AUSTIN, Texas - After multiple calls of guinea pigs being abandoned at city parks, the Austin Guinea Pig Rescue has finally had enough, and wants to put a stop to the animal dumping.
In normal years, the rescue receives few to no calls to rescue Satin Guinea Pigs, but they started to receive 1 to 2 calls a month to rescue the rare breed.
"When we get a large dump of this quantity of animals is the fact that I no longer have a kitchen," says Elizabeth Mack, president of the Austin Guinea Pig Rescue.
Elizabeth Mack has turned her kitchen into a foster facility for guinea pigs that she's taken in after getting numerous calls of animal dumping in the city.
Mack says the incidents are occurring mostly in city parks near public bathrooms. The dumps occur during slow times, while people are at work and school, and hikers, bikers, or others are finding them on their evening walks.
Last Wednesday, the rescue group received a call about two guinea pigs left behind in a park. The young guinea pigs, believed to be only six-months old, were found in a thorny briar patch.
The guinea pigs have been dropped off at Brushy Creek Park and Cedar Park, down to Circle C Metropolitan Park in Austin. And all the animals look related.
The guinea pigs they rescued had "satin" DNA. It’s rare and not even allowed to be sold by most pet stores because there is a disease called satin syndrome that impacts many satins.
"All the animals have satin, which as I said, is a pretty rare thing, except in the breeder circles, in the show circles," says Mack.
Having to take in so many guinea pigs has put a financial strain on the rescue group because most of the guinea pigs they rescue need immediate medical attention.
"Most shelters are not set up to take pregnant animals, which is why we're here. Any time a shelter gets a pregnant animal, and we take them," says Mack.
"We will have a baby boom in the next 4 to 8 weeks because these will be old enough to adopt out. And we have round two coming because we just took in a bunch more that we found in the parks," says Mack.
Animal dumping is a serious felony. Violators could see fines and even be put in jail.
"That's why it's so important for them to know will be your amnesty, surrender them, will take them," says Mack.
(Austin Guinea Pig Rescue)
So, what should you do if you see a stray guinea pig?
First, if you can, stay and keep an eye out and not spook the animal until Austin Guinea Pig rescue or animal control arrives.
Second, if you do have a box, fencing, towels blankets and can surround them, they will seek cover to stay safe. If you can capture the animal, take it to your local shelter or reach out to Austin Guinea Pig rescue.
Lastly, guinea pigs do not typically carry diseases we can catch, and there are a few conditions that we can, so please wash your hands, clean your clothes just in case. They could have something you could spread to yourself or your other pets. Keep them isolated and away from other animals.
Guinea pigs are cute and cuddly, if you are interested in adopting a baby guinea pig, click here.