“It’s raining gerbils and rabbits.” Said no one ever. That’s why the BC SPCA wants to bring attention to the many small animals available for adoption at shelters throughout the province, especially in March, which the society has declared Small Animal Month. While cats and dogs can make amazing companions, petite pets can also bring a huge amount of joy into the lives of their lucky guardians.
“Size doesn’t always matter when it comes to companion animals,” notes Meghann Cant, BC SPCA animal welfare educator, who has personally cared for and fostered 10 types of small animals over the past several years, including gerbils, rabbits, chinchillas and rats. She is currently guardian to three dogs, a cat, two hedgehogs, a gerbil and a rat, and foster parent to a third hedgehog and three baby rats. “They all have different behaviours and personalities, and I’ve enjoyed learning more and more about them in order to provide the best care possible. They are really fascinating!”
Knowing how to care for small animals is key, Cant adds. As co-author of the BC SPCA’s Small Animal Care series, she is committed to helping guardians of wee, furry companions do the same.
“Our shelters have many small animals in need of loving homes,” she says. “When someone decides to take the step to adopt one or more of these deserving creatures, we want to give them the tools they need to confidently provide top-notch care to their new companions.”
The Small Animal Care series are guides for pet care that provide information on the unique physical and behavioural needs of rabbits, Guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, rats and mice. Additional small animal care information can be found on the BC SPCA website.
“It’s important to do your homework and research the small animal you’re thinking about adopting,” Cant says. “Different animals have different needs, and smaller doesn’t necessarily mean less care – being prepared before you bring home a new pet is critical. It can truly be a rich and rewarding relationship.”
To search adoptable small animals, search online at spca.bc.ca or visit your local shelter to find out more.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.