An insightful, backstage look into the world of running a volunteer based small exotic animal rescue in Southern California. Reflections and stories that will move you to tears, while others will drive you to delightful chuckles. Listen in as this team of dedicated, passionate, rodent & lagomorph loving people juggle careers, animal care, pregnancy, raising children, menopause, and other personal life issues. It is rarely a smooth road, and usually a wild ride to keep up with this dynamic team!
Monday, September 16 2013
I can’t say all large rescues are a fun adventure, but getting them done with a good team of fellow rescuers certainly helps the task go more smoothly. Sometimes we must see the humorous side of what we do. Otherwise the reality of the situations we find ourselves in would cause depression bouts that would keep us bedridden, unable to tend to the work at hand!
WC has performed many “large” rescues, from over 400 rats taken in at a residence in Ojai, to the 22 guinea pigs from our “Ramona Round Up”. Over the years we have perfected the technique and have gotten it pretty much down to a fine art. If we HAVE to be selective, women and children are pulled first, of course. The pregnant sows need a nutritionally rich diet, nursing babies must be with mom, and the baby females need to come too, since they can get pregnant before 6 weeks old. We then pull the males who appear to be in the worst health. If we are forced to leave any, it will be the older stronger males. Standard protocol is that we try to rescue everyone, though.
Anyway, back to the story at hand. WC received a call from a man who had recently moved into a ranch property in Ramona, and despite being an animal lover, was simply overwhelmed by the gifts the departing tenants had left on the property. You see, the previous owners had moved to the high desert where their herd of guinea pigs was not part of the “relocation plan”.....See More
Thursday, September 12 2013
Leading a successful adoption event equates to commanding a slick military operation and fine tuning an orchestral performance while being lead clown in the center ring of a circus. It’s an all out show along with props, a cast of many stars, both human and animal, along with unexpected ad libs and forgotten lines. It’s a whirlwind of improv and, at times, heckling from the peanut gallery....See More
Tuesday, September 10 2013
In July 2011, volunteer Debbie called me and said, "Hey, the petsitter has just found a rat in a dirty cage in front of our President’s house." That's how it all started. While our president was out of the country, someone dropped off a rat in a filthy cage, just like that. No note, nothing, just left in the driveway. The petsitter was doing animal care while Fenella was away, and at first thought the dirty cage was dropped off as a donation. Moving it to put it in the cleaning area, she saw something moving inside. Someone abandoned their rat, cage and all! She contacted Debbie right away, and the dedicated volunteer that Debbie is, she immediately drove 30 miles to pick up the dirty cage with a rat. She called me and said, "Antonella, this is one angry boy." Oh, c'mon, how bad can he be, right?.....See More
Sunday, September 08 2013
During the earlier years of Wee Companions, before we had a more solid “team” to care for our sick animals, my home was ICU central and I was the full time staff. It was likely a control issue in the early days, but age and wisdom have thankfully helped me share the responsibilities, now. Regardless of rising at ungodly dark hours to hand feed sick animals before work (I do not classify myself as a naturally happy early morning person), fighting sleep to give the last evening feeding, plus the odd night shift, care of the wee ones took priority, and this was the accepted norm, rescuers accept such things as a matter of course. ...See More
Monday, September 02 2013
Rescuers rarely have the chance to choose their life companion animals. The animals choose them. It’s a luxury we often give up because, in the long run, we know the right animal always stays around and it keeps us a hair's length from being classified as hoarders and crazy folk! In the words of our Volunteer Coordinator, “we get what we need, not often what we want.” So true! ... See More