AN APPEAL has been launched after a group of degus - rodents typically kept as pets - were found abandoned in Newport last weekend.

RSPCA Cymru is appealing for information and potential new owners after 17 degus were found dumped in woodland in the Ringland on Saturday.

The animals were found in a filthy cage at the end of Edward German Crescent by a member of the public who was on an early morning walk with his dogs.

They ranged from three-week-old babies to adults and seemed to be in good health, apart from one who had a tail injury which had to be amputated by a vet following an examination.

RSPCA inspector, Christine McNeil, said: “Someone has deliberately dumped these animals without a second thought for their welfare. They have allowed them to breed uncontrollably and just thrown them out like rubbish when they have tired of them. Fortunately they were found before anything bad happened.

“We are trying to trace the owner and would ask anyone who thinks they know where the degus came from to call the inspector’s information line on 0300 123 8018 in confidence.

Degus originate from Chile and live for about six to seven years. They must be provided with the correct accommodation, environment and food including being kept at the right temperature as they cannot sweat and are susceptible to heat stroke and draughts.

Mr McNeil added: “Despite their ordeal the degus are friendly and a delight to meet and hopefully we will be able to rehome them to responsible loving homes soon so they can will have a happier future.”

The degus are currently being cared for at RSPCA Newport animal centre. To find out how to rehome an animal call 0300 123 0744 or email