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Police: Man breaks into animal rescue, dumps guinea pigs

The owner hopes to have the guinea pigs ready for adoption by next weekend.
The owner hopes to have the guinea pigs ready for adoption by next weekend.
Updated: Oct. 5, 2018 at 5:08 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a suspected burglar in Anderson Township. It’s not what he took, but what he left behind that has the owner of the Ohio Pet Sanctuary upset.

The person was caught one camera dumping animals. The owner of the Ohio Pet Sanctuary, Madison Schleibaum, said the intruder came around the back of the store Thursday evening and broke in.

"We honestly don't know how he got the door opened but the lock was actually still set," said Schleibaum.

The pet rescue is closed on Thursdays, but the owner still comes to feed the animals. When she went to the back of the store, she found the abandoned guinea pigs.

"I went to check on the iguana and I found it was right here," said Schleibaum as she pointed to the floor where she found the animals. "They were in a cat litter box with a piece of cardboard on top. They were standing in their own waste. They were covered in it."

Schleibaum said this isn’t a new problem.

“Unfortunately, animal abandonment is something we deal with a lot of but most of them are left outside," she said.

The Ohio Pet Sanctuary does not have a surrender fee, so the owner said if the man would have just contacted them they would have been able to rehome the animals in time. Currently, there is a waiting list to take in guinea pigs.

"This puts a lot of issues on us. I appreciate that people want us to take their animals because they know we're going to do the best for them. The problem that we have is when they create an overcrowding situation," said Schleibaum.

With two caretakers and 79 animals, Schleibaum said the new additions stretch their resources thin. Now she is just hoping the person who broke into her store is caught.

"It would be nice to know who broke in and why they felt the need to abandon the animals," said Schleibaum.

The guinea pigs, which are believed to be a mom dad and three babies are underweight but otherwise seem to be healthy.

Schleibaum said after a medical exam, she hopes to have them up for adoption by next weekend.

Anyone who recognizes the person in the photograph is asked to contact the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.

This person is suspected of breaking into an animal rescue and dumping guinea pigs.
This person is suspected of breaking into an animal rescue and dumping guinea pigs.

Officials said breaking and entering is a felony charge.

Anyone interested in adopting the guinea pigs can contact the Ohio Pet Sanctuary at 513-388-9998 or visit their store at 8018 Beechmont Ave.

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