ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s Animal Welfare Department is investigating a hoarding case. The animals in question — guinea pigs.
Animal Welfare became suspicious when the animals’ owner brought in sick or dead guinea pigs on a few occasions and they thought it could be a case of animal hoarding. Workers eventually discovered it was and say the animals weren’t being given the proper care and living in poor conditions.
“We actually sent a few guinea pigs out for necropsy to get the results back. We were waiting for the next time they had showed up and that way we had enough to be able to go and get a search warrant,” said Adam Ricci, Chief of Field Operations for Albuquerque Animal Welfare. “It definitely indicated that there were improper care and improper conditions that the guinea pigs were being kept in.”
Ricci says 28 guinea pigs were brought in and upon arrival, one gave birth to two more. He says it’s rare for the City of Albuquerque to see animal hoarding cases.
“Hopefully, we’re going to be working with this individual because any time you really start dealing with hoarding, and at the numbers that we were seeing, that there’s a mental health component that goes along with it,” said Ricci.
Ricci says the guinea pigs are not currently available for adoption because this is an ongoing court case, but people can foster them. Haven for Hamsters Rescue and Sanctuary, along with some volunteers, have stepped up to foster many of the animals.
There are still a few guinea pigs that haven’t been transferred to a rescue as of this week. If you’re interested in fostering a guinea pig, email Animal Welfare at AWDFoster@cabq.gov.