Posts tagged success story
Happy August!

This summer is just flying by! Already it's more than half past the beginning of the month and my update is very, very late. :s

Anywho....for the month of July, nine (9) chinchillas were surrendered and eight (8) chinchillas were adopted.

We had one situation where the surrendering family was obviously distraught about the decision to give up their chinchillas. After a heart to heart chat, we discovered the root cause was one more of guilt than anything else. Guilt over not spending the "time and attention they deserve". The raw truth of the matter is, if a chinchilla has a cage buddy with whom to snuggle, plenty of food, water, appropriate shelter and a clean cage then spending one on one time with them is icing on the cake. Yes, interacting with your pet will serve to enrich theirs and your life, but life is not always absolutely stable.

Even our human friendships suffer when going through a major (or minor) life change. Just because we have little time for our human friends does not mean we ditch them altogether. A good friendship will resume where left off. This is very similar with our relationships with our pets. Unless yours is a situation where there is abuse or damaging neglect, please do not fall victim to the mentality that you are somehow not a good chinchilla owner if you can't play with them every day.

This guilt inflicting mindset has been circulating around the forums for years now and has caused more damage than good. The results are people who come to resent their pets rather than cherish them. While I do agree that having a pet means having a relationship, the guilt involved in spending time with them is counterproductive. Chinchillas do not absolutely positively have to have a specified amount of out of cage time each day. It is ideal, but not a diehard rule. Unless your chin is caged in a shoe box, they should have enough space and environmental stimulation provided in their habitat (cage) to keep them secure and content.

We received a promising email from the people with the change of heart. The following message sent me sailing happily through this post:

Hello again! :)

First, I want to thank you again for changing my mind about surrendering my little ones: now that we are settled into the new house, my schedule really has allowed more time to spend with them and they seem much, much happier. They transitioned very well through the move, and even seem much more relaxed than before. The new cage setup has been fabulous, and I'm looking forward to being able to open the two levels now that I work with an exotics vet who is willing to neuter Cashew. They have LOVED the new diet and all of the different treats they've gotten to play with, but now I am almost out! That must mean it's time for an order! ;)

So it looks like a happy ending, or a new beginning for all.

Bucky has a friend!

Bucky has a new friend!

Every now and then we get in a surrender who just steals our hearts. Bucky is one of those.  Bucky came to us more than a year ago from an owner who was heartbroken over her decision to let him go. But she knew that Bucky was unhappy where he was. He had started to chew his fur, and his owner felt the daycare center she had in her home was not conducive to a chin's happiness.

Our primary goal was to find him a gentle, same-gender friend to alleviate his stress. His first friend, Buffalo Bill (another fur chewer) and he got along well for many months...but Bill couldn't stand the temptation of being in the same room with females in heat. So he turned on Bucky. Buffalo Bill was adopted out as a single chin back during the Christmas season. Bucky had to resign himself to snuggling with his stuffed puppy until we could find him a suitable new friend.

Like people, chinchillas are social creatures and are much happier with a friend. (We strongly recommend that chins have a same-gender buddy unless they prove too aggressive to do so.)

Recently, a group of 8 chinchillas were surrendered as breeding pairs.  While we hate breaking up bonded pairs, we equally despise indiscriminate breeding!


Amid the group was an older male with a severe seizure disorder. His condition and gentle disposition made him a prime candidate to introduce to our Bucky.

Bucky and Methuselah have been together for a good , solid month now and are doing very well! We often find them snuggling and grooming each other, acting like lifelong friends. What a happy ending. :)

Meet Octavia and Tequila

Many single chins have come in over the past couple of months. This week we've been working on trying to pair them up. Chinchillas are interesting critters in that they like to choose their own friends, most of the time we have a pretty good idea who will get along with whom. But there have been some surprises in the past.

We start by running a soft introduction. We place potential friends in a three compartment carrier that keeps each safe from harm. And then we watch. If either chin shows immediate aggression, then we know the pairing is not likely to work. In the best case scenario, the chins will sniff briefly, then ignore each other. The first sniff is the most important. It's like the chins are trying to measure each other up and decide what to do. Eventually, we'll move the compatible chins together in a neutral cage and keep an eye on them until we're sure they will click. Females typically get along easier and males do long as there are no females around. In an ideal situation, each chin loving home would only contain a single gender.

Yesterday we managed to successfully pair Octavia and Tequila, two adult females who came from separate homes. We're very pleased to know these two have each other to snuggle with now. Octavia is especially thankful and the new friend has really seemed to calm her down. Now, who would like to give these lovely girls a home?