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CWI Gains a New Team Member!


Late last week, an emergency call went out to our community: there was a guinea pig who was being "returned" by his foster family through no fault of his own --- and there was nowhere for him to go. We took one look at him and knew that he had a place at CWI!

We are thrilled to have him on board to help us in three ways:

1. to share with the world the horrors of animal testing,

2. to help us promote the joys of fostering and adoption, and

3. to support our forthcoming efforts to ban the sale of guinea pigs in our home state of Nevada.

Since CWI's campaigns largely revolve around exotic animals, you may be wondering why Tony? Why guinea pigs? Well, guinea pigs ARE exotic animals! While they are frequently treated as "throwaway" pets for children, guinea pigs actually require specialized care and experienced veterinarians. For example, did you know that guinea pigs are the only other animals other than humans and other primates that cannot manufacture their own vitamin C? If they don't receive an appropriate diet, they quickly succumb to illness.

Tony's situation is even more complicated. As a "werewolf" guinea pig, or a guinea pig who is largely hairless but has limited fur on his face and elsewhere, Tony is sadly a product of human cruelty. Skinny (or hairless) guinea pigs originated in a Canadian lab in 1978. A genetic mutation was discovered and exploited in order to create a herd of hairless guinea pigs. Since that time, skinny guinea pigs have been used and abused in lab settings for dermatological and other forms of research. We will discuss this further in future editions of Tony's Corner.

As for Tony, his beginnings, as they are for most guinea pigs, are sad. He was found "on clearance" at a pet store after spending a full six months there. Apparently no one was interested in spending $150 on a guinea pig, nor were they interested at half price either! Vegas Friends of Guinea Pig Rescue was notified of his plight, which included having overgrown toenails. They negotiated his release.

After three weeks relaxing in rescue, Tony was adopted by a woman who seemed very keen to have him in his life. Yet after 2.5 months, including "accidentally" allowing him to enter a habitat containing three female guinea pigs, this individual claimed a financial hardship, refused food support, and dropped him at the rescue.

He is safe now at CWI where he will live a life of comfort and helping other animals. His first message to you: adopt, don't shop! Welcome, Tony the Werewolf!


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