LOS ANGELES - A Chatsworth farm is swarming with rodents and its owners are hoping you'll take a few of them off their hands.
Fortunately, Farralone Farms is the longtime home of the Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue, a group that has been adopting out the furry pets for 18 years. During that time the rescue group has typically housed about 100 to 150 guinea pigs, but a recent case has pushed the charity to its limits.
"We are bursting out at the seams right now," said Saskia Chiesa, director of the Guinea Pig Rescue.
Chiesa said Humboldt County animal control officers called them two weeks ago, asking for help on a hoarding case. They told her a man had amassed about 300 guinea pigs he couldn't care for. When Chiesa arrived at the man's home, she said there were more than double that amount of the animals.
"We counted 700 guinea pigs and they were everywhere," she said. "On the floor, outside, in the yard. There were kiddie pools stacked with guinea pigs, and it was just really not a good situation."
Chiesa and her staff treated as many of the animals as possible but were only able to take 411 females, 80 percent of which are estimated to be pregnant.
Over the past two weeks, she said the guinea pig population at her shelter has already grown to 700, with more births every day. That is bad news for the rescue group, Chiesa added, when you realize that the average guinea pig litter ranges from two to six.
"If you do the math that means there's going to be 924 new babies," Chiesa said. "With the original 411 we already have, that brings our total in the next few weeks to 1,335 guinea pigs. So we need help."
The Chatsworth group is hoping people will hear of its plight and adopt some of the animals.
If adoptions aren't possible, the group is asking for donations to help feed and house the guinea pigs.
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