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One woman works to better the lives of guinea pigs

Teresa Murphy wasn't always passionate about guinea pigs, but her desire to help them grew rapidly when she met her boyfriend's guinea pig, Babe, and bought him a pregnant female companion, the United States Humane Society reports.

Before she knew it, Murphy was an expert on the animal, which is a domestic cousin to the Andean cavy. She learned that males can be neutered, and that guinea pigs and other small rodents are constantly filling up animal shelters.

In 1999 she founded the Cavy Spirit rescue group and began a website that aimed to find homes for guinea pigs in local shelters. She has now helped place more than 2,000 guinea pigs in homes, the news source reports.

She has also been a forerunner in guinea pig care, developing the Cubes & Coroplast habitat, a cage that is more beneficial to the rodents than the average commercial cage. She also lobbied in 2002 for a California law that required all guinea pig purchases to be accompanied by a standardized care fact sheet. Her website, which gets more than 200,000 hits each day, offers such tips for how to care for guinea pigs, including veterinary care, cleaning and handling.  
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