I want to get guinea pigs, should I buy them or adopt from a rescue?

Guinea pigs make awesome pets, but please read this article before you rush to the pet shop!

If you’re thinking about getting guinea pigs and you’re reading this blog post then GREAT! You’ve already made a good start by researching these wonderful little creatures first. Then, once you’ve done your research and you think, ‘Yes, guinea pigs are the ones for me!’, I bet the next thought is, ‘Hmmm…where can I get them from?’.

Well, STOP. RIGHT. THERE. … And let me say ‘Adopt, adopt, adopt!!!’. It might not be something that automatically springs to mind with small animals, but there are LOADS of rescue centres out there looking for responsible animal lovers who want to adopt guinea pigs! These piggy sanctuaries might not get as much press as the likes of Battersea or the RSPCA. However, trust me, there are many hard-working, dedicated and knowledgeable individuals (and/or small teams) up and down the country running rescues for abandoned or unwanted guinea pigs.

So, please do take a moment to do your research and see if there is a guinea pig rescue that is fairly local to you. That’s exactly what we did when we were thinking of getting our first two piggies back in 2014 and we have never looked back!

Barnum, one of the many guinea pigs we have adopted from Blackberry Patch Rescue in the UK.

We live in Chelmsford and our nearest rescue centre, Blackberry Patch Guinea Pig Rescue, happens to be about 15 minutes away. This is AWESOME! Why is it so great? Well, not only have we since returned a number of times (I’ll be honest, I’ve lost count!) to adopt more guinea pigs, we have also benefitted from the valuable health and wellbeing ‘know-how’ that comes from someone who has been rescuing and caring for guinea pigs for many, many years. Added to that, rescues can provide valuable assistance when bonding an existing guinea pig with a new one on a ‘playdate’. If, for example, you have a pair of guinea pigs and one of them passes away, a rescue centre can be a great way to find a new friend for your lonely piggy. As they are working so closely each day with the piggies who reside at their rescue, they get to know their personalities and will be ‘hands on’ to help ensure a successful pairing/grouping.  

And Finally…

By supporting your local guinea pig rescue centre with a donation when you adopt, you’ll also be helping to support all the other piggies at that rescue (some of which may never be able to be rehomed due to behavioural or health issues) with food, hay, treats, medical supplies etc. It really is a ‘win win’ situation!! So, let’s hear it one more time and then I’ll leave you all alone … Adopt! (Don’t Shop!)


If you’re trying to find your local rescue, here’s a handy list for you:


To find your local UK rescue, click here.


To find your local US rescue, click here.


For rescues in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, click here.

Niedersachsen: Die Gurkendiebe (Niedersachsen)

Hessen: Notmeerschweinchen Nidderau (Hessen)


Popcorns & Binkies Rescue Haven (Winnipeg, Manitoba)


Victoria: Chuffnut Cavies (ACS Melbourne)

New South Wales: Cavy Central (ACS Sydney)


- Gold Coast Guinea Pig Rescue

- QLD Guinea Pig Refuge (North Brisbane)

- Miss Piggy’s Guinea Pig Lair Shelter (Sunshine Coast)


Auckland Cavy Care (North Island) (the only dedicated piggy rescue in the country)