Adopters of pets must be over 18, or the primary caregiver for a pet must be over 18. We do not adopt out pets directly to children, and require that a parent be on board to care for the pet if the child is unable to, or loses interest during the pet's natural lifetime.
Many times, a small animal is purchased by parents for a child as a 'starter pet' or to try to teach them responsibility. When the novelty of a new pet wears off, the pet is given away, sold, or left at a shelter or a rescue. We require that parents adopting a pet for their child also be committed to caring for the pet if the novelty of pet ownership wears off, or if the child is unable/unwilling to care for the pet on their own.
We require that animals adopted from North Star Rescue are never bred and allowed to contribute to the pet overpopulation. This means owners must take care that animals who are not spayed/neutered are never allowed contact with animals of the opposite gender.
Small Animals are not disposable pets, and deserve the same consideration and care as other species of animals. Sick animals should be taken promptly to a qualified Exotics Veterinarian. It is not acceptable to neglect to treat a sick animal, or to euthanize an animal for whom reasonable medical treatment is available. Owners should be prepared to take their pet in for routine Veterinary medical care such as check-ups, dental work, spay/neuter, tumor removals or medical treatment as is necessary for the animal's particular species.
Animals must be housed in a safe, climate controlled area of their owner's house and not in an outside habitat. This area should be in a part of the house that does not get too warm or too cold, and is not exposed to drafts. Additionally, we do not recommend that parents allow their children to keep their pet in a bedroom. As many small animals are nocturnal, there can be disturbances in sleeping. It is also easier for parents to be sure that an animal is being taken care of if they are in view of the entire family. Animals that are allowed to live in a more common family area also tend to show less behavioral problems, and tend to be more social and happy overall.
Owners must provide their pets with an appropriate diet and a safe habitat, and ensure that they have clean food and water on a daily basis. Habitats should be cleaned regularly to provide proper sanitation, and animals should be handled and allowed to socialize with their owners or play outside of the cage on a regular basis. Owners must use safe materials around pets, including safe bedding. Aromatic Pine and Cedar Bedding are not acceptable beddings for small animals and can cause health problems.
Rabbits must live primarily indoors, and only allowed outdoors in tolerable weather either in a safe, predator proof enclosure or under the supervision of their owners. We do not adopt out rabbits to live in hutches or outdoors full time, as this significantly decreases their life span.
We prefer to adopt rabbits to homes that have room to house them in an X-Pen in an indoor environment. Rabbit habitats need to minimally provide enough room for the rabbits litter box, toys, food and water bowls, and still permit enough room for the rabbit to lay down completely stretched out. Habitats must have a solid floor and solid surfaces with no wire shelves or levels.
All rabbits adopted who are not spayed and neutered at the time of adoption must either be spayed/neutered when they are ready for the surgery through North Star Rescue, or the owner must provide spay/neuter through their preferred Veterinarian at their own expense. Rabbits adopted out prior to a spay/neuter surgery that are too young to be spayed, or cannot be spayed for reasons assessed by a Veterinarian, must be spayed/neutered within 30 days of being ready to undergo surgery.
Chinchillas do not tolerate heat well and are more susceptible to heat stroke. Owners must keep chinchillas in climate controlled areas and not permit the temperature to rise to a dangerous level in the room where their pet chinchilla(s) are housed.
Each Chinchilla should have a minium of six cubic feet of space per chinchilla. Floors, levels and ramps should all be solid surface levels. We recommend having as large of a cage as you have room for and can afford for your chinchilla, as they need to exercise on their own schedule. Click Here for our Guide to Pet Chinchilla Cages.
Unless a guinea pig cannot be housed with other guinea pigs for medical or behavioral reasons, we require that guinea pigs be kept in pairs or social groups. Pairs or social groups should be of the same gender, or groups where at least all of one gender has been spayed/neutered.
Guinea Pig Habitats should have all solid surface floors, ramps, and levels. Any additional levels above a flat cage must be secured so that a guinea pig cannot climb or fall from one level to another. The minimum habitat size for 1-2 guinea pigs is 7.5 Square Feet, with an additional 1.5 Square Feet added for each additional Guinea Pig. Click Here for our Guide to Pet Guinea Pig Cages.
Guinea Pigs must be provided with adaquate vitamin C in their diet on a daily basis, through supplements or fresh fruits and vegetables. We do not recommend using vitamin drops in your guinea pig's water bottle.
Unless a rat cannot be housed with other rats for medical or behavioral reasons, we require that rats be kept in pairs or social groups. Pairs or social groups should be of the same gender, or groups where at least all of one gender has been spayed/neutered.
We require that 1-2 rats be provided with at least 2 Cubic Feet of space, with an additional 2 Cubic Feet of Space per rat. We recommend having as large of a habitat as you can to house your rats that you can comfortably make space for and maintain in a hygenic manner. Click Here for our Guide to Pet Rat Cages.
Syrian hamsters are not social, and need to be housed one per habitat. While some syrian hamsters may get along when they are young or into adult hood, it is risky to continue to house them together as they may fight and severely injury or kill each other at any point once they reach juvenile age.
Syrian hamsters should be housed in cages that provide a minimum of 2 cubic feet of space, and it is best for their cages to be broader and flat versus having a smaller footprint with more vertical space. Click Here for our Guide to Pet Syrian Hamster Cages.
Owners of Campbells Dwarf Hamsters may opt to keep their hamsters on a healthy diet for diabetic hamsters, or test their Campbells Dwarf Hamster on a monthly basis for the development of diabetes.
Dwarf hamsters should be provided with a minimum habitat size of 1 cubic foot with an additional half a cubic foot for each additional hamster living in the same habitat. Click Here for our Guide to Pet Dwarf Hamster Cages.
Unless a mouse cannot be housed with other mice for medical or behavioral reasons, we require that rats be kept in pairs or social groups. Pairs or social groups should be of the same gender, or groups where at least all of one gender has been spayed/neutered. We do not require that male mice be housed with other male mice, as many male mice prefer to live individually.
Mice should be provided with a minimum habitat size of 1 cubic foot with an additional half a cubic foot for each additional mouse living in the same habitat. Click Here for our Guide to Pet Mouse Cages.