Hollister Guinea Pig Rescue (July 2, 2002)
187 guinea pigs were seized from a woman in Hollister on 7/2/02 by Animal Control Officers. She had been breeding them for 11 years. She "traded the babies to pet stores for food" -- presumably for money for food for herself (there were no other animals). They were housed outdoors, next to a trailer. The animal control officers found empty water bottles and empty food dishes and at least one dead guinea pig outside of the cages.
As you can see, the technique used for cleaning cages was to throw new shavings on top of old shavings -- for a long time. In one cage, the pile of feces was so high, the hair on the backs of the pigs was poking through the rusted cage wire on the top of the cage as they walked along.
The compacted feces and bedding was filled with maggots and worms and other gross stuff. HAC (Hollister Animal Control) also expects to find the carcasses of dead guinea pigs as they sift through the mountains of ancient bedding. The stink was overpowering. It took three HAC trucks to transport all the cages from the residence to the shelter.
At the time of the seizure, she wanted her pigs back. And she wanted the officers to leave the cages and only transport them in small carriers. The pigs were supposedly fed rabbit pellets and vitamin C in the water. She has now officially surrendered the guinea pigs and we must find new homes immediately. As pregnant sows deliver, we expect the numbers to climb to 300+ guinea pigs very soon.
Please visit the new HOLLISTER page for the latest information on the rescue and the status of the guinea pigs as well as how you can help.
35 Pig retrieval There were so many heavily pregnant females, it was a bit tricky getting them out of the cages.
36 Pig retrieval! Not a pleasant experience. The poor piggies were so scared.
37 Dislodged MAGGOTS! This was soooo gross! A clump of the gross bedding/feces got knocked out the front of the cage as we were removing the guinea pigs.
38 Creepy crawler crud It's a bit hard to see in these photos, but there were a number of white creepy crawlers that were exposed!
39 Transfer to Clean Cage For now, the groups of pigs went into clean cages in the same groups they were taken in. They will be sexed and separated appropriately in the next few days.
40 Almost there!
41 The Rooster Cages Pigs are safely inside.
42 Clean Cage! Whoohoo! No more living on and in poop.
43 Huddled but happier
44 From the outside These cages were originally built to house roosters at the shelter.
45 Oh my! Hay and Carrots! We stopped at the feed store on our way down and bought a bale of Timothy hay. Had we known the majority of the pigs were moms and babies, we would have bought a bale of Alfalfa. Next visit, we'll bring that.