Adopt a pet: guinea pigs, rabbits available at the animal shelter

If you are Looking to adopt a guinea pig from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Animal Protection and Control Shelter, you’ll have to wait until next week to fill that cage.

The shelter has had a run on guinea pigs for the past two months. About 20 have been adopted, spokeswoman Melissa D. Knicely told the Charlotte Observer. A mother guinea pig and her babies are being housed in a shelter, but they are not yet ready for adoption, she said.

Sometimes one or two guinea pigs arrive over a period of two to four months because their owners are moving, or a child is no longer caring for them, or they have been removed from a home due to an expulsion or voluntary abandonment, Julia Conner, the shelter’s humane education manager, said.

AC&C CMPD Guinea Pigs
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Animal Care and Control Shelter has had a run on guinea pigs for the past two months. Six of them should be available soon. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Animal Care and Control

The shelter occasionally takes in multiple guinea pigs in a day or week, usually because a male and female were housed together and had too many babies for the owners to care for, Conner said.

“It’s really very random when they arrive, but they come regularly enough that publicity of their adoptability is significant,” she said.

Unlike dogs and cats, guinea pigs and other small animals have “fairly large space” at the shelter, so capacity isn’t an issue, Knicely said.

When large numbers of guinea pigs are brought in, the shelter posts their photos on its “ASAP” Facebook page, Conner said.

“It helps a lot,” she said. “We do the same with rabbits.”

The time from Facebook posting to adoption can vary, according to Conner.

“Usually we release the little pets mid-week and sometimes they will be gone on the weekend,” she said. “When we’re really full with them I’ll do a live on Facebook or Instagram and they’ll be gone the following weekend. I think the longest pig we had was about three weeks before he was adopted.

Six guinea pigs and two rabbits will be available over the next week, according to Conner.

How about a bearded dragon?

Conner said there are many unique animals housed at the shelter at any given time, including a bearded dragon and a rooster that are currently available for adoption.

“If you see him on a farm, we passed him here,” she said. “If you see small pets being sold in stores, we brought them here.”

CMPD Rabbit AC&C
Two rabbits will be available at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Animal Control and Custody Department over the next week. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Animal Care and Control

Horses, sheep, goats, cattle (on rare occasions), pigs, chickens, mice, hamsters, rats, ferrets, snakes, fish, birds of all kinds, other lizards and gerbils have all passed through the shelter’s doors, according to Conner.

Some of the animals arrive as lost pets, particularly when someone mistakenly releases a bird or rabbit “into the wild” thinking it can survive on its own, Conner said. A person usually finds these animals and brings them back, she said.

On very rare occasions, animals will be found outside veterinary offices, pet stores or even outside our main doors as abandoned, Conner said.

CMPD AC&C Bearded Dragon
A bearded dragon is available for adoption at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Animal Protection and Control Shelter. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Animal Care and Control

CMPD Animal Care and Control

Animals are available for adoption at the shelter at 8315 Byrum Drive from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday or 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Adoption fees vary by animal type, but guinea pigs are $5 each, rabbits $58, and dogs and cats $30.

Jonathan Limehouse is a breaking news reporter and covers all the major events in the Charlotte area. He covered a litany of other beats from public safety, education, public health and sports. He is a proud graduate of UNC Charlotte and a native of Raleigh.

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