A GUINEA pig was tied inside a bin bag and left to die outside a pet shop in the Capital.
The animal was discovered by husband and wife Ian and Pauline McAvoy, who own Simply Dogs and Friends on Dalry Road.
The brown short-haired male had been dumped next to the shop’s bin in a cage no bigger than an A4 sheet of paper.
Mr and Mrs McAvoy, who live in Swanston, had spotted a woman leaving the black plastic bag beside their bin and found the terrified guinea pig in a cage inside. They then contacted the Scottish SPCA.
Staff at the charity’s Edinburgh and Lothians Centre are now caring for the guinea pig, who has been named Arthur.
Mrs McAvoy, 42, said: “People are always leaving things next to our bin – everything from baths and sofas to televisions – so we are always on the lookout.
“The lady was carrying what we thought was a speaker in a big, black bag but when we had a look inside, there was something moving.
“I called the lady back and told her that she couldn’t leave an animal here, and that it was horrible and cruel to do that, but she was just waving her arms in the air saying, ‘baby Sergus’. She was pretending that she didn’t understand English. I told her that I was going to call the police and she about-turned at that point – she was not hanging about for anyone.
“We just couldn’t believe that someone would be so cruel. You don’t just abandon a defenceless little animal in the freezing cold. It’s heartbreaking.”
She added: “It was quite a substantial sized guinea pig and it was in the smallest cage you have ever seen.”
The Scottish SPCA is appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
Animal rescue officer, Jeni Wright, said: “This was a deliberate act of animal cruelty and we are appealing to the public for information to help us find the person responsible.
“Abandoning an animal under any circumstances is wrong. However, to dump Arthur like a piece of rubbish and leave him there to die is particularly callous.
“His cage was extremely small and this alone would have been distressing for him.
“It’s very lucky he was found as he wouldn’t have survived for long inside the bag and it’s likely it would have been disposed of when the bins were emptied.
“Once he has recovered from his ordeal we will be looking to find him the loving home he deserves.”
The woman who dumped Arthur is described as being between 40 and 50 years old, with black curled hair. She was wearing a red coat and was seen walking in the direction of Gorgie Road.
Anyone with information should contact the Scottish SPCA on 03000-999 999.