AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Guinea Pig Rescue is seeking the public's help after dozens of pet guinea pigs have been found dumped across Central Texas.
The group reported Wednesday that a breeder has been abandoning the animals along Interstate 35, MoPac and in bathrooms at city parks as far north as Round Rock and as south as Buda.
"Someone literally going down the I-35 and MoPac corridors and picking parks just right off the highway and dumping animals either right off the highway in a green area or under a bridge," said Austin Guinea Pig Rescue President Elizabeth Mack. "And then it’s gotten very consistent in the last three months. City park bathrooms, all the guinea pigs are found within a radius of a city park bathroom."
"We are getting calls weekly to come capture and rescue animals in desperate need of help, suffering from exposure, and many have health issues because they are satin-breed animals, which have something called satin syndrome," a spokesperson for the organization said in an email.
According to GuineaDad.com, satin syndrome is a group of complications that come from the animals carrying the satin gene, which puts them at risk of developing kidney disease and causes abnormal walking, increased breath rates, bone deformities and difficulty eating.
Austin Guinea Pig Rescue is pleading with this breeder to come surrender the animals to them, "no questions asked."
"If you are the person who's hit hard times, we know how hard everybody's been hit in the pandemic, and guessing this person got overwhelmed with the crash in the pet market, everybody started turning their pets back, we would love them to just to surrender the animals to us,” said Mack.
Mack said she will take care of them. She is also looking for people to adopt, but some do have medical conditions.
"We're asking the public if you're willing to foster and sometimes forever foster –we call those our sanctuary pigs – or donate routinely. We actually set up funds to make sure any of the animals we can't adopt out to families are cared for till the end of their lives and given the vet care they need," said Mack.
The organization can be reached at 512-648-6536 or email@example.com.