Needing to rehome a chin, what's the best option?


New member
Apr 25, 2021
Sadly we are needing to rehome our female chinchilla, but we're struggling to figure out the best way to do so. She is around 5-6 years old, and came to us with several bad habits from her previous owner. She was put in a chinchilla harness and taken places by her previous owner, which caused her to become very opposed to being handled for anything. For anything medical related or emergency situations (as we unfortunately experienced earlier this year) she readily bites and sprays when handling is necessary. She's been prone to being nippy during cage maintenance as well. She is also an extremely picky eater, we couldn't find the brand she was originally eating and had to scramble to find one she would eat properly, as she was largely shunning food. With these issues we don't want to pass her off to just anyone, we want to make sure whoever takes her understands that she isn't handleable as chins are often generally purported.
Our primary question being what's our best route to find her a new home? We have talked with our local shelter but they couldn't take her at the time, we're looking to try again but we're concerned though that her biting would cause problems. We've also looked at rescue groups, but the closest ones are 4+ hours away (we're in far northern California) and right now we can't afford to make that trip. We've done some word-of-mouth inquiries but because she's not handleable nobody wants her. Advice on the best course of action and any help would be greatly appreciated, we really want to make sure she gets a good home.


Well-known member
Nov 3, 2021
I would steer clear of local shelters as a rule whenever trying to re-home anything considered "exotic." Most just don't know how to care for more specialized animals like chins, and even if the shelter is "no kill," many no-kill shelters will still euthanise animals for "extreme behavioural issues," so your girl would still be at risk of ending up with a death sentence. :( And if the shelter isn't no-kill, then she'd be pretty much as good as dead if you surrendered her there.

I would try to get in contact with the nearest chinchilla-specific rescue you can find. Even if you can't make it to them, just try calling or emailing and explaining the situation. Many rescues are willing to travel a bit to save an animal in need. They may be able to send someone to meet you at a halfway point to pick up the chin. Or who knows, they might even be able to send someone to collect the chin right from your home. You never know unless you ask! But I would trust a reputable chin rescue much more than I'd trust general shelter. Shelters do the best they can, but most are really only equipped to care for dogs and cats. They'll usually take other animals, but they often don't really know their care requirements or behaviours.

EDIT: Some chinchilla breeders may also take in rescues, so that might be another avenue to explore.
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