Lifestyle & Human Interest

Guinea Pig Miraculously Survives After Alleged Pet Store Robber Throws It Out Car Window During Chase


Guinea pigs are not the athletes of the small animal world.

Rats are intelligent and acrobatic, mice are always on the go and hamsters will chew their way through just about anything except solid metal.

But while guinea pigs have short, occasional bursts of speed, for the most part they are lazy and love nothing more than sitting and contemplating the world — preferably with a snack.

They don’t really climb or jump compared to other rodents, and if you look at them, that makes sense: They’re built like potatoes. In fact, many guinea pigs die or are seriously injured when dropped because they don’t have a cat’s ability to land on their feet, and even when they do, their legs are so stubby that they’re more liable to break bones or chip their teeth than land safely.

It was a bit of a miracle, then, that one guinea pig — aptly named “Lucky” — survived being hurled from a car last weekend after he was stolen from the pet store where he was living.

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Scott Gonyaw is the owner of Pet Paradise, a pet store in Danville, Kentucky. He specializes in a variety of small pets, birds and reptiles, and knew when two customers came in on Saturday that something was afoot.

According to police, Isabelle Mason, 21, and Jaimee Pack, 19, entered Pet Paradise around 6:30 p.m.

One of them began talking to Gonyaw while the other walked toward the back of the store where the guinea pigs were, the store owner said. One of the women was allegedly carrying an oddly large purse.

“Didn’t look typically like the kind of girls that would be carrying an oversized purse, a very new-looking oversized purse, and so I was a little suspicious,” Gonyaw told WKYT.

Their plan became clear as Pack and Mason allegedly walked out of the store and an employee alerted Gonyaw to the fact that two guinea pigs were missing.

“I started screaming at them, ‘Give me the guinea pigs!'” Gonyaw said. “And the other little girl reached down, got one of them out of the bag, went to give it out to me, and the other girl pulled her back into the car.”

The Danville Police Department shared the rest of the story on its Facebook page.

“The store clerk attempted to stop the two females from leaving in the parking lot while asking for the Guinea Pigs back, at which time the passenger threw one of the Guinea Pigs out of the window, landing on its face and head, according to the clerk,” they posted on Saturday.

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“The females then sped off, running over the clerks’ foot in the process of fleeing the scene. The clerk suffered pain to his knee and foot. The clerk and the Guinea Pig that was thrown from the vehicle will be okay. One Guinea Pig is still missing.”

Thankfully, 4-month-old Lucky was taken back inside the shop, and is expected to be OK.

One of the young women’s mothers showed up at the pet store later with an extra guinea pig she found in her daughter’s possession — but Gonyaw didn’t recognize it, and so the mystery of the missing guinea pig continues.

The Danville Police Department said both women were being charged with first-degree robbery, theft by unlawful taking and cruelty to animals. Mason is also being charged with wanton endangerment in the first degree.

Both women were being held at Boyle County Detention Center, police said Saturday.

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