Two neglected female guinea pigs are now recovering after being found dumped in a wet cardboard box in remote woodland in Derbyshire without any food or water.
A member of the public was walking in the woodland at Ashgate Plantation on Ashgate Road when they made the discovery and called the RSPCA, who came out to try and rescue the pets.
Animal rescue officer Andy Sowden was sent to the scene and was able to rescue one of the animals, but the second one ran away from a hole in the box, which had been created after it had become wet.
However that guinea pig, after running around for a while, returned to the box and Andy was able to safely collect it and reunite it with the other.
Andy is now investigating and is keen to find those who are responsible for dumping the pets, he believes the animals had been left in the box, in the wood, for about 24 hours before they were found.
He said: “These poor guinea pigs were lucky to be found – and had they not been discovered I am not sure they would have survived much longer with no food and water and with other predators about.
“It is awful to think someone could just dump their pets like rubbish in a remote wood and I am keen to find the person responsible.
“I am hoping someone may recognise the pets and know who had them or someone will have seen something suspicious in the area – maybe someone carrying a cardboard box in this area.
“It was very fortunate that they were spotted in such an overgrown and remote area and I am so grateful that the finder used the What3Word app otherwise I would have definitely struggled to locate them.”
The guinea pigs, who’ve been named Pixie and Elphie, are now being looked after by the RSPCA and are said to be recovering well from their ordeal which left them very hungry and dehydrated.
Derby’s Abbey Street Animal Rehoming Centre manager, Heather Price, is looking after them until they are able to be rehomed.
Anyone with information about who may have abandoned the pets is being urged to contact the RSPCA’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.