Shane’s just crazy about cavies

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They are cuddly and cute with a personality of their own - it’s no wonder that cavies are becoming one of the nation’s most popular pets.

Cavies (better known as Guinea Pigs) are also ideal show animals and Selston has its own club dedicated to the furry creatures.

Shane Ross of Selston with one of her prize winning guinnea pigs, Stephen, and the rossette he won at a recent show in Bawtry.

Shane Ross of Selston with one of her prize winning guinnea pigs, Stephen, and the rossette he won at a recent show in Bawtry.

The Selston and Sherwood Cavy Club now has more than 30 members and has been run by Shane Raff for the past 22 years.

Shane, 55 breeds and shows cavies (better known as Guinea Pigs) and has more than 60 of them.

She got her first cavy when she was 10. Her brother’s pet had babies and she adopted one.

Ever since then she has been hooked.

“They are quite addictive and they have their own personalities, said Shane.

“Having so many I try not to get too close to them now, but the ones I show I do bond with.

“They all know me though and if anybody strange goes in their shed they will make a funny noise.

“They have very good hearing as opposed to sight.

“Cavies are friendly family pets - they tend not to bite and they are very easy for kids to handle.”

It is straightforward to house and feed them.

For a pair of cavies, Shane recommends a hutch at least 4ft by 2ft in size.

She added: “You have to give them the right food - cavies need a lot of vitamin C so you have to give them greenery every day.”

Fanciers - people who breed and show guinea pigs - sometimes call their animals ‘cavies’, and sometimes ‘pigs’, the terms being used interchangeably.

They are shown in pet and purebred sections.

The Selston and Sherwood Cavy Club meets at Selston Parish Hall on Mansfield Road and hosts shows five or six times a year. Each show has 200-300 guinea pigs.

Shane shows the Rex and Teddys varieties - other types include long haired, short haired, Dalmation and Abyssinian.

She has been showing them for 30 years and is a recognised expert on the breeds as secretary of the Midlands Cavy Club and panel judge for the Midlands.

An avid snooker fan, she has named her show cavies after some of the top players. Stephen and Ronnie are her current winning favourites.

“I would recommend it as a hobby for young and old, it is cheap and rewarding,” she said.

“The youngsters really enjoy it at the shows with the different cards and rosettes.

“Anyone can turn up at a show, come and have a look, bring their pet along and take it from there.”

The club can be contacted on 01773 863039, or email tort.white@btopenworld.com