A pet hamster was abandoned in his cage after he was left amongst bags of household rubbish which were due to be picked up by refuse collectors the following day.
The unwanted tan and white pet had been left in his enclosure at Penllyn, Cwmavon near Port Talbot, alongside bags of general waste. Luckily a member of the public noticed him moving around inside and contacted the RSPCA.
Several messages had been scribbled on the base of the cage in black pen including ‘name Harry’ ‘pick me up’ ‘I like food’ and ‘do not destroy.’
RSPCA animal rescue officer Paula Milton collected him on Thursday (2 March) after the kind-hearted person who found him the previous day kept him overnight.
She said: “Poor Harry had literally been thrown out with the rubbish. He’s friendly, in good condition and had been kept in a well-stocked enclosure, so he’d clearly been looked after in the past.
“It was a callous way to treat an animal and a very undignified ending for a pet who had presumably been a member of someone’s family. We know that financially it’s a very difficult time for many people right now, but abandoning animals is never the answer and we’d urge anyone who is struggling to reach out for help and support.”
Harry, who is a Syrian hamster, is now being cared for at Llys Nini Animal Centre in Penllergaer where he is doing well and has been renamed Hermon. Staff there will find him a loving new home in due course.
The cost of living crisis is thought to be behind the surge in abandonments that the RSPCA is seeing. Officers in Wales have dealt with a spate of recent incidents including:
A female cat and her four very young kittens found in a carrier in a wooded area in Blaenavon on 1 March, all of whom are now in RSPCA care.
Four newborn kittens – two of whom had sadly died – abandoned in a cardboard box next to a path in Ravenhill Park in Swansea on 24 February. The surviving kittens are being hand reared by an RSPCA inspector.
Two rabbits discovered in a cardboard box outside the charity’s Hartridge Farm Road animal centre on 22 February.
Three, six-week-old bunnies who’d been left under a climbing frame at a children’s play park in Newport on 4 February, also now in RSPCA care.
The RSPCA is providing dedicated cost of living support for worried pet owners, with a recently-opened telephone helpline on 0300 123 0650 and an online hub, which has lots of practical tips and advice, including details of pet food bank schemes.
Anyone with information about the incident in Cwmavon can contact the RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line, in confidence, on 0300 123 8018.