© Marylou Zarbock
The Orange County Cavy Haven booth at the O.C. Marketplace Pet Days featured adoptable guinea pigs and products.
When you run an animal rescue, it’s important that people know about the rescue so they might consider adopting one of the animals, volunteering, donating or otherwise helping. But getting people’s attention in today’s busy world is more and more difficult.
Part of the solution to this problem is to participate in and hold events. Orange County Cavy Haven, a nonprofit that rescues guinea pigs, exhibits at the annual America’s Family Pet Expo around April, holds its big annual fundraiser called the SoCal Guinea Pig Pignic around summer and makes numerous appearances throughout the year at other events and holds regular supply day/adoption day events. Most recently, OCCH exhibited at the O.C. Marketplace Fall Pet Days at the O.C. Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California. The event took place on November 2 and 3.
The Pet Days was held in one section adjacent to the weekly swap meet. It’s outdoors, and the weather was good. Michiko Vartanian, president of OCCH, said the Saturday traffic at the booth was a bit slow but Sunday was another story.
“The booth was nonstop!” she said. “Yes, we got a few people who fell in love with piggies and who are submitting apps. We also had some people who were already in the process of having their apps reviewed show up and choose their piggies. It was just a great event for adoptions and general piggie education for us.”
Two of the adoptable guinea pigs that made an appearance at Pet Days were MJ Hammer and Hurley Monster, a bonded pair of boars. Yes, boars can be friends. MJ is about 4 months old and a guinea pig/cuy mix, which explains his larger size. Fortunately, he did not inherit the wild temperament of cuys. Hurley is a mix of the Abyssinian and Peruvian breeds, which gives him his unique coat. They were five hours into the event when the video below was taken. Could anything be cuter than a sleepy guinea pig? Does seeing MJ yawn make you want to yawn?
Another aid for catching people’s attention? Social media, and OCCH has that covered. Its informative website links to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a blog. It also has a presence on Etsy and CafePress for products. Besides posting about the guinea pigs needing adoption and special news like the release of its calendar, OCCH uses social media to update people on events.
The next event for OCCH takes place this Sunday, November 10, at the Orange County Great Park. OCCH is participating in Race For The Rescues.
“We’re super excited about the Race,” Vartanian said. “We are the first guinea pig rescue ever to participate in Race for the Rescues, which has been held in LA for eight years, and so we’re excited to get in on the ground floor in OC.”
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