WATERTOWN -- An investigation led to an unexpected delivery of guinea pigs and rabbits at the Watertown Humane Society. Matters will only get worse when another kind of delivery happens very soon.
Rooms that were dedicated to animal "play areas" have been repurposed at the Watertown Humane Society. In fact, every available room has been filled with guinea pigs.
"Those first three rooms that I showed you were all cat rooms, open cat rooms where cats were able to run around and not be in cages," said Lindsay Reynolds, Watertown Humane Society.
On June 28, the Watertown Police Department seized dozens of animals from one home and brought them to the humane society. Officials say the animals were confiscated because they were not being cared for. Officials also say there are laws restricting how many animals any one homeowner may keep.
"We took in 139 guinea pigs and 57 rabbits," said Reynolds.
Swamped with the little animals, staff members are asking for donations.
"If we can get people to come out and donate their time to help clean that would be great for our staff. As you can imagine, they are overwhelmed right now," said Katie Osborne, Watertown Humane Society.
They are also asking for food and bedding.
"It would be Aspen bedding," said Osborne.
They need more space because many of the guinea pigs are pregnant.
"We know a lot of them are and they are due this week. This coming week," said Reynolds.
Anticipating the coming delivery of guinea pigs, humane society officials hope to convert the garage into more space for animals.
"We're going to have it insulated, HVAC added so we can get all the animals into one spot," said Osborne.
Also compounding the situation is the animals' stay at the humane society is indefinite.
"It could be weeks, up to a year," said Osborne.
These animals are not up for adoption.
The Watertown Humane Society has created a GoFundMe page to help pay for care for the animals and to convert the garage space.