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Rescuing one Guinea Pig at a time in Northern California | NorCal Strong

Meet Carolyn Gardner, the woman who is on a mission to educate people about caring for Guinea pigs.

WALNUT GROVE, Calif. — The people who make Northern California Strong are those who inspire us and make our communities a great place to live. ABC10 wants to highlight their strength by recognizing what they do. This week we want to introduce you to Carolyn Gardner, founder of Gardner’s Pig Pen.

If you listen closely, you may be able to hear the odd, yet adorable conversations going on inside Carolyn Garners Walnut Grove home. The chatter is coming from the herd of Guinea pigs. Gardner runs Gardner’s Pig Pen, which is part of a growing network of Guinea pig rescues in the Sacramento Valley. 

“With COVID, I feel that many people impulsively got pets at the beginning and we are seeing a surge right now,” Gardner said.

For the past six years, Gardner has devoted her free time and living room space to foster unwanted Guinea pigs. Education is a big part of what Gardner's rescue program is about. Her goal is to inform owners about the right way to raise these pets. 

“Pet stores don’t educate. They just want to sell,” Gardner said. “People, they often buy too small of a cage, they don’t get the right nutrition, they don’t know they live five to eight years.”

Guinea pigs are social animal and like to be with other Guinea pigs. Before adopting out her Guinea pigs, Gardner goes to great lengths to make sure her animals go the right home. For the most part, the Guinea pig care comes out of her own pocket. 

“Yep, self-funded and donations. A lot of people donate when they adopt. My mom likes to send me checks for lettuce,” Gardner said.

Guinea pigs can make great pets and Gardner has a passion to show people how to care for them. 

“Most of my adopters, three days in say they are in love,” Gardner said.

If you would like to adopt a guinea pig or donate to Garners Pig Pen, check out her Facebook page to see here newest rescues. You can also call her at 916-779-2030

Carolyn Gardner is NorCal Strong for giving unwanted guinea pigs a second chance. If you want to nominate a strong Northern Californian send a text (916) 321-3310 and put NorCal Strong in the text. Feel free to send pictures and or web links in the submission. 

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