We started out as a guinea pig rescue - 4 Lil Pigs- in Sarasota, FL. We began when a young girl posted an ad on Craigslist, begging for help with 2 very pregnant guinea pigs that she "rescued" from a pet store. I (Ally) responded to her plea for help, telling her what she needed to do, what to watch out for, etc. After a couple of emails back and forth with what turned out to be an 8 year old girl, her father began to email me, begging me to take the pigs instead. He knew they were in over their heads. These piggies were purchased in an attempt to rescue them from a small and dirty cage. However well intentioned, this is often how many animals end up homeless and/or in shelters. Guinea Pigs (as well as rabbits, and even hamsters, gerbils, rats, ferrets, and many other critters besides dogs and cats!) are no exception. The intent was to stay very small - a handful of guinea pigs at a time.
Well that was in 2008.
A few years later, we became 4 Lil Pigs n Buns, as rabbits joined the herd (as well as several more volunteers to help!) 4 Lil Pigs n Buns quickly gained an incredible reputation, growing and expanding to include other little critters, including ferrets, hamsters, rats, gerbils, sugar gliders and even a flying squirrel! We had adopters coming to us from Sarasota and Manatee Counties, as well as areas such as Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.
In 2013, we re-branded as Pigs n Buns Small Pet Rescue, and underwent a change in leadership. I (again, Ally), stepped away to take care of some health issues. Suffice it to say, things did not work out very well, and the group dealt with 2+ years of some mis-management and missteps.
I (Ally again!) stepped back into my original shoes, and went back and forth for about a year, debating on whether or not to just close up shop. To be honest, I am still on the fence about it. But I do know that having as many rescue folks as possible is a necessity, so we are
in the process of re-organization. Hopefully, the newly minted rescue, now called Small Animal Network, will begin to build a new reputation, and serve the critters more effectively.
Pigs n Buns no longer exists, but Small Animal Network has taken up shop in its place, and will hopefully be back up to par as the early years.
Our goal is to properly educate folks, correcting the misinformation that is often regurgitated by the pet stores. Whether you adopt from us, or a differet group, or even purchase from a pet store, we encourage you to educate yourself on your critters. And we are here to help support that education.
We will offer help in bonding (guinea pigs and rabbits), and pet sitting services as a way to help raise money for the group.
While we will not stop taking in animals, the number of animals we take in will entirely depend on the number of foster homes we have, and the majority of our intake will probably be guinea pigs. The number of animals in our care will be much smaller than they had been. As much as we'd like to take in every homeless critter, the truth is that we would be doing a disservice to them by taking in more than the handful of us can handle. We will do what we can, when we can, whenever possible!
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