Got the urge to "save them all"? Before you do, you might want to do a little research first so that you don't take on more than you can handle or get in over your head. Check the Internet and talk to others who do rescue work. See what might work for you and what wouldn't and whether or not it is ultimately something that you really want and can to do.

Some food for thought:

1. Do you want to focus on one species, such as guinea pigs, or do you want to rescue cross-species? How many can you realistically care for?

2. Do you want to keep your rescue work small and do it all by yourself or do you want to have a larger reach with more people? Do you want to become a registered 503(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit?

 Guinea Pig Fun

6. Will you focus on healthy, adoptable guinea pigs who are more readily available and easier to place? Or will you specialize in those who fall under the special-needs category due to their temperament, age, and health and who may be harder to place or end up as sanctuary residents?

7. Will you be working with shelters and other rescues and do you already have an established connection with them?

8. Do you have enough personal funds to effectively run and maintain a rescue and the animals in your care or will you need to rely on donations and fundraising events?

3. Do you have personal experience interacting with guinea pigs and a working knowledge of what is required for their care? If not, who will have that knowledge and/or can you acquire it? Have you visited shelters and rescues?

4. Do you have the time required to run a rescue 24/7/365? Will you have reliable and responsible volunteers who could help run the rescue efficiently?

5. Do you have a qualified exotics veterinarian who regularly sees and successfully treats guinea pigs on a regular basis? Will that vet provide you with a rescue discount?

should i rescue?

9. Where will the rescued animals live? In your home or at a facility or spread out in foster homes? 

10. Will you be "saving them all", running the risk of becoming a collector or hoarder or emotionally-overrun and burned-out? 

11. Who will help you with your adoptions and how will you properly screen applicants?

12.  The bottom line, have fun and don't get in over your head and ask for help if you need it. The animals in your care may depend on it.

This information, located on Petfinder and written by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, contains a wealth of information about starting an animal sanctuary. Although the information linked-to targets those starting a sanctuary it could also be used as a guide for creating a rescue.