The Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley has seen its fair share of cats and dogs come through its doors, but this past week the shelter has been met with a different challenge: finding homes for nearly a dozen guinea pigs.
Despite their name, guinea pigs are actually rodents and can be friendly pets. Shelter officials say this past week 10 guinea pigs were surrendered to the shelter due to various circumstances.
“People brought them in saying they had houseguests who left and forgot their guinea pigs, and then we had someone bring in a guinea pig because they thought she was pregnant and they couldn’t keep her,” said Sophia Baca, an employee at the shelter who helps care for the guinea pigs.
After further examination, Baca said the so-called expectant mother turned out to be a male guinea pig.
Adoption fees for guinea pigs are only $5. There is no requirement to have a guinea pig spayed or neutered and the animals do not need annual vaccinations.