won't have access to?

bunnygeek Thu 10-Jan-19 13:17:11

A good rescue wouldn't rule you out outright, rather offer caution, advice on introducing and not offer dogs who have high chase drives.

Try a different rescue and assess your guineas housing - would a dog be able to access them when there's no one home? Could they pull the cage around? Could they stare and bark at them and scare them?

Doggydoggydoggy Thu 10-Jan-19 13:34:44

I’m not surprised tbh.

I also have a dog who would kill them in seconds and I would say that being so small and squeaky and erratic moving guinea pigs are probably quite tempting even for dogs that aren’t too bothered about cats.

Just think how many dogs go nuts for squirrels!

It goes deeper than making sure the dog can’t get to them aswell.
Guinea pigs and rabbits are easily stressed, a frustrated dog sniffing around plotting ways to bust them out and eat them is likely to cause them great distress.

Whoseranium Thu 10-Jan-19 13:40:25

I can understand the rescue’s reluctance to place dogs in a home with guinea pigs. It’s much harder to assess a dog’s reaction to small animals like GPs or rabbits than it is to properly cat test them, especially if the rescue is kennel based as dogs can behave very differently in a kennel environment than they would in a home.

To place a dog into a home with GPs the rescue not only has to be absolutely confident in their assessment of the dog’s prey drive but have faith in the new owner being able to immediately recognise potentially concerning behaviour from the dog and react accordingly. If they place a dog into a home with GPs and something goes wrong then the outcome could be pretty disastrous: dead GPs and a dog who is now much harder to rehome because they’ve got a history of killing other family pets.

That said, it is definitely worth pursuing the rescue route. I’d be looking for small organisations that are foster based rather than using kennels. You may be able to find a dog who has been in a foster home where they’ve been properly exposed to small animals in a home environment without any kind of reaction.

CMOTDibbler Thu 10-Jan-19 17:57:46

Some dogs would be constantly at the GP cage, stressing the GP and of course with the danger that at some point it will break in - and especially if it is a kennel rescue, they just can't know the dog well enough to tell whether that will happen.

What sort of dog are you thinking of? The rescue I foster for wouldn't prevent you from adopting if their foster home thought it would be OK

Rain1975 Fri 11-Jan-19 07:19:05

I totally understand that they are thinking about the dog and I wouldn’t want the dog or guinea pigs to be stressed out (or eaten). Was just a bit down yesterday :-(

@CMOTDibbler Will have a look at smaller breed specific places as they all seem to foster rather than have big kennels. Old girl was a lab so will investigate today.

I had a nice email from the shelter later to say they would keep us on file so there may be other dogs we could be considered for.

It’s a marathon not a sprint after all :-)

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