The RSPCA is appealing for information after 14 hamsters found themselves left in the cold outside a block of flats in Exeter at Christmas.
A member of the public was going out shopping on the afternoon of 21 December when they spotted four cages filled with Syrian hamsters on King Street, next to a block of flats.
At first they thought someone must have been moving out and had perched the cages there as a temporary measure, but when they returned several hours later and saw that the cages were still there they realised nobody was coming back for them.
Concerned for their welfare, the person who found them made sure that the hamsters were taken in by another lady who lived nearby until the RSPCA came to collect them.
The hamsters were all taken to the RSPCA’s Little Valley animal centre in Exeter where they have been given mostly biblical names in honour of Christmas. Their names are now Esther, Amos, Damaris, Noah, Sampson, Abraham, Lydia, Moses, Priscilla, Gideon, Elijah, Rebekah, Obelix, and Seth.
RSPCA animal welfare officer Steve Powell said: “It was rather wet that day and yet someone had left this large family of Syrian hamsters out in their cages in the cold to fend for themselves.
“It looked as though they had been looked after generally as they were in a reasonable condition, the cages were clean, and they had food, but this does not take away the fact that this was a rather callous act to just leave them outside like this to brave the elements. The reality is that, had they not been found, this could have been a very different and potentially sadder story.
“A few of the hamsters also had injuries, probably due to fighting, as Syrian hamsters are solitary animals, so the fact that so many were being kept like this, together, in four cages was irresponsible.
“We are seeking more information about what might have happened here to these poor creatures and would encourage anyone who knows anything about where they might have come from or about their previous owner to please come forward. All information we receive is treated in the strictest of confidence.”
Anyone with further information can contact the RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
The hamsters are now happy and healthy living in the care of the RSPCA animal centre in Exeter. Two of the Syrians, Rebekah and Obelix, have already found themselves a loving new home after members of staff at the centre fell in love with them. The other twelve are now all looking for somewhere that they can also call their own. Anyone interested in offering one of them a home should contact the RSPCA’s Little Valley animal centre on 01392 439898 for further details.
There is lots of information on meeting the welfare needs of hamsters available on the RSPCA website. For details please visit: http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/rodents/hamsters
The RSPCA is a charity and they rely on public donations to exist. To assist their Inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).
(from a press release)