Four guinea pigs and a rabbit were stolen from LOVE Gorgie Farm at some point between 11.30am and 2pm on Wednesday, with staff having been left “extremely distraught” by the news.
They were particularly concerned as the rabbit, named Thumper, is 11 years old and needs daily medication which they described as “vital”. The guinea pigs, named Willow, Badger, Winnie and Mary, also have ongoing health conditions.
An appeal was made on Facebook, with the community having rallied to try and find the missing animals.
Some offered to go out and search for the pets, having branded the theft as “disgusting”.
One said: “This is absolutely disgraceful. I’m so sad as this has always been somewhere I’ve loved going with my daughter and have always held the place in such high regard.” Another added: “That’s shocking. How low, hope they get returned safely very soon and the police do their job quickly.”
Hours later, with the help of police, the rabbit and three of the guinea pigs were soon recovered and returned to the farm.
In a later update, posted on Thursday, the team running Gorgie Farm said: “Power of the people. Thank you. We asked for your help and you delivered. The community went full detective and located our animals.
"The animals were found in the wee hours of this morning. The staff worked throughout the night with the police to get them home. Thank you for all of the information that led to us getting our babies back.
"We cannot thank each and every single one of you enough for all you did for us. We couldn’t have done it without you.”
They added that the farm’s Pet Lodge would remain closed on Thursday.
"The Pet Lodge will likely remain closed today so we can work on improving security and give our animals a full health check and settling in period after having been taken off site as they are probably a little shaken up and confused.
“Thank you for your patience, love and understanding.”
But the farm also shared some distressing news as one of the guinea pigs, Mary, was not found with the other animals.
The long-haired black and white guinea pig is still the subject of an ongoing investigation by police.
The team said: “Due to all your support, we have managed to recover all but one of our missing babies,” adding: “Please continue to share and let’s hope Mary can be returned safely.
"All the animals rescued are fine, just a little confused. But they are getting all the love and cuddles from staff.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Enquiries are ongoing after four guinea pigs and a rabbit were stolen from Gorgie Farm, Gorgie Road, Edinburgh. The incident happened around 11.30am on Wednesday, 11 May.
“All animals apart from one guinea pig have been recovered and enquiries are ongoing to find it.
“Anyone with information that could assist is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number 2025 of Wednesday, 11 May.”