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New Brunswick guinea pig rescue looks for a lifeline


After helping nearly 600 pigs in the last five years, For the Love of Guinea Pigs Rescue and Sanctuary needs help to keep the rescue doors open.

Surrounded with food, water, friends and most importantly love, Jennifer Maybee’s home is a safe place to land for rescued guinea pigs who are waiting to find their forever home, but right now, they’re facing eviction.

“It’s crushing. It’s very emotionally hard because they have no voice, there is no body to speak for them,” said For the Love of Guinea Pigs Rescue and Sanctuary owner and founder, Jennifer Maybee.

On Tuesday, Maybee received a notice that her home insurance was being dropped. She was told there are too many animals, too many cages and it’s a liability issue.

“They’re giving me until June 4th, so basically midnight on the 3rd, to have it done. So I’m getting less than 2 weeks to figure out how to get the piggies into their own space and find another insurance company,” said Maybee.

CTV News reached out to co-operators insurance and was told in part in a statement that, “the decision to cancel a client's insurance policy is never made easily.

In this case, we became aware that there were significant concerns with the upkeep and maintenance of the premises such that it did not meet our underwriting guidelines anymore.”

Co-operators went on to say that, “in discussing the situation with our client, we did indicate that if they are able to rectify the situation with the premises, we would review the possibility of providing coverage with her in the future.”

Maybee says the only person who has been to her house was a contractor assigned from co-operators, who came to her home for frozen pipes back in February.

She says by the time he arrived, the home had no water for three weeks.

Since launching the rescue five years ago, she says about 600 guinea pigs have come through her door and she’s worried about what will happen if she has to close down.

“What’s going to happen to all of the other guinea pigs? What happens to the ones that are on my waitlist that I won’t be able to help? It’s a scary thought.”

Currently the rescue has a gofundme, and a handful of raffles to try and raise money to help get the pigs a new space.

“If there’s no where for them to go they’re just going to be dumped into parks and god knows where and they’re not, as they’re small animals, but they’re not disposable,” said supporter, Leah Fitzpatrick.

Adding, “it’s defintiely in high demand. A lot of people surrender their animals because either they have allergies or, you know, they feel guilty because their work schedule changed, they don’t get to spend enough time with them or they can’t afford them on their own and we as a community try to work together to support that.”

Since making the announcement Wednesday night, over $1100 has been raised. One of Maybee’s coworkers also offered a small shed, which would help home some of the guinea pigs, but there’s still a lot of expenses in a short period of time.

“The second I think I’m making a little bit of headway, something else comes back and it puts me two steps back so now we’re trying to raise right around $12,000 to get the building that we need, the power to it, the inside finished and cages built and set up inside it, all before the 4th of June,” she said.

In the meantime, Maybee has been reaching out to other insurance companies, but says she really needs to secure them a permanent building. Adding that right now her current insurance provider won’t tell her how many pets are allowed to be inside under their policy.

“Any other insurance company is going to want to come out and do an inspection,” she said.

“If our insurance is dropping us for the animals, is anybody else going to say the same thing?”

Right now there are about 60 guinea pigs in her rescue. She is hoping to raise enough money for two buildings, but at the very least is hoping to move the 30 males into their own building as soon as possible.

Even with the uncertainty that lies ahead, the rescue won’t give up without a fight.

“I don’t think anybody that runs a rescue that faces any type of issues or obstacles would ever change anything,” said Maybee.

“It’s not about us at the end of the day, it’s about being the voice for the ones that don’t have one.” Top Stories

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