A chinchilla has been rescued by the RSPCA after being abandoned in a food waste bin in Warwick.

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A member of the public contacted the animal charity after finding the small animal in the bin on the roadside, next to a bus stop in Emscote Road.

Thankfully the chinchilla was in a good body condition, however he did not have any food or water left with him.

RSPCA Animal Welfare Officer (AWO) Ben Jones said: “The person who found the chinchilla was alerted to him after hearing scratches inside the bin. The poor animal had been left in there with some hay but nothing to eat or drink – we don’t know how long he had been like this for.

“He was stressed out, which is understandable.

“It is concerning that someone abandoned this poor animal like this, and likely with the intention of them not being found. As the chinchilla was in a bin, we can only assume that whoever put him in there did so with the intention that he would be disposed of during the next bin round.

“The chinchilla has had a lucky escape. We are keen to speak to anyone who has any information about the chinchilla and how he ended up there. Those with information which could help us should call 0300 123 8018.”

The chinchilla is now being cared for by a local vet nurse.

Chinchillas can make wonderful pets but need specialist care. They can live for up to 20 years and are highly social so need company.

“Unfortunately, we find that a lot of people take on the responsibility of a pet without properly researching what that animal needs and without understanding the commitment involved with taking care of them,” AWO Jones added.

“Sadly that means that many pets are abandoned when their owners can no longer look after them and charities, like the RSPCA, are left to pick up the pieces.”

Lots of information about rehoming a chinchilla is available on the RSPCA website.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit www.rspca.org.uk/give.