Maine Chinchilla Ranch provides proper chinchilla care and adoption education throughout New England

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 7:33 AM EST
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SYDNEY, Maine (WABI) - Many people are surprised to find out one the largest chinchilla shelters in New England is located in Sidney.

“Oh they’re for sale in Maine and they’ll come to see me and then we, we actually educate, that comes through ensure that they know how to care for them because they’re very long lived pets,” said owner Marianne Sansouci.

Marianne Sansouci owns and operates the Maine Chinchilla Ranch with around 150 chinchillas throughout the year. The ranch has chinchilla’s of all different colors besides the traditional gray. Maine Chinchilla Ranch educates the public about the importance of proper chinchilla care especially before adoption. Kate Spicer goes through an application and educational step by step process to make sure the future parent and chinchilla are the perfect fit especially since Chinchilla’s can live up to 20 or more years.

“A lot of people don’t understand that to chinchillas, that they are not an immediate, snuggly animal. They’re an animal that you have to form a bond with. They have to gain your trust. It’s a slow process, but after 20 years, taking a month out of your initial relationship, it’s a drop in the bucket to have an amazing twenty year long relationship with an animal, " said Biologist and Adoption Coordinator Kate Spicer.

Chinchilla’s are pretty laid back pets. The maintenance that is. Chinchilla’s take dust baths and shouldn’t be bathed in water. They also require small cages that resemble a burrow, filled with hay and water to drink. Plus some occasional treats to maintain a healthy diet.

“It’ just a very simple diet. That’s one of the treats I’m offering. It was a Shredded Wheat cereal. And they also like cheerios and oatmeal. And just very simple treats and not a lot of treats. They can upset their stomach if they had to much,” says Sansouci.

Of course, we even got to meet the furry friends at the ranch!

“Maxie is seven years old, coming up on seven years old and he’s he’s got so much personality. He’s gonna be a really rewarding pet,” says Sansouci.

If you’d like to start the adoption process for one of these furry friends, you can head over to

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