Box of guinea pigs dumped by Wel­land Canal

Five adults not ca­pa­bale of sur­viv­ing in the wild, says Strooband

The Niagara Falls Review - - Local - KARENA WAL­TER

‘‘ “There’s never a rea­son to dump them out and the per­son has now po­ten­tially com­mit­ted an of­fence.” KEVIN STROOBAND Lin­coln County Hu­mane So­ci­ety ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor

Five guinea pigs aban­doned in a card­board box next to the Wel­land Canal in Thorold are be­ing cared for by the hu­mane so­ci­ety, and of­fi­cials want to know who dumped them.

Kevin Strooband, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Lin­coln County Hu­mane So­ci­ety, said the adult guinea pigs were left with no food or wa­ter in the box, which was spot­ted Tues­day by a con­cerned cit­i­zen driv­ing on Wel­land Canals Park­way.

Who­ever dropped off the guinea pigs had di­vided them by plac­ing a smaller box in­side the larger one.

“The per­son knew ex­actly what they were do­ing be­cause they were separated by sex which is ideal for the small pocket pets be­cause they breed quite pro­lif­i­cally,” Strooband said.

The hu­mane so­ci­ety doesn’t know how long the guinea pigs were left by the canal, but Strooband said they aren’t equipped to sur­vive in the wild.

The five ap­peared to be in good health when found. Strooband said they haven’t been han­dled a lot by hu­mans be­cause they’re “skit­tish” and try to run away when picked up but they can be so­cial­ized rel­a­tively eas­ily.

“Clearly the per­son didn’t take a lot of in­ter­est in them,” he said.

“We see that with some fre­quency and if and when we do, we’ll take them in. There’s never a rea­son to

dump them out and the per­son has now po­ten­tially com­mit­ted an of­fence.”

The hu­mane so­ci­ety gen­er­ally holds an­i­mals for 72 hours to be claimed. If no one comes for­ward, the guinea pigs will be adopted out, likely for $20 each.

Strooband said the hu­mane so­ci­ety has seen an in­crease in small an­i­mals at the shel­ter, par­tic­u­larly do­mes­tic rab­bits from the Western Hill area of St. Catharines where they were rapidly re­pro­duc­ing last year af­ter some were be­lieved to have been let loose. In the fall, the hu­mane so­ci­ety had 60 do­mes­tic rab­bits in foster homes, most of which were dropped off at the shel­ter.

Strooband is im­plor­ing peo­ple who can’t care for their an­i­mals to bring them to the hu­mane so­ci­ety rather than aban­don them. The shel­ter charges a fee but ev­ery case is judged on its own merit.

“Gone are the days when hu­mane so­ci­eties used to make you feel bad for com­ing in,” he said. “We rec­og­nize that peo­ple are do­ing the right thing by bring­ing them to us be­cause what’s the next thing to do? It’s ex­actly what hap­pened, just dump them.”

The hu­mane so­ci­ety is ask­ing any­one who has in­for­ma­tion about the guinea pigs to con­tact its shel­ter at 905-682-0767.

Karena.Wal­ter @ni­a­garadailies.com 905-225-1628 | @kare­na_­s­tan­dard

BOB TYMCZYSZYN THE ST. CATHARINES STAN­DARD

Animal care tech­ni­cian Ali­cia Walker holds three of five guinea pigs af­ter a box of guinea pigs was dis­cov­ered at a Thorold road­side and turned into Lin­coln County Hu­mane So­ci­ety. The pets have been named Kanye, J.T. and Drake while two fe­males have been named Camilla Covie-ello and Hav­vanah.

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