An animal sanctuary is looking for homes for a large number of guinea pigs after some accidental pregnancies at the centre.
The Woodside Animal Sanctuary, in Elfordleigh, has got 35 guinea pigs in need of a new home after a group of 12 were taken in and began breeding after being mis-sexed.
Staff at the centre were struggling to think of names for all the new arrivals and ended up working their way through the alphabet for inspiration.
Staff member Lisa Darcy said: “Within two months our group of 12 had grown to 35.
“We thought that we would call them by each letter of the alphabet but soon ran out of letters and had to start again.
“All are now old enough to go to new homes and all the males have been neutered so that they can have companionship without any risk of any more unexpected arrivals.”
The centre successfully rehoused a total of 1,123 animals in 2011. This included 585 cats, 317 dogs and 221 small animals including rabbits, guinea pigs and small rodents.
Staff said the number of animals needing help had dramatically increased compared to previous years.
Manager Helen Lecointe added: “It’s heartbreaking getting so many calls from people not wanting their pets and really soul destroying that there can be so many seasonal impulse buys.”
Carole Bowles MBE, sanctuary founder, added: “We are happy to go over all the pros and cons of each animal to ensure that you choose the right animal for you.
“Each of our animals are vet checked, sexed and if possible neutered to prevent any unwanted extras.”