Monday, November 16, 2015

Not a holiday hero...

If you watch TV at all, you've probably seen Petco's latest Christmas advertising campaign.  Here is the text that accompanies the ad:
Do you want to be a holiday hero? Get someone a small animal for Christmas this year! Petco makes giving a small pet as a gift easy this holiday season with pet kits on sale from just $39.99! What small friend do you want to get?
At Pigs n Buns, we can tell you that you most decidedly will NOT be a holiday hero in our eyes if you follow Petco's gift suggestion.  These are the reasons why:

Pets are for life, not a gift to be forgotten and abandoned.
How many toys from last Christmas does your child still pay attention to?  Does your child even remember what he or she received for Christmas last year?  The sad truth is that most animals given as gifts end up dead or abandoned.  A pet should be a member of the family.  The entire family should research proper care for a potential pet, and the pet should be for the entire family.  To expect a child to care for a small pet for its entire lifespan is unrealistic and unreasonable.  Guinea pigs can live 5-7 years (or more!), rabbits can live 8-12 years (or more!), and even small animals such as hamsters can live for 3 years.  Are you ready to be a forever family for a pet for this long?

"Starter kits" are not appropriate homes.
Since pet stores sell "starter kits" with seemingly everything you need for a small pet, many people think this is all you need.  This could not be more wrong.  These tiny cages are nothing more than small prisons for pets who quickly become bored and inactive.  Small pets need space to run and an enriched environment to prevent boredom.

A rabbit should never be housed in something the size of a litter box!
"Starter kits" usually come complete with inappropriate food and treats.
Starter kits typically come with "fiesta mix" type food and treats consisting of seeds and honey.  This certainly misleads new pet owners, especially because they are usually labeled as "nutritious".  Please research a proper diet for your new pet.  Avoid fiesta mixes.  Guinea pigs and rabbits should be fed plain, high-quality, timothy-based pellets, as well as greens and unlimited grass hay.  High-quality brands such as Zupreem and Oxbow do not contain seeds and colored junk food.  This junk food will eventually kill your pet, whether by choking on a seed or health problems stemming from obesity.

Buying a pet from a pet store contributes to the problem of pet overpopulation.
There are so many small pets available for adoption.  Please don't be part of the problem.  Be part of the solution.  Do your research, and choose to adopt rather than purchase a pet.  You may have the mindset that you are saving an animal by purchasing from a pet store, but all you are doing is putting money in the pet store and animal mills' pockets and encouraging them to breed more and more animals.  When you adopt from a rescue organization such as Pigs n Buns, you are opening up a spot for another abandoned animal to have a safe place to land.  Many animals are waiting in kill shelters, and adopting will save one of those animals.  A rescue organization can also educate you on proper care of your new family member and help match you with the right pet!

If you do want to give a pet a home for the holidays, please contact your local shelter or rescue organization.

 Pets are not toys.  Please respectfully tell Petco that this advertising campaign is inappropriate and detrimental to the lives of our furry friends.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Non-diggable Bunny Litter Box

Hi everyone!  We have been getting many requests on how to build the non-diggable litter box.  One of our supporters came up with this idea (Photos courtesy of Shary!).  I built it myself, and it works well.  Binky Bunny also sells litter boxes and screens, so if you like this style, you can order from them:

Here are the instructions for building your own:
  1. Purchase a 10 gallon Rubbermaid Roughneck storage tote - you can find this at Home Depot or similar stores.  Cut the "door" to the box where you want your buns to go in.
  2. Purchase a roll of vinyl-coated hardware cloth (also from Home Depot).  You will make a platform with this inside the bin.  It comes in a roll, so it works best to flatten it on the floor before trying to work with it.
  3. It works well to make it about 1 1/2" high, and double-fold the long sides for sturdiness.  To make a good fit in the bin, make the mesh 36 squares long and 24 squares wide (this includes the surface of the platform, not the sides)
  4. Once you have it cut to fit, you can use zip ties to hold the folded sides together.
  5. I recommend using heavy-duty cutters.  I found these at Home Depot, and they cut through both the plastic and hardware cloth:

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Adopt a Guinea Pig Month!

Did you know that March is Adopt a Guinea Pig Month?  Have you been thinking about bringing guinea pigs into your life?  Perhaps your kids have been asking for a guinea pig.  Well, first of all, guinea pigs should be pets for the whole family.  They aren't just children's pets - they are fun and interactive pets for everyone.

Before bringing any furry friend home, you should do some research on their care needs to make sure it is the right pet for you.  Here are some facts about guinea pigs to get you started:

Guinea pigs, or cavies as they are properly known, are not actually from Guinea (and no, they are not pigs!).  They originate in South America, where wild populations live in social colonies.  As such, our domesticated cavies are very social creatures, and should always have at least one friend to live with!  Pigs n Buns adopts out guinea pigs in same-sex pairs.  If you already have one piggy, we can match one of ours to yours!  Here is some care info that you need to know before deciding to bring guinea pigs into your home.
  1. Guinea pigs have a typical lifespan of 5-7 years, but can live even longer!  Therefore, you need to be prepared for a commitment of several years.
  2. Guinea pigs need space!  Nearly all commercial pet store cages are much too small for our furry friends.  The good news - you can make a fun and inexpensive "C&C cage" to house your piggies.  The large Midwest guinea pig habitat also provides an acceptable amount of space for a pair.  Bigger is always better though!
  3. Guinea pigs need hay, fresh greens, and plain (no seeds or colored bits) pellets every day.
  4. Guinea pigs do require vet care, and not just any vet will do.  You will need to find a vet who is familiar with treating guinea pigs.  
  5. Guinea pigs require grooming - all guinea pigs will need their nails trimmed regularly, and if you fall in love with a long-haired breed, you will need to keep that hair clean and brushed!
  6. Guinea pigs are vocal!  Be prepared for a chorus of guinea pig "wheeking" when you open the fridge or rustle a plastic bag!  Even though they are not actually pigs, they can definitely eat like one!
If you decide that guinea pigs are the right pet for you, then please adopt!  A reputable rescue can match you up with a pair of guinea pigs.  There are so many homeless guinea pigs looking for a forever home.

Pigs n Buns always has guinea pigs looking for forever homes!  Watch our Facebook page to see upcoming events.  You can come meet adoptable piggies.  Of course, you must fill out an adoption application beforehand in order to adopt.  We will be happy to give you guidance on providing the best home possible for these adorable little pets.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Home for the Holidays

This is one of Pigs n Buns’ best events of the year! During the months of November and December, every animal in our rescue will come with a complete set up - absolutely free. Why do we do this? Because everyone deserves to be home for the holidays!

Below we will talk about what is included in each adoption package. In general, the animals will come with what they are currently living in, so each adoption package may vary slightly.  If you are uncertain about something, please email for more information!

We will build you either a pen or condo for your new fluffy family member. They will also come with a large and small litter pan, food and water bowls and whatever toys they currently have.

If you need a base to your cage we may have some extra coroplast. It will be going fast though, so if you are adopting near the end of this promotion it may be gone!

Some of our bunnies have been with us for over a year, some even longer. Please consider some of our more overlooked bunnies. 

Here are some examples of possible setups:

The bottom photo is the setup of one of our adopters.  If you adopt during Home for the Holidays, you will receive a pen (most of our bunnies have pens made from these storage grids), large litter box (similar to one in photo), small litter box, food & water bowls, and your adopted bun's toys.
Each guinea pig single, pair, or trio will come with a C&C cage, water bottle, food bowl, pigloos and litter pan.

We have a variety of cage sizes. There are 2x3s for single pigs, 2x4s for pairs, and 2x5s for trios or just spoiled piggies  If you are unfamiliar with C&C cages, please visit  These are the cages we recommend for all of our piggy adoptive families.

Our male pigs always get overlooked in favor of females. Males are just as awesome, we promise! Please consider giving a pair of boys a home. 

You will receive a pen similar to this.  You will also receive a food bowl, water bottle, pigloos for the piggies to hide in, and litter pan for their toilet area (you can't really litter train piggies, but they often choose a "potty corner")
Each hamster single or pair will come with your choice of cage (tube, bin or plastic bottom styles), water bottle, food bowl, wheel, and hide house. 

We have cages similar to the ones shown here (these are not the exact cages).  You will also receive a water bottle, food dish, hidey house, and wheel to make a complete home for your new little friend.
The rats will come with a cage, water bottle, food bowl and hide house.

We currently have four senior female rats. They can go all together or in pairs. We would REALLY love to see these girls finally have a forever home. They have been in rescue their entire lives!

These cute little mischievous critters will come with a cage, water bottle, food bowl, hide house and hammock.
There is nothing we at Pigs n Buns Rescue would love to see more than our animals get loving forever homes for the holidays. If you are interested in adopting, please fill out or adoption questionnaire to get started!:

Not ready to make the commitment of adopting? Maybe you just aren’t sure if the pet you are thinking of is right for you? Consider fostering! You can foster for as long or as short as you like (we do like at least a two month commitment, so the animal(s) are not shuffled around too much). Email to get started!

Want to meet the animals and volunteers in person, take our guinea pig or bunny 101 class, or schedule a foster or adoption? We have several events coming up these next two months!:
November 10th: Cleaning/Volunteer day in Dover
November 16th: Pet Food Warehouse event in St. Petersburg
December 8th: Cleaning/Volunteer day in Dover
December 21st: Pet Food Warehouse event in St. Petersburg
If none of the above work with your schedule, let us know and we can arrange something else!  Follow our Facebook page for event updates (see link to the right)

Please help spread the word about the animals needing forever families and loving foster homes. Tag us, like us, share us and tell your friends! 

Here are a few of our adorable adoptable animals.  Will you give them a home for the holidays?

Sophie has been waiting for a home to call her own for a long time!
Peanut needs a guinea pig experienced home and can be adopted as a single piggy.
Miles & Olivia
Our pair of young piggy sisters
 And many more!!  We have animals good for first-time homes, as well as a few that need bunny/guinea pig experienced homes.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's not my fault!

In the rescue world we come across many people who think that there must be something wrong with an animal for it to be in a rescue. Surely it must be sick, have behavior problems or be fundamentally damaged in some way? The reality is, nearly every animal we see come to our rescue is a perfectly fine, but the person that was supposed to care for them let them down.

So many of these adorable critters have been in our rescue for far too long.  The reasons why they came to us and why they have not been adopted are not their fault. Each and every one of these animals is loved, and we are just waiting to find the right family to love them as much as we do!  Read on, and they will tell you their stories.

Hi!  My name is Caramel.  I’m about a year and a half old.  I was born on St. Patrick’s Day.  In some ways my life has been lucky, but I’ve also been unlucky.  Let me explain.  I’ve never had a home to call my own.  The rescue has always been my home.  You see, I was born in the care of a shelter, and the rabbit rescue took me in when I was very young.  So in a way, I was lucky because I’ve never had to know the fear of living outside, or been fed a poor diet.  I’ve always been cared for. 

I am glad that I don’t have to worry about being given proper care or love, because I receive all of that in my foster home.  What I want most of all is a home of my own!  All of my siblings have been lucky enough to find loving homes.  I kept getting overlooked because for a while (and this is SO embarrassing) my litter box habits were not great.  My foster home worked with me, and I have been successfully litter trained!

Now my foster home can’t figure out why I keep getting overlooked!  I am cute and sweet.  I would love to be your bunny!  It’s not my fault I continue to get overlooked.
We really don't know why we don't seem to get inquiries about this sweet girl!
My name is Summer.  I was given up to a shelter while I was pregnant, along with the father.  My first “home” didn’t seem to understand that unfixed bunnies of the opposite sex will indeed reproduce when kept together.  I gave birth and raised my babies.  All have found homes to call their own except for Caramel.  Their father has also been adopted. 

My foster home isn’t sure why I haven’t been adopted.  It most likely have to do with the fact that I am a bigger girl (more bunny to love!), and my coloring is a bit plain (even though my foster home says I am beautiful).  I have a shining personality.  It’s not my fault that no one has given me a chance yet.

Summer is a beautiful girl with so much love to give.

My name is Stormy.  My first family didn’t really understand me.  They said I was aggressive, but I was confused and young, and constantly had small children pestering me.  My hormones didn’t help either, but the family refused to take the advice of having me spayed.  They gave up on me and sent me to a rabbit rescue.

Going to the rescue was probably the best thing that’s happened to me so far.  I was spayed right away, and while I am still quite spunky, my hormones are no longer raging.

I’ve been here now for close to two years.  I’ve lived in various foster homes.  I am constantly overlooked because of the color of my eyes.  I have the most beautiful ruby eyes, but unfortunately many people find them “creepy”.  The people who care for me now don’t understand that.  At least they tell me my eyes are beautiful.

It’s not my fault that my first family didn’t want to put effort into me, and it’s not my fault I have ruby-colored eyes.

Stormy is such an adorable, spunky girl.

Pets come into our rescue for a variety of reasons.  Most of the time, the common theme is that their current family simply doesn’t want to put any effort into properly caring for them.  While there are certainly legitimate reasons for surrendering a pet (such as serious illness), we find that usually there are alternatives.  Here are the common reasons given to shelters upon surrender:

  • Moving and don't want to spend the time to find a pet-friendly place to live
  • Suddenly develop allergies after years of living with their pet.  I am allergic to hay.  There are, of course, life-threatening allergies, but there are ways to deal with minor allergies.
  • Unsure "why their pets keep breeding" and have too many
  • Think they aren't spending enough time with them, so they surrender them to assuage their guilt.  Unfortunately, a pet will get far less attention in a shelter situation.
  • Didn't realize their pet would get bigger
  • Having behavior problems, but refuse to get their animal spayed/neutered or work on correcting the problem
  • Did not research care requirements of the pet before they acquired the animal on impulse.  Upon realizing that animals do indeed need things like food and do things like poop, they decide they don't want the animal.
  • Purchased the pet for a young child.  After a short period of time, the child lost interest and they decide to get rid of the pet.
  • Changing life circumstances - illness or death in the family, marriage, birth of a child, etc. - and they decide a pet no longer fits into the picture.
There are a million reasons that animals are given up. The pets in our rescue had no say in the matter, they just want to be loved.  It truly isn’t their fault.

If you live in Southwest Florida and are interested in one of these lovely overlooked bunnies, please fill out our adoption questionnaire to get the process started!