Guinea pigs galore.
Havenwyck Pets is holding a guinea pig adoption day tomorrow, in association with the Otago Cavy Club, to educate people on guinea pig care, and find homes for some rescued earlier this year.
In March, Havenwyck Pets owner Leanne Wreakes-Fallen rescued 27 guinea pigs held in poor conditions on a Waitaki property, she said.
The animals were not separated by sex, which created a “population boom”.
“It’s really really hard on the mums to have litter after litter,” Mrs Wreakes-Fallen said.
She took 19 males and eight females, seven of which were pregnant, into her care.
Their diet was also an issue. The animals had been fed straw rather than hay – which is a vital part of their diet.
As a result, many had badly damaged teeth and bacterial infections on their faces.
“The boys were in bad shape,” she said.
“A lot of them had really overgrown teeth, some of them couldn’t eat, [and] we did unfortunately have to euthanise a girl because her teeth were so horrific.”
Since their rescue, all the babies had been born and separated by sex to prevent more breeding.
It was not the first time Mrs Wreakes-Fallen had rescued guinea pigs from the Waitaki property, but she did hope it would be the last.
The adoption day was about educating potential owners, rather than “pointing the finger”. At tomorrow’s adoption day, Mrs Wreakes-Fallen and members of the Otago Cavy Club would discuss proper guinea pig care.
She wanted to find homes for all of the little critters, and ensure they were well cared for, for their expected five to seven years of life.
At Havenwyck Pets tomorrow, there would be a breed and cage display, a sausage sizzle, and a hutch raffle.
The adoption day would be held at the pet store at 2 Coquet St from 10am to 2pm.