Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Meet Jujube from
VA rescue

Jujube is a very special guinea pig to MGPR. She came into the rescue with her mother and littermates at a few weeks old. It wasn't long before her foster mom noticed she had very strange behavior and wasn't nice to other pigs. Jujube's behavior grew even stranger as she got older and moved to one foster home, then another. Her foster moms all noticed and remarked on how strange she was. Jujube spent most of her time in her cage in a "trance," standing on her toes and hunched up.

Fortunately for Jujube she had observent foster homes and an excellent vet. During her pre-spay appointment her behavior was discussed (as was the unexpected death of Jujube's mother post-spay) and the vet postponed her spay and ran blood tests.

Jujube has been diagnosed with Portosystemic Shunt Syndrome (PSS), caused by an abnormal blood vessel that allows toxins in blood to bypass the liver and flow back through the body without being cleansed. The vet said the "trance" was actually the pain Jujube was in because of the toxins circulating through her system.

The PSS is being medically managed with twice daily doses of Lactulose, which she will be on for the rest of her life. She has made remarkable progress since being diagnosed--the trances have disappeared and she even puts her head down to sleep, which she had never done before!

Unfortunately, Jujube is still quite strange and does not get along with other pigs, so she probably also has inbreeding problems. She has made tremendous progress since treatment began and now, at almost 7 months old, is a completely different guinea pig than she was so recently.

Jujube hasn't been spayed yet but the vet says the procedure is now possible since she is on the Lactulose. MGPR hasn't decided whether to spay her and whether to make her a sanctuary pig or adopt her to a very special home. Jujube is very charming in her own peculiar way and has captured hearts in all her foster homes.

We are hoping to fundraise enough for four months of her care, totaling $287. This includes $47 for a blood test to determine she is ready for her spay, $110 for the pending spay, and $7.50 per week in regular care (carefresh, veggies, hay and pellets), plus $10 for a six month supply of Lactulose (her medicine).

This month $7.50 is again the magic number, paying for one week of Jujube's care. Feeling generous? Why not donate $10, enough for her medicine for six months!

Please contact me at sponsoraguineapig@gmail.com if you would like to make a donation via check. Otherwise, click donate below!


leannabeth said...

There are people who cannot afford life saving medications for themselves or their children. You should be ashamed of yourselves, put the poor creature out of its misery and get your priorities straight.

S.B. said...

Arguing that animals don't warrant proper care at the expense of humans is a pretty common argument.

I certainly think there's merit in both. I also volunteer for a political campaign and for a women's health care organization. There's no need that animal welfare and human welfare need be mutually exclusive.

One of the reasons why I like this blog is because it's focused on small donations--$5 that adds up from here and there. Again, the amount we raise is so small there's no need for it to compete with human causes.

But I would also raise the question: if we were not to advocate for these animals, and if everyone followed your advice, what would happen? The human/animal bond would be destroyed, and it's a mighty powerful one.

Families have advocates. It's called themselves and their politicians. Very few politicians focus on animal welfare goals.

I think it's sad that you would dismiss the care of a small creature (who, by the way, I've fostered, and is a happy go lucky girl-certainly not "poor").

I wonder what happened to you to make you dismiss animals so easily.

leannabeth said...

I found your response surprisingly respectful, thank you.

You misunderstand me, I don't dismiss animals at all, I quite love them, in fact. I just find it distasteful to see all sorts of organizations rising up to protect the rights of animals when there are so many suffering people in the world. I do believe that animal and human welfare need to be exclusive, or else you are not putting them in the right priority. I think that basic care for an animal is appropriate, but keeping an animal alive on medications is not natural, and it is very much putting their welfare above that of humans who cannot afford medical care.

I think it is noble to be involved in causes that help people as well, but as there is no end to human suffering in sight, I'd prefer to focus on the more important of the two.

Hanh said...

Keeping people alive using all sorts of modern technology is not natural either. In the past, those who were sick pretty much just died, and nature took its course.

I worked at a labor rights organization that dealt with child labor all over the world and the rights of women in developing countries. I interned at an organization that fights domestic violence and human trafficking. I donate to various "human" charities such as Amnesty International.

I also love animals, and donate to various causes including animal rescues. We will probably never agree, but I don't think they can be mutually exclusive. Your original comment came off extremely rude. Your second comment was actually more polite. As for people who cannot afford life-saving medications, what have you done to ensure better access to health care for all (including children and the poor)? Or are you the type to just whine and complain on the Internet?

S.B. said...

I might reply a couple of times, this is a really interesting conversation for me.

I'll tell you, the thing that I've always worried about with this blog is that many healthy animals could be cared for with the expense of one special needs animal. That's why I always ensure that the rescues I feature are actively taking in and adopting out healthy animals as well. Unexpected vet bills can cause a rescue to crumble, and that's where I step in.

Rescues provide an important role in today's society. We do have a duty to the animals on our planet, and if petstores and breeders were the only resource for animals, shelters would solely be euthanizing a constant incoming supply. It would neither be financially sound or ethical.

I think the human animal bond is such a strong one that people always have pets. And not many pet owners are willing to just euthanize an animal or watch it suffer needlessly when there are medicines that can treat such a condition.

Take Jujube for example, her medicine costs $10 for a six month supply. That's not much at all, and it's completely changed her life quality.

I think if this blog were about me raising funds for my own pets while my children suffered, that would be one thing. I think I would see your point then.

But people always have differing priorities. For example, I used to be pretty actively involved in sexual assualt survivor communities. Male sexual assault receives a fraction of the attention that female assault does, and as a result many of the programs are geared toward women, while assaulted men are just as in need of care.

Is there an argument to be made that because sexual assault is more prevelent in women that more attention should be focused on their care? I think there certainly is (an argument to be made).

But that wouldn't stop someone from championing the care of men as well. And I wouldn't work to stop them, or discourage them, though it may differ from my own personal interests (it actually doesn't, but this is just an example).

I think there's a sliding scale of people's involvement in their community. We need people to work for people, animals, the environment. We all share this planet.

But we can't dictate what other people should spend their time on volunteering.

My heart happens to be in guinea pig rescue. This website takes about two hours a month to maintain, and people donate, on average, $10-$15 to it.

It keeps rescues open, and it keeps animals alive. It means a lot to me, to the supporters, to the rescuers, and to the animals.

If it doesn't mean something to you, that's fine. I'm okay with that.

leannabeth said...

Hanh, Actually, I'm quite involved in my community and other countries with both my finances and my time, so no, I do not just complain, not that I think that's what I was doing.

I agree, we will likely never see eye to eye on this one, but, S.B., I don't see a difference between neglecting your children's needs or neglecting those of your neighbour. I think they are both the same, and should come before "extra" care for animals. I do agree that we have a responsibility to advocate for animals, in that they should not be mistreated or abused, and if we choose to take them under our care, they should be fed and provided for, within reason. I do not believe that euthanizing an animal that is ill is cruel, but merciful. Just in case anyone wants to compare that to people, just to argue, I do not believe the same of people, as people and animals are not equal.

Judy Olsen said...

The few dollars I gave to Jujube went straight to her and the rescue. I could have used them to buy some chocolate, a bottle of wine or some flowers, but I did not divert them from the health care of a needy child.
I live in Scotland where fortunately I don't need to worry quite so much about the cost of healthcare for myself, my kids or my friends and neighbours.It's also a legal requirement to provide veterinary care for animals whether you keep them as pets or on a farm.On top of that I give every month to Oxfam. So I have no conflict with this.
There's a big difference between saying animals have a right to care and putting their needs before those of a sick child, and I think your argument that people here should get their priorities right is both disingenuous and philosophically flawed.
Of course it's wrong that people can't afford medicines. The way to change that is not through charity, but through political pressure and by buying ethically so that people in other countries can afford healthcare for themselves. In my time I have been an active campaigner for health and other rights and I also take extreme care with my purchases.
Sponsoraguineapig is also - I think - about awareness as much as the actual money and I retweet the appeal messages on Twitter every month, @judycopywriter.
It also cheers me up each time I see how people rally round to help these sweet creatures.
So - an unrepentant contributor.

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