North Jersey Guinea Pig and Hamster Rescue

Our Adoptable Pet List

Click here to see our Happy Tails!

Our Adoption Application


The rescue mourns the loss of Bobo, who passed away unexpectedly on October 24, 2017 from a possible stroke. He will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, little one.

The rescue is in desperate need of newspapers. If you can bring them to the rescue, we would be grateful!

Surrender Information

If you need to surrender a pet to the rescue, please know we do not euthanize due to lack of space. Because of this, though, we are only able to accept an animal if one already here is adopted.

As of October 28, 2017, we are temporarily NOT accepting guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice, chinchillas, degus and pet rats. If you have any pets to surrender, we will be happy to add your name to our waiting list. Please send an email with the type, number and gender (if known) of animals you need to surrender and we will get to you as soon as we can!

WARNING: If you decide to list your pet on a classified ad, please do NOT list it as FREE TO GOOD HOME! This will attract people that are looking for animals for snake food and pit bull bait. Please if you must use an ad, always ask for a modest re-homing fee. This will increase your pet's chance of finding a safe and loving home.

Going on Vacation?

> The rescue offers boarding services!

We will be happy to take care of your pet while you are away. We charge $10 per day per cage for your guinea pig(s). This includes daily cage cleaning, unlimited Oxbow timothy hay/orchard grass hay, Oxbow pellets, and two bowls of organic greens/veggies per day. A complimentary nail trim is included if needed. The charge to board a cage of hamsters/gerbils is $5 per day and includes cage cleaning, unlimited hamster food and one bowl of greens/veggies once daily.

Vet Information

For anyone who has a medical emergency with their pet or would just like a recommendation for a great guinea pig/hamster savvy vet, we recommend:

Dr. Paul Sedlacek and Dr. Joseph Powell at the Animal Clinic of Morris Plains at 3009 Route 10. Their phone number is: 973-539-2775. (guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils and rats)

Dr. Deborah Adelsohn and Dr. Rebecca Lorig at the Community Animal Hospital on Route 53. Their phone number is: 973-267-4220. (guinea pigs and rats)

If you are looking for a vet outside of Morris County, please check out the House rabbit society website at If you look under "vets", there will be an approved vet list by state and county. Most vets with special training in the care of rabbits are great with guinea pigs as well!


  • Cage bedding (any kind with the exception of cedar and corn cob)
  • Oxbow Adult Essentials guinea pig pellets or any plain vitamin C enriched pellet
  • Oxbow Western Timothy Hay or Orchard grass hay
  • Fresh Veggies
  • Multi packs of paper towels
  • Hamster and Gerbil food
  • Newspaper
  • Laundry Detergent (Fragrance Free)

    Who We Are

    Founded in 2005, the North Jersey Guinea Pig and Hamster Rescue, Inc. is a 501(c)3 New Jersey public charity, that is dedicated to saving the lives of unwanted and abandoned guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, and other pet rodents. We educate people about the care of pocket pets, and try to find "forever" homes for the animals in our rescue, no matter how long it takes. We are a no-kill rescue that fosters guinea pigs, hamsters, and other pet rodents in a network of private homes. We do not support animal breeding and will only adopt singles or non-breeding pairs to loving homes where they will live as indoor pets. Hours are by appointment only.

    While we prefer that all guinea pigs live with a buddy, there are a few animals that are very loving and cuddly with people, but simply do not want to live with another guinea pig. If you are interested in one guinea pig only, that you can shower with much love and attention, please ask. We may have the pet of your dreams waiting for you!

    Male or Female? Both sexes make great pets! Males tend to be larger and usually need to be carefully introduced to a new cage mate. Adolescent males may have to wait until they are a little older before receiving a same sex companion. Once a male is living happily with another male, there really are no personality differences between the sexes.

    The rescue is run by 1 family: Carla and Steve from Budd Lake, NJ!

    Special Thanks

    A big THANK YOU to the Verdifresh Farm Market in Budd Lake for their donations of fresh greens/veggies for the rescue animals!!

    Thank you to Anda and Jim for their very generous donation of guinea pig pellets (20 lbs) and two huge packs of paper towels!!

    A very special thank you to Ashley from Glen Ridge, NJ who collected money for the rescue for her birthday instead of asking for presents. You are an amazing person!

    Thank you to the employees of State Farm Insurance in Budd Lake for their continuing donations of newspaper for our animal cages!!

    Thank you to the Friends of the Howell Library for inviting us to do a presentation about our rescue and for the generous donation they gave us!

    THANK YOU to Kathy and family from Basking Ridge, NJ for her generous gift to the "Fireplace Fund" in memory of Cinnamon and Cocoa, as well as her gift of hand made sleep sacks and cuddle cups for the rescue's piggies!!

    A BIG thank you to Brownie Troop 4583 for the lovely gift card they gave us after touring our rescue!!

    A SPECIAL thank you to Jill I. for her donation of supplies to the rescue as part of a school project!!

    A VERY BIG thank you to Lillian and John from Boynton Beach, Florida for their extremely generous donation to our "Fireplace Fund" in memory of Momma and Baby!!

    A HUGE thank you to Lily from Lebanon Twp. For the 2nd year in a row,she had a birthday party and collected food, and supplies for the animals in the rescue, instead of receiving presents for herself. She is our hero!!

    A BIG thank you to Tractor Supply in Flanders, NJ for their generous donation of small animal food, hay and treats for our animals!!


    A donation was made in memory of Ronnie, Beloved member of the Maisano family.

    A donation was received in memory of Jay-Jay, given by the Murphy family.

    A donation was made in memory of Oreo, beloved member of the Shapiro family.

    A Holiday memorial donation was made in memory of Moma and Baby, given by John and Lillian of Lake Worth, Florida.

    A donation has been received "in memory of Spot, our beloved Syrian hamster friend. She passed a few days ago and she is missed by us all."

    A memorial donation was made by Sarvani "in memory of my beloved Syrian hamster named Tolliver, who died at only 5 months old shortly after his brother Chowder. He gave endless love, playfulness, kindness and curiosity."

    A donation was made in memory of Trixie, given by the Thompson family.

    A memorial donation was made in memory of Mallomar and Nilla, loved and missed by the Shapiro family

    A donation was made in memory of Momma and Baby, given by Lillian and John of Lake Worth, Florida

    A memorial donation was made on December 13, 2015, given by Noelle in memory of Mr. Pigglesworth Van Beveren, who enriched the lives of his family for a long time.


    DONATIONS are ALWAYS appreciated to assist us in feeding and providing veterinary care for our rescued animals. Even a small amount goes a long way.

    Adopting a friend

    If you see an animal you are interested in, email the rescue and let us know who you are considering. We will send you an application to fill out. Once your application is approved, we make arrangements for you to meet the animal of your choice. In a matter of a day or two, you can go home with a new friend!


    We ask for a $35 donation to the rescue to adopt a guinea pig or degu, $55 for a pair, and $65 for a trio. It is a $15 donation to adopt a syrian hamster. For a dwarf hamster, we ask $10.

    Every dime we receive goes to provide food, bedding and veterinary services for the homeless animals in our care.


    Occasionally we have new and gently used guinea pig and hamster supplies available. All proceeds go toward the care of the animals in the Rescue.

    We frequently have gently used cages for either one or two guinea pigs. Just ask and we'll let you know what is currently available.

    Buy a cage and receive a hidey house, food bowls and water bottle with holder for no additional cost.

    Gently used hamster set-up includes 10 gallon aquarium with lid and cage clamp, hidey house, exercise wheel, two food bowls and water bottle with hanger for donation of $50.

    Want to build your own C&C cage. We have grids in different colors, $1 each, connectors free. We also have a few gently used coroplast bottoms for use with the grids.

    Please contact the rescue if you are interested in any of these items. They are located in Budd Lake, NJ!


    If you have any questions about guinea pig care, I will be happy to answer them. Just send me an e-mail at In the meantime, I have placed guidelines below based on my most frequently asked questions pertaining to spay/neuter, housing, bedding and feeding.


    While some vets routinely perform spaying and neutering on guinea pigs, it is our opinion that the procedure is too risky. Too many piggies die from the anesthesia or from post surgical complications. Instead of spaying/neutering, we prefer that every piggie has a friend of the same gender.


    The cage you provide should not have a wire floor. This can injure the piggies' feet.

    When planning a home for your guinea pigs, you should always buy the largest cage you can afford or build the largest cage you have room for. The website has detailed plans and instructions for building your own roomy cage at a fraction of the cost of petstore cages. These cages are durable, easy to clean and adjustable. If you are not handy, you can buy a cage through the website. We recommend you visit this site and take a look at the possibilities!

    You may click on the following link to see an example of these cages which are in one of our foster homes. You may have to copy and paste the link. It is on the YOU TUBE web site. Enjoy- and feel free to leave a comment:

    Cages should be cleaned with a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. It effectively dissolves urine, is nontoxic and doesn't leave an odor after it dries!


    There are many options for bedding for your pet. We recommend any of the following: aspen bedding, kiln dried pine, Carefresh, Cellsorb, and Guardian Horse Bedding. You can also use fleece fabric in one yard lengths over a sheet of newspaper. The fleece and newspaper are changed each day. Launder the fabric in warm water WITH NO FABRIC SOFTENER and tumble dry low. It makes extra laundry, but is more economical than some of the commercial litters.

    NEVER USE CEDAR The aromatic oils can irritate the eyes and breathing passages of the piggie Never use Corn cob bedding. It is easily ingested and can cause digestive blockages..


    We recommend Oxbow Hay products. They have a store locater on their website so that you can find a petstore near you that carries it or you can order on line. The freight cost is high, but it is so much cheaper by the pound than buying it from a store.

    Guinea pigs are grazers, like horses. The most important part of their diet is unlimited access to grass hay, such as timothy hay or orchard grass. A high quality hay should make up 70% of the daily diet. This is important for guinea pigs of all ages. It keeps their digestive tract healthy. Try to buy hay that is green, soft and fresh smelling.

    Another important aspect of a guinea pig diet is a high quality plain pellet enriched with vitamin C.

    Guinea pigs should receive a small portion of greens daily. The most important is romaine lettuce. They also like leaf lettuce, cilantro, dandelion greens (non-pesticide treated, of course) and cucumber slices. To provide plenty of vitamin C each day, be sure your piggie receives some small pieces of red bell pepper or a thin slice of orange. Apples and carrots are very high in sugar and should be fed in small amounts, but the piggies really do love them the best!

    Foods to be given sparingly include spinach, parsley, and kale. They are all high in oxalic acid, which may cause bladder stones.

    Foods to avoid include onions and garlic(toxic), iceberg lettuce (has no nutritional value and may cause diarrhea), raisins (very high in sugar), potatoes,dried fruits,(may have too much sugar and preservatives), seeds(may cause a choking hazard), bread and cereal.

    A more detailed list of satisfactory and unsatisfactory foods may be found at

    Vitamin C

    Like humans, guinea pig bodies cannot manufacture their own vitamin C so it needs to be supplemented. That is why we recommend a pellet food enriched with vitamin C. Bell peppers and oranges also provide this necessary nutrient. In addition, we recommend GNC 100 mg chewable vitamin C tablets. We break them into quarters so the guinea pig receives 25 - 30 mgs every day. Most of my piggies take it as a treat once a day.

    Weigh Weekly

    Guinea pigs are very good at disguising when they are not feeling well. It is a behavior that is very helpful in the wild, but can be very frustrating to a caring pet owner. For this reason, we recommend the piggies be weighed every week, and a written record kept. Usually the first sign of a serious problem is a slow, steady loss of weight. Use a kitchen scale that weighs in grams. Bed, Bath and Beyond has wonderful scales that are quite affordable. It is normal for the weight to go up and down, but if you notice a downward trend, pay closer attention to your pig and if necessary, seek veterinary care. Vets love the weight data too. It helps them do their job even better, which means your piggie will have the best chance to get well! The Guinea Pig Society

    Are you looking for an internet forum to ask questions about guinea pigs or to share a story with other guinea pig owners? We recommend The Guinea Pig Society. It is on Yahoo Groups and is made up of guinea pig owners, lovers, and breeders from all over the world. They are smart and nice folks too!

    Hamster Care


    Habitrail type habitats are colorful and expandable, but they are very hard to keep clean. I prefer an ordinary 10 gallon aquarium with a screen cover. Be sure to invest in cage clips to keep the cover securely in place because hamsters are notorious escape artists. It is easier to prevent an escape than to have to capture an escapee. In the aquarium, provide a food dish, water bowl, wooden house for privacy, and an exercise wheel.


    Any commercial hamster food is fine. I prefer the Oxbow Healthy Handfuls. Try to avoid mixes that have colored sugary shapes. They are all sugar and no nutirion. A small piece of carrot, cucumber, apple or red bell pepper can be given as a treat.

    Be sure to provide an 8 ounce water bottle. Fill with fresh water daily. Press your finger tip against the sipper tube morning and night to make sure there is no air trapped inside the bottle and the water can flow.

    Exercise Wheel

    To protect your hamster's feet, be sure to use a safe wheel. Wodent brand wheels are nice. They can be ordered on the internet and are endorsed by the ASPCA. Wheels with a mesh running surface are fine too. For a syrian hamster, an 8 inch diameter wheel is ideal. For a dwarf hamster, use a 4 inch wheel.

    Exercise Ball

    These are fun to get the hamster out of the cage and let them run around on the floor. They need to be supervised because sometimes the little door can come off the ball and the hamster can escape. The ball can also become wedged under furniture. They should not be inside the ball for more than 20 minutes at a time.


    Please avoid cedar and pine shavings. The aromatic oils that give these shavings their nice smell can irritate the eyes and breathing passages of your hamster. There is a product called Boxo that we have just begun using. It is non toxic and economical. We purchase it online from I also like aspen bedding, Carefresh, Cellsosrb, and other odorless, paper-based bedding.

    Cage Cleaning

    Do spot cleaning every day. Hamsters usually pick one place to relieve themselves. Clean the entire cage once a week, dump out the bedding and wipe the cage down with 1 part white vinegar to one part hot water. Dry thoroughly.

    Degu Care


    Degus can chew their way out of almost anything. For this reason, wood and plastic caging are not suitable. They are excellent climbers and jumpers so be sure the cage has a secure door or lid. Ideally a multlevel wire cage is best or a two tiered wire cage on top of an aquarium. We highly recommend Martin's cages at Another fine company is Exotic Nutrition Pet Company: Multi level cages are the best. Please be sure to buy the largest you have room for and can afford. These little animals are happiest when they're busy! Exercise Wheel An exercise wheel is an absolute necessity for a degu. The kind with a solid floor are the safest. This type will prevent foot and tail injuries. "Wodent wheels" can be found on the internet. Make sure you buy the size that fits the degu best.

    Please provide your degu with an occasional dust bath. Chinchilla dust will work fine.


    Since degus are prone to develop diabetes, it is very important to avoid sweet foods. The best things for them to eat is a combination of rat chow and guinea pig pellets. They enjoy rodent blocks and timothy hay as well. An occasional raw unsalted shelled peanut is a favorite treat.


    We recommend aspen bedding.

    North Jersey Guinea Pig and Hamster Rescue

    Budd Lake, NJ 07828
    Phone: 973-347-6217


    Click here for a list of pets at this shelter

    [Home] [Information] [Shelters] [Search]

    Pet Guardian Angels of America,
    a national pet rescue and adoption assistance service
    also offering general and health related articles
    and resources for all types of pets.