Pet-lovers are being urged to be more aware of the responsibilities that come with having a pair of guinea pigs.

The warning comes after the SPCA shelter saw an influx of guinea pig litters last month.

The charity’s education officer, Roma Hayward, told the Bermuda Sun families were buying pairs of the animal and then bringing the unwanted babies into the shelter.

She said: “We had whole bunch of adult and baby guinea pigs at Christmas time which is quite unusual.

“The problem is some people get a male and a female and don’t find out whether they have been spayed or neutered.

“Then two months down the line they find they have a litter of guinea pigs and they do not have the space or the time to care for them properly. That is when they bring them in to us at the shelter.”

The SPCA has been able to adopt out many of the animals in the last few weeks. But the charity is still caring for several animals that are looking for new homes.

Ms Hayward added: “These animals make great pets, especially for children. But ultimately it is the parents responsibility to make sure they can be properly cared for and that they are not left in a situation where you have an unwanted litter.

“Guinea pigs can have up to five litters in a year so it’s important to be aware of the realities of having a male and a female before taking on that responsibility.”

By Simon Jones BermudaSun