Caring for pets, be it a large dog or a tiny hamster, is a huge responsibility.
Unfortunately, we often hear of owners who fail to care for the animals that rely on them, resulting in abandonment cases.
On Sunday (5 Sep) night, Hamster Society Singapore (HSS) volunteers rescued 8 abandoned Syrian hamsters from a drain near Bukit Batok Nature Reserve.
Some of the hamsters suffered abrasions, cuts, and suspected bites from predators.
On Sunday (5 Sep) at 11pm, a jogger informed HSS that they came across several abandoned hamsters in a drain at the carpark of Bukit Batok Nature Reserve.
The jogger saw about 5 or 6 of them, but cyclists who came before them mentioned there were about 8.
HSS immediately activated volunteers, who rushed down to the scene. Surveying the area, they got worried.
The drain was not just long; it was also wet with water flowing downstream.
There was a chance the hamsters could have been swept away by the current. To make matters worst, the conditions of the search were not ideal in the darkness.
Nonetheless, the volunteers hunkered down and got to work.
After about an hour, they managed to find 4 hamsters. 2 were clinging on for dear life on a drain hole while the other 2 were at the end of the drain, near the jungle where they could have fallen prey to wild animals.
The volunteers then continued scouring the area and found a black hamster.
Image courtesy of Hamster Society Singapore
After over an hour of searching, at about 12.15am, they located the last 3 hamsters hiding underneath a concrete slab.
With that, all 8 hamsters were found and accounted for.
However, this was not the end of the ordeal for some of these hamsters.
A few of them were found with abrasions, cuts, and suspected bite marks from predators.
Speaking to MS News, an HSS spokesperson said they suspect these hamsters had been part of a mercy release.
All 8 were released simultaneously, and it happened to fall on the last day of the Hungry Ghost Festival.
HSS urges people to reconsider practising mercy releases because when done without consideration of the animal’s survival, it can be cruel.
They also reminded the public to do their research before buying or adopting a hamster.
HSS urged owners not to abandon their hamsters. If need be, owners should surrender their pets to reputable animal shelters like HSS.
Kudos to HSS and their dedicated volunteers for rescuing these hamsters.
Many of them are still in need of medical attention. To support HSS and help cover such expenses, you can donate to them. More details can be found here.
If you come across abandoned animals, contact the respective animal welfare groups and report the abandonment to Animal and Veterinary Services (AVS) via 1800-476-1600 or their website here.
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Featured image courtesy of Hamster Society Singapore.
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