Vic Hancock Fell says she was lying in bed today (September 12) at 7.30am when her husband, Jonjo, put his head around the door and said: “Have you agreed to look after someone’s guinea pig and not told me?”
"No,” said the mum of two.
"Well, someone’s left a guinea pig outside the house.”
True enough, Vic stepped outside to find a small cage, a carrier bag of hay and supplies, and an extremely frightened rodent on the doorstep of their home in Springvale Road.
“She looked worse for wear and had no water,” Vic told the Star. “I just don’t understand why someone would do it.
"Either they just abandoned it or it was a mistake and they thought our house was someone else’s, but I just don’t know why they left it here.
"We’ve checked our CCTV but haven’t seen anyone who could have left it. But the poor thing was definitely left out overnight.
"My four-year-old and one-year-old came out to see it and my daughter named her ‘Pippa’ after her best friend from school.
Soon after, Vic posted in the ‘Wonderful Walkley’ community Facebook group and within minutes had neighbours lining up to take Pippa in or offer bigger cages and supplies.
“The whole thing was resolved in about 45 minutes,” said Vic.
"It just shows there is so much community support that whoever left her could have rehomed her if they wanted to. They could have posted in a community group that they needed someone to look after their guinea pig, easily.”
Now, Pippa has been taken in by Walkley neighbour Roisin O’Shea.
Roisin said: "I’ve been looking after pets and ferrets and hamsters all my life, it’s no trouble to me. I think she might be pregnant.
"It’s horrible to think about. It’s too cold to be leaving a guinea pig outside someone’s house overnight. Whoever left it should be reported to the RSPCA. The cage is far too small for a guinea pig."Pippa seems to be doing alright in herself. She’s eating and drinking plenty now and I’ve made her up a bed.
"I’ll look after her and will have to find a home for her babies.”