What We Do
At Whimsy's Menagerie and Chinchilla Rescue, we strive to provide a home for chinchillas who cannot stay with their original owners. Each circumstance is unique, therefore we do not blame, condemn or criticize the choice or need to give up an animal. Every animal in our household gets the care and attention they need to live happy lives. Each new surrender is given a thorough health check and is gently, and patiently, socialized. It never ceases to amaze us how even the most defensive chin can learn to be a curious, loving critter.
Whimsy is a single mother with four children, three girls and one boy who has autism. She is a committed homeschooling mom with a passion for helping and an insatiable desire for knowledge. This has led her to work toward several college degrees at once. Whimsy has earned two Associate of Science degrees in Science and Social Science, two Bachelor's of Science degrees in Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology and has completed the coursework for a Master's degree in Special Education with an emphasis in autism studies and behavior management.
This website, rescue organization and support store are just some of the ways she creatively involves her family in real life learning.
Whimsy is owned by Éowyn: a super sensitive but beautiful Spotted Saddle Horse mare who walks with the most exaggerated swag you've ever seen.
Needless to say, Whimsy is an animal lover. Chinchillas and horses are her two primary passions along with woodcraft and gardening. Those passions have become life consuming. We are currently looking to move to a place that will allow for expansion.
Mandolin is Whimsy's oldest daughter, commonly referred to as "Second-in-Command" or "Mini Whimsy." Her other positions include: backup brain; webmistress; graphic designer; photographer; secretary; bookkeeper; master box packer, etc., etc.
Mandolin is the artist who created the site logo, and is in charge of all of the site's videos and other graphic projects. This has allowed for plenty of practice as she pursues her Bachelor's degree as a Graphic Design major. Always the creative type, she has even started her own offsite shop called Paper To Pen, where she hand-binds and sells one-of-a-kind journals, sketchbooks, and photo albums!
She is chin-mom to chinnies Dove (beige), Bucky (standard), and Vala (extra dark ebony). She dreams of one day having her very own horse and maybe a chicken or two. *Update* Dream achieved! Now the proud owner of Double Dutch Dharma: a Rocky Mountain mare.
Third-in-command, and owner of Raisin (chinchilla), Trinity (dog) and co-owner of Phoenix, the Paso Fino gelding.
Aquamarine is the original creator of our website and Facebook page. She is Whimsy's personal editor. Her hobbies include singing, dancing, photography, playing ukulele, and miscellaneous computer stuff. A Psychology major, she is due to be the first of the kids to earn her Bachelor's degree.
Mandolin and Aquamarine began attending Tidewater Community College at the ages of 14 and 13, respectively, while dual-enrolled with their homeschooled studies. They were featured in a local newspaper for their accomplishment in July, 2010, as they were gearing up for their third semester at TCC. Read it here!
Now, they have graduated together with their Associate's degrees in December of 2012, and are finally parting ways, academically, to work on their respective Bachelor's degrees.
Ziggy loves woodworking and helping with the more mundane chores. He is full of energy and good spirit when it comes to keeping the chin room vacuumed. He also enjoys measuring out the feed portions for each of the eagerly awaiting chins. He is often the much needed "third hand" when building all the items in our store. Ziggy has autism but his laser sharp concentration makes him the very best toy maker! He often leads the special needs students (and the adult helpers) in the correct toy pattern stringing, and is quick to catch quality control issues. Ziggy is most happy when he's a contributing member of the family.
Opal (Formerly known as Flowerbud)
Like her big sisters, Opal began college at the tender young age of 13. Opal is the best chinchilla catcher and tamer of the Menagerie. She's the one to thank for working patiently with many of our rescues to make them sweet as can be. She is the master seagrass knot tier, water bottle filler, dust bath packer, etc. She's the owner of Elijah, our very first chinchilla surrender, Tillie, our largest chinchilla, and Methuselah, our epileptic chin. She also owns Bindi the munchkin cat, 2 ferrets and Phoenix, our Paso Fino gelding.
How It Began
One day, one of our neighbor friends brought home the classroom chinchilla for the weekend. Whimsy's fond memories of the chinchilla she had as a teen were rekindled. So, after a bit of research into local (or not so local) breeders, a short time later, we purchased Titus, our extraordinarily friendly mascot, and Dove. Whimsy claimed Titus, our mascot, for her own and her oldest daughter claimed Dove because they share the same birthday. Not long after, we added Raisin to befriend Dove, claimed by Whimsy's second daughter (Aquamarine).
The Chinchilla Rescue really began when Elijah, our first rescue joined Titus. It was from him that Whimsy's recognition of the need for a chin-specific rescue organization in our area became quickly apparent. Many humane societies and animal control facilities do not accept exotic pets and when they do, are not generally equipped for the specialized care chinchillas need. So, on November 1st, 2008, this website was made to spread the word, and has continued to grow ever since. We've developed quite a following of loyal supporters and clientele who have adopted chinchillas and purchase supplies from Whimsy's.
We also serve by providing in-service training for local veterinary clinics, pet stores and youth groups. We work closely with the local high school where we volunteer as job coaches to teach the students vocational skills by assembling our store items. In turn, the store funds the rescue work we provide for the chinchillas in our care. Whimsy's Menagerie has become quite an extensive community affair!
We look forward to many years more of serving not only the chinchilla population, but in helping and educating those connected to us who share the same love for chinchillas we do. ;)