NINE guinea pigs were abandoned with no shelter from the wind and rain in a field in the Castlemilk area of Glasgow yesterday.

The Scottish SPCA was alerted on Tuesday, February 4, after a member of the public spotted the creatures under a pile of twigs at the edge of a field on Carmunock Road.

The guinea pigs are now recovering from their ordeal in the care of the Scottish SPCA's Glasgow Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre at Cardonald.

Animal Rescue Officer Stephanie McCrossan, said, "The guinea pigs were found under what looked like a makeshift enclosure made out of grasses and twigs.

"However, this structure provided no security and no shelter from the wind and rain. As a result the guinea pigs were completely soaked to the skin and very cold.

"It was lucky they were found before they came to any harm as the field opened on to a 40mph road and there was also a lot of dangerous debris lying about, including broken glass and nails.

"Thankfully the lady who discovered the guinea pigs helped me round them all up and although they were very frightened and scattered as soon as we approached we were able to successfully rescue them all.

"The guinea pigs were dirty and many of them were covered in scabs and small bite wounds which suggest they may have been fighting amongst themselves prior to being dumped.

"There was a mix of males and females so it may be that someone has taken on a couple of guinea pigs who have bred and they've quickly become overwhelmed with youngsters. However, there is absolutely no excuse for abandoning animals, it's completely unacceptable.

"We're keen to speak to anyone who recognises the guinea pigs and knows who might have owned them.

"Meanwhile we'll care for these little guys and girls until we can find them all loving, permanent homes, ideally in same sex pairs."

Abandoning an animal is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare

(Scotland) Act 2006 and anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.

Anyone with information is being urged to contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.