Minnesota Pocket Pet Rescue


By Ashley Gaughan


LOCATION: Foster homes in the greater Twin Cities metro area.
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/MNPocketPetRescue

WHAT IS A POCKET PET? Any small mammal (with the exception of sugar gliders, marsupials) that is commonly kept as a pet. MNPPR takes in chinchillas, degus, ferrets, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, hedgehogs, mice, rabbits, rats and sugar gliders.

WHO THEY ARE: 501(c)3 organization comprised of animal lovers dedicated to welfare of pocket pets in the rescue community. They are devoted to placing these petite pals in loving “forever homes” and providing resources on how to best care for these small-but-significant animal friends.

PASSION: “Our volunteers are passionate about the welfare of these creatures as well as the education of the public to create a better standard of care and quality of life for pocket pets,” says one of MNPPR’s directors, Ash Russell.

VOLUNTEERS: The organization includes 40 volunteers—those who manage the organization, foster animals and attend events to support the cause. The public can help by providing a home for a pocket pet, or by donating.

“I volunteer for MNPPR because I believe that every life is precious and important,” says volunteer Shawna Fankhanel Chavez. “I believe in giving a voice to those who can’t speak up for themselves. And I believe that every animal deserves a loving, caring home.”

BY THE NUMBERS: MNPPR places approximately 75 to 100 animals every year.

FUNDING: MNPPR relies on donations from the community and adoption fees to support its ongoing efforts.

IN ACTION: Attend Open Streets at Penn Fest. Sunday, Sept. 14 from noon to 4 p.m. in Richfield. MNPPR will feature kids activities, merchandise, educational pocket pet games and a few personal pocket pets. Talk to the Education Team to learn more about pocket pets, how to foster them, and how organization advocates for these animals.


MNPPR welcomes donations of food, bedding, furnishings, toys, cages and other items. Visit the website for donation and volunteer needs.

Ashley Gaughan is a writer based in Minneapolis-St.Paul.


An Adoption Tale

I was fostering two guinea pigs, Kevin and Kyle, so I was learning all this cool stuff about taking care of them, what the noises they made meant, what their body language meant, and more. Then the day came when someone wanted to come meet Kevin and Kyle. The whole family came: mom, dad, and daughter. They asked so many questions and the daughter was respectful of the animals and said she was excited to build a friendship with them. We heard from them later; they sent pictures and told stories of how they were getting on and how Kevin loved to take food from the daughter’s hand. It was just the most ideal, awesome adoption.

Shawna Fankhanel Chavez,