Sunday, April 30, 2017

"Small Animals"

"Small animals."  What does that mean to you?

To me... it encompasses a variety of small animals.  For example, rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, chinchillas, prairie dogs, gerbils, hamsters... I could keep going, but you get the idea.

The reason I bring this up, is because I guess the term "small animals" is not as clear to everyone out there.  For me and my rescue friends (some of which call them "smalls," which I think is cute), we do not include cats or dogs in the encompassing term "small animals."

But some people do.

When people call me about dogs and cats (which happens ridiculously often), I used to tell people that we only take in small animals.  I now have revised this to sound something like -- we only take in small, caged animals, such as chinchillas and guinea pigs.

The reason being... I had someone the other day who I told we take in small animals, and they told me, well, cats are pretty small.  Sure... but not (in my mind) a small animal, and more importantly, no matter how small the cat -- we don't take in cats.

The best one ever, was maybe a year or so ago, when someone called wanting me to take in their pitbull.  I told them, small animals, and they said... "well... he's a small pitbull."  Uh-huh.

If you go to the pet store, they have a section for dogs, a section for cats, and a section for small animals.  Somehow... I imagine these people who tell me, "oh it's a small cat / pitbull," don't go to the "small animal" section of the pet store, when shopping for their cat or dog.  Just my thoughts.

But anyway, in case it's not clear to everyone -- let me help you out -- we take in small, caged animals.  Chinchillas primarily, but we have (and do) take in gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits, prairie dogs, degus, rats, and many others.  We typically don't take in hamsters, unless someone we know can vouch that the hamster is not "fur with fangs" (my... endearing... term for most hamsters), as otherwise we'd be overrun with un-adoptable hamsters.  We have taken in gerbils and mice and those other tiny small animals, up to large rabbits, and prairie dogs.  So, a little bit of every size.  We do not, under any circumstances, take in ferrets, but we will be happy to refer you to Greater Chicago Ferret Association -- -- should you want one.  Ferrets are natural enemies of chinchillas, and tend to attack / kill them, and with our tendency to have escappee chins now and then... we will not risk it.  Only hervbivores and omnivores (rats & prairie dogs), fur the furry small animals.  We have taken in non-furry exotics in the past, and some of you may know that my current three corn snakes are rescue snakes.  While we cannot take in a 200 pound burmese python, we have had geckos, turtles, frogs / toads, and smaller snakes here at the rescue.  Also... I used to work in a pet store, and while not all pet stores care for their animals well, I did most of the caring for the furries and reptiles, so... in theory... we could take in quite a bit more animals, that I do know how to care for... some we've just never had the need to bring in.  So... there's quite the variety of animals that we can take in... just not cats and dogs.  Thanks for understanding.

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