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A mischief of mice found starved in abandoned pet shop need new homes

30 Nov 2012

150 rodents might sound like a nightmare to some, but workers at an animal charity in Oxfordshire maintain that they are nice, as they try to find homes for a ‘mischief of mice’ found in an abandoned pet shop.

The pet mice were discovered in cages in an empty shop in Cornwall by a kind-hearted builder who took them home before contacting Blue Cross pet charity. 

It wasn’t clear how long the mice had been there for, but it’s highly likely that there were fewer of them initially, as they are known for their speedy breeding habits. After trying to care for the constantly increasing numbers of mice at home, Simon, the builder who found the mice, realised he needed expert help.

He said: “When I first saw all the cages of mice I couldn’t believe my eyes. The mice were in a poor state of health having had no food or water.  I took them home and tried to look after them, but it wasn’t long before I realised that despite the `best laid plans of mice and men’ it was time to call in Blue Cross.”

Aly Jones, centre manager at Blue Cross rehoming centre in Burford, Oxfordshire said: “The first thing we had to do was to ‘sex’ all the mice, so we could separate the males from females to make sure we didn’t end up with even more. It was quite a challenge! Now we have them all in manageable single sex groups and we are appealing to all the mice lovers out there to help us find them new homes.”

Aly Jones continued: “People who look after mice often say how rewarding it is – they make lovely pets.  Typically, a mouse will live for up to two years and whilst this can appear a short time compared to other pets, it is still a significant commitment. They are friendly and social and love to play.”

Things you never new about mice:
• A breeding pair can produce a litter of up to ten babies every three or four weeks! So it’s best to keep pairs or groups of the same sex.
• Mice need the company of their own kind as they like to play and groom each other.
• Mice are very speedy animals and need careful handling to avoid them being injured.
• They are a prey species and are generally busiest at dawn, dusk and through the night.
• Do not mix pet mice with pet rats and other rodents as they are likely to be eaten.

All the mice – who are a variety of colours - have been given health checks and been groomed and staff across the charity have stepped in to foster them until permanent homes can be found. People who are interested should contact Blue Cross in Burford on 0300 777 1570 or visit

Blue Cross has been dedicated to helping poorly, injured and abandoned pets since 1897. We receive no government funding and rely entirely on public donations.


Notes to Editors

• Other photos of the mice are available on request.
• Blue Cross has been dedicated to helping poorly, injured and abandoned pets for over 100 years. We opened the world’s first animal hospital in 1906 and since then our doors have never closed to sick and homeless animals.
• Today we run four animal hospitals and 12 rehoming centres across the UK, which provide treatment and seek happy homes for thousands of cats, dogs, small pets and horses every year.
• Blue Cross actively campaigns to improve all aspects of animal welfare, working with the government, schools and others to improve the lives of pets and their owners. For more information, please visit
• Blue Cross animal rehoming centre in Burford was opened in 1990, and serves the counties of Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, and Northamptonshire. There are facilities for dogs, cats and kittens, rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals. Hundreds of animals are successfully rehomed every year. To contact the centre call 0300 777 1570. The centre is open daily, including Bank holidays, between 11.00am and 4.00pm but is closed on Thursdays.

Media contact

Marcus Churchill, Media Officer: 020 7932 4063 or