SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Authorities are looking for the person or persons responsible for leaving more than fifty hamsters out in the heat at an area pet store.
All of the hamsters are okay, but the manner in which they were dropped off was not. It’s considered animal cruelty and punishable by up to a year in jail and a $20,000 fine.
The happy hamsters are now hoping for a home. In all, from large to small, it’s hard to believe they all fit in several cages. But that’s how someone left them outside the Petsmart at Watt and Arden.
“I think that’s horrible,” said one woman passing by.
An employee found them around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and called animal control.
“The call came in as 44. As they came in and we started counting…we found 54,” said Dawn Fisher, a Sacramento County Animal Services officer.
The hoard of hamsters was then transported to the Bradshaw Animal Shelter.
“They are all very healthy, very active, very friendly,” Fisher said.
Authorities suspect the hamsters outgrew their home quickly, overwhelming the owner.
“They probably just bought a few and had them in one cage and they just multiply so fast,” said Fisher.
A female will be ready to breed in two months. Gestation is two to three weeks and then they are ready to breed again in another two to three weeks.
Several of the females in the group are pregnant and there are about a half dozen babies. They’re all up for adoption at a special price: two for $5.
“Their lifespan is a couple years. So they aren’t a long-term commitment. So people looking for something short-term. They are good little pets,” said Fisher. “I’m sure as we get out on social media more… we’ll have more people coming in.”
If authorities are able to track down the owners they could face abandonment charges. There is actually a task force with the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office now devoted to animal cruelty cases.
But so far no video has been released of the person who dropped the hamsters off.