HOLT, Mich. (WLNS) — We all know, and some of us love, guinea pigs – also known as cavies – but these cute little animals are often neglected.

Lisa Trubac is the founder of The Cozy Cavy Guinea Pig Rescue in Holt. Since 2021, her rescue has saved more than 600 guinea pigs. “We started with just one cage,” Trubac said. “I was going to take in a couple at a time at my house, but the support we received, and the demand to take in 50-100 guinea pigs a month, has brought us to where we are now.”

Trubac said since the pandemic, the problem has only gotten worse. She believes it’s because big pet stores sell these animals with little to no knowledge about them. “Guinea pigs are going home misgendered, they’re going home pregnant,” Trubac said. “They’re going home already sick, and they’re going home with supplies that aren’t appropriate to them, and that’s not fair to the pigs or the owners.”

Since the rescue’s start, one of its goals has been to educate people on how to properly care for their pigs. “We are trying to create knowledgeable owners,” Trubac said. “We have graphics and guides on our website. We are happy to offer any adopters any support or advice throughout their entire guinea pig journey. That support doesn’t end when you leave the rescue with your guinea pigs. We are always here for questions and advice.”

But the rescue doesn’t stop there. They’re also looking to work with lawmakers to create regulations to protect these little animals. “They don’t really have a way to ensure that the animals are going to good homes or forever homes, so they often just end up here,” Trubac said. “So we are trying to put an end to this problem, so we aren’t overflowing all the time and we aren’t constantly in over our heads, drowning in guinea pigs.”

If you would like to adopt a guinea pig, the rescue is open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. every Saturday. The group is also looking for foster families.