what the ROUS Foundation Means to Me


Melanie’s post:

I think a lot of you know that after Caplin Rous’s death in January of 2011, I started a charity called the ROUS Foundation for Capybara Veterinary Medicine (RF). I am happy to say that the RF has done a lot of good work for captive capybaras and their caretakers, but it hasn’t been easy.


The fact is, that the RF does not come cheaply, and I don’t mean just in dollars and donations. The RF has a very heavy personal toll on me. While I love knowing that capybaras have benefited from the knowledge accumulated, that is not the part of the RF that I see. The part that I see is the hard part. I see people struggling to keep their capy alive. I hear the pain in their voices. I try to give them hope and to comfort them when things go badly. I arrange for their capybara to have a necropsy so that others can benefit from their death. That happened again this week and it doesn’t get any easier.

I think maybe the RF is different from other charities in that we don’t take animals in or rehome them, except in extremely rare cases. If we did, then I would get to see the happy faces of new owners and know that the capy is going to a loving home. Instead I see crushed hopes and broken hearts.


I set up the RF, in conjunction with Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, after Caplin Rous died. It was the something to help me get through a rough time. I didn’t have anyone to call to help me as I try to help others.


I guess I’m whining, but I kind of need someone to whine to. I’m going to end this post with another plea for donations. We could also use someone to donate time to the RF. We could use a helper with the webpage and to keep track of mail. Send an email to if you are interested.


I promise my next post will be more upbeat.

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