The discovery of ten abandoned guinea pigs in Calcot has lead to an appeal being launched as to why they were dumped.
The rodents were discovered hiding in a large bramble bush on the edge of some scrubland at the back of the Pincents Manor Hotel by a passer-by, who contacted the RSPCA.
The group contained four baby guinea pigs, including two that were found alongside their dead mother.
RSPCA animal welfare officer Justine Hermon, who spent time making sure she safely captured all of the guinea pigs, said: “It’s heartbreaking that there are irresponsible people dump animals when they are no longer wanted rather than turning to us or other rescues to ask for help.
“Animals should not be left to helplessly fend for themselves in the wild where they are unlikely to make it. There were nine in total including one that had sadly died which we believe to be the mum of two of the four babies. Thankfully the babies are now doing well.”
The surviving guinea pigs, who have been named, Coffee, Joseph, Caramel, Patchy, Baldy, Ratty, Scruffy, Squeak and Pip, were taken to Shinfield Road Vets where they were treated for mites before being taken to a foster carer.
Helena Peace from the Reading with Oxon Border Branch of the RSPCA said the surviving eight Guinea pigs, three males, one female and four babies, are all doing well.
She said: “Apart from the one with mites they were all in good condition and beautiful little piggies. I do not understand why someone would just dump them. Why they couldn’t have brought them to the RSPCA or a vet I do not know.”
The RSPCA is now appealing for information on how they came to be dumped in the area.
Anyone who recognises the guinea pigs or who may have seen someone abandoning them should contact the charity’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.