Tuesday 19/03/13 - Update from the Piggy Bank

As you may have noticed, we haven't had many updates on our website from the Piggy Bank recently. They have, however, been very busy, with a number of large scale rescues in the past couple of weeks. For example, Jo from Milhaven has taken in 18 piggies in one go, who aren't all in the best condition and will need lots of love and care.
If you have any pennies to spare, some volunteering time if you're nearby to a rescue or even just sharing the word to your friends, please help out your local rescue in some way. Or, share the Piggy Bank map that you can find on our website and help support those who help small furries :-)

Wednesday 23/01/13 - How to become a Piggy Bank volunteer!

If you aren't a member of The Guinea Pig Forum, as I don't think all of our fans are (you totally should be!), then you might not have seen the thread on how to become a volunteer with the Piggy Bank. While we have a large amount of volunteers, there is always room for more. There are areas of the UK with very few, if not hardly any volunteers! It makes it more difficult for us to get piggies to where they need to be if there aren't the people helping them get there!
The volunteers provide transport in times of need, temporary foster accommodation, and help with getting guinea pigs out of difficult and unpleasant living conditions. This is often at short notice - many of the Piggy Bank's biggest rescues are put together in a matter of days, if not hours! Time is so often of the essence in these situations and we can never have enough people helping out.

If you think you could provide ANY kind of help at all, then please, take the link to The Guinea Pig Forum thread and get all the information you need :) We particularly have large gaps on the map in Wales (particularly Northern Wales) and between Newcastle and Edinburgh - there aren't many members in Scotland at all!
http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/showthread.php?75403-Piggy-bank

Wednesday 16/01/13 - Potty for the Piggy Bank - Action!

Well, last week I told you about how the Piggy Bank/Potty for Piggies arrangement had come about, and on Saturday everything went ahead - and thankfully went off without a hitch!
Sally and Jaycee arranged to get the gorgeous Pumpkin and Possum from Sally's temporary foster home, where they'd been taken beautiful care of for over a week, to Little Brambles Rescue in Devon. Sadly, Louise, the owner of the rescue, was unable to help with the transport run because she's rather injured, but with the love for the piggies that comes from the Piggy Bank, Jaycee stepped in and offered to make the run :)
After a pick up from Sally at Newton Abbott, Jaycee very kindly took the time out of her day to get them safely to Louise. This is what she said when they arrived:
Two sows safely arrived here at LB. Very frightened so they have been left to settle in their own time in a deep bed of hay in the warm. They are very sweet girls who will in time be rehomed as a bonded pair but that's along time in the future yet. They have had many changes and they will benefit from a period of stability aswell as lots of TLC. Thank you so much to Jaycee for stepping up to the mark and of course to Sally who was there for them when they were in need. Was lovley to meet Jaycee too and introduce her to a few residents here at LB. Thanks guys x

They will be in no rush to be rehomed, and will be given lots of love and care before being considered for rehoming as a bonded pair.

Wednesday 09/01/13 - The Piggy Bank meets Potty for Piggies!

Our story from the Piggy Bank this wheek is one that hasn't even come to full fruition yet, but will most definitely be the more important one we've ever dealt with. This wheek, the Piggy Bank and Potty for Piggies have had their first official partnership, by arranging to get two very wonderful piggies into rescue. The story is sad but all too common; 2 little ladies who were just not living life to the fullest due to a lack of knowledge by their original owners.
Our fan Sally posted an appeal on the Potty for Piggies page, asking desperately for any help finding a home or a rescue place for the two girls. She sadly can't keep them permanently as she has boypigs, and there's just not enough space. I put the word to the Piggy Bank, and within a matter of hours, not 1 but 2 rescues offered spaces, and transport was organised within 24 hours.
Hopefully this will be the first of many supportive incidents between the 2 groups, and that, come this wheekend, the two lovely ladypigs, Pumpkin and Possum, will be safe and sound at Little Brambles Rescue in Devon.

Wednesday 02/01/13 - Just how much has the Piggy Bank done?

For a group of volunteers and small group of rescues, the Piggy Bank has achieved a lot. No-one receives funding for what they do, so if you add up all the miles and all the guinea pigs helped from this list, it will certainly add up to something monumental!

Since September 2011, so in just 15 months: the Piggy Bank has helped out with ALL these rescues:

Piggy Bank UK record since it was founded in September 2011.

 

GUINEA PIGS

 

35 - Scabby Boys - Glynneath

5 - Forum alert - Wheek & Squeak

65 - Milhaven

2 - forum alert males

10 LMC 7 females, 3 males - RSPCA W Suffolk.

120 boars from the 285 rescue - various rescues

14 - Hillsbrooke

73 - Chingford

1 - Squeak 6 yr old

2 males from Walsall to Potteries

2 males - Coventry to Rugby

1 - Rosa - PB alert London to TEAS

5 females - WWW to Oxford & London (3 piggy trained back).

13 - Leiston, Suffolk to RSPCA West Suffolk

5 - Stockport

12 - Nuneaton

1 - High Wickham

1 - Harlow

1 - Manchester (Betty)

2 - Forum alert (China & Alfie)

1 - Merseyside

6 - Wakefield

2 - Chester

2 - NE London

12 - St Neots

2 - Newquay

47 - Southampton

3 - Crawley to Walsall

16 - Deal, Kent

17 - Lowestoft Suffolk to RSPCA West Suffolk

24 - Ipswich Suffolk to RSPCA West Suffolk

41 - Himi rescue: Glynneath GPR to Yate, Littlest Rescue, Crawley, Palace Piggies, East Peckham, Windwhistle Warren.

Non piggy record

 

Rabbits

1 - Manchester (Rufus)

1 - (Binky)

70+ - Wakefield

1 - Deal

 

Hamsters

5 - Walsall


Does anyone want to add up how many piggies, rabbits and hamsters that makes? It's a lot! It's a lot of miles, petrol, train fees, boxes, hay and veggies for needy and deserving piggies, not to mention a LOT of time and care involved.
To find your nearest volunteer, click the green button. There may be someone closer than you think - or even no-one in your area at all, a perfect chance to join the group :) We can never have enough, even if all you can offer is occasional transport.
To find your nearest Piggy Bank rescue, click the pink button. These are the best of the best and will have lots of lovely piggies and lovely people too!

Wednesday 26/12/12 - What makes a Piggy Bank rescue special?

Now, whether you're based in the UK and have adopted from a Piggy Bank rescue or live abroad and had never even heard of it before this website, you will have heard about the Piggy Bank.
I've tried my best to introduce it on the first 'Stories from the Piggy Bank' post, but just as a reminder: The Piggy Bank is a group of highly recommended rescues and their volunteer support, aiming to do their best to help and rescue guinea pigs from across the country, getting them to homes and rescue spaces where they can be helped, treated and cared for.
But what makes a Piggy Bank rescue special, in comparison to others? If you've seen the map, you'll notice that it's not covered in little pink dots. In fact, there are only 24 little pink dots, for each rescue that matches what the Piggy Bank is looking for. To be approved and get a little pink dot on the map, it's a long process which takes a lot of work and effort from everyone involved. both rescue and Piggy Bank. Let's just say you can't click your fingers and be in, otherwise there'd be a lot more pink dots!
What makes these rescues special is the ethos that they uphold. Every single one of them matches what the Piggy Bank is trying to achieve. Anyone can pick up a piggie from somewhere and claim they 'rescued' it. But I guarantee I'm not the only one who has heard the stories about the rescues that breed from their pigs, or that will only take the ones pretty enough to show or sell, or even those who claim to be rescues but are in fact more like hoarders: taking but never rehoming. The gorgeous Mr. Fergus Montague from our guest blog was deemed too ugly to sell by an apparent rescue, now can you imagine any decent rescue saying that about their guinea pigs?

The main core of the Piggy Bank ethos is that they don't support breeding, showing or promote/encourage pet store purchasing of guinea pigs or non-rescue rehoming. Now, no-one will judge you if you've done this in the past and say 'You can't have this guinea pig, you bought the other one from Pets at Home!' Don't panic. The world of guinea pig rescues is only just really becoming well known, not to mention that not everyone has immediate access to a rescue. If I hadn't had my car, I wouldn't have been able to travel the 55 miles to adopt my guinea pigs, certainly not as easily as I did! What is important is that a Piggy Bank rescue won't go out and buy a guinea pig to match with another one. That piggy will just have to wait a little longer to find the perfect friend. They will take care of every guinea pig they have in rescue with the utmost care.
The same applies to guinea pigs who come into rescue pregnant. The person in charge won't judge you if it was a genuine accident: mis-sexing happens a lot. They won't call you a bad owner, they won't ask you why you didn't know better, and they won't say you can't have any of their guinea pigs in future. If you decide to keep Daddy pig and entrust Mummy pig to their care, who knows, they might even help you find a friend for Daddy pig! They will ensure that the pregnant piggie has their babies in the best possible situation, and that guinea pig will NEVER have to have them again. They will be safe from the complications that come, from the upset of losing any of those babies and from the discomfort of being pregnant.
All Piggy Bank rescues will meet or exceed the 5 Freedoms of the Animal Welfare Act:

The five freedoms as currently expressed are:[1]

  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour
  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind
  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering
None of these will ever be in question: you'll never see rescue pigs cooped up in tiny little cages full-time. You'll never see them without veggies or hay. If you are ever lucky enough to visit a Piggy Bank rescue, you'll see, sadly a lot of, happy cheerful piggies with plenty of space, no matter how many piggies they have in rescue. They'll be looked after, getting the best medical care and treated with respect and love.
Every Piggy Bank rescue runner I've spoken to is easily one of the most altruistic people I've ever had the pleasure to deal with. Don't be fooled that you can't possibly love that many animals all the same: they really can. They still get broken hearts when one dies, they are filled with joy when some get rehomed, and filled with sadness when they see some of the conditions they come in. They aren't robots who are better than us, they are simply the best that humanity has to offer. And if only for that, you should always try to rehome from a Piggy Bank rescue.

Head to the homepage for the Recommended Rescue map, exclusive to the best!

Wednesday 19/12/12 - Piggy Bank Deal rescue

Aren't all these beautiful piggies just lovely? They are part of one of the Piggy Bank's smaller rescues, but an important one nonetheless.

The Piggy Bank was first alerted to this group of piggies in need of help through Facebook. It does have its benefits! They were advertised, a group of 16 piggies and one rabbit, on a guinea pig rehoming group. As it is run by one of the Piggy Bank volunteers, they were alerte very quickly and, hey presto, arrangements were made to get the guinea pigs out of there and into rescue.

The poor guinea pigs had been subjected to a high level of neglect, but this was not intentional. Health issues had prevented the owner from giving them the best level of care and maintaining appropriate standards. The majority were underweight, had fungal or skin issues, some were potentially pregnant as well due to an old enough male being in with the females. The girls were taken to East Peckham Guinea Pig Rescue, and the boys; some suffering with terrible hair loss, stayed at Crawley GPR to be assessed before moving on to Walsall. Crunchy the rabbit, the poor little thing, had terrible dental issues and was a very messy, unfortunate bunny: he made his way to The Excellent Adventure Sanctuary to have his dental problems seen to.

It goes to show that animals can suffer through unintentional neglect. Everyone always wants the best for their animals, but things can get in the way. All these little sweethearts are now thriving and have improved dramatically, simply through tender loving care and a happy environment :)

Wednesday 12/12/12 - Piggy Bank Himi rescue

This is one of the most recent rescues that the Piggy Bank has taken part in, it may still be fresh in lots of people's minds, some of the piggies are still on pregnancy watch and a lot still need homes.

Back on October 16th, Suzy at Glynneath got a call that was less than pleasant. She had heard of a group of mainly Pink-Eyed Whites (PEW's) that needed to be rescued. At the time, she was told it could be as many as 70 piggies, which is almost double her rescue capacity (that's if she had no piggies in at all! She was already full to bursting before the call).
It was a case of 'Piggy Bankers unite!' to try and scramble to find places for these piggies. The aim was to get some of the males, non-pregnant or early-stage pregnancy piggies to rescue spaces, whilst Suzy took the ones in more need, late stages of pregnancy or with serious issues on at Glynneath for immediate treatment without the stress of major travel.

On October 24th, 41 Himilayan crosses were removed from a home in South Wales. This was an unfortunate incident of mis-sexing and the resulting baby boars being left in with the females for too long. Back-to-back pregnancies, war wounds, mites and bite marks were just some of the injuries that these piggies had. The family who owned them did their best to try and sex the piggies to avoid breeding, but despite their efforts, on rescue day there were 4 girls in with the boys, and 1 boy in with the girls. It's harder than it looks when they're babies, but as they get older it should be much easier! They did their best though and should not be chastised for this: sometimes it really does just get out of hand.

The himi piggies ended up all over the country, including South Wales, Crawley, Peckham, Bristol, Gloucestershire and Stoke-on-Trent. Thankfully their conditions have very much improved, and with lots of loving care they are all on the mend. To this day there has been one death, the poorliest piggie called Heath who needed lots of attention. One of the mummypigs also had one stillborn baby, but also had one healthy one. There are more casualties with rescue operations than there definitely need to be.

If you are supportive, can offer anything from transport to a little bit of temporary space and you want to join the Piggy Bank, then please email [email protected]

Wednesday 5/12/12 - Milhaven 65 rescue

Back in April, Joanne from Milhaven Guinea Pig Rescue had a big rescue to help with, trying to remove 65 guinea pigs from horrendous conditions. It was a long, arduous series of days, involving transporting piggies across the country. All the guinea pigs had mites, most were underweight, all had overgrown nails and some had fungal infections. I won't post any pictures on here as they really just unpleasant. It's sad to see the terrible conditions that people are willing to put animals through, but that is why rescues are an absolute godsend. Anyone who runs a rescue should have the utmost respect from any pet owner, whether they choose to rescue or not.

This is how the Piggy Bank helped out: (it may not make much sense as they're all referred to by their Guinea Pig Forum usernames)

On Sunday, Joanne delivered 18 guinea pigs to Pebble in Leeds- Pebble then met up with Saltnpeppersmum on the motorway who collected the 2 pigs that she is now fostering on behalf of Barc- Pebble then drove down the M1 to meet Beckybee somewhere near Rugby and handed over the remaining 16 guinea pigs. Beckybee drove to Walsall to deliver the pigs to vic-x-vic at Walsall RSPCA who are now caring for them.


On Monday, Dindypig drove to Milhaven to collect 22 guinea pigs. I (flips) met him at Chesterfield and took the pigs to meet up with tillythepig from West Suffolk RSPCA in a layby near Cambridge where he took the 12 pigs that he is now caring for. I then drove to Crawley to deliver the 4 piggies that Palace Piggie have taken on and to pass the remaining 6 pigs on to Jenny (Crawley GPR) who gave them all rest and refreshments (they'd been on the road for 8 hours) before she took them down to Eastbourne Rabbit Rescue which was their last stop.

The volunteers do all this out of the goodness of their hearts, with no additional funding for petrol or transport costs. These guinea pigs can sometimes travel hundreds of miles to get to the rescue spaces allocated for them, and without the help of the volunteers this simply wouldn't happen.
Should you wish to see the original thread containing the pictures (be warned, not for the faint hearted), then please take this link: http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/showthread.php?87561-Large-rescue-yesterday-pics-included

Wednesday 28/11/12 - The start of the Piggy Bank!

UPDATE: A massive thanks to Cath who has directed me to the Guinea Pig Forum thread where the general idea of the Piggy Bank came to life!
A lady called Linda on TGPF had posted how her cat was bringing in baby guinea pigs from outside! The poor things were in terrible shape, and on tracking down the 'owner' of these precious little things, discovered that the owner's toddler often left the hutch unlatched, leaving to unwanted breeding, back-to-back pregnancies and in this case, babies less than a week old being taken or mauled by a cat. The owner was reluctant to call the RSPCA despite being overwhelmed, but thankfully the forum pulled together, and helped to find temporary housing, transport and rescue spaces for ALL the guinea pigs involved that needed to be removed. Also, with Linda's help and advice, the owner learnt a lot and changed her ways of dealing with the guineas, so that this wouldn't happen again. It was another sad case of mis-sexing/buying a pregnant pig from Pets at Home that got out of hand.
This incident inspired everyone involved and many more to come to get involved in THE PIGGY BANK!

The Piggy Bank isn't anywhere to store your money, but it is somewhere safe. It's a network, group and very co-ordinated bunch of volunteers who help to transport guinea pigs out of neglectful, dangerous or basically unliveable situations to rescue spaces, carefully organised around the entire country. There have been big rescues, small rescues and some which have involved hundreds of miles in cars, on trains etc.
The Piggy Bank volunteers also help Suzy and Sharon, the leaders, decide which rescues meet the acceptable standards we would expect from a top guinea pig rescue, and those which move on to the next stage of approval. Many rescues are recommended, but only a select few (increasing all the time!) are approved. These are the ones where you are guaranteed excellent living standards, absolutely NO breeding involved, clean bills of health and the best care for every animal living there. Many of them also offer follow-up help and advice in case you're a bit stuck with your piggies!

The members and volunteers are NOT paid in any way. The transport and housing provided are all out of their love for guinea pigs and their desire to give them a better life. Even if it's only a small trip in the car, every little makes a big difference.

The Piggy Bank is always open to new volunteers. Whether you can offer foster homes or temporary space, down to transport in an emergency, the more people that get involved, the better equipped we are to help! Please email [email protected]l.co.uk if you'd like to know more!