Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month – March 2023

Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month is celebrated in March in the U.S. There are many reasons why a guinea pig could be abandoned. Some are left behind by owners when they relocated or just didn’t want to take care of the animal anymore. Some are caged by officials and some are lost. Adoption ensures you get a pig that has been checked and well-taken care of. Guinea pigs have a strong body with short legs, large heads and eyes, and short ears. Their fur varies in texture and color — often it is very curly and long.

History of Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month

A guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor related to pigs. The name is a mystery, but the critter itself is certainly cute. It is a domesticated rodent from South America, where they were bred as livestock for the household. They are related to a wild species called ‘cavy,’ which still roam around in the grasslands of the Andes.

The uses that guinea pigs have been put to over the centuries have been numerous. The tribes of the Andean region use them as customary gifts, medicine, and even as a divine medium. They are depicted in the art of ancient Peruvian tribes. They were introduced to North America and Europe by Spanish, Dutch, and English traders in the 16th century. Here, they became pets in rich households that could afford exotic trade. Even Queen Elizabeth is said to have had one! Guinea pigs have been featured in popular culture as well, starring in children’s tales to Hollywood movies like “Dr. Dolittle.”

Their use as laboratory animals is very well-recorded, so much so that human beings are referred to as “guinea pigs” when they are made the object of an experiment! This practice started as early as the 17th century, when two Italian biologists conducted a live dissection of a guinea pig to study its internal parts. They were widely used in European and American labs from then on and have been instrumental in studying major diseases like cholera and tuberculosis, and in securing vaccinations. From the 1950s, they have been replaced by mice and rats, because of greater genetic knowledge of these species as compared to guinea pigs.

Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month timeline

5000 B.C.
Guinea Pigs Are Domesticated

The tribes of Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia first domesticate guinea pigs.

16th Century
America Gets Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs find their way to North America and Europe through traders.

1961
Guinea Pigs Go To Space

The Russian biosatellite successfully launches Sputnik-9 into space with a guinea pig as a passenger.

2002
Adoption Month Begins

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals starts Adopt a Guinea Pig Month.

Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month FAQs

Why do guinea pigs go to animal shelters?

Most pets arrive at shelters because the owner had to move, could no longer afford the pet, had a death in the family, or simply gave up the responsibility of being a caretaker.

What do guinea pigs eat?

They love carrots and vegetables. If the food they eat is moist enough, they do not need water.

Why are guinea pigs popular pets?

They have great temperaments. They are social and keep a daytime schedule.  Furthermore, they rarely bite, even when stressed. 

How to Observe Adopt a Guinea Pig Month

  1. Visit an adoption center

    Adoption of a rescued animal is a better option than buying from a store because you would be rehoming an abandoned pet. It has been thoroughly checked and prepped. Visit your local shelters or look up a rescued guinea pig online on platforms like Petfinder.

  2. Let your friends know

    Guinea pigs are one of the most social-media-friendly animals, and it is so easy to share a post about the adoption month. Somebody may actually take the plunge and adopt a rescued guinea pig, even if you can’t.

  3. Say “no” to animal testing

    Many cosmetic and consumer goods companies have stopped using animals for testing their products, but many big companies still do. Urge companies to find more progressive alternatives for testing. You can also check out campaigns by animal welfare organizations that highlight the abuse of animals in labs.

5 Facts About Guinea Pigs That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Popcorn pigs

    Excited guinea pigs repeatedly hop in the air, also known as “popcorning.”

  2. Piggy names

    The female guinea pig is a ‘sow’ and a male is a ‘boar.’

  3. Awake at strange hours

    Guinea pigs are most active at dusk and dawn.

  4. Early walkers

    Guinea pigs can walk as soon as they are born.

  5. Long teeth

    Guinea Pigs are born with teeth that grow throughout their lifetime.

Why Adopt a Guinea Pig Month is Important

  1. Guinea pigs are fascinating

    Guinea pigs have been used both as livestock and as pets. They have been used in traditional medicine in the Andes region. They are synonymous with lab research and have been instrumental in achieving many scientific breakthroughs.

  2. We get a cuddly friend

    Guinea pigs are popular choices for pets because they are relatively easy to take care of. There are so many breeds based on fur color and length, so there is sure to be a pig after your own heart if you’re looking to adopt.

  3. It’s a good cause

    Even if you’re not planning to adopt a guinea pig, you can still join in the celebration and spread the word to help match a family or caregiver to a rescued guinea pig. It’s social-media friendly and your efforts will be appreciated.

Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month dates

YearDateDay
2022March 1Tuesday
2023March 1Wednesday
2024March 1Friday
2025March 1Saturday
2026March 1Sunday
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