Uxbridge Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

A FRIGHT­ENED guinea pig sur­vived days dumped in a cardboard box by the bins out­side a derelict Sal­va­tion Army hall by eat­ing rot­ten sun­flower heads.

The lit­tle tri-colour, long-haired guinea pig – now named Den­nis – was found in the box, which had been hid­den from view, by work­men at the site, in Uxbridge Road, Uxbridge, on the morn­ing of Satur­day Oc­to­ber 21.

A man dis­cov­ered the lit­tle guinea pig, dumped in a dirty, sod­den cardboard box along­side two rot­ten sun­flower heads and wet leaves.

RSPCA in­spec­tor Becky Tim­ber­lake at­tended to col­lect the fright­ened ro­dent, whose coat was very mat­ted.

“From the state of the box, I’d say he had been there for a few days with just rot­ten sun­flower heads to nib­ble on,” she said.

“I un­der­stand the hall is closed and he’d been left tucked along the side of the build­ing by some bins.

“To any­one pass­ing, it just looked like another box left out for the bin­men.

“He’s so lucky he was spot­ted or he could have ended up be­ing tossed into a refuse lorry.”

In­spec­tor Tim­ber­lake col­lected Den­nis and took him to the char­ity’s Hilling­don branch nearby. If he isn’t claimed, he will be re­homed.

“If you stand on the pave­ment out­side the hall where Den­nis was aban- doned, you can clearly see the RSPCA’s clinic and two char­ity shops nearby,” In­spec­tor Tim­ber­lake said.

“What I can’t un­der­stand is why some­one would leave him here in­stead of go­ing into one of our prop­er­ties and ask­ing for help?

“Own­ing a pet is a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity and com­mit­ment both time-wise and fi­nan­cially – guinea pigs are no dif­fer­ent and they need lots of care and at­ten­tion.

“I un­der­stand that some­times peo­ple’s cir­cum­stances can change or they may need help car­ing for their pet but we’d urge any­one who’s strug­gling to con­tact a char­ity and ask for help.

“There’s no ex­cuse for leav­ing an an­i­mal like this. Den­nis could have eas­ily suc­cumbed to the weather or starved to death.”

New sta­tis­tics re­leased by the RSPCA last month show that more guinea pigs have been aban­doned dur­ing 2017 than last year.

The fig­ures re­vealed that be­tween Jan­uary 1 and Au­gust 31 this year, 338 guinea pigs were aban­doned and col­lected by RSPCA of­fi­cers.

That’s more than the whole of 2016, when just 112 were aban­doned.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about where Den­nis may have come from or who saw any­thing sus­pi­cious in the area is asked to con­tact the RSPCA’s ap­peal line on 0300 123 8018 and leave a mes­sage for In­spec­tor Tim­ber­lake.

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