I have a dilemna on how to approach a situation.
We have new neighbours. They moved in a few weeks ago, and haven't been particularly neighbourly. In fact, my irritation with them* caused me to forego my usual "welcome to the neighbourhood" cookie platter.
BACKGROUND: While they were moving in, they kept their guinea pigs on the front lawn. As some folks keep their guinea pigs outside, this in itself wasn't much of a problem. The problem was that they kept the pigs in a very confined little space that wasn't big enough for one, much less two. It was about 12"x18" square, with holes in the "cage" big enough for both to escape - which they did. Several times. At the first escape, I rang the doorbell to inform a bleary-eyed and extremely irritated person that their guinea pig had escaped. He didn't understand me at first, but then informed me that he wasn't the homeowner and it wasn't his pet. Nevertheless, he "helped" me catch it.
The second escape, I just grabbed the animal and put it back in it's cage.
I saw several later escapes and the neighbours on their hands and knees trying to coax the poor pig out from under the bushes. I pretended not to see, even though I felt truly bad for the animals. At the time, I contemplated calling the SPCA, but didn't know if this would be something they'd be able to do anything about. So I didn't.
SITUATION: It's been raining for two days straight.
Yesterday, during a break in the rain, I took my daughter and my babysitting charge out for a walk. On the way home, the guinea pig scurried across the gravel between my driveway and the neighbours bushes and sat cowering under the bush. I could only presume it had been out for a while. I tried to catch it, but could not devote a lot of time to it, as the kids needed to get inside.
I felt very uneasy.
I went out later to see if I could see the guinea pig, but could not, so assumed the neighbours had gotten him inside.
Found him again today. Under the bushes again. It had only just stopped raining.
I did not know what to do, so I did call the SPCA. They were closed and the message directed me to local animal control, so I called them for advice, and they were useless. I was told to call the SPCA tomorrow morning. I was told that it would be wrong to take the animal in to the SPCA if I knew who the owner was.
I don't know what to do now.
In order to catch the guinea pig, I have to go fully onto my neighbours property. I don't feel quite right doing that, since I haven't had much interaction with them beyond the "hey, here's your guinea pig". I tried to catch the guinea pig from my side of the property, but he kept running over to the bush too far away for me to catch.
He doesn't seem like a particularly sociable animal. That combined with finding him outside leads me to think he's kept outdoors generally. I presume he's kept in the backyard. But finding him in the front yard leads me to question his living arrangements (not being the sort of person to go snooping in my neighbours yard means I really don't know and likely won't ever find out).
So here's my question - would it be rude or wrong to try and catch the guinea pig? It would involve going fully onto their front lawn, and they are not home.
Or should I just go over tomorrow morning and let them know I spotted the guinea pig under the bushes last night and was checking to see if they managed to catch him, as I was worried for him and couldn't get him myself?
Ignore it and pretend I don't care?
Catch the piggie and take him to the SPCA, despite the animal control woman's view?
I do feel pretty bad for the poor thing, hiding under a bush trying to keep out of the rain.
Plus, I am afraid that he'll scurry under my car one of these days and get run over.