RSPCA are investigating the dumping of 60 guinea pigs in Furnissdale, a suburb south of Mandurah, on Tuesday.
Authorities were alerted to the dumped guinea pigs by a member of the public who contacted RSPCA’s cruelty hotline.
Dumping or abandoning animals is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act.
Authorities are now trying to locate the person who dumped the animals.
When the call was made to the hotline there was a misunderstanding, with the call centre operator.
Who incorrectly advised the caller that in WA, dumped animals fall under the responsibility of the local shire, which isn’t correct.
The Queensland call centre accidentally gave that information based on the jurisdiction in another state.
After the mix up was swiftly corrected by RSPCA, the caller was informed that the guinea pigs would need to be collected.
Unfortunately by that point, several members of the public had taken matters into their own hands and taken groups of guinea pigs home to care for them.
RSPCA only managed to collect 13 of the guinea pigs from the caller.
A further five have been handed in to RSPCA and all 18 will be checked and treated by a vet at the Animal Care Centre in Malaga.
After the initial medical examinations take place the animals will be put up for adoption.
An RSPCA WA spokeswoman thanked members of the public for reporting the “senseless case” to them.
“They are extremely fearful and very shy, but their overall health appears to be stable,” the spokeswoman said.
“Most of them are adult males, and some appear to be suffering from skin conditions, which will be monitored and treated over the next few days.
“RSPCA WA understands that incorrect information may have been given to the first caller who reported this case to our cruelty hotline.
“Any cases of suspected cruelty or abandonment of animals can and should be reported to the RSPCA cruelty hotline and will be acted on by Inspectors.
“This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with further information is encouraged to come forward.
“RSPCA WA would like to advise those people who are looking after the remaining abandoned guinea pigs to have them checked by a vet as soon as possible to ensure they are healthy and are not suffering from any ailments.”
For more information about RSPCA visit their website.