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Saturday, June 3, 2023

Wee Companions: Animal shelter makes a big deal out of little

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Wee Companions needs help after 500 pandemic pets were returned in past three years.

SAN DIEGO — Small animals are facing a big adoption crisis in San Diego County. 

In this Zevely Zone, I visited the new shelter for Wee Companions in University City. 

From rabbits, chinchillas, mice, hamsters, and guinea pigs, there is a big need in San Diego County to care for little animals. Even though cute critters are small, they needed a new supersized home. 

“Good morning. Come on in,” said Fenella Speece. 

Have you ever met a special type of person who is always in a good mood even during tough times? 

“Aren’t we lucky?,” said Fenella. “This is where we do our adoptions.” 

Wee Companions recently moved into a facility that is four times larger than their last one. The non-profit was forced to move not because business is booming but because it’s never been worse.

“Jeff, it has been terrible,” said Fenella. “We are at crisis level right now in Southern California with the small animals in the shelters.” 

Since the pandemic boom began, 500 of the animals were adopted and then returned. “We took on this space to accommodate all of that but now we are full again,” said Fenella. 

A few years ago, when my youngest daughter Addison wanted a hamster, we went to Wee companions. Mr. Nibbles was a senior citizen when we adopted him. We cherished him for years before he passed and now more animals need adoption such as Sitara the hamster, Pica the chinchilla and Olivianna the guinea pig. 

“She is available,” said Fenella. They all need a home. Baby Girl, a beautiful Lion Head bunny, has never lived anywhere other than a shelter.

If you’ve ever seen a hamster on a wheel, that’s how Fenella feels. “The problem is just keeping going, going and going,” said Fenella. I asked her what kind of hours she is working. “Oh, stop it. It’s a 24/7 job,” she said. In the past 24 years, Fenella’s facilitated 19,000 adoptions. “Personally, I believe it’s our responsibility as humans. It’s our responsibility to take care of them,” said Fenella.  

Wee Companions was founded in 1998. The volunteer organization receives no government funding. If you are interested in adopting an animal, volunteering or fostering an animal, visit the Wee Companions website by clicking here.

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