Well, now that the word is starting to spread that she's doing that, people are trying to give her all sorts of animals. She now has a pregnant silky guinea pig, and today she picked up a spiny mouse that a lady rescued from her teenaged brother.
THe brother got the little guy when his friend's family had a litter, and little Stubby had a bite in his tail, so the boy took pity on him and took him home. Stubby was living in a mid-sized plastic critter carrier, was all by himself (spiny mice are highly social), wasn't being handled, and didn't have the right food.
The poor little fellow started chewing his own tail off - hence the name. Spiny Mice are omnivores, needing a combination of grains, grasses, and insects (protein). The best Mom and I can figure, is it was a combination of stress and the lack of protein that made Stubby self-mutilate. I cringe every time I see his poor little tail.
Well, my mother isn't keen on mice, although Spiny Mice don't bother her as much as house mice, especially as they don't stink like common mice. Guess where Stubby is living? I don't know if he will stay with us for good, or if we will help him heal and then give him to a good home. He is so sweet, he looks to me to pick him up when I go to his cage. I held him here for about half an hour, and he just sat in my hand and let me stroke him. He must be really starved for affection to sit there like that.