In Loving Memory
of Peter Gurney
March 9, 1938 - July 1, 2006
On July 1, 2006 the worldwide guinea pig community lost
a dear friend: Peter Gurney. Peter will be remembered as
one of – if not the – world’s leading
authority on guinea pigs/cavies.
His untiring efforts over the years have helped many, many
people and their companion animals, and gave us hope for
our little ones when we thought there was none. That ceaseless
devotion and fiery passion for these dear creatures has
resulted in an overall increase in the quality of care and
life for our companions over the past two decades.
He was a strong voice for the meek, and taught us that
just because someone has letters after their name, they
might not know what they are doing. He taught us to ask
questions, look for answers, and seek other opinions if
Being outspoken occasionally landed him in trouble, but
no one can deny that his willingness to speak his mind kept
many people on their toes trying to keep a half-step ahead
of his wrath. The result was more people - professionals
and laymen alike - learning more about cavies and how to
keep them healthy and happy.
Peter’s love for cavies was always apparent in his
writing; he was one of the first people to write a book
that was actually about correct care rather than an elaborate
ad for pet supplies (The Proper Care of Guinea Pigs), and
also the first to publish a book on alternative therapies
(Piggy Potions). He was also deeply devoted to helping bring
a bit of joy to critically ill children. Nancy Pistorius
(mother of Alyssa Buecker, producer the famed “Carrot
Wars” videos) noted:
“He took it upon himself to distribute copies of
my daughter Alyssa's movie, CARROT WARS, to children who
were patients at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick
Children in London. He paid weekly visits to children there,
bringing his piggies along in a wooden wheeled contraption
that he hauled onto the Tube (subway). While he waited for
the lift (elevator) at the hospital, he would hum or sing
a little tune. I will never forget accompanying him on his
rounds, the way the children's faces would light up when
he entered the room. It was a sad day for Peter and for
the children when government regulations stopped him from
making his visits to the hospital.”
Peter leaves a worldwide community of thousands that deeply
mourn his passing. He also leaves us a wealth of information
and fond memories – not only of him, but of cavy friends
that lived with us longer as a result of the better care
techniques he taught.
His legacy will live on, as we all must continue to strive
for the goals he set for better care and humane treatment
for our companions. His memory will live on forever in our
Go in peace, dear friend.
Peter Gurney photo courtesy of The
Winking Cavy Store
For those who wish, a contribution can be made in his name
to the following charities, all of which he strongly supported.
Details on how to contribute will be posted the week of July
Cambridge Cavy Trust –
please make checks payable to "Cambridge Cavy Trust"
and mail to:
Cambridge Cavy Trust
1 Splash Lane
The Dr. Hadwen Trust –
The Dr Hadwen Trust is a registered charity dedicated to
finding alternatives to the use of animal experiments.
Read about Peter's last project
with the Trust
Home Page: http://www.drhadwentrust.org.uk/
special tribute page to Peter has being created
The Great Ormond Street Hospital
for Sick Children –
GOSH is where Peter would take piggies to visit and cheer
the sick children.