WATERLOO -- Several guinea pigs have been found in a wooded area in a Waterloo neighbourhood, but there could be dozens more still on the loose.

A 10-year-old boy was playing in Heasley Park near Parkside Drive on Monday when he was startled to find three of the little creatures.

"I was going to go look for frogs and then I found these guys," says Cayden Eggett.

He says he was "confused, scared and worried" when he found them, but is excited to be able to offer them a loving home now.

The family had lost their last guinea pig a few months earlier, so the find was particularly special.

According to the GPS Guinea Pig Sanctuary, this isn't the first call they've had about guinea pigs being found in the area.

They say that seven have been recovered so far, but they believe there could be as many as 40 of them on the loose.

They believe that someone is dumping them there.

"Guinea pigs are not natural to this area obviously, so if they're out there, somebody has dumped them, which is illegal," says Catherine Warren, who works with GPS.

"It's not safe for the guinea pigs. They are very domesticated; they won't survive on their own out there."

According to a post on the group's Facebook page, several of the animals needed their claws trimmed, while at least one of them needed a tooth trim.

"More are being dumped every day!" the post reads.

The sanctuary is asking anyone who finds a guinea pig in the area to contact them.

Cayden Eggett's mother, Tammy Walton, is pleading for whoever is leaving them in the park to leave them at her doorstep, instead.

"We're still reaching out to whoever is dropping them, just please, bring them, drop them on the front step, knock on the door," she says.

"It doesn't matter, we're not going to ask you any questions, we just want to ensure that the animals are safe."

The City of Waterloo says that it hasn't been notified about the guinea pig dumping, but says it would be handled by its municipal enforcement office and the humane society.