RSPCA reports a rise of nearly 40 per cent this year.
The RSPCA has seen a big increase in the number of guinea pigs coming into its care this year. The charity has revealed that it rescued 237 guinea pigs up to the end of August, almost matching the total for the whole of 2022.
Compared to the same eight-month period in the previous year, this represents a 37 per cent increase.
Owing to the strain being put on the charity’s resources by the rise in people giving up their pets during the cost-of-living crisis, some of the rescued guinea pigs are being kept in private boarding facilities.
Among them are 12 guinea pigs that were found by a member of the public in a taped-up box outside a shop in Leicester in July. The 12 included pregnant females and babies.
RSPCA inspector Herchy Boal, who collected the guinea pigs, said: “It was heartbreaking and shocking to think so many guinea pigs were abandoned all at once. It’s likely that this was due to accidental pregnancies and the numbers of guineas just kept growing - but leaving them all in a box with no food or water was just unacceptable.”
Other guinea pigs rescued by the charity this year include Marzipan and Marmite, who were left in a cage outside a church in Woodthorpe, near Nottingham, and three male guinea pigs found in a box by a home, leisure and garden store in London that RSPCA staff have named Range, Wilko, and Dunelm.
The statistics have been released by the RSPCA to mark Guinea Pig Awareness Week, which is running from 25-29 September. As part of the campaign, a series of digital packs have been made available, including one to help educate owners.
A spokesperson for Guinea Pig Awareness Week said: “Given the growing number of guinea pigs in rescues and in need of loving homes, it is really important that we educate as many owners as possible so that these wonderful creatures can live the happy life they deserve.”
Images (C) RSPCA