Tuesday, December 27, 2011

'Our guinea pigs are breeding like rabbits': Animal rescue centre is overrun after owner fails to separate the sexes in his garden


Adorable... but unfortunately there are far more than just three of them. A guinea pig owner allowed the sexes to mix together and the numbers quickly multiplied

Propped up on their paws and peering eagerly at the camera, these guinea pigs could melt hearts with their cuteness.

The trouble is, there’s a lot more than just five of them.

An animal rescue centre has been inundated with 63 of the rodents after a pet owner made the mistake of leaving the small clutch of them he originally owned to their own devices in the garden. They weren’t separated by sex, so they mated freely and produced a mini population boom.

Baby boom: RSPCA worker Judith Yates is helping to care for the glut of guinea pigs

The unnamed owner was overwhelmed by the sheer number of babies, and the matter was reported to the RSPCA.

Not just for Christmas: These two cute babies are up for adoption. There are currently 63 of them - but there are even more babies on the way

The charity sent officers to investigate and, although the guinea pigs were healthy and in good condition, took them in at the owners’ request.

There are now 63 waiting to be rehomed, 40 of which are at the Ashley Heath Animal Centre in Ringwood, Hampshire.

Seven have been confirmed as pregnant, and staff believe even more could be expecting.

Eight of the animals are already mothers, and there are 21 baby guinea pigs running happily around the improvised ‘maternity wing’ of the centre. Of the adults, 13 are ready to be adopted.

Multiplying: The couple who owned these did not think to separate out the sexes and they rang the RSPCA when they were left with a lot of babies

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: ‘When you talk about breeding like rabbits and breeding like guinea pigs, it’s virtually the same thing.

‘They are all in good condition and really, really cute so we’re hoping to rehome them when they’re ready.

‘They have come from a home where they were allowed to run around in the garden without being separated by sex.’

Advice: The RSPCA said people should have their pets neutered if they don't want the babies because their centres are being overrun by offspring

RSPCA inspector Graham Hammond, who brought the guinea pigs to the centre, said: ‘By failing to be a responsible pet owner and preventing their animals from breeding, people are simply passing on the problem to someone else.

‘RSPCA animal centres are full of animals which should never have been bred and we are struggling to find homes for them so I would urge people to gets their pets neutered.'

source: dailymail

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