THE DISCOVERY of two stricken guinea pigs heartlessly dumped in a shoebox has sparked a police enquiry on two counts.
The News has revealed how the two helpless creatures were dumped at a junction near McTaggart Road in Seafar last Tuesday (May 8) – in a move which could see the culprit face an animal cruelty rap.
However, the News and Chronicle has learned that the person responsible could face another key charge - after it emerged that animals were STOLEN from a popular local attraction where they boast a wide fan base among staff and visitors.
We can reveal that the adult males were allegedly taken from Palacerigg Country Park during a recent break-in.
Mercifully both have been safely returned to their pen, following a stint at the Scottish SPCA’s animal welfare centre in Bothwell.
Both are getting back in the old routine and were snuggling up a storm when our photographer Lisa Ferguson popped by to snap them on their return to Palacerigg.
Here they will revert to their given names after an ordeal which so easily could have killed them.
Although the caring animal rescue squad named the trembling pets Eamon and Damon, we can reveal that that the cuties are in fact called Gilbert and Alfi.
Naturally at Palacerigg, there was an emotional reunion for the pair - whose many fans marvel at their extravagant tricoloured coats which give both the boys a distinctive crested silhouette.
Ann McKillop from the council’s Countryside Visitor Services said:“Needless to say, we were horrified when we discovered Gilbert and Alfi, our much-loved guinea pigs were gone.
They’re very popular both with visitors and staff, and we were devastated that someone would have deprived not only us, but all our guests, of their company.
“It was even more horrifying to then discover that whoever had taken them had then dumped them at the side of the road to die. It simply beggars belief – why take them at all if the intention was only to abandon them? This was an exceptionally cruel act, and we would ask anyone who might be able to help the police find out who did it to contact them.
“We’re very grateful to the SSPCA for taking such good care of them, and to the Cumbernauld News for trying to help identify the cruel person or persons who took them away and put them in such danger.
“Thankfully Gilbert and Alfi are back where they belong, and none the worse for their ordeal,” said Ann.
Anyone who has any information relating to this incident is asked to contact Cumbernauld Police on 503900. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be called free and in confidence on 0800 555 111.