Guinea pigs rescued from squalor in Beaufort Co. need homes

04/06/2013 8:36 PM

04/06/2013 8:37 PM

The county animal shelter and the Petco store in Bluffton are trying to find homes for about three dozen guinea pigs rescued in the area last week.

The critters – 36 of them – were among the animals found last Monday living in and around a trash-strewn minivan with five people, two dogs and four rabbits. All of the animals were taken to the Beaufort County Animal Shelter that night. The children were taken into protective custody.

Rodents rarely end up at the county shelter, which houses hundreds of cats and dogs each month. But shelter director Tallulah Trice sought help from local veterinarians and animal rescue groups from Hilton Head Island to Charleston. “It was a team effort,” she said.

Others say Trice deserves credit for mobilizing resources so quickly.

“She got on Facebook, she made phone calls. She got very involved,” said Abby Bird, adoption manager and dog trainer at Petco.

“She just saved all those guinea pigs,” said Frannie Gerthoffer, executive director of Hilton Head Humane Association.

Beaufort County sheriff’s deputies found 36 guinea pigs on the property in addition to the dogs and rabbits. Trice said most of the guinea pigs were reasonably healthy. Some were pregnant, and at least one has given birth to a new litter.

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