Grim pictures inside ‘squalid’ bedroom where woman kept 29 guinea pigs

These grim pictures show inside a "squalid" bedroom where a woman kept 29 guinea pigs surrounded by more than a foot of filth.

Rescuers were met with conditions so vile they were forced to wear respiratory equipment when entering the room in Cardiff, Wales.

The animals were living amid piled-up filth in the bedroom, which was full of cobwebs, straw, debris and rusty furniture.

It took RSPCA staff a day to clear the room. A small number of the guinea pigs died, with the others remaining in the charity’s care.

Barbara Herbert, from Cardiff, has now admitted causing 29 guinea pigs to unnecessarily suffer at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court.

A warrant had been out for her arrest since February in relation to the case. She admitted the Animal Welfare Act offence when she appeared at the court on Monday.

Herbert was handed a two-year conditional discharge, deprived of the 29 animals and banned from keeping all animals for a decade.

She was also fined £300 in costs, and told to pay a £20 victim surcharge.

The RSPCA said the "incompetent" care of the guinea pigs caused unnecessary suffering, with conditions at the property “squalid and entirely inappropriate” for the care of the animals.

It is hoped the guinea pigs now in the charity’s care will soon be available for rehoming.

Christine McNeil, RSPCA inspector, said: “These 29 guinea pigs were kept in an upstairs bedroom in a squalid and entirely inappropriate environment.

“They were amid a foot-and-a-half of piled-up straw and debris, which took us a whole day to dig out.

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“Fortunately, we were able to intervene and most of the guinea pigs now have a second chance of happiness in a new forever home.

“This case highlights how pet owners must seek help or support if they are struggling to cope with a situation they find themselves in.

“By failing to do this, and by displaying such incompetent animal care, 29 guinea pigs unnecessarily suffered amid such squalid conditions.”

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