Guinea Pigs Rescued Despite Earthquake, Hurricane

earthquake and hurricane pigs

Guinea pigs Shake and Quake resting in their hotel room with volunteer Becky Wilson during Hurricane Irene.

It wasn’t your average day for volunteers of Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue. MGPR’s shared message board lit up with “Who Felt That?” when a rare 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit central Virginia. The network of volunteers are spread across Maryland, Virginia, DC, and Pennsylvania housing fostered guinea pigs and sanctuary pigs with rare health issues. Everyone felt it. It was hard not to. The tremor was felt as far away as Canada and across 23 states.

The same day, word went out that there were a pair of surrendered guinea pigs that needed to be picked up immediately from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. One was pregnant and had a cloudy eye that was presumed blind. Because she was underweight, it was hard to tell how far along she was in the pregnancy. MGPR was treating the situation as though she could give birth at any moment. Arrangements were made for MGPR volunteer Julia Folsom to pick them up and bring them to the next adoption meet the following Sunday at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

Unfortunately, volunteers were dealing with the threat of Hurricane Irene which was building in strength and slowly moving up the eastern shore. Within a few days of the pregnant piggy pickup, The shelter asked MGPR to cancel Sunday’s adoption meet at their location.

MGPR Director, Becky Wilson had left her home in Maryland to attend BlogPaws, a social media conference for pet bloggers, at the Sheraton Premiere in Tysons Corner, Virginia when she learned of the cancellation. She immediately began to make arrangements for the pair of pigs to be brought safely to her hotel room for the birth. MGPR Volunteer Angela Mitchell, also attending the conference, had a spare cage in the back of her truck. Becky stated, “I’m so happy that Julia was able to bring them over and that Papua Piig’s travel cage was in Angela’s car. It was like it was meant to be once I decided not to drive home on Saturday evening. Thank you all so much.” With so many pet lovers, animal welfare advocates, and veterinarians in the hotel for the conference, it was easy to line up a few emergency contacts in case complications arose from the guinea pig giving birth. It was wonderful to see how many were willing to rise to the occasion and volunteer their services.

Thankfully, the two rescued guinea pigs, now named Shake and Quake, are safe at Becky’s home where they will have ongoing care. The pregnant sow, unfortunately, was discovered to be blind in both eyes. It will be interesting to see what role her female companion will play in tending to the newborns. Shake and Quake and the pups will be up for adoption as soon as their health needs are cleared and they have a medical assessment. The newborns are sure to have some great hurricane names.


If you have a great idea for an article about guinea pigs, please let us know. Guinea Pig Today is a network of guinea pig lovers and we’re always looking for the next great story. View our submissions page for more information on how to submit your idea.

Angela, Editor-in-Chief, GPT

Angela founded Guinea Pig Today and guest writes for CavyMadness. She volunteers with Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue and supports the ROUS Foundation. Her guinea pig, Papua, is the star of WHEK-TV/DT.

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2 Responses to “Guinea Pigs Rescued Despite Earthquake, Hurricane”
  1. Stacy says:

    Poor Shake! We’ll need an update on her condition!

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  1. [...] A boost from an appearance on local tv station, WBFF FOX 45, gave MGPR’s pignic event increased exposure. The four 2-3 minute segments as part of “Hometown Hotspot” aired throughout the five hour morning show featured interviews with some of the volunteers working with MGPR and showcased some of the guinea pigs currently available for adoption. Shake and Quake, two guinea pigs rescued during one of the largest earthquakes to hit the east coast and who survived their first few days with the rescue in a hotel during Hurricane Irene. [...]



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