March is just around the corner—and that means National Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month! Launched 14 years ago by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), the yearly March event was designed to raise awareness about the thousands of guinea pigs in shelters nationwide waiting to find their forever homes.
There are many ways you can take action to help them: You can spread the word on social media and with friends and neighbors, write to pet store owners to stop the sale of guinea pigs, volunteer at shelters that house guinea pigs, and even rescue one (or two) and bring them home to be a part of your family! (Petfinder.com is a great resource.) Cavies are social animals, so keep in mind they’ll be happier if adopted as a pair.
Here’s an inspiring story from my book Animal Reiki, which shows the remarkable recovery of a very sad and withdrawn guinea pig:
Even traumatized animals respond well to Reiki when given control over the treatment. When first adopted by my sister, Godiva was an extremely withdrawn guinea pig who had been kept in a dark closet and roughly handled by a child. She went inside her house whenever she saw a person and, unlike most guinea pigs, moved very little, never played and barely made any vocalizations.
My sister was concerned that she perhaps had some kind of brain damage because she was so unresponsive. She huddled out of my sight in her house as I introduced myself to her and began to offer her Reiki from just outside the cage. I reassured her that I wouldn’t force any kind of contact with her and that she need only accept the healing energy if she wanted it. I mentally let her know she was in a safe place now.
As soon as I began the treatment, she peeked her head outside her house, made eye contact, rested her head on her paws and made a little sigh. I felt the flow of Reiki very strongly. She remained in that position, watching me, and after half an hour, I felt the flow of energy dissipate and ended the treatment. I thanked Reiki and then thanked Godiva for her willingness to heal.
As I sat down on a couch nearby to discuss the treatment, Godiva suddenly came out of her house, put her front legs on the bars of the cage nearest to me, and began to squeak loudly over and over. My sister exclaimed in amazement that she had only made that noise once or twice when she was getting fed her favorite food: fresh lettuce. It was a clear, “Thanks for the Reiki!”
With frequent Reiki treatments, in combination with my sister’s patient care, a new fresh food regimen, and regular doses of fresh air and sunlight, Godiva made an amazing recovery. She grew to love the touch of human hands, even purring and squeaking when scratched. What amazing progress. Thank you, Reiki!
Let’s all find creative ways to support guinea pigs—not just in March, but all year long.
Not sure if a guinea pig is for you? Here are 10 reasons guinea pigs are an awesome addition to the family. And if you’ve ever rescued a guinea pig, share your stories here!