NWI Chinchilla Rescue
On this page, you will find info regarding the chinchilla, small animal, and small exotic rescuing that we do.
All rescues are listed on our various "Available Chinchillas" pages. The rescue chins are clearly noted as rescues in their descriptions.
We thank everyone who has made a donation to the rescue, even if it has been as little as 25 cents. Your generosity helps out the rescue more than you know. Every cent helps, and we acknowledge all donations on our Donations page.
In A Nutshell...
- NWI Chinchilla Rescue was founded in 2003 as a non-profit, no-kill, chinchilla rescue. Since then, the rescue has expanded to include other small animals, small exotics, as well as the occasional reptile / amphibian.
- Our average yearly cost runs approximately $28,000. This fluctuates, depending on how many (and what type of) animals are at the rescue, what health conditions they may / may not have, and what the extent of their care needs are. The money to pay this cost comes from adoption fees and the sales of our supplies / accessories, which are what fund the rescue.
- As of mid 2016, we have re-homed over 500 chinchillas, 91 rats, 50 guinea pigs, 28 rabbits, 7 hamsters, 6 degus, 5 gerbils, 2 prairie dogs, and 1 pigeon. In addition, we've helped numerous people re-home their chinchillas and other animals as well, through our courtesy listings.
- We use 500-750 pounds of chinchilla food and 100-150 pounds of hay per month.
- While we do have a few foster homes, we care for the majority of the rescue / available chinchillas here at our location.
Want to Know More?
When someone expresses interest in adopting one of our rescues, that person is required to read our species-specific care packet. Once they complete that, they are required to fill out our adoption form. This adoption form asks species-specific questions about the care of the type of animal that the person wants to adopt. It inquires about the brand of food to be fed, the type and size of cage the animal will be kept in, the items contained in the cage, and more. The adoption form ends with the potential adopter having to agree that if they can no longer care for the animal, that it will be returned to the rescue. This ensures that if the animal does have to go to yet another home, we will be able to adequately screen that home and ensure that that home is a good one for the quality of life of the animal.
How We Started Out
One of our most involved rescue chinchillas was a standard grey male named Fuzzy, who came to us in 2005. While we did rescue work for two years before Fuzzy came to us, Fuzzy really was the driving force behind what started NWI Chinchilla Rescue.
really touched our lives in many ways. He gave us a crash course into
the world of chinchilla medical care, including our first experiences
at hand-feeding and dealing with impaction and possible stasis. Our
rescue bank account is named after him - we affectionately call it "the
To learn more about Fuzzy, please visit "Fuzzy's Story."
If you would like to surrender your chinchilla, small animal, or small exotic to us, please contact us at [email protected] – alternatively you can call (219) 789-0026 and speak with us (please leave a message if no answer). We have a “no foul” surrender policy –- we will take almost any animal that we have the knowledge and ability to care for -- all that we ask is that you inform us of why the animal is being surrendered (especially if for behavioral or health reasons) and inform us of any known health problems the animal may have. We will not contact animal control or attempt to press any animal abuse charges against people dropping off their animals at the rescue. However, we may share the story of how the animal came to the rescue with potential adopters, if asked.
Sorry, but we cannot take ferrets or hamsters into the rescue. We also cannot take in cats or dogs. We take in small, caged animals only.
We prefer to receive rescues with their equipment (cage, food, toys, etc). This lessens the stress on the animal as it comes to a new environment, but retains its usual surroundings. However, that is not a requirement - we will gladly take in your chinchilla or other small animal without any supplies, assuming we have the necessary caging/supplies to care for your animal.
Please note that we do not pay for rescues. You will not find a reputable rescue that does, so please do not contact us asking us to buy your chinchillas or other small animals. Our
intention is to take in animals that need to be re-homed immediately
and care for them until they can find a loving forever home, not help anyone re-coup their expenses. We will undoubtedly have expenses for your animal while it is here, so while we understand the concept of not completely losing out on what has been spent (though usually money spent greatly outweighs our adoption fees) -- we are not going to buy your pet.
We do charge adoption fees for our rescue animals. Charging an adoption fee helps ensure that the person adopting the animal can adequately care for the animal. Animals need food, water, bedding, chew toys, and so on – these are not free. Even if you are making your own chew toys out of wood that you cut up, sand, and string onto wire, you still need to pay for the wood, saw, wire, and so on. An adoption fee helps ensure that the new home will be able to provide for the animal into the foreseeable future. Adoption fees also keep our rescue running. Some rescues require several hundred dollars (or more!) of vet care, and the adoption fees keep us on top of these bills.
Adoption fees depend on the type of animal as well. More common, easier to care for pets will have lower adoption fees than more exotic animals. For example, rats will have lower adoption fees than chinchillas. If the animal comes with included items or accessories (other than the typical food and chews), the adoption fee may reflect this.
Adoption fees for chinchillas typically range from $50 on up (for seniors), though our standard adoption fee is $75-100 for an adult chinchilla. We appreciate if you would kindly refrain from asking us to lower our adoption fees—this is not a garage sale. If you cannot afford the adoption fee, you will not be able to afford even one visit to the vet.
Want to Help Us Out? Volunteer or Donate!
We often have people ask if they can help out the rescue in one way or another. We often get asked "if we need anything." We do appreciate any and all donations, no matter how small. We rely on money made from adoption fees, supply sales, and donations in order to keep the rescue running. All money made from adoption fees and supply sales are put into our "Fuzzy Fund" rescue bank account. This bank account is used to pay for the expenses related to our rescue chinchillas - including food, housing, medical care, and daily living requirements such as toys and chews. Donations are always appreciated.
Think your donation would be too small? It wouldn't be -- even the smallest donation can make a difference. Even something so simple as one hanging toy or toy parts will bring joy to a chinchilla in need.
make a monetary donation, you can click on the PayPal donation option at the bottom of this page.
Feel free to specify if you would like your donation used in a specific
way or towards a specific chinchilla.
For a list of donations that we have received, please visit our Donations page!
We and the chins would like to give a very heartfelt "thank you" to all those who have made donations to help us continue our efforts to care for chinchillas and other small animals in need. We appreciate everything you've all done to help us!