Family gutted after pets to help son with autism are stolen
LOSING a fluffy family member to theft is gut wrenching, but when it happens to a four and a half year old autistic boy, it just doesn't seem fair.
Josephine Hunt said her son's three pregnant pet guinea pigs were stolen from the front lawn earlier this week.
She bought them for Ryan last year, as a Christmas gift.
On Tuesday Mrs Hunt said she woke up to an empty yard, after having had moved the hutches around the night before.
"The whole lot. The whole lot is gone," she said. "Even the little hidey-holes that stick out on the grass area, under the cages were gone."
"Someone had been in my drive way, taken them and the dog didn't even bark.
"You just don't do that."
However, the large bellied pets were more than just a Christmas gift.
Jasper, Pearl and Lucky were purchased as a behavioural aid, to help Ryan learn how to better communicate.
He took a shine to his daycare class pets, and Mrs Hunt said it was an easy decision to make.
"We decided to get them to use them as social skills, communication and responsibility," she said.
"He communicated the word 'guinea pig' and as an autistic child, communicating any word is a big thing.
"It would teach him small tasks of opening doors, learning to use latches, counting the guinea pigs, looking at different colours and learning names."
For the perpetrator, Mrs Hunt said she had left a "drop off" box half-way down her driveway, just in case of a change of heart.
"If they do stop, we're not going to see them. Please just drop them off overnight," she said.