(NC) Like cats and dogs, smaller pets like rabbits, guinea pigs and even birds are given up for adoption regularly. While some find a home quickly, others may spend the rest of their lives in shelters in need of a family.

“Small animals can make great pets that work well in smaller spaces,” says Dr. Amanda Landis-Hanna, senior manager of veterinary outreach at PetSmart Charities. “If you’re unsure where to start, you can call your local animal shelter or use online search tools to find small pets close to your home.”

Interested in rescuing a small pet? Here’s a short overview of types that are often overlooked:


These soft little rodents are full of energy and can be very entertaining. They typically live in a large wire cage, but it’s encouraged to have them out and about with you when you’re at home.


Playful, cuddly bunnies make a great addition to any family. They can be litter trained just like a cat, and are happiest when wandering around the house with you.

Guinea pigs

Low maintenance and quiet, guinea pigs work well in a quieter home as they tend to be a bit nervous. Once comfortable, they’re quick to warm up and enjoy spending time snuggling with their owners.


These birds are playful, lively and intelligent. Just keep in mind that parrots have the potential to live for up to 80 years.


These pets are a lot like kittens since they are independent, curious and playful. Ferrets can also be litter trained and are happiest roaming around the living room with you or snuggling up to watch some TV.

Remember, every animal needs a proper living environment, the right diet and nurturing care. Every small pet has its own set of needs, so do your research before bringing your pet home.