AN ANIMAL rescue charity was in for a surprise when it was called to find 17 guinea pigs in one house.

Brighton RSPCA staff found the animals in overcrowded conditions after they were called by a member of the public.

Many of the guinea pigs were pregnant and gave birth shortly after being rescued by the charity.

Volunteer Cheryle Wood said: “We received a call from someone who had some guinea pigs breeding out of control.

“Sows reach sexual maturity at 45 days old so it gets out of control from there.

“We collected 17, but a lot of them were pregnant so we ended up having a lot more.”

The guinea pigs have been at the RSPCA’s centre in Patcham for a month and are now being gradually rehomed.

The charity wants to give them out in groups as it is “more natural”.

But according to Ms Wood, mass pickups of animals is not unusual.

She said: “It actually happens all the time.

“There have been times where we have had to pick up hundreds of animals. Once we were called to 400 budgies.”

Those interested in adopting a guinea pig should email