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.
What is the difference between pre-applications, early adoptions, and normal adoptions? Pre-application is when the guinea pigs are not yet available but you can still apply so that they can be reserved for you, and once they are ready you can adopt them. Early adoption is when the guinea pigs have not yet been completely fixed of a behavioural or medical problem, but are available to people who are willing to accommodate their needs and rehabilitate them themselves. Normal adoption is when the guinea pigs have finished rehabilitation and can be adopted out like normal.
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, though we are currently in the process of becoming one. Our ABN is 29454016452.
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 Melbourne 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. We have more information here.
Where can I adopt from? For ground transport we 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. Adoption is possible elsewhere in Australia using air transport, though fees are higher. We have more information here.
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 volunteers in other areas are welcome. We have more information here.
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.
How long does the adoption process take? If you already have your cage set up, then from when you submit your application to when you are approved should not take more than a couple of days. If I am at the computer when you apply, and thus get the email immediately, and you and your household are free for the Skype interview, it may even be completed on the same day. The two primary things that extend the process are: - Not having the cage ready, in which case we wait until it arrives and you have set it up. - Waiting until the next available transport date, which, depending on your location, may take from a couple of days to a couple of weeks from when you finish setting up your cage.
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.
How do I cancel my sponsorship? Go to the PayPal website and log into your account. Up the top, on the left of log out, there is an icon in the shape of a cog. Click this icon. A new toolbar should appear that says account, security, payments, notifications. Click on payments. Click manageautomatic billings. There should be a table showing your pre-approved payments. Find the row that describes the Wheektown sponsorship, and click on Wheektown. This will open your subscription details. Toward the top it will say cancel | view history. Click cancel. It will ask you if you are sure that you want to cancel. Click yes. You will no longer be charged for your sponsorship.
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.