Leeds mum runs guinea pig sanctuary

Helen Broadhead holding one-year-old Gwinnie.
Helen Broadhead holding one-year-old Gwinnie.
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New mum Helen Broadhead might have a tiny baby to keep her on her toes - but she also has another 50 small mouths to feed every day.

On a weekly basis her furry housemates manage to munch their way through at least four bags of carrots a day and a further two 15kg bags of feed a week.

But kind-hearted Helen, 30, from Bramley, Leeds, has made it her mission to take in the city’s abandoned and sick guinea pigs and nurse them back to health.

She transformed her back garden into her very own guinea pig haven at the start of the year but now she has invested in a bigger shed to accommodate her growing influx of squeaky visitors.

Helen, who runs the re- homing centre, has always been a fan of the cute animals and said: “We had our own guinea pigs but I soon realised there was a need for a rescue centre.

“A lot of people used to contact us because they no longer wanted their pigs and we just took them in. In just a month we had 14 but now we have got 50 waiting to be re homed. We also have seven guinea pigs that will stay with us permanently because they have been treated so badly.

“But all the hard work and effort is so worthwhile when we get them back to full health and they go to new homes.”

Helen spends most of the day juggling between her young family and the fluffy guinea pigs.

But she has an extra set of helping hands from her five-year-old son Joshua.

She also hopes that the latest addition to her family, seven-month-old son Oliver, will follow in her footsteps.

She added: “Guinea pigs are very easy to look after and are the ideal pet.

“They have got an awful lot of character and since we have been open we have had a fantastic response from people.

“Joshua just adores the guinea pigs and is always keen to help me.

“Hopefully the boys will follow in their mum’s footsteps.

“But at the moment it feels like I’m pushing the pushchair, answering emails and phone calls all at the same time.”

For more information about the shelter and to sponsor the guinea pigs visit: www.bramleycaviesrescue.webs.com

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