Van­dal­ism turns ‘dis­turb­ing’ as Play­cen­tre pets sav­aged

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By MATTHEW DAL­LAS

The kids at Ti­tahi Bay Play­cen­tre have been left won­der­ing about the fate of their pet guinea pigs – but the likely truth is too much for even their par­ents to fathom.

Go­ing by the re­mains of the an­i­mals – which were swiftly re­moved from the sight of chil­dren last Mon­day morn­ing – the ripped-open roof of their cage, and the gnaw marks on its ex­te­rior, it ap­pears some­one has en­tered the back­yard of the Play­cen­tre and fed the pets to their dog.

There is no way a dog could have tornoff the roof of the guinea pig en­clo­sure by it­self, says Play­cen­tre mum Sharon Hilling.

‘‘It’s dis­turb­ing, you can see they’ve come through the gate and opened [the cage] up for dogs to get in at them. Some­one had to let the dogs at them.’’

The cage door had been pad­locked, ne­ces­si­tat­ing the forced en­try through its roof. Ms Hilling says neigh­bours of the Play­cen­tre heard dog noises in the area late at night over the week­end.

The chil­dren have been told the guinea pigs died, but not how.

‘‘We had to tell them some­thing. We told them some­one let them out and they died. It was re­ally lucky it was an adult who found the bits.’’

Ms Hilling says the chil­dren would cud­dle the guinea pigs when they felt sad and for many it was their only op­por­tu­nity to have a pet. The loss has hit them hard.

‘‘We’re re­con­sid­er­ing hav­ing pets here in the fu­ture, it’s re­ally trau­matic. The kids say, ‘Where are the guinea pigs?’. They’re re­ally up­set about it . . . If we get more we’d have to have some­one take them home.’’

There is no ve­hi­cle ac­cess to the Play­cen­tre at week­ends, the gate to its shared drive­way with Ti­tahi Bay School be­ing locked. The Play­cen­tre it­self is fenced, but the public can ac­cess the play­ground through a side gate.

Even if that was pad­locked, the fence wouldn’t stop some­body who re­ally wanted to get in­side the grounds, says Ms Hilling.

Week­end van­dal­ism at the Play­cen­tre has be­come a reg­u­lar frus­tra­tion in re­cent months, she says. A dou­ble sink was stolen over Christ­mas, while a paint can left out­side was opened and flung about the play­ground.

If any­one saw a per­son at Ti­tahi Bay Play­cen­tre over March 3 to 4, par­tic­u­larly if a dog was with them, con­tact Porirua po­lice on 238 1400.

Cage rage: Ti­tahi Bay Play­cen­tre mum Sharon Hilling is strug­gling to be­lieve some­one could pro­vide their dog ac­cess to the play­ground and guinea pig en­clo­sure and let it tear apart the chil­dren’s pets.

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