We have quite the variety in the Room right now - hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, doves and rats! When we're full, each animal gets lost in a crowd, but each of them have had to deal with something along the way and each have some kind of story that left them here.
Bellatrix, our lone hamster, was rescued from a hoarder as a newborn with her mother.
Kayla, one of the prettiest, most laid-back rabbits ever, was found running around Queen's Park and rescued by one of our drivers.
Lewis, one of our long-term residents now, was abandoned as a "stray" (uh-huh) with his sister (now adopted) when he was only a few months old.
Munchkin, my beautiful little girl who is finally spayed and available (go get her, someone!!), was born in foster care after her pregnant mom was rescued from a hoarding situation.
Pumpkin's story is repeated a million times in this Room - she arrived as a "stray", which means her owner dumped her but was too cowardly to own up to it.
Rascal is a little rattie who is just full of energy - she was left outside the shelter door and found by one of our workers.
Shakira (Shakira, Shakira!), our newest addition, was surrendered by her owners and is between 2-5 years old (thanks for clearing that up, owners).
Swiffer & Sparkles were dumped by a woman whose awful story I already wrote about here.
Tapioca was surrendered as a "stray" to our Etobicoke shelter. They can't keep rabbits and after a week she was transferred to us. Another fake stray, just like so many others.
Trinity, our single dove, was found flying around Toronto after having escaped/been released from her last home. She's scared in the shelter but it's better than freezing on the streets!
Valentino, our handsome Rex, is one of the weird fake-strays we get sometimes - outgoing, friendly, healthy, shiny coat. Clearly well cared for, yet inexplicably someone dumped him and didn't even bother to admit he was once part of their family.
Finally we have Winnie and her daughter Piglet, who were dumped by their owners with a male. Of course. Luckily, two months in foster care proved neither was pregnant (woohoo!) - foster care also made them look amazing. Seriously, look at them before, they're like new pigs.
Every shelter animal has a story. They aren't always dramatic enough to make their way into a depressing SPCA informercial, but those aren't the stories that fill shelters. The oh-so-common fake strays, the mundane owner dumps, those are the ones that fill the Room.