What We Do
At Whimsy's Menagerie and Chinchilla Rescue, we operate as a temporary shelter and home for chinchillas who cannot stay with their original owners. Each circumstance is unique, therefore we do not blame, condemn or criticize the choice or need to give up an animal. Every animal in our household gets the care and attention they need to live happy lives. Each new surrender is given a thorough health check and is gently, and patiently, socialized. It never ceases to amaze us how even the most defensive chin can learn to be a curious, loving critter.
Who We Are
Whimsy is a single mother with four children, three girls and one boy who has autism. She is a committed homeschooling mom with a passion for helping and an insatiable desire for knowledge. This has led her to work toward several college degrees at once. Whimsy has earned two Associate of Science degrees in Science and Social Science, two Bachelor's of Science degrees in Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology and has completed the coursework for a Master's degree in Special Education with an emphasis in autism studies and behavior management. This website, rescue organization and support store are just some of the ways she creatively involves her family in real life learning.
Whimsy is owned by Éowyn: a super sensitive but beautiful Spotted Saddle Horse mare who walks with the most exaggerated swag you've ever seen.
Whimsy has always been an animal lover. As a child she daily volunteered at the local pet store and was also the youngest member of a wildlife rehab program in southern California. Chinchillas and horses are her two primary passions along with woodcraft and gardening. Those passions have become life consuming. We are currently looking to move to a place that will allow for expansion.
Mandi is Whimsy's oldest daughter, commonly referred to as "Second-in-Command" or "Mini Whimsy." Her other positions include: backup brain; webmistress; graphic designer; photographer; secretary; bookkeeper; master box packer, etc., etc.
Mandi is the artist who created the site logo, and is in charge of all of the site's videos and other graphic projects. This allowed for plenty of practice as she pursued her Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design (graduated 2017). Always the creative type, she even has her own offsite shop called Paper To Pen, where she hand-binds and sells one-of-a-kind journals, sketchbooks, and photo albums!
She dreams of one day having her very own horse and maybe a chicken or two. *Update* Dream achieved! Now the proud owner of Double Dutch Dharma: a Rocky Mountain mare.
Morgan is the original creator of our website and Facebook page. She is Whimsy's personal editor. Her hobbies include singing, dancing, photography, playing ukulele, and miscellaneous computer stuff. A Psychology major, she is the first of the kids to earn her Bachelor's degree.
Mandi and Morgan began attending Tidewater Community College at the ages of 14 and 13, respectively, while dual-enrolled with their homeschooled studies. They were featured in a local newspaper for their accomplishment in July, 2010, as they were gearing up for their third semester at Tidewater Community College. Read it here!
Now, they have graduated together with their Associate's degrees in December of 2012, and are finally parting ways, academically, to work on their respective Bachelor's degrees.
Ziggy loves woodworking and helping with the more mundane chores. He is full of energy and good spirit when it comes to keeping the chin room vacuumed. He also enjoys measuring out the feed portions for each of the eagerly awaiting chins. He is often the much needed "third hand" when building all the items in our store. Ziggy has autism but his laser sharp concentration makes him the very best toy maker! He often leads the special needs students (and the adult helpers) in the correct toy pattern stringing, and is quick to catch quality control issues. Ziggy is most happy when he's a contributing member of the family.
Like her big sisters, Jillian began college at the tender young age of 13. She earned her Associate's Degree in Social Science and is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in psychology. Jillian is the most fearless chinchilla wrangler of the Menagerie. She's the one to thank for working patiently with many of our rescues to make them sweet as can be. She is the master seagrass knot tier, water bottle filler, creative toy crafter, cage cleaner, etc.
How It Began
Many humane societies and animal control facilities do not accept exotic pets. When they do, they are not generally equipped for the specialized care chinchillas need. For this reason, we operate as a home based shelter affiliate. The rescue began nearly a decade ago as a homeschool project. We had the space, knowledge and passion to help ease the burden of overbred, unwanted chinchillas. So, on November 1st, 2008, our original website was made to spread the word, and has continued to grow ever since. We've developed quite a following of loyal supporters and clientele who have adopted chinchillas and purchase quality chew toys, cage accessories and other supplies from Whimsy's.
We also serve by providing in-service training for local veterinary clinics, pet stores and youth groups. We work closely with the local high school where we volunteer as job coaches to teach the students vocational skills by assembling our store items. In turn, the store funds the rescue work we provide for the chinchillas in our care. Whimsy's Menagerie has become quite an extensive community affair!
We look forward to many years more of serving not only the chinchilla population, but in helping and educating those connected to us who share the same love for chinchillas we do. ;)