Case Snapshot
Case ID: 5140
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: rodent/small mammal (pet)
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Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005

Disposition: Not Charged

Abuser names unreleased

An animal welfare group confiscated 550 gerbils that had been kept in stacked containers in a small house in southern England, and asked the British public for help in caring for the animals.

The gerbils were found in a variety of cages and makeshift containers, including badly ventilated wine boxes, stacked to heights of more than 6 feet throughout the one-bedroom home in Portsmouth, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"The hallway was full, and there were about 35 containers in the bathroom alone," group inspector Mick Garrity said. "The male and female gerbils had not been separated, so they were continuing to just breed and breed."

Many of the animals were in poor condition and needed veterinary attention.

The owners of the house agreed on July 19 to hand the animals over to the animal welfare group, which took them to a nearby animal shelter in Fareham.

"Many of the females will be pregnant, so it is possible that we will see the number of animals double, creating even more of a problem," shelter manager Mike Ward said. "With so many gerbils to care for, our staff have been stretched to the limit."

The shelter has called in volunteers, and was appealing to the public for help in caring for the animals.

"We are running short of suitable temporary accommodation and food for these animals, so we are hoping the public will be able to help," he said.

"Many of these animals have come to us in a poor state and will need ongoing veterinary attention," he said. "Others are in good condition," however, and could go to new homes "as soon as possible."


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