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Hollister Guinea Pig Seizure, Rescue and Adoptions

Also known as the 
Rescue Heard Around the World!

On July 2nd, 187 guinea pigs were seized from deplorable conditions at a backyard breeder's home in the Hollister area in California. We expect the final count of guinea pigs processed by us to be approximately 275. Charges are being filed against the breeder early next week (September 3rd) with the District Attorney in Hollister.

There is much to this story and it's difficult to tell it from just one perspective. The crisis is over, but the story continues. This rescue garnered both national and international attention. A group of volunteers in the Bay Area came together like a family and yet acted like a well-oiled company on responding to the needs of so many guinea pigs. The community at large responded as soon as the media broke the story. 

This page tells the visual story of Hollister, including the links to the various photo albums as well as the media clips and newspaper articles. In addition, please visit the original page that was changing throughout the rescue in July and Mid-August: The Hollister Story. Also, please visit the Hollister In Perspective page. This page is from the looking back perspective. This page is currently a work in progress. We will be adding commentary over the next few months.

The Story in Photos

The key to the success of this rescue was due to several factors. We believe the most important element was our ability to share the story visually -- as it unfolded. We were there from the beginning and brought the story to the attention of others overnight.

It started in Hollister, with the photos of cages of guinea pigs as the animal control officers were unloading them off the trucks.


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The above photos were selected from the Hollister Rescue Album. Please visit that album for more of the story in photos.

We got the photos uploaded very quickly and posted about the situation on the guinea pig forums on the internet. The word was spreading rapidly, but the guinea pigs were languishing in the heat at Hollister. The guinea pigs were brought up to the Peninsula Humane Society (PHS) & SPCA in San Mateo (about an hour a half in distance, but a much more temperate climate in better conditions). PHS offered the use of their facilities in the back, but providing caging, bedding, food and care was up to the volunteers at Cavy Spirit. We said we would do it, and as soon as we said we needed help, help we got. Guinea pig people volunteered from all over the SF Bay Area to help in a variety of different ways. 


The Hollister Story Unfolds Album is a pictorial essay through the arrival of the guinea pigs at PHS to getting them stable and settled in to their new digs while we start to go through adoption process.


The Guinea Pig-A-Go-Go Trip!

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11 days, 5700 miles, around 100 pigs rehomed! For photos of the road trip and the Welcome Home event, please see this album


Major Media

The media clips are in the Windows Media Video (WMV) file format. If you have difficulty playing them from your browser, you could try downloading them to your hard drive (right-click on the link text) and playing them locally. They usually play more smoothly that way. 

Friday, July 12:

NBC News at 11pm.
Locally Friday night, then nationally on Saturday morning. 

Tuesday, July 30th: -Front Page
Mercury News

Wanted: Good Homes
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The Front Page Article on the Mercury News on Tuesday kicked off a media frenzy that we weren't prepared for! The response was incredible. The article continued on to the top of the back page with the above photo. The phone never stopped ringing and all the major networks came out to film the story for the evening news not to mention all of the additional newspaper and radio interviews.

Tuesday, July 30:
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ABC News at 5pm.

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NBC Teaser
to 11pm

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NBC News
at 11pm

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CBS News
at 11pm

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ABC News
at 11pm

Wednesday, July 31:
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CNN Coverage - Nationwide during the day (most of CBS tape with a photo of a strange-looking Capybara next to the video footage!).

It also ran on Spanish Television stations!

, Aug 3:
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KRON 8:55 am
An in studio interview. This is a large file (about 5.5 Megs--it was a fairly long piece)

Sunday, Aug 4:
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ABC 11pm

Monday, Aug 5:
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KTVU Fox 6pm

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ABC 6pm

Tuesday, Aug 6:

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Evening Magazine
A well-known half-hour human interest show in the Bay Area hosted one of their 1/2 hour segments from PHS on the Monday morning that the Guinea Pig-A-Go-Go left to start their trip.



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