All endangered animals deserve to be saved, and hamsters are no exception. If you’re an animal lover, I’m sure you agree with me. I understand that those who want to rescue a hamster mean well, but before you jump to this commitment, you need to educate yourself first, especially if you have never had a hamster before.
If you are considering getting a pet hamster, read on because we will talk about why you should save a hamster’s life and why adopting is better than buying one.
So, how do you rescue a hamster? If you are looking to buy a pet hamster, consider adopting one instead; with many hamsters abandoned, adopting is a great way to rescue a hamster. For one, it will save you a couple of dollars, but more importantly, you will save a life. First, let’s talk about a common misconception about hamsters.
WHY ADOPTING A HAMSTER IS IMPORTANT
Here are the reasons why rescuing a hamster is important as adopting a dog or a cat. LAter, you’ll see a list of where you can adopt a hamster (categorised by country).
They are often misunderstood
Hamsters are often abandoned because their owners were turned off when they got bitten by these misunderstood creatures. Hamsters don’t bite intentionally but rather instinctively; they have poor eyesight, and as a result, if you touch or handle them carelessly, you might startle them, which can cause them to bite you.
Because of this, many people think hamsters are scary and mean pets. But if you take your time researching hamsters and how to tame them, you will know how to prevent them to bite you, and even know how to make them warm up to you. Now that you know why hamsters bite, you’ll also have more courage to rescue one!
They are easy to look after
Taking care of hamsters isn’t at all problematic. All you need to do to keep their cage clean, feed them proper hamster grub, be sensitive to their needs, health condition, and so on, your caring hamster journey should be a pleasurable one to take. There are a ton of articles about hamsters, but many are misinformation.
I have written several articles tackling facts and care about hamsters like this one, and you can refer to them should you ever need a helping hand in looking after your hamster if you do decide to adopt one. We also collaborated on a list of facts about hamsters in a video.
Unlike dogs, you don’t need to take a hamster an hour’s walk, and unlike a cat, you don’t need to make sure that the top of your bookcase is filled with break-proof displays. Hamsters’ poop is also less gross and since they like to stay clean, you should never give a hamster bath. Instead, provide a safe sand bath and sandbox.
Hamsters are perfect for a busy person
Unlike cats and dogs, hamsters generally do not enjoy cuddle sessions with us human beings. That being said, they can be ideal pets for busy people, because they won’t demand and don’t need you to spend time with them as much.
So long as their basic needs are met, i.e., food, clean shelter, safe exercise wheels, and all other hamster stuff, you’re good to go!
And, of course, you should regularly check on your hamsters. If you notice that their behaviour is odd, or if they are not as energetic as usual, then it might be time for you to consult a veterinarian.
Hamsters are low maintenance
As mentioned, hamsters are easy to maintain because they do not require much attention from their owners. But getting sick is almost always inevitable. You should have an emergency fund for your little furry pets in cases where you need to bring them to a veterinarian.
Food supplies come in different packet sizes and last a long time, treats are very cheap too, hamster toys and chew toys last for a while. The most expensive thing you might have to buy is a suitable cage. Check our article on the breakdown cost of owning a hamster.
You might have to buy hamster bedding often, but they don’t cost as much as a week’s worth of dog and cat food.
Getting pet insurance for your pet hamsters is very important; it is a great way to reduce your vet bill costs by up to 80 per cent. That’s a huge saving! That being said, several pet care companies offer this service, and if you’re now considering getting your new hamsters insured, definitely shop around and look for the best hamster insurance deal that suits your needs.
You can bring out your creative side
If you love decorating things, such as your clothes, room, house, garden, and so on, you can also decorate your own hamster’s cage. With colourful hamster beddings and hamster accessories available online and offline, drawing out your creative side through designing your hamster’s home is a great way to have fun.
And if you have kids who are just as creative as you are, you might want them to get involved in the creative process, too. Just be sure that the materials you will use are safe for your hamsters. I have written a few articles about the safety of hamsters, so you might want to look at them.
They have a short lifespan but deserve a loving home
Hamsters are the perfect pet for people who can’t make a lifetime commitment that other types of animals require, such as dogs or cats. However, with their short lifespan (they live between 3-4 years or even shorter if they become sick or were unethically bred), they still deserve to live in an environment where they can be happy and healthy for the rest of their life. Read this list of common hamster diseases.
This is why it is crucial that we, as owners, are equipped with knowledge about hamsters to ensure that we can take care of them properly. And this is also the reason why I am biased towards rescuing a hamster instead of buying one. If you know that you can and you are willing to give a better life to abandoned hamsters, please do.
They are treated badly
Some hamster owners choose to abandon their pets when they move home. The helpless creatures are either left behind or are placed in a tiny cage where they can’t move that much which causes stress and worse death. If this isn’t enough reason for you to rescue one, then I don’t know what will convince you more than this.
With pet abandonment on the rise, I think that more people should opt to rescue/adopt a hamster instead. I’m not saying that everyone should do it, but if the number of people who do increases in number, then that should make a difference to some mistreated animal’s life.
At the end of the day, we all have our own preferences in life, but if this speaks to your heart, then there’s no reason not to do it.
Hamsters are not meant for kids
Another reason for abandoning hamsters is that some parents think that hamsters are good for children, but when kids decide that they don’t want the hamsters anymore or get bored or scared of them, the poor rodents are abandoned. Again, if this resonates with you, you may want to consider adopting a hamster rather than buying from a pet shop.
Parents or adults getting very young kids a hamster without helping them understand the needs of a hamster and the kid’s responsibility is one of the common mistakes that a new or inexperienced hamster owner make.
Hamsters need a lot of understanding and space of their own (they like to be left alone), while kids want to play and interact with them, which is the perfect combination of hamsters being abandoned.
I’m not saying kids should never have a hamster, owning one would help your child understand empathy, responsibility, and patience. But if you decide to let your kid have a hamster, you have to commit as a parent too. You will be responsible for this hamster’s life, and your kids will only be there as helpers.
ADOPTING A HAMSTER: WHERE AND HOW
This would depend on where you are located. In the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of Europe, adopting a hamster is pretty standard, and you shouldn’t have a hard time finding a rescue centre.
However, Asia, Latin America, and Africa might be different. Often, hamsters can only be bought, but you’ll never know, before getting a hamster from a shop, reach out to your local animal rescue centre, they will be the most knowledgeable about this.
But before you move forward, please read this article of beginner’s guide in owning a hamster and the list of questions to ask yourself if you should get a hamster. While we want you to rescue a hamster instead of buying one, you should remember that being a great hamster parent is also being able to provide everything they need.
Ways To Adopt a Hamster
Bring a comfortable transport cage if you are picking up a hamster to rescue. Here are the ways you find hamsters for adoption:
This will be the number one place you should look for. The place doesn’t have to be specifically for hamsters only. Often, rescue places for dogs and cats have leads on hamsters too.
You can contact your local police station to find out if animal rescue centres are around you, or you can find both government-run and privately run sanctuaries.
These are perfect places, they are the number one places people contact when they have to leave their hamsters behind if they are moving away or can no longer look after them.
If you ever had a pet and had to bring it to the vet, there are many cases where a heartless pet owner would bring their pet for some service to the vet and never return (for various reasons).
Usually, the vet clinic will contact the police and see if they can track the owner. If not, the next line of inquiry would be rescue centres and sanctuaries to see if they can home these now homeless hamsters.
Some vet clinics might keep the hamster in their clinics and put a sign that they have pets that are up for adoption. Either way, clinics can point you in the right direction if you adopt a hamster.
Alright, I know most pet stores would sell animals, but you don’t know if it’s a hamster and they had it for more than 3-6 months, they would put them on the “up for adoption” list.
While in some cases, owners would bring their pets for grooming or vet check-ups and never pick them up. In this case, if the owner is uncontactable, the pet stores would place the hamster for adoption instead.
Facebook Groups or Sub-Reddits
These two social media platforms are full of active users and can definitely help you find a hamster to adopt.
Sometimes, even the owners themselves would post that they have to find a new owner for their hamsters, often, it comes with the cage, accessories, food, toys, bedding, and all other things.
For Facebook groups, look for either “hamster rescue groups” or simply hamster care groups. The members are knowledgeable and alert when a hamster is in need.
Check out these active Facebook groups for hamster owners.
Where Adopt a Hamster (Hamster Rescue Sanctuaries)
- petfinder.com (worldwide)
- RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) AU & UK – check their site
- bestfriends.org (USA)
- weecompanions.com (USA)
- South Bay Rodent Rescue (LA, USA)
- Redemtion Animal Rescue (Irvine, CA)
- Hamster Rescue (California, USA)
- LA County Official Site (LA, USA)
- Zitch Hamster Rescue (Oregon, USA)
- Ladybird Animal Sanctuary (Ontario, Canada)
- PAWR (Ontario, Canada)
- Second Chance (Ontario, CA)
- Blue Cross for Pets (UK)
- pets4home (UK)
- Furry Tails (Shropshire, UK)
- Bright Horizon (South East England + London, UK)
- India’s Hamster Rescue (London, UK)
- Truff and Muffs (Reading, Berkshire, UK)
- Sycamore Rescue (Cambridge, UK)
- Fluffy’s Hamster Rescue (Leicester, UK)
- Hamster Care Italia (Italy)
- Hamster Rescue HK (Hong Kong)
- Hamster Society SG (Singapore)
- Petco (look for the ones available to be adopted, not sold)
- PetsAtHome/[email protected](look for the ones available to be adopted, not sold)
- PetSmart (look for the ones available to be adopted, not sold)
SUMMARY OF ADOPT A HAMSTER
Getting a hamster, in general, is a big commitment. But if you ever decide to have one as a pet, I really recommend you adopt a hamster instead of buying one. Give this little cutie the home it deserves.
I hope that this article about adopting a hamster gave you more reasons to rescue a hamster. Do you have any questions or want to share your thoughts about rescuing a hamster? Feel free to share it through the comment section below!