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November 28, 2007

Comments

Mike

God created hamsters to show us that beauty and evil can coexist.

Vera

I think your experiences are quite subjective. I have had 6 Syrians over the years, one at a time and each always was a cherished pet. They were amazingly tame and practically never bit me. And if they did, it was most likely a tiny nibble cos my finger would smell of food.

Have to agree on that hamsters arent the best pets for kids though. They are quite small and fragile and if not tamed and handled properly they will most likely bite at least sometimes. But they are really easy to tame, just need to handle them daily. Mine would never bite me and were really tame to handle. Could even check their teeth with ease.

I find it surprising if you really work in a pet store and I would guess it is not such a good one. Hamsters do not smell! They spend hours a night grooming themselves and are almost as clean as a cotton ball.

A dirty small cage will smell if not cleaned often enough. A spaceous cage cleaned once a week will not smell.

I find it sad hamsters are bought to small kids, who dunno how to handle them. They can be a great pet even for a teenager/adult and a great substitute if one can't/don't want a cat/bunny/dog. I find them the tamest and cuddliest of small rodents. My experiences say, about gerbiles are limited, but they are much quicker and like people lot less.

And well, I suppose not even all adults know how to take care of one properly or more likely don't bother. I wish ppl would not buy "just a small hamster" if they will not care for it.

DSM Fish Gal

In reply to Vera:

No, the pet store I used to work at wasn't good, but it's part of a popular national chain -- the Walmart of pet stores, I like to call it. It was a temporary job, lasting less than a year because of the animal conditions witnessed time and time again.

The point is though that the place was/is popular and people continue purchasing hamsters, other rodents, rabbits, birds and fish from there, and the hamsters and gerbils (as with all the animals sold there) were shipped from distribution centers and before that from what amounts to pet mills. So no, it isn't realistic, I don't feel, to expect those hamsters to be properly socialized or to make good pets for the average consumer.

Part of the problem might lie with the public's ignorance as pet-parents to hamsters, but much of it also lies with how these animals are treated before they ever reach your home, how they're bred in massive quantities and trucked all across the country.

Perhaps there are small-scale hamster breeders out there who actually care about the animal's welfare and placing them in good homes, but pet stores do not qualify as such. And that's the only point of reference I can speak from.

Hamster Cage

The little white one looks like he prefers peanuts as his fare!

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