The Australian Cavy sanctuary is a completely non profit and non funded small animal organisation run by dedicated volunteers who are truly dedicated to the welfare, education and awareness of guinea pigs. The year 2007 has been a big year for ACS with our small team of volunteers managing and funding the shelters and struggling to cover costs of ongoing medical, feed and bedding bills, running adoptions, attending many awareness displays and events to educate the public on correct small animal care, and gaining media coverage for the cause. This year more than 600 guinea pigs were surrendered to ACS shelters the numbers doubling that of previous years.

On November 18th 2007 The Australian Cavy Sanctuary hosted our very first major awareness/fundraising event ‘PIGNIC IN THE PARK’. The team were up bright and early for setup after an exhausting 6-8 weeks of preparations the day had finally arrived. Overall the Pignic was a fantastic success the sun was shining brightly upon the picturesque park grounds with a light breeze to keep the public and the piggies cool! The event turnout was larger than expected with people in attendance reaching anywhere between 500-800. The organisations who supported the event came along in good spirits with many small animal products available for sale to the public most of which are not available in stores. We would like to thank the stallholders, sponsors and organisations who supported this event and who helped create such a wonderful day. Stallholders in attendance included the RSPCA, Animal Liberation, The Dapper Rat, Camphill and Greencross Vets small animal educational stall, Oxbow, folk/australian band ‘ BLACK HEATHER ‘, Cafe2U, Janene Wells Photography, Katy Lambourne graphic artist/illustrator created custom Guinea pig Caricatures, Tammy Maine Guinea Pig Children’s Book Release, ACS slideshow, products, raffle, kids colouring competition, second hand stall and BBQ stall, The Pet café, The Pet Directory, Best Friends Rescue and Wildlife Warriors . A surprise visit from ABC news sent the public buzzing with excitement as did a certain ACS Guinea Pig Mascot who danced around the parklands giving out free hugs to the kids! The smiles were endless as children and families proudly pignicced and shared their guinea pigs with others.

Due to the success of ACS ‘ PIGNIC IN THE PARK’ and the reports from the public and stallholders requesting the event be held again ACS will now be making this event an annual event. We look forward to an even bigger and more exiting Pignic next year! Mini Pignic Gatherings will be held throughout the year for those who would like to catch up more regularly with other guinea pig enthusiasts and ACS Volunteers. Please visit our events section on the ACS Website to find out when our next regular gathering will be held.

After the event Brisbane Shelter Manger and ACS founder Jessica said: ‘ I can’t think of any words that can describe the joy I felt in my heart today surrounded by stand out animal orgs and surrounded by so many people that love their guinea pigs and pets as part of the family and that care for them so well…what more could you want. I had the privilege of catching up with many of the children of families that had adopted through ACS and they handled their guinea pigs very well throughout the day and had developed amazing bonds with them. They carried the guinea pigs around proudly and carefully. It made me appreciate even more greatly the screening process that we have in place at ACS for adoptions and the communication and advice we freely give to every family that adopts. With the process we have in place the families that adopt through ACS are given correct advice, ongoing advice and support and we appreciate those that choose to proceed to adopt through ACS. It was fantastic to catch up with some of our previously adopted guinea pigs and their families. I remember every guinea pig that is adopted through ACS and their background story. Thank you all who supported the event ‘.

We received many comments after the event from members of the public which included:

‘ It was great to meet you Jess and you should feel very proud of what you accomplished. Great to see so many people who ABSOLUTELY LOVE their guinea pigs. What I think is really important is the message that the very young children and how important it is to care for our animals. Seeing all those little girls and boys there, who were SO proud of their little piggies was really heart warming. I mean – that’s where it all starts!’

‘ What a great website! I saw a little bit about the pignic on the news last night and am so excited to see that someone has been able to look after all the lonely piglets’.

‘ We were at the Pignic and would like to congratulate yourself on a job well done! We hope the ‘feed bars’ we left with your father to pass to yourself help some of your needy little guys ‘.

‘ Sunday’s ‘Pignic in the park’ was an absolutely wonderful day. My family had loads and loads of fun. We really enjoyed watching the segment on ABC news at 7pm afterwards. You have done an absolutely amazing job with the guinea pigs Jessica. They have such a wonderful kind dedicated and compassionate friend in you. If there is any way at all that you need help with anything can you let me know’.