Following an increase in the number of unwanted guinea pigs, a Cambridgeshire charity has decided to teach pet shop workers how to correctly determine the gender of the animals.
Wood Green animal shelter said it was “full to capacity” after a couple brought in 45 guinea pigs produced by their “same sex” pets in an eight month period. Of the 45 rodents, 17 are pregnant and could produce up to six piglets each, meaning the charity could have a further 102 guinea pigs to deal with.
This has prompted Wood Green to teach pet shop staff nationwide how to identify male and females. Its centres have been asked to re-home 420 guinea pigs since the start of the year and – with the 70 currently looking for homes due to increase with the imminent piglet arrival – a spokesperson from the charity said: “Unneutered males are active from just three weeks and the mums can become pregnant again within an hour of giving birth. We are working with pet shops across the country to help teach staff how to sex guinea pigs so new owners don’t end up with unexpected litters.”