High Desert visits Gardner’s Pig Pen
In between all the storms this winter Colt and I visited Gardner’s Pig Pen in Walnut Grove, California to drop off donations of Timothy Hay bales and boxes. We heard about Carolyn Gardner’s guinea pig rescue during our visit last month to the Bradshaw Animal Shelter and thought there would be nothing cooler than visiting a Guinea Pig rescue. We were not disappointed!
Gardner’s Pig Pen began in 2013 after Carolyn traveled home to visit her sister who had a pet guinea pig. Carolyn decided to adopt one when she got home so she went to the shelter knowing nothing about them (other than how adorable they are!). No one took the time to educate her about guinea pigs or their needs, so she went to the pet store and bought all the wrong things for her new piggy. It was then she started researching guinea pig ownership, adopted two more piggies (they are social animals and do better if they are not alone), built her own cage, and began feeding them right. After her experience she would then preach to people at pet stores and shelters, educating anyone who would listen so they would not make the same mistakes. She then began fostering guinea pigs from the Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento.
Through word of mouth, Carolyn became well known for her guinea pig fostering and advocacy and applied to be a nonprofit in 2020. Her main goal is education, because if people were properly educated at the point of purchase in pet stores, there would be a much smaller need for rescues. She is thankful for the amazing relationships with shelters, other rescues, her foster team, and veterinarian, all of whom she says she couldn’t do this without.
Through her tireless work and dedication, Carolyn has helped save and adopt countless guinea pigs. In 2021 she was able to find homes for 132 guinea pigs and in 2022 that number was 199. Gardner’s Pig Pen currently cares for 86 guinea pigs, 31 at her home location and 55 who are in foster homes.
Tom and Jerry are two piggies who are benefiting from the efforts of Carolyn and her team of fosters and volunteers. They are brothers who were rescued after being dumped in a park in Sacramento in November 2021. These two little guys are super friendly and affectionate, and if you are interested in adopting them please contact Carolyn through Facebook, Instagram, or her website at https://www.gardnerspigpen.com/. As an added bonus, if you adopt Tom and Jerry and reach out to us at High Desert with an update, we will send you a complimentary box of Timothy Hay for them to enjoy as they get settled in!
One event coming up that Carolyn and her volunteers put on each year is the Bay Area Pignic. This is a great opportunity to visit, meet, and adopt some of the cute piggies from Gardner’s Pig Pen. The “Pignic” happens two weekends in the Bay Area, typically the last weekend of August at Marin Humane and the 2nd weekend of September at Linda Vista Park in Cupertino. Stay tuned for exact dates as they are announced!
Colt and I had a great time visiting Gardner’s Pig Pen. Thank you Carolyn for letting us play with the piggies and the Chinchilla, and thank you to all of the fosters, volunteers, and everyone else who helps make a difference in the lives of so many guinea pigs and other small pets in the Sacramento and Bay Areas!