Created: March 23, 2020 10:13 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Ivan Arellano has owned hamsters since he was in high school. Between work and school, he said they’re a lot easier to care for than dogs.
"A hamster is pretty self-sufficient animal. Just give it some food and stuff,” he said.
While looking for a new hamster, Ivan came across Haven for Hamsters. Cindy Cribbs is the owner of the self-funded rescue for hamsters and guinea pigs.
"I have to work every day seven days a week to fund the guys out there,” Cribbs said.
That is why Ivan decided to nominate Cindy for KOB 4’s Pay it Forward award.
“I nominated you for the pay it forward so the news is here as well so here you go—here's 400 dollars for taking care of the hamsters and guinea pigs and running a good sanctuary here,” he said. “Thank you. We really appreciate your hard work and dedication for providing the hamsters a place.”
The sanctuary started out as a hamster-only rescue but has grown to include guinea pigs. Cindy said she cares for 42 guinea pigs and 6 hamsters.
"They are meant to be like your dogs, part of your family. They're not tossaways,” she said.
Each hamster and guinea pigs wait for the perfect owner to adopt them.
"We get the horror stories and the sick ones so when people like Ivan come in and they give these little babies that we have nurtured and brought back from the brink of death and that were so scared and didn't know how to trust people and he gives them a loving home—It means the world to us to know that they're going somewhere that they’re going to get the life they truly deserve,” Cindy said.
Cindy said she plans to use the money to buy more fresh vegetables and bedding for the animals.
"All the things that they need to keep them happy and healthy and living the lifestyle they've learned to live."
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