RSPCA officers are appealing for information after dumped guinea pigs, rabbits and birds were found were found in woodland.
The shocking discovery was made by a passer-by at around 10.30am on Wednesday. The member of the public who contacted a nearby pet shop owner, and between them were able to catch a number of the live guinea pigs, before contacting the RSPCA.
Inspector Cathy Maddison is investigating, and said: “I’m really keen to hear from anybody who might know where these animals have come from.
“The woodland area is just up past the crossroads near The Old Mill, Butsfield Lane in Consett, and it's a well known fly-tipping site.
"When I went to investigate the site with my colleague inspector Fannon, there were three dead guinea pigs, two dead pheasants and a large dead white rabbit in amongst lots of rubbish which included bedding and water bottles.”
It is thought that there were more live guinea pigs dumped, but these were not found so it’s likely they ran off to hide in the woodland.
The caught guinea pigs are being cared for by the pet shop owner, and Inspector Maddison removed the remaining animal bodies.
Anyone with any information can contact Inspector Maddison in confidence on the RSPCA appeal number, by calling 0300 123 8018.
To support the work of the RSPCA and help the charity continue to investigate cruelty to animals please text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).