The Campbell River SPCA is appealing to the public for help after a wellness check resulted in the seizure of dozens of animals.
An investigator found 49 guinea pigs in a home after a call from the public. The owner agreed to surrender the animals.
Many of the guinea pigs are pregnant females so the number will increase.
“You know they do breed very quickly and with small animals, it can get out of control quite easily,” said Campbell River SPCA manager Stephanie Arkwright.
She says the home originally had a single pair of guinea pigs that turned to almost 50 in about two years.
The rodents have a two-month gestation period then a young guinea pig can get pregnant beginning at four to five months of age.
“You know they can have back to back to back litters so obviously when you have a group like this it can get overwhelming very quickly,” added Arkwright.
Lorraine Noel has worked at the Campbell River branch of the SPCA for nearly 30 years and has seen a lot of animals come through the door, but nothing like this.
“Not on this scale no, we haven’t seen this many come in at one time,” she said. “I was just thinking ‘oh goodness where are we going to put everybody?'”
And that’s part of the problem now faced by the local branch. Some guinea pigs have already been sent to the SPCA in Vancouver but each one will cost about $200 to care for.
Foster homes will be required and then adoptions.
“It definitely is challenging,” said Arkwright. “There is a lot of work involved in taking care of this many animals. We have to spend a lot of time processing these guys, getting them into care, making sure they’re healthy and spending the time that we need to work on socializing them.”
They’re hoping people who can offer a foster home or forever home will come forward. Financial donations will also be a huge help.
“It is a huge financial cost when we’re dealing with these large scale animal intakes,” she added.
You can call the Campbell River SPCA at 250-287-77-66 if you’d like to help or click here.