WRITTEN BY GRETA KRATZ | EDITED BY JENNIFER PARLATI
On April 24th, 2017, The American Gerbil Society responded to a call for help from a nice lady from Shreveport, LA. She and her daughter enjoyed lovely pet gerbils for many years, just maintaining a tank of females. Until the pet store made a mistake, and refused to do anything to help rectify the problem. She became quickly overwhelmed with a large number of gerbils in her care.
Volunteers of the AGS traveled 245 miles by private car to meet with the lady and sort 37 gerbils by gender and health condition. Several were pregnant, many were suffering from fur loss and some even had their hind legs completely missing. They were overcrowded and showed signs of malnutrition.
These rescued gerbils are currently housed safely with volunteers in Austin and San Antonio, Texas. They are actively receiving veterinary care and being nursed back to health. While some gerbils are responding greatly to treatment, many more still face a long road to recovery.
Several health issues we are seeing with some of the gerbils include abscesses, tooth overgrowth, tail balding and brittle bones. Even with gentle handling, the malnutrition has already caused two gerbils to break a leg.
These gerbils have complex veterinary needs and will also need to be shipped out to foster homes and potential adopters. All of these are extremely expensive undertakings. So far we have invested $850 (well over our available budget) into veterinary care, medication, bedding, food, and supplemental supplies such as cuttlebone, vitamin drops and kitten replacement milk.
As a non-profit organization we are entirely dependent on donations, grants, adoption fees, and fundraisers. We are desperately in need of funds to cover medical expenses, food and bedding for these gerbils. All donations great and small are welcome and appreciated!