UPDATED 3:30 P.M. 1/25/22

Tioga County Sheriff's officials say they have arrested a Broome County man for abandoning a basketful of guinea pigs in Owego.

Sheriff’s Deputies responded to Hickories Park in Owego at 3 p.m. Sunday, January 23 where someone found an unattended laundry basket on the riverbank.  Deputies say there were six guinea pigs in the basket and, in spite of the weather conditions, the cute crated cavies appeared to be okay.

Photo provided by Tioga County Sheriff's Office
Photo provided by Tioga County Sheriff's Office

While Guinea Pigs (cavies) are native to South America, including mountanous areas of Peru, the domesticated animals available through the pet trade are not used to extreme weather conditions.

The Animal Humane Society on its website says Guinea Pigs are indoor pets, except in tropical environments and should be kept in draft-free areas with a temperature of between 65 and 79 degrees.

January 25, the Sheriff's office announced Dale P. Fay of the Town of Union had been arrested in the case.

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Fay is charged with violating New York Agriculture and Markets laws 353, Overdriving, Torturing and 355, Injuring Animals and Abandonment of Animals.

He's been ordered to appear in Town of Owego Court next month.

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Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

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