A pair of gerbils have spent the night on the doorstep of a charity shop a week before Christmas.
The male gerbils were discovered outside the RSPCA's shop in Witham on the morning of Wednesday, 18 December.
They were in a cage wrapped in a black bin bag, and it's believed they were dumped the night before.
The rodents are now in the care of the animal charity at their Danaher centre.
Deputy manager Craig Horsler said: “Some of our wonderful staff and volunteers arrived to open up the shop on Wednesday morning and found the bin bag on the front step.
“This isn’t unusual as people often leave donated items and clothes in bags outside the shop. However the staff were shocked to find a cage in the bag with two little gerbils inside.
“They’re very lucky to have survived as it was freezing temperatures overnight.”
The duo have been named Benji and Blake and are now looking for a new home.