Rescue a mouse
What better way to start your pet mouse obsession than to save a life? Ask at a local animal shelter if they keep abandoned mice. Many won’t, but should be able to direct you to a small animal rescue. There are often young animals available for adoption, as females are sometimes abandoned already pregnant. Many breeders also rescue and rehome unwanted mice. Try the RSPCA or Porsche’s Small Animal Rescue.
Buy a mouse from a breeder
Finding a good mouse breeder is a great way of ensuring you a well-adjusted, healthy pet. In NSW you can try the Australian Rodent Fanciers’ Society of NSW, or the Australian Rodent Club. In Qld there is also the Queensland Rodent Fanciers’. Often the best way to choose a baby mouse from a breeder is to attend a Club Show and choose one yourself.
If you can arrange it, it’s a great idea to visit the breeder at their home and ask to see where the mice are kept. If the breeder is worth his/her salt, they will also ask you a dozen questions about why you want a mouse, how you will keep it, and so on. Watch out, though, because some breeders are no better than mass-producing mouse factories, and have little regard for the health and temperament of their babies. If something doesn’t sit right, or you visit their mousery and it’s unclean, overcrowded or their animals look sick or unhappy, then find another breeder.
Buy a mouse from a pet shop
Perhaps the easiest place to find a mouse is your local pet shop, but this is hardly the best. Some pet shops do keep healthy animals on the right litter and give the right advice, but they are few and far between. Too often I see poorly socialised, unclean and badly fed animals in pet shops – and that’s the animals that they’re selling for pets, not food. Mice that are sold purely as food for snakes are rarely happy, healthy animals, and are usually kept in mixed-sex bins. This means that if you do decide to purchase a female from a feeder bin, she will almost definitely be pregnant. If you feel you have no option other than to get your mouse from a pet shop (or fall in love with one particular mouse when passing through – we’ve all done it), then make sure you rad through the “How do I choose my new mouse?” article, below.