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.
46 Hay and Carrots The shelter had one wooden house available from a rabbit surrender.
47 More munching The pigs were quite happy with the hay and clean bedding and carrots.
48 Another view Content pigs.
49 Another cage Muncha buncha hay!
50 Still another cage Happily chowing down.
51 Another cage This cage had to be used as an additional cage for the piggies.
52 Big picture View of all pigs in their new, clean, temporary housing.
53 Another angle
54 Overflow Some cages had to be cleaned and reused for now. The shelter didn't have enough cages to accomodate all the needy guinea pigs. This area is outdoors, but enclosed with steel fencing and locked.
55 Cages inside locker These cages are in the outside metal locker area.
56 Closer view This cage contains one of the largest pregnant females.
57 Some of the now empty cages Now the old bedding will be sifted through for additional evidence.