What is your logo meant to be? The petals depict the colouration of each of the twelve permanent residents of Wheektown.
What is the adoption fee for your guinea pigs? Each guinea pig, regardless of age, sex, medical history, or transport requirements is $25. This fee helps to cover the cost of their general care while at Wheektown. All other expenses, including de-sexing and medical fees, are covered in our fundraisers and are not passed onto you. For post-interview approved adopters, the adoption fee is non-refundable; this helps ensure people are serious about adopting and reduces the risk of us paying transportation fees or rejecting other interested parties only to have the adoption cancelled later.
Why did you buy this rescue guinea pig? It is an unfortunate reality that the area Wheektown is situated in is not very animal-friendly. Quite a lot of guinea pigs are kept in bad conditions and their owners, when no longer wanting them, are more interested in making a profit than in the animal's welfare. Wheektown has, in the past, tried to negotiate surrenders with people, either with us or with the RSPCA. Every attempt thus far has been unsuccessful and it cost the guinea pigs their lives. Nowadays when we see neglected or abused guinea pigs for sale, we do not bother with the owners and go straight to buying them. We have learned the hard way that is not worth it to do otherwise.
How come you don't have guinea pig care information on your page? Wheektown works full time researching for a guinea pig encyclopaedia series. We come across interesting stuff so often that if we were to have a section on guinea pig care, we would be constantly back on here updating it. We prefer to prioritise our focus on the series and getting that finished as fast as possible. We do, however, post a daily fact on our Facebook page. These are categorised into Facebook albums as per the sections of the encyclopaedia to make it easier for you to find relevant information. You can browse all our fact posts here.
Are you a registered Australian charity? Not yet. Wheektown is only a very new and tiny rescue and I would like to be established for at least a year and take in more animals before applying for official charity status.
Why do you pay to have the guinea pigs transported instead of finding local adopters? Armidale is a fairly small town and what good guinea pig homes there are, are few and far between. It is not feasible to wait for an adoption candidate to arise for each group of guinea pigs. If a loving new home is found in the area, then that is wonderful, but we do not rely on it. Therefore we raise the extra money in our fundraisers to have the guinea pigs transported to their new homes across the country using a guinea-pig friendly ground transport service.
How much will I need to pay in transport? If you live between Brisbane and Sydney then the transport will probably be covered entirely by us. Further locations have higher transport fees and thus you may need to cover the difference of the additional cost. An example of the difference is $45 to transport to Melbourne.
Where can I adopt from? We are no longer able to offer generic ground transport to South Australia due to problems with our original transport service. We now rely on Dogmovers, which travels along the eastern edge of Australia. You will likely need to meet the driver at a certain place near or on the route to receive the animals. The map below shows their route, and they run every week. Adoption from elsewhere is possible as long as we can work out alternative transport.
Can I volunteer? Due to the small amount of animals in our care, Wheektown is easily managed by one person. Therefore there is no need for volunteers at the residence, though there are two possibilities if you wish to contribute your time: - If you have the space and you enjoy gardening you could maintain a small vegetable garden to help feed the guinea pigs. - If you enjoy driving you could offer transportation of guinea pigs to their adopters' homes within whatever range you are happy with. Wheektown would pay for fuel expenses.
Why are you so strict with your adoption process? A considerable amount of time, money, and effort goes into rescuing, treating, caring for, and rehoming the guinea pigs at Wheektown. Only high-quality homes with high-quality people will be considered as there is no point going through everything with the animal if they're going to wind up back in the same kind of home they were saved from. Because the adopters usually have the animals transported to them I am unable to meet with them in person, so I use the Skype interview as a way of getting a feel of the potential adopter and establishing a friendly relationship with them. The adoption contract needs to be signed and mailed to us, and the adoption fee paid, before we can transport the animals, to avoid people taking the animals and then disappearing. Even in the short amount of time we've been open we have had many inquiries where the potential adopter bailed after realising that we call over Skype and require a contract signed to guarantee the animals' safety. It is a good way of weeding out the low-quality homes. Everything we do has the animals as the number one priority.
What are the requirements for adoption? Housing Preferably an inside C&C cage of at least 2x5. Smaller cages are considered when floor time is provided, and outdoor cages are considered in warm climates. Absolutely no less than 8 sq. ft. is considered, and that is with at least one hour per day of running around time. Wire flooring is not allowed. They must receive adequate cooling in hot weather and adequate heating in cold weather. Outdoor guinea pigs must be brought inside during bad weather. Care They must have constant access to fresh water, constant access to fresh hay, and they must be fed an appropriate diet of pellets and fresh produce. They must be provided with appropriate veterinary attention when sick. They must never be left unattended in a car, intentionally bred, isolated from their own species, or neglected or abused in any way. If one day you are no longer able to look after them, you must either return them to Wheektown or, if you have another home already in mind, have the new owners go through the adoption process with us. Relationship with Wheektown When the guinea pigs arrive you will need to send us a photo of them in their new home so that we know they arrived safely. You will need to tell us if you rename them (so we know their new names), if your legal name, address, or phone number changes, when they die, or if you need to permanently separate them. We would also like to Skype every year to see how the guinea pigs are going.
Can I adopt a single guinea pig to match with my current guinea pig? Due to us needing to transport the animals to their homes, we do not allow the risk that the Wheektown guinea pig and your current guinea pig will not get along. If you are able to visit us in Armidale or if we are going near your house on an existing run, then if we have any single guinea pigs we can introduce them and see how it goes. Due to the general inability of us to do this, however, we pre-pair the guinea pigs to ensure they have appropriate company and they must be adopted out as much.
Can you help me with X? Possibly. Send us a message and see; even if we don't know the answer we can direct you to a source that does.