I know many people think of hamsters as disposable pets. But they are not. They're still living animals and they have been domesticated and bred to be at your disposal, so they deserve your love and care and attention as much as any pet.
Yesterday, some lovely people dropped off another litter of dwarf hamsters at the shelter. The details were vague on where the mother was, and while they said the babies were 2 weeks old, they look even younger.
These little ones are tiny, and scrawny, and they should still be with their mom. Five arrived but by the end of today, they were down to three. I have many things I'd like to say to the people who dumped them at the shelter.
Luckily the people at TAS South are wonderful and did everything they could to get the little ones to eat and fatten up.
They're eating seed, but they're not really eating enough and they needed a mom to snuggle up to in the nest to stay warm. Well, I had a fat, fluffy mom whose babies were getting pretty grown up.
The original litter are a month old now and they were starting to beat up Molly for some reason, so we brought these new guys home to see if Molly would accept them. We had fingers crossed - it could go very badly or very well.
Molly is a super-mom! She groomed each one of them and was not aggressive at all. In fact she nonchalantly joined them in eating, which is an excellent example. It was pretty sad to see the little ones chase her around trying to nurse (she doesn't have milk anymore), but they should have a chance.
We've already named these guys, since we felt they deserved names at least. The one who has the best chance is Lucky - he looks very healthy and he stuffs his face. He got his name because an....interesting...event.
A few minutes after I'd put their cage on the table, I was talking to my mom. Suddenly she looked down and said, "Hamster!"
And lo, there was a baby hamster running past my foot. I grabbed him and we wondered HOW he'd gotten there - we quickly figured it out:
The little bugger was so small he could fit through the cage bars! What are the chances he'd jump off our table and run right over to my foot, and mom would look down at that moment? Pretty slim. Plus, he is really lucky he didn't do that at the shelter! Hence the name. We have now transferred Lucky and his makeshift family to an escape-proof tank.
Nicky is the scrawniest I think, poor little thing. She got her name from a nick in her ear. When we put Molly in she practically threw herself at the surrogate mama.
Riff-Raff is pretty scrawny himself. One of his ears is half torn off, which is where he got his name.
I'm crossing my fingers for this tiny hammies, and hoping we've given them a fighting chance. Time will tell!