1. ITV Report

Animal welfare officers hunt 'irresponsible' owners of dumped pregnant guinea pigs

Credit: RSPCA

Animal welfare officers are hunting 'irresponsible' pet owners who dumped pregnant guinea pigs in a remote riverside car park in West Sussex.

Walkers at Weir Water on Admirals Bridge Lane in East Grinstead discovered fly tipped rubbish in the car park last Wednesday. The rubbish included three fabric ‘puppy pens’, but when they peered inside to investigate, they discovered a family of guinea pigs.

Some of the guinea pigs had managed to escape from the pens and were roaming free.

RSPCA inspector Liz Wheeler was one of those who came to the rescue.

It was a challenge trying to catch the guinea pigs as there were between six and ten in total and they were so frightened and skittish. They were running off in all directions through the brambles, nettles and thick ferns.

Luckily I had my colleague animal collection officer (ACO) Louis Horton, with me, along with the people who found them kindly stayed to help me catch them. Between us we managed to catch five of them, but sadly, a few others ran off into the brambles and despite us searching and going back later on, we haven’t been able to find them."

– Inspector Liz Wheeler, RSPCA
Credit: RSPCA

The five guinea pigs are now being cared for at a private boarding establishment.

Carers say the pregnant females will soon be giving birth, and they'll be re-homed by the RSPCA once they are all recovered.

It’s hugely irresponsible for somebody to dump their pets like this. Leaving them out exposed with all the hot weather we’ve been experiencing is just so cruel. With the recent rain and storms too, anything could have happened. They may have thought they were doing the right thing by dumping them in an enclosure, but clearly that did not contain them for long.

Two of the female guinea pigs we caught are pregnant so it’s possible the owner became overwhelmed with the number of pets - but still, abandoning an animal is never the right option.”

– Inspector Liz Wheeler, RSPCA

The RSPCA is asking anyone with any information or who may have seen a vehicle dumping the guinea pigs to contact Inspector Wheeler on 0300 123 8018.