Most people who are familiar with Smooshie Face Treats will notice my focus has generally been toward Rabbit owners. Thus only being because I’ve not personally owned a Guinea Pig for over 20 years & i have 5 buns.

Since starting my business I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know some really cool piggy owners/customers which has really opened my eyes even more so to these beautiful creatures. I’ve fond memories of my piggy ”Abbot” – i loved listening to his happy chatter whilst we hung out on the lawn together, his cute little ears & big eyes ?…..

One of my goals for 2020 is to make a conscious effort to include more content for our piggy fans and share knowledge through people who know them best. Not only do Rabbits & Piggies share similar dietary requirements, some health ailments & specialist vet care, they both can be wonderful yet sometimes overlooked as loving creatures to have as apart of your family.

I invited Alex Winterford from Gold Coast Guinea Pig Rescue to share with us some words. Alex founded GCGPR in December 2005, this amazing woman has seen thousands of Piggies find forever homes. In almost 15 years of service you can only imagine the journey Alex & her helpers have been on. At times they often bombarded with an overwhelming influx of numbers, this non profit rescue fights hard to stay afloat. Gold Coast Coast Guinea Pig Rescue like many other non for profit organizations are reliant on the loving kindness of people dedicating their time, resources & money, it’s those attributes all working together that see so many happy ever after stories – the process is complex and takes very strong people to make it all happen.

When i invite someone to create a blog i always give free reign on the subject matter, i absolutely love what Alex came up with to share as it gives insight to what a day at the rescue dealing with adoption enquiries might look like.  After i read it, i sat for a moment and thought ohhh my!!! How exhausting. Rescues are run by super passionate, kind, selfless people who always put the animals needs first & to be contacted with thoughtless enquiries would not only waste their precious time but filled their hearts with angst.

Check out Alex’s insight below, we hope it creates discussion about mindfulness and how one should go about contacting a rescue organization to be considered for adoption. – This same concern is also mirrored in the Rabbit rescue community.

Education is key, sharing knowledge and breaking through false assumptions is a way of moving forward. Finger pointing is not constructive and never received well, so lets make a conscious effort to learn & share together…. it can only result in more happy ever after’s 🙂

Holly xx


Alex Winterford – Gold Coast Guinea Pig Rescue


When invited to write this blog I was hesitant for two reasons, one being where would I find the time, the other being what on earth would I write about that people would find interesting. After giving it some thought, I decided to write about one of the things I continue to find frustrating and that is the lack of forethought most people put into acquiring pet guinea pigs. Here are some of the answers I’ve been given over the years to my question “what is your reason for wanting to adopt guinea pigs?“. See if you can pick which enquiries I moved forward with, and which didn’t make the cut:

  1. The pet shops didn’t have any.
  2. I don’t like them but they have them at kindy and my three year old wants one.
  3. I’m going to a birthday party and I want one to take as a present.
  4. My kids friends have them and they won’t stop nagging me for one.
  5. I want to give some rescue piggies a good home.
  6. I heard they’re easier and cheaper to look after than a dog or cat.
  7. My fourteen year old has wanted them for years but I wanted to wait until I knew she was responsible enough to look after them.
  8. My landlord won’t let me have a dog or cat but I can have a guinea pig as long as I keep it outside.
  9. I go away on weekends a lot and I want a pet I can leave on it’s own for two or three days.
  10. My family loves animals and we get all our pets from shelters.
  11. We want a pet but don’t want too long a commitment. They only live for a couple of years don’t they?
  12. I’m in Australia studying and want a pet to keep me company until I finish uni and go back to my own country.
  13. I’m still paying off a vet bill for my dog that died so I want a small pet that isn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg if it gets sick.
  14. I have this old wooden hutch that hasn’t been used for years as a snake got our last two. Thought I’d get a couple more as they help keep the grass down.
  15. I had them as a kid and I really loved them and now I want my children to have some piggies to love too.

The reality is, there will always be good pet owners and those who acquire pets for all the wrong reasons. As a rescue I see it as my responsibility to thoroughly screen potential adopters to ensure our guinea pigs only go to the best of homes.

Alex Winterford
Gold Coast Guinea Pig Rescue
Pimpama Qld

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