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Before You Adopt

Before You Adopt a Small Animal

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Thank you for your interest in adopting one of RBARI's small animals! Prior to your adoption with us, please read our Before You Adopt section for general information about bringing in a new family member, and please see below about specifics of bringing home and caring for small animals! 

1. PROPER CAGE SIZE: Despite the many small animal cages that are for sale at pet stores, many are incredibly small and are not a proper fit for small animals to live and reside long term. Small animals require a lot of space to roam and live a healthy, happy life. In the wild, many small animals roam and have burrows making up large territories, so imagine being cramped in a small wire or glass cage not being able to have plenty of room to roam and explore. 

RBARI requires that Guinea Pigs have a cage that is a minimum of 2' x 4' (8 sq. ft. total). Our preferred cages are the Midwest Guinea Habitat or a custom C&C cage. You can find more information on proper sized cages from Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue on proper and improper Guinea Pig Cages. 

Rabbits should be in larger x-pens and enclosures to allow them plenty of space to run around, have enrichment and hiding spaces, a litter box, and seperate room for their food and water. Often a large dog x-pen will be perfect for them to reside when no one is able to monitor them.  

Small rodents such as mice, rats, etc. should have large enclosures/tanks, and plenty of space to burrow, have several hiding spaces and enrichment, climbing, and chewing items. 

Small animals should be taken out daily to socialize with humans and spend time outside of their cage in a safe and secure room.  

2. Adopting GUINEA PIGS: Guinea pigs are herd animals by nature. Although they enjoy the company of their humans, they will thrive and be happiest with a companion of their own kind. RBARI will only adopt out pairs or a single with an already existing single piggy as a housemate. 

3. Finances: Plan on spending anywhere between $150 - $200 for all the supplies you will need to have proper enclosure, food, and enrichment. 

4. I Want To Get A Small Animal For My Child: A small animal can be a wonderful addition to a family, and can show much love and affection for those of many ages. Although great family pets, small animals should only be brought home if the entire family will be readily taking care of them, can monitor and supervise socialization and handling, and never the sole responsibility of a child. Small animals are very delicate and require just as much responsibility, cleaning and attention as a dog or cat. Children should always be monitored with the small animal and should always be sitting down on the floor or a secure safe place. Please read this article when deciding to adopt guinea pigs for your family with little ones. Information kindly provided by Cavy Spirit: Children and Guinea Pigs

5. Medical Attention: Small animals are incredibly fragile and can become ill very quickly. Sadly many small animals can develop an illness and not show much sign or warning until late. Prepare financially for these potential issues. Vet visits can cost anywhere between $200 -$1,500. 

Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge
2 Shelter Lane
Oakland, NJ 07436

Tax ID (EIN): 22-6094179


Monday: Appointment Only
Tuesday: Appointment Only
Wednesday: Appointment Only
Thursday: Appointment Only
Friday: Appointment Only
Saturday: Appointment Only
Sunday: Appointment Only