Apply to adopt mice who were used for teaching purposes in NZ.

Thanks to our collaborative work with the University of Auckland, we currently have 20 mice to rehome in the Auckland region.

These mice were used for teaching purposes. The teaching they were used in involved training people how to properly handle mice and restrain them to receive injections.

More about the mice:

  • They are all female.
  • They are all rather partial to nibbling sunflower seeds out of your hand.

These mice will be rehomed in groups (in groups of two as a minimum).

You can meet some of the mice who we have rehomed in the past here.

If you live in Auckland and you are interested in adopting mice, then please contact us today: adopt@nzavs.org.nz.

What you need to know before applying:

Despite their small size, mice boast big personalities and offer a wealth of joy, companionship, and fascination to those who welcome them into their homes!

Like all animals, mice deserve a safe home where they can express their innate behaviours for the rest of their natural lives.

What you need to know about mice:

  • Mice are social creatures who live in family groups in the wild. Living in isolation will cause them distress. Most males are very territorial and can’t be housed with other males as they will fight. Note: the mice we are rehoming are all female.
  • They are small but can be very noisy. As they are most active during the evening and at night, you’ll want to consider this with their enclosure location.
  • Mice have a relatively short life span, normally around one to two years, sometimes up to three. They are prone to tumours and can easily get respiratory infections.
  • Keeping their enclosure clean is essential – mice can create an unpleasant odour if they aren’t cleaned regularly. Some people think female mice are less smelly than males but regardless, you’ll need to be committed to spot cleaning daily and deep cleaning their enclosure weekly.
  • Small prey animals may require some work to trust a human and might not get to a stage where they are happy to be handled. Due to their size and slender bodies, they are quite delicate and need to be handled gently. Never pick them up by their tail!
  • As rodents' teeth never stop growing, they need lots of chew toys. Hard food like carrots also helps file the teeth down.
  • The mice we get to rehome are never to be used for breeding and, of course, are not to be used as food.
Still keen? Here is what you need to have ready for them:

Whether you have had mice before or not, be committed to learning more about them and give them the best possible care. We collected some resources to get you started below.

1. Suitable Housing

When choosing a cage or tank, the bigger the better! If purchasing a cage from a pet shop, consider buying multiple and connecting them together to increase space. Cage bars need to be spaced less than 1cm to ensure they don’t squeeze through.

The base must allow for lots of bedding. Mice are natural burrowers and foragers. A dust-free substrate of at least 6” (15 cm) is ideal. Aspen, coconut, or hemp bedding is best. If you use pine, make sure it is kiln-dried to make it safe for mice.

Mice cannot be kept outdoors – this will be too cold for them!

2. Provide Enrichment

There are a lot of different toys you can purchase to provide mice with a fun environment.

A key thing to purchase is a running wheel. The minimum diameter to be comfortable is 10” (25 cm), and more than one wheel is needed if multiple mice fight over it. Avoid wire wheels, as they can hurt their feet.

Different toys can keep them entertained, from empty toilet rolls, ropes to climb, and clean branches to store-bought chew and puzzle toys.

Also, make sure you provide lots of places to hide, like huts and tunnels and places to sleep, like hammocks and nests, to make them feel safe. These should have softer bedding, like non-scented tissue paper, to cuddle into.

2. Food and Water

Mice need variety in their food. Please consider that mice have higher protein requirements than rats when feeding a “Mouse & Rat” Food. Good nutritional pellets combined with seed mixes and vegetable flakes are a good base.

Most mice will love some mouse-safe herbs, sweet corn, peas, celery, cucumber, and carrot pieces, too. It is advisable to not just give them a food bowl but allow them to forage for their food to keep them active (called scatter-feeding).

Fresh, clean water must always be accessible. Water dishes can get dirty quickly, so be sure to check them daily. It is best to provide both a water bottle and bowl, as they enjoy the bowl for grooming, and a drip bottle can stop working.

4. Companionship

Be committed to adopting at least two mice. Lonely mice become unhappy and stressed. Introduce them gently and slowly.

5. Regular Care

Depending on the number of mice and dimensions of the cage, one deep clean per month can be sufficient. Weekly spot cleans are a good idea. Mice are real homebodies, so it is best to put some used bedding back into the clean cage to reduce stress.

The most common health problems in mice are tumours, skin and eye issues, torpor (an apathetic state of dangerously low metabolism), and respiratory issues. As prey animals, they will try to hide their symptoms, so they should be very observant of any behaviour changes.

They need veterinary care when they are unwell, which can get expensive. Look for a vet who has experience with mice ahead of time.

Apply to adopt!

If you live in Auckland and you are interested in adopting mice, then please contact us today: adopt@nzavs.org.nz.

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