Hi! My name is Ashley Gajda. I've owned, bred, and rescued chinchillas for about 20 years now (since 2003). At the present time, NWI Chinchillas is run out of our farm, which is located in Wolcott, Indiana.
I bought my first chinchilla shortly after I entered college in 2003. I named this chinchilla "Winx," as he would often wink at me. At the time I got Winx, I did not know much about chinchilla care, and I did quite a few things wrong: provided him with bad treats, had plastic in his cage, and didn't give him hay. However, I wanted him to live a long and healthy life, so I started researching the correct care for chinchillas. I read chinchilla books and talked to some large-scale breeders and ranchers. As it turned out, I learned that most of the books and information available on how to care for chinchillas was either incorrect or outdated. When I started breeding chinchillas, I did not want the chinchillas I sold to go into homes that did not know how to correctly care for a chinchilla, so I wrote up my own chinchilla care packet. This care packet illustrates how we, here at NWI, care for our chinchillas, and is updated periodically. To make this information available to people coming across this website, the information contained in the packet is on the "Chinchilla Care Info" page. In addition, this information packet goes home with every chinchilla we sell (as well as with all of the rescues we adopt out to new homes), to ensure these chinchillas receive the best, most correct care available.
After we had Winx for a short while, we bought a friend for him and named her Moki. About this time, my mother realized she wanted her own chinchilla, so Jinx came into our lives. Shortly after getting her, we acquired Toby and Bailey from JAGS in Michigan. After that, Cody, Tucker, and Fuzzy (all rescue chinchillas -- now in their new homes) all found their way to us. Somewhere amid all of this, NWI Chinchillas was born.
Since then, we have taken in and re-homed many rescues, and have expanded our own herd quite a bit as well.
NWI Chinchillas News & Appearances
February 17, 2012 -- NWI Chinchilla Rescue became an approved rescue on Adopt-A-Pet.com
January 2013 -- the rescue hosted a girl scout meeting. The girl scouts learned about the rescue, what we do, and helped make goodie bags for when our rescues go to their new homes. Pictures and more information here.
March 7, 2013 -- NWI Chinchilla Rescue attended Highland High School's Career Exploration Day.
April 3, 2013 -- the rescue hosted a girl scout meeting for the daisies. The daisies learned about the rescue, the type of pets we take in, and how each pet is cared for. They also learned about the responsibility involved in owning a pet. They helped make goodie bags for when our rescues go to their new homes. Pictures and more information here.
March 25, 2016 -- NWI Chinchilla Rescue presented on chinchillas and their care requirements at the Woodland Child Development Center in Hammond, IN.
October 1, 2016 -- NWI Chinchilla Rescue participated in the Kid's Power Fun Fest event in Chesterton, IN.
In addition to the above listings -- every year, we attend numerous pet expos and chinchilla shows. These are not listed above, as they are yearly events, rather than the events listed above, which are more one-time events.
NWI Chinchillas Photos
Hi! Here's a pic of me (Ashley) in fall 2016.
Also here in May 2018, when I got the personalized license plate for one of my vehicles...
We do have other animals / pets here, other than the chinchillas. We have several shetland sheepdogs (shelties), guinea pigs, chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, goats, Jacob sheep...and whatever else may have walked through the door at some point in time!
Below is our original sheltie, Kailey, for whom our farm (Kailey Acres Farm) is named. She was born in 2008 and passed in 2020, just shy of her 15th birthday.
To see more of Kailey and our other dogs, and what we're up to with all of them, check out our sister website: