A group of furless “skinny pigs” are now looking for a new home.
The unusual animals, a type of Guinea pig which are bred to have no hair – similar to Sphynx cats – were taken into the care of the RSPCA after their previous owner was struggling to cope.
Now, eight pigs, including three males named Aardvark, Walrus and Warthog, are looking for new homes, once they have completed further health checks.
Because they have sensitive skin, they need to be kept away from direct sunlight and have pet-safe cream applied to keep them healthy.
There were initially 10 of the animals, but two have already found new owners. The rest are currently in the care of the RSPCA Middlesex branch.
Pet welfare expert at the RSPCA Dr Jane Tyson said: “Without having fur to keep them warm, they also readily feel the cold so extra care needs to be taken in colder weather to help them stay warm.
“They can also scratch their skin easily so bedding must be soft and it’s a good idea to make sure their nails are kept in good condition to make sure they don’t injure themselves.
“Although Guinea pigs are very misunderstood pets in some ways – for example, they should not be kept with rabbits – they are also very rewarding and characterful creatures.”
Cheryl O’Keeffe, animal welfare administrator at RSPCA Middlesex, said: “We have absolutely fallen in love with the skinny pigs here – all the staff love spending time with them as they are real characters. They aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but I expect they will be rehomed quickly to the right family.”