Pet Helpers takes in guinea pigs from cruelty case

Charlotte Sherrod, a third-grader at Porter-Gaud, went to Pet Helpers on Thursday and spent time with some guinea pigs that were rescued from Beaufort County in an animal hoarding case. Buy this photo

For more than 35 years, Pet Helpers has gone to the dogs ... and cats and, more recently, bunnies.

Now, it’s going to the guinea pigs. Pet Helpers has taken in three adult and three baby guinea pigs that were part of an animal hoarding case in Beaufort County. They expect more in the coming days, said Executive Director Kevin Ryan.

He said he is unsure when they will be available for adoption. They will first be medically assessed and spayed or neutered.

This is the first time anyone at the James Island no-kill shelter can remember having the rodents for adoption.

On Monday, a Beaufort County woman was charged with three counts of animal cruelty after 40 animals, including 36 guinea pigs, two rabbits and two dogs, were found in her home, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. She also was charged with four counts of cruelty to children. The animals were found while deputies were checking on her children.

Tallulah Trice, Beaufort County Animal Shelter director, said the guinea pigs were in “pretty good shape,” but about 20 of them were pregnant. The average number of babies in a litter is three.

“It was probably a case where they had two or three guinea pigs, and because they weren’t educated, it led to 36 and was going to lead to 100,” she said.

For information on the guinea pigs, call Pet Helpers at 795-1110. Also, the Beaufort shelter is holding guinea pig adoption events from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Petco, 1007 Fording Island Road in Bluffton.

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