EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 11, 2013

Meet The Donald

He's one of 33 guinea pigs surrendered to the MSPCA

By Mary Schwalm

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METHUEN — The blond-streaked comb over of The Donald lifts as the door opens, but true to his namesake, his focus on the media is unwavering as he poses for his adoption headshot.

The Donald is one of 33 guinea pigs surrendered at the MSPCA Nevins Farm adoption center on Nov. 2. And while he hasn’t confirmed it, he’s likely responsible for several more soon to join the squeaking adorable herd.

“We’ve got 33 guinea pigs right now,” says Julia Peske, coordinator of Community Outreach at Nevins, “but we’ve also got 11 females on pregnancy watch.”

In a back room, a hay filled crate comes alive with squeaks and fleeting flashes of hair as two females and their brood of 10 babies scurry about. Enticed by carrots, a favorite treat, each makes a brief appearance. The babies are just a week old, 3 to 4 weeks from being available for adoption, but they already explode with cuteness and unique personalities. They squeak and scurry and tussle and occasionally stop to nurse.

Cute as they are, Mike Keiley, director of the Noble Family Animal Care and Adoption center at Nevins Farm, can’t help but be a little stressed by their arrival.

“It’s a tremendous strain on our resources whenever we have a surrender of so many animals at once,” he said. “Monetary donations are hugely important in times like this because of the now significantly larger population of animals that need us.”

Several guinea pigs from the surrender, and many guinea pigs already at the shelter, are readily available for adoptions, and at $30, Peske beams at the bargain.

“They really make wonderful pets; they are easy to care for, have a simple diet, love to be held and cuddled, they’ll readily snuggle, and they don’t require nearly as much care as a cat or dog. They make a great starter pet.”

The shelter is in need of people looking to foster guinea pigs, especially the females that might be pregnant, but is also in need of permanent adoptive homes.

“Please, come visit us, and see how cute they are, certainly you’ll want a couple at that point,” says Peske.

Anyone interested in adopting one or some of the animals is encouraged to visit the MSPCA-Nevins Farm Animal Care and Adoption Center at 400 Broadway in Methuen or visit www.mspca.org.

The MSCPA has also set up a donation form on their website for members of the public who wish to contribute to the care of the guinea pigs, and animals like them.