Animal welfare services fear the number of guinea pigs being abandoned will rocket when Disney releases its new film.

G-Force, is about a team of trained secret agent guinea pigs who take on a mission for the US Government to save the world.

The film was released in Brighton yesterday(FRI) but animal groups now fear children will dump newly bought guinea pigs after they fail to live up to their animated counterparts.

Veterinary charity PDSA said the film could cause a rise in guinea pig sales in Brighton by people who do not know how to properly care for them.

Leigh Forbes, head of small animals at Raystede animal welfare centre in Ringmer, said: “We predict a lot of problems. We may have to add more units to our guinea pig section.”

The RSPCA also voiced its concern about the film encouraging people to buy guinea pigs.

Jenny Welles, from the RSPCA in Braypool Lane, Patcham, Brighton, said: “Unfortunately people go to commercial outlets, buy pets and get rid of them after six months.”

She asked people to be responsible when buying pets and to consider getting them from RSPCA shelters instead of buying them.

Elaine Pendlebury, PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, said: “We know that some animals become very popular as a result of films or TV.

“Some people opt for a small furry animal thinking that they are easier to care for than larger pets. The reality is that they often need just as much time, care and attention as a larger pet.”

The charity also advised against keeping guinea pigs and rabbits together, a common mistake which uninformed pet owners make.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: “Guinea pigs have particular care and dietary requirements so that they can live a long and healthy life, which is usually around seven years.

“They are also highly sociable animals and should not be kept on their own. Ideally, they should live with another family member, such as one of the same sex from the litter.”

Steve Edgington, owner of Hassocks Pet Centre, said: “I can't see people rushing out of the cinema to buy guinea pigs.

“Anyone that wants to buy a pet is informed of the responsibilities involved and we'll carry on with the usual routine.”

SIDEBAR IT would not be the first time a Disney film has made keeping an animal more popular as a pet.

After the Finding Nemo and 101 Dalmatians films, clown fish and dogs became more popular among children. Many were bought and then abandoned.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, pet owners have a duty of care to provide for their animal by giving them a proper diet and fresh water, as well as protection from and treatment of illness and injury. Anyone who is found guilty of neglect faces a fine of up to £5,000 and a six-month prison sentence.