Guinea Pig Appreciation Day: RSPCA reveals number of calls it received for guinea pigs in 2018

ANIMAL cruelty charity the RSPCA has revealed the number of calls it received in the past year about concern for the welfare of guinea pigs.

Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 1:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 3:47 pm
Guinea pigs enjoy an enrichment exercise. Picture: RSPCA (South East)

The charity’s South East cruelty line received 184 reports – with 43 from Hampshire – while the good cause was called 1,337 times nationally.

Dr Jane Tyson, the RSPCA’s rabbit and rodent expert, said guinea pigs are too often mistaken as ‘easy first pets’, despite having complex needs.

‘Our cruelty line receives a lot of calls from members of the public who are concerned for the welfare of guinea pigs, perhaps because they are not getting the care they need from their owners or maybe they have been found abandoned which we see all too often,' said Dr Tyson.

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‘They are one of the UK’s most misunderstood pets and this is largely because they are seen as an ‘easy, first pet’ for children.

‘Guinea pigs can make fantastic pets but like all animals they have very complex needs and should never be the sole responsibility of a child.

‘Sadly, one of the issues we see is that some guinea pigs are still kept in small cages with little chance for exercise or human contact, and possibly more importantly no contact with other guinea pigs.’

Dr Tyson said guinea pigs should live at least live in pairs because of their sociable nature and need to ‘play and explore together’.

The figures mark Guinea Pig Appreciation Day today – an annual celebration since 2016.