There's a lot that the everyday person doesn't really know about the guinea pig. Like, did you know that doctors in the Andes mountains used guinea pigs to detect and diagnose various diseases? And did you know that wild guinea pigs tend to travel in herds?
One country that knows a whole lot about guinea pigs is Switzerland, who actually has nationally implemented laws about how they should be treated. Guinea pig owners living in the country legally have to own at least two of them - as the pigs are social creatures and can become depressed if left alone.
So what happens when one of your guinea pigs dies unexpectedly and leaves the other all alone?
Well, the owners act fast and contact IG Meerschweinchen, an agency that will 'matchmake' your lonely guinea pig to one of their 'rentable' ones. Starting at roughly $50 USD (41 - 60 Swiss francs), you can rent a guinea pig for as long as you need them, and upon safe return, get half of that 'deposit' back!
Owner and guinea pig breeder Priska Küng (seen above, with one of her rentable pigs) says that the business has become pretty successful, and oftentimes, the 'rentals' end up becoming permanent members of the renting family:
"Sometimes people realize that they still get so much enjoyment from the guinea pigs that they want to go on keeping them and come back for another one once their supposed last pet has died."
So how hard is it to match up guinea pigs? Is the service really THAT necessary? Well, it seems that guinea pig compatibility might be trickier than you'd think!
According to Priska, "a young animal can annoy a four or five-year-old guinea pig by being too temperamental and active," but she also adds that an older guinea pig might experience a rejuvenation of energy when paired when a fairly young one.
So what do you guys think about a rent-a-guinea-pig service? Is it your new dream job or just a whole lot of fluff?
Let me know in the comments below, and for more WTF news, follow my WTF Street Journal collection!