Blue Cross caring for baby guinea pigs
A group of baby guinea pigs are being cared for by charity Blue Cross in Tiverton.
The charity’s team were contacted by an owner who had bought a pair of adult guinea pigs believing them to be two females, but in fact one of them had turned out to be a male.
Blue Cross is now caring for the pair’s five babies until they are old enough for the charity to find them loving new homes.
Louise Thomson, Animal Welfare Assistant at Blue Cross in Tiverton, said: “The babies will be rehomed to new homes in pairs, or to people who have a guinea pig who is looking for a companion as guinea pigs need to be kept with their own kind so they don’t get lonely.”
Blue Cross has seen a huge increase in the number of small animals coming into its centre in Tiverton.
Since January, the centre has taken in a total of 43 guinea pigs, rabbits, rats and mice, in comparison to 10 for the same period last year.
Louise added: “We’ve noticed the trend across the board and it seems there is a large increase in the number of accidental pregnancies in small pets.
“We have also admitted both rats and mice under the same circumstances last month and have another eight mice booked to come in shortly.”
“It’s very easy to mis-sex small pets like guinea pigs and we’re happy the owner came to us for help as like many pets, guinea pigs breed so quickly that owners can fast find themselves with a large group of animals to care for.”
Guinea pigs can become pregnant at just a few weeks of age and can give birth to litters as large as eight pups.
They are social animals and need to be kept in pairs or small groups of the same sex, but it is essential that males are neutered before they are kept with any female.
If females are housed with unneutered males, numbers can very quickly get out of hand as even siblings can mate with each other. A female guinea pig can have up to five litters a year and can become pregnant again within hours of giving birth to a litter.
Louise added: “We’re really happy that the owner came to us for help when they did. We would much rather people contact us for help and support rather than struggle on and the pets suffer as a result.
“With uncertain times still for many people, we’re expecting more owners to need our charity’s help with low cost vet care or to take on a pet they have had to make the difficult decision to rehome.
“We never judge at Blue Cross and know people’s circumstances can quickly change and we’re here to help and support pet owners who are in need and need our help.”
For more information on the work of Blue Cross, to see animals currently looking for new homes with the charity or to make a donation visit www.bluecross.org.uk
Notes to Editors
- Blue Cross is a national charity that has been helping sick, injured, abandoned and homeless pets for over 120 years. We help thousands of pets in need every month by providing veterinary care, expert behaviour help and find them loving homes. We also offer education for current and future pet owners plus pet bereavement support for those who have lost their pet companion. Pets help us in so many ways and they depend entirely on us, with your support we can give back to more pets in need. Pets change lives. We change theirs.
- For more information visit bluecross.org.uk