Adding a new pet to the home is always a joyful experience, and anyone looking to adopt a small pet won’t need to look any further than here in San Diego.
Wee Companions is a college town-based rescue dedicated to pint-sized creatures in need of their furry homes. From guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas and rats, this local nonprofit is ready to place small pets in loving and responsible homes.
“We save them or we welcome them, the unwanted ones,” said Wee Companions president Fenella Speece. âWe rehabilitate them and decide if they can go for adoption. We find them homes or otherwise we give them sanctuary for the rest of their lives.
What started as a passionate project for Speece in 1998 has evolved into a voluntary organization that acts as a refuge for small animals. Speece said the rescue started as a local effort soon after moving to San Diego when her husband was stationed in America’s most beautiful city. She networked with other like-minded people who were equally dedicated to saving small animals and finding perfect homes for them and in 2003 they were officially recognized as a 501 (c ) (3).
Back when Wee Companions started, there really was no other organization like this. There were dedicated rescues for dogs, cats, rabbits, and reptiles, and local animal shelters housed small animals, but there was no organization dedicated solely to small pets.
“I was like ‘someone has to step in and take care of these little ones,” Speece told NBC 7.
Since its inception, the organization has grown considerably to offer services other than adoption.
In addition to placing small pets in committed homes, Wee Companions operates a store in University City that sells pet food, toys, and small pet supplies. There, the organization also offers grooming services in which small animals can get a basic checkup, nail clipping and other treatments.
Parents of pets going on vacation can leave their young at Wee Companions for their small animal boarding service.
Speece added that the organization is working diligently to educate the public about the good needs of small pets and help families understand that small pets can be a wonderful and valuable addition to responsible households.
Dogs can react badly to their diet or to a bad attitude towards an owner – so sometimes pet owners turn to “animal communicators” like Lydia Hiby to figure out what’s going on.
âI think there is a complete disconnect between owning an animal and being responsible for this life, for this little animal,â she said. âWhen you pick up a relatively inexpensive animal from a pet store, that doesn’t mean that creature isn’t of great value in the lessons it can teach you. It is 100% dependent on your care and kindness, and not everyone understands that. “
She also wants to remind owners of small pets that when they adopt a pet, regardless of size, they are committing themselves to a lifetime. With more people returning to their workspaces and children returning to classrooms, dozens of pets adopted under stay-at-home orders issued at the height of the pandemic have returned to homes. animal shelters.
Such a move tests countless resources of rescues and their ability to accommodate new animals.
âSmall animal rescues are in crisis due to the collateral damage from COVID,â Spece said. âWe’re packed and beyond. We are receiving more and more requests to welcome unwanted animals.
Those wishing to adopt and commit to a small animal from Wee Companions can contact the organization via email, Facebook or Instagram. From there, future pet parents will be put in touch with a representative.