Alittlebitiffy Animal Sanctuary

  Bringing big hope to little animals

become a foster carer today!

Foster carers are the cornerstone of any rescue. Without foster carers, we would be limited in the number of guinea pigs we're able to help. The people who volunteer their time, homes and hearts to guinea pigs that have come into care at our Sanctuary, are crucial in giving our rescue piggies a second chance at happiness before their forever families find them.

Can't foster but still want to help? Opt to sponsor one of our many guinea pigs instead! Check out the Donate tab for details on our Sponsorship program.

what's required of a foster home?

In addition to being able to provide the basic necessities essential for a guinea pig's health and happiness, there are a few criteria that we need our foster carers to meet to ensure our guinea pigs' safety.

Guinea pigs (like most rodents) are a prey species, which make them naturally timid around larger animals. Our guinea pigs usually come from backgrounds of mistreatment or neglect, making them even more timid. We require our foster homes to be a calm and quiet environment, with no other pets and no or older children.
With the great number of predators that can make their way into Australian backyards (snakes, feral cats, predatory birds, stray cats and dogs etc), we require our foster homes to provide indoor set-ups. This also prevents extreme temperatures, whether it be the summer heat or winter cold, and inclement weather from causing health issues. Grazing on fresh and untreated grass outside in a secure outdoor enclosure when the weather permits is encouraged, as long as adequate supervision can be maintained.

A foster animal should be treated as a member of your family. If you are feeling hot, cold or uncomfortable for any reason in your home, your foster guinea pig is most likely feeling the same. Please spend some time with your foster piggies to get to know their "normal" behaviours, which will help you recognise if something is wrong. If you require a fan or a blanket, please take appropriate measures to keep your foster pigs cool or warm. Don't hesitate to notify us immediately if you believe something is wrong, and we will arrange a vet appointment asap or send a volunteer to you to conduct a health check. During emergency situations, our preferred veterinary service is the UQ Vets Small Animal Hospital and all foster guinea pigs will be registered with our vet account.
Lastly, it's important for the Sanctuary to remain in touch with you and our guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are instinctively very good at masking illness, keeping in touch ensures that we can provide changes needed to their housing, diet or medical care to keep them happy and healthy. We require a short weekly email or Facebook message with our Foster Carer Check-In Form, completed with the details of your guinea pig. This includes their weight, a recent photograph, any changes you've made to their diet or housing, or any changes you've noticed in their health or behaviour.

what comes with my foster guinea pig?

We will provide you with an indoor cage or C&C grids suitable for the number of guinea pigs you choose to foster (guinea pigs are herd animals and require a friend for socialisation, therefore the smallest number of guinea pigs you can foster is two). We will also provide you with a sheet of vet bed or fleece to line the bottom of their set-up, a bowl, a water bottle and a couple of comfort items (beds, toys, etc.). We will also be responsible for their regular mite and worm treatment, and will contact you a week prior to their next treatment time. Any veterinary requirements will also be provided by us. Our preferred veterinarian is either Dr. Bob or Dr. Melissa at the UQ Vets Small Animal Hospital and all guinea pigs registered under our account can also be charged to our account.

You will be required to provide their daily dietary requirements, which includes the following:
  • A good quality grass hay (such as oaten, wheaten, barley, Rhodes, Timothy etc). The greener the better. This must be available in their cage 24/7 for continuous grazing and changed over regularly.

  • One cup of fresh vegetables. Please visit the for a list of safe vegetables and the quantities appropriate for daily feeding.

  • 1/8th of a cup of good quality pellets. The brands we require you to use are Oxbow or Vetafarm, purchasable through most pet stores.

  • Fresh drinking water. Make sure to check their water bottle regularly and top up as needed.
You will also be required to spot clean their cage daily and wash their vet bed or fleece bedding once a week. Please avoid using scented laundry detergents, which may cause respiratory problems. Earth brand products are natural and safe to use with guinea pigs.

And, of course, you will be required to show your foster guinea pigs love and affection. Regular handling, cuddles and play time will teach these once mistreated piggies that people can be trusted.

how do you apply to foster? fill out the enquiry form below!

Thank you for contacting us! We will get back to you as soon as possible.
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PLEASE NOTE: By submitting this form, you agree that all information provided has been done so truthfully and completely. Alittlebitiffy Animal Sanctuary retains all applicant information with a view to match with suitable foster guinea pigs, however your personal information is confidential and is not shared with third parties unless you expressly authorise us to do so.


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