Located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia
in Virginia Beach.
Our mission is to provide a safe haven for unwanted, neglected, or medically fragile chinchillas. Our goal is to rehabilitate and socialize in preparation for adoption. We gladly open our doors to those interested in learning more about these unique pets. We are available for temporary foster care, education, supplies, and networking with other local rescue organizations.
Email Whimsy at: firstname.lastname@example.org Whimsy hates phones and does NOT return phone calls. Please do not ask.
"Like" our page for up-to-the-minute updates!
What kind of pet owner are you?
We know all types;
The biggest question of all is: do you consider the needs of the pet before those of your own? Humans are totally autonomous, but the animals depend on us. We give them food, water, shelter, companionship and a clean, stimulating environment… or do we? How much consideration do you give your pet in those areas? We hope that when people seek to adopt a rescue chinchilla, they endeavor to give it the best possible home. Do your motives measure up?
Happy May everyone!
For the month of April, eight (8) chinchillas were surrendered, and six (6) chinchillas were adopted. One chinchilla kit was born of a surrendered female and six females just completed their pregnancy watch without babies. Whoo hoo!
We are still dealing with overflow surrenders here where our current chin count has exploded back up to triple digits. We have exactly 100 chinchillas currently, with about half of those available for adoption right now.
Rescue work is an interesting lifestyle. Sometimes people jump into the decision to "do what we do" without much forethought, but with tons of heart and spirit. To choose this route one must have unlimited patience, time, space and *cough* access to funds. Our store items-- cage accessories, chew toys, food and other chinnie products-- ensure we can continue providing for the fuzzbutts. We supply our store with handmade, hand selected and often hand harvested materials. Here's a little snippet of a day in the life: Harvesting apple wood for our chew toys. (Turn the volume waaaay up, please).
As much as we appreciate the support of store orders, there are some ways to maximize the mutual benefit. Whimsy made the following post on our Facebook page recently that summarizes this point exactly:
"Hey everyone, we've had a bunch of requests for teeny tiny orders lately. This is heartbreaking, let me explain why. The postal service charges a base price on deliveries, then the price goes up according to weight, size and distance. It's the base price that's a killer. So if someone wants to order a single chew toy it's going to cost more than the item is worth just in shipping! As a single mother of four, I've had to live on a very tight budget and recognize the power of combined shipping and stocking up. For roughly the same cost, you can fill a box with multiple items and pay very little more in additional shipping cost. Just FYI"
As a reminder, we are now offering a free chew toy with orders of $50 or more. Is that incentive enough? Hmmmm....perhaps a ticker tape announcement on the store page would help....
When people come to adopt, Whimsy has an entire spiel on chin care and handling she gives regardless if they are newbies or long time chin owners. We have found that often, there is at least one or two misconceptions that people carry regarding the fussy needs of chinchillas.
One of the most important chin care items is chew toys. No, they are not cute little decorations for them to bat around like a kitten would. Chew toys are meant to satisfy their chewing needs. Some people complain that their chins just destroy any toy placed in front of them. Um...that's the point. Chins are SUPPOSED to destroy chew toys. Think about it, they're called chew toys for a reason. If your chinnie simply nibbles on a toy and largely ignores it, this is not the right toy for him or her. Or, the placement is wrong.
Just like puppies need toys to ease them through the teething stage, chinchillas have a continuous need to work those pearly oranges. Because chinnie teeth are constantly growing, the need for attractive chew toys is a must if you want to avoid malocclusion.
Over the years we have carefully designed each of our chew toys with several things in mind. Some nervous chins prefer the softer, shreddable type of toy. Others have super hardcore chewing needs and greatly appreciate lots of pumice stone and harder woods.
Chins' teeth and preferences do, however, go through stages. So what turns a chin on one week, may elicit a snub the next. Our best suggestion is to have a wide variety of chew toys ever available for your chinchilla so that they may nibble and gnaw at will.
Because chew toys are so important, Whimsy's is now offering a free chew toy, of our choice, with any order of $50 or more (price before shipping).
Happy April everyone!
For the month of March, ten (10) chinchillas were surrendered and nine (9) chinchillas were adopted. We have an unusual number of single chins who do not get along with others. So if you or someone you know is looking to spoil just one, then we have plenty to choose from.
We've found that most of the time when people first learn about what wonderful pets chins are, they tend to want MORE. This is great, from a herd perspective, but precautions must be in order to prevent unwanted, unethical, or unnecessary breeding.
Another option would be to keep singles who don't like to share space, single. The Ferret Nation and Critter nation brand cages are our favorite choice. If you have space limitations, these dividable cages can stack three high!
Some people feel that more than one pet can be overwhelming in the amount of care needed. In actuality if you have a group of compatible animals sharing a cage, the amount of "work" is still basically the same as a single. You clean one cage, fill the food bowl, refresh the water, play, etc with a group as you would one. It's really kind of neat to see how they interact and the amount of extra time spent on multiples is negligible.
Have I convinced you yet? We have lots of pairs and mini-herds that are waiting for their new families too. *wink, hint*
Happy March everyone!
For the month of February twelve (12) chinchillas were surrendered and a whopping twenty-one (21!) chinchillas were adopted. This was a record breaking month for adoptions. Our last high adoptions number was (only) 16 ;)
Special thanks to Jennifer who stepped up to help by taking in two of our more troubled chins who would otherwise stay un-adoptable.
It looks like our chinnie population is well under control but we still have many, many fuzzbutts who are waiting for a permanent home…*cough*. Ok, some are not so permanent.
We often receive questions about the reason why people surrender their chins. Most of the reasons encompass one of 8 basic responses;
All reasons for surrender are valid. We do not (typically) judge or condemn. We are here to serve the animals who need a home as well as the owners who have to make the difficult decision to give up the animal. The only time Whimsy has serious issues are when the chins come in obviously poor or neglectful condition or when a parent is attempting to “teach their child a lesson” by getting rid of a beloved pet.
As a psychology major, Whimsy recognizes this method of parenting never works. Not only will it breed contempt of the child for the parent, but neither does it guide the youngster in the responsibility of taking care of a living being. It is the parent’s duty to teach their progeny how to follow through on commitments. How can that be accomplished when the animal is disposed of like an unwanted toy? Perhaps this same dumping mindset is what has helped contribute to the rise in divorce, or vice versa.
Happy February everyone!
For the month of January, ninteen (19) chinchillas were surrendered, five (5) were born of rescues, and twelve (12) chinchillas were adopted. It's been a remarkably sad month with the unusually high number of surrenders coming in. Two of those were in hopeless condition and passed away soon after their arrival.
We've seen over and over simple chin care facts gone ignored or unknown. Chinchillas are easy to care for, but have some very specific requirements. We've had chinchillas surrendered with bags of high fat, high sugar treats, paper based bedding, plastic exercise balls and even seeded hamster food!
It is for this reason that we've come up with a handy dandy top 10 list of chinchilla care no-no's. Click the preview below to see a PDF of the whole, printable sheet.
Happy New Year everyone!
For the month of December, four (4) chinchillas were surrendered and eleven (11) chinchillas were adopted. For the year 2012 a total of 107 chinchillas were surrendered and 100 chinchillas were adopted. Since our first adoption back in the beginning of 2009, we have found homes for nearly 300 chinchillas!
Month to month our numbers are generally pretty stable with the surrendered and adopted chinnies roughly equal. However, the mass surrender that we took in back in March, plus the babies born of pregnant surrenders still leaves us with more than 40 chinchillas that are still waiting for new homes.
Since our inception at the end of 2008, the Menagerie has experienced growing pains and stretched to accommodate. Where the chinchillas once shared the office with Whimsy, they now have not one, but two rooms to themselves.
The Montgomery County mass surrender in March was one of the year’s highlights. Some other notable ones include the article on chinchillas in Critters USA magazine where Whimsy was quoted *cough* rather extensively.
Jamie Glaser singer/songwriter/musician/chinchilla web forum overseer extraordinaire surprised us with his goodwill and commitment to extending monetary support through a percentage of his CD sales and many, many people have extended support in a variety of other ways whether it be in time, donations or spreading the word.
We at the Menagerie look forward to another amazing year serving the chinchillas and their owners.
Happy December everyone!
For the month of November, three (3) chinchillas were surrendered and four (4) chinchillas were adopted. It's the calm before the storm again. There have been many, many inquiries about Christmas chinchillas, which is rather exciting!
Pets as a gift is a highly debatable thing. In our way of thinking, whatever it takes to open your home, whether it be to save up for a special occasion, event or move, the addition of a new furry family member has many benefits.
When you adopt a rescue, there is usually a process to help deflect any impulse purchase. With the caging requirements, contract, and interview, rescues generally produce better results when it comes to attracting those who seek to provide a "furever" home.
Another benefit of adopting a rescue pet is the ongoing support and expert advice provided by those of us who sincerely want to help. Unlike adopting from a pet store or stranger on Craigslist, we won't leave you flapping in the wind if an emergency happens, if you need boarding, supplies, or even medical and training advice. Plus, if the unfortunate decision to give up your chinchilla does occur, we are ready and able to welcome back any chinnie adopted from us.
The benefits to owning a pet is not one-sided. Studies have shown that pet ownership contributes to a person's sense of responsibility, provides unconditional love, and even boosts intelligence!
With that being said, we do have a handful of lucky chinnies who are going home for Christmas. So who would also like to open their hearts and homes this holiday season?
We've been brainstorming like crazy and have come up with a bunch of awesome and adorable new seasonal chew toys!
In celebration of the season, we are offering a limited-time package deal. For a flat rate of $100, you receive the following with shipping included:
Christmas Care Package Deluxe (a $122.00 value!)
☆2 Cage Garlands (1 original, 1 Icicle twist): 15.00
☆(2) Wreaths: 20.00
☆Christmas Arbor-eat’em: 15.00
☆Candy Cane Twist: 5.00
☆Candy Cane Toss: 2.50
☆(3) Rose hips stuffed willow ball “ornaments”: 7.50
☆(2) Apple powdered grapevine wreaths: 8.00
☆Confetti Cuisine sampler: 5.00
☆5 oz Probiotic cookies: 5.00
☆And with the first 19 mail orders…Jamie Glaser’s Christmas CD: 10.00
Is anyone else as frustrated as I am with their grocery shopping experiences lately?
While prices continue to climb, the quality and quantities we expect have plummeted sickeningly. Boxes of cereal, bags of chips, even cans of vegetables contain less product, but with a higher price. And don't get me started on the packaging and price of coffee!
Can you feel my pain? Can I get an Amen??
Whimsy is determined to rebel, at least in her own way. While others may scrimp and cut corners, under weigh and trim, we seek to make a BIGGER, BETTER product. Our good reputation comes from the fact that we're not only looking out for the well-being of chinchillas everywhere, but also their owners and the environment. In an effort to make effective use of all supplies and materials, we're constantly looking for ways to improve our store items and creatively use "scrap" bits and pieces that would normally go to waste. Which reminds me... Have you seen our new Carousel Hay Holder?
In an ongoing effort to improve our products, some of the changes we've made, without fanfare, have been;
We love to hear the positive regard of our customers. And many times new store items and ideas come from our Facebook fans. We welcome input and collaborative efforts. So tell us: How may we serve you?
Happy November everyone!
For the month of October, ten (10) chinchillas were surrendered and eleven (11) chinchillas were adopted. It was a giddy month when, until the last week, we had only taken in 3 fur babies. With all the empty cages, we actually got to allow the chins here to spread out as we opened up the jump holes on the triple stacks.
Like busy little ants, we've had quite a time prepping for the winter. With hurricane Sandy and winter cold setting in, we've had our hands, stove top and oven constantly running with the fragrant varieties of woods we prepare for the chinchillas' gnawing pleasure.
Our store selection has grown immensely over the past couple of months. If you've been following us on Facebook, you may have seen the teases and jibes Whimsy sends to alert our fans that another "something new" is coming. Lately the focus has been on chinchilla nutrition. Because the digestive system--from mouth to, *cough* tail--is the bane of the domestic chinchilla, foraging products are a necessity. Feed pellets are nutritionally complete, but are considered a "soft" food. In the wild, chinchillas will scavenge for grasses, leaves, bark, roots, herbs, flowers and other high fiber foods. This not only gives their teeth the workout it needs to ward off malocclusion, but keeps their tummies and intestines moving, which prevents stasis.
Our little cloud bunnies have a natural tendency to seek out a wide range of food items. Have you ever noticed that they will eat ANYTHING? Furniture, electrical wires, shoes and homework papers are all at risk for an exploratory nibble. So, we've come up with some exciting new food items that are intended to stimulate and meet that natural foraging penchant. Check out some of our latest creations, available in the Store, just in time for Christmas!
The "Chinchilada" is a man-sized whole loofah overstuffed with the same herbal hay mixture that's in our Piñata toys. We've taken the stuffing to a more economical level with this creative combo, bound with seagrass. Every bit of this delicious food/toy is edible and makes an interesting weekly addition.
We finally have our organic grapevine rings back in stock...with a twist. This year's wreaths are much, MUCH larger than last year's. And as an added bonus, we've sprinkled them with a generous portion of apple fiber (think: powdered sugar donuts) to help absorb moisture and to encourage your chins to eat every twiggy curl.
Finally, we have come up with a foraging mix that you can offer in a separate food dish by the handful. "Confetti Cuisine" is a high fiber, apple-infused potpourri of loofah bites, chopped hay, rose buds and petals, calming chamomile flowers, peppermint, dehydrated carrot and the ever-popular crispy, dried leaves. Until this new release, I've had to beat people back with my imaginary e-stick to keep hold of enough leaves for this new product. (Thanks, Matty and Matt. :S ) But like Cinderella, the plain leaves have been transformed into a luscious new dish that looks and smells absolutely amazing!
Why yes, yes I do decorate my house with chinchilla supplies. :)
Please keep in mind, all of our products are natural with no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or other funky adulterating ingredients. (*cough* Beware those who color/flavor their chew toys with powdered drink mix or gelatine. Seriously????) We only offer what we are confident is good and safe for our fur babies, and share the new creations with you.
Happy October everyone!
For the month of September two (2) chinchillas were surrendered and six (6) chinchillas were adopted. For the first time EVER, we've had to delay inquiries for surrender due to space issues. We simply do not have extra room to fit the numbers of chinchillas needing care and a permanent home. As it is, our current chin count is 102 with 3 boarding and 58 for adoption.
Pet stores and backyard breeders continue to be our biggest nemesis in our effort to reduce the huge numbers of unwanted animals. Nonetheless, we have a gigantic support network of people who want to help. Girl Scout troops, high-schoolers who need volunteer hours for an honor society, middle-schoolers who need volunteer time as part of their required curriculum, and the high-schoolers with special needs who desperately desire vocational training that doesn't involve the usual, paper folding, envelope stuffing, or paper shredding tasks. Making our colorful, texture-rich chew toys is something they heartily look forward to.
When you purchase from our store, not only are you supporting our rescue work, you are also providing work opportunities for the students. :D
Please visit the Archives for older updates. :)