A PET shop has calling for an end to the abandonment of unwanted animals in the car park of their shop.
The owners of Pet Connection made their plea after seven young Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters, believed to be from two different litters and all under the age of seven weeks, were found by staff last Monday.
The helpless hamsters had been left in a filthy cage, surrounded by their own waste and exposed to the elements. The smallest of the baby hamsters weighed less than 10 grams and all seven are now being cared for and carefully monitored by Pet Connection staff.
Pet Connection owner Roisin Morgan commented: “This is the third incident of animals being dumped in the car park of our store in as many years, and despite being based on the busy Dublin Road in Newry, people continue to put these animals at unnecessary risk.
“In previous years it has been litters of tiny, defenceless kittens, who just like these hamsters, were too young to have been taken from their mothers.
“We operate successful rehoming schemes for many different species through our shop and we will always help people with unwanted pets if at all possible. By speaking to us, we can either arrange to take the animals in to find them new homes or help people to make contact with appropriate rescue centres.
“Most importantly, in the case of baby animals, we can give guidance on how to prevent future unwanted litters from being born.”
Roborovski Dwarf hamsters are not sold by Pet Connection, as their aloof characters and tendency to not enjoy being handled means that they are not ideal pets for most people.
However, for prospective pet owners who would like a pet that needs minimal interaction aside from necessary health checks and low maintenance dietary and habitat requirements, Roborovski hamsters can be a good choice.
The ideal owner for a pair or trio of these young hamsters would ideally be willing to allow their new pet to bond with them and feel relaxed in their company in their own time.
They should also be confident and experienced in handling small animals efficiently and safely, and be happy to invest in a suitably sized, enriching enclosure for their hamster.
Staff at Pet Connection estimate that all of the hamsters will be ready to find a home in one to two weeks, by which point they will have been carefully observed for signs of illness stemming from their mistreatment and cleared for rehoming.
They have asked anyone interested in looking after one of the hamsters to call them on 028 3083 3442. Their team of pet care specialists will be there to work with you to decide if a dwarf hamster is the right pet for you and to arrange a visit to meet the hamsters.