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Hamster Tails #1: There is joy in adopting a two year old hamster

by wiffy on October 17, 2008

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In the very first edition of Hamster Tails, we feature HH forum member Ospray, who adopted a hamster who is approximately 2 years old from a shelter.

In a world which favours new over used & young over old, it is heartwarming to find a hamster lover who chooses to adopt an older hamster. Read the whole story, written by Ospray herself.

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You may have your heart set on an adorable baby fuzz-ball, but don’t discount an older ham too quickly!

Pannie is my newly adopted Syrian hamster. According to the shelter I adopted him from, he is an older hamster at approximately 2 years old, but you would never guess his age because he is as active and mischievous as any young hamster!

ospray_pannie_collage

I chose to adopt Pannie because I felt that opening my home to a pet in need was something I wanted to do. Sure, I could have visited the nearest pet store and brought home a baby hamster in the blink of an eye, but why not instead offer my home and love to a hamster that maybe no one else would want because he is considered “too old”?

I have found there are several benefits to adopting an older hamster: an older ham is less rambunctious than a younger one so you may have less chewing issues and other behaviour problems that often come with a young hamster.

pannie_tail There are other reasons I chose to adopt from a shelter rather than buy my new fuzzy friend from a pet store. It is a sad fact that the vast majority of pet stores acquire the animals they sell from “mills” rather than responsible breeders. This means the animals may not adequately be taken care off, as these stores are trying to obtain the cheapest “stock” possible so that they can do one thing: make a profit. Many shelters have several hamsters at a time which are all looking for loving homes, so there is a good chance you will be able to find yourself a new friend. Most shelters have a small adoption fee to take home one their animals, but the money you are spending supports animal rescue and care rather than going to profit for a pet store. The shelter can also help you decide what type of pet, and even which particular pet is best for you and your lifestyle. It is in their best interest (and the best interest of the animal) to match pets and owners as best as possible to make sure both are happy with the new arrangement. The animal rescue or shelter often knows about the history, health, and behaviour of each particular animal – something a pet store can’t tell you!

If you are considering a new pet hamster, you may have your heart set on an adorable baby fuzz-ball, but don’t discount an older ham too quickly! I have found there are several benefits to adopting an older hamster: an older ham is less rambunctious than a younger one so you may have less chewing issues and other behaviour problems that often come with a young hamster.

I feel lucky that I am able to give Pannie the retirement he deserves in a nice big bin cage with lots of love, a wheel for running, and plenty of sunflower seeds.

I was lucky adopting Pannie because he had been handled often throughout his life, and he is a friendly little guy who doesn’t mind being picked up at all. Younger hamsters take time and patience to tame, and the ones you buy at a pet store often have no human interaction until you bring them home. Don’t forget, those little fuzz-balls grow up very quickly, and you will have an adult hamster on your hands sooner than you think. I feel lucky that I am able to give Pannie the retirement he deserves in a nice big bin cage with lots of love, a wheel for running, and plenty of sunflower seeds.

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Read all the issues here.



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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hamstergirl98 October 18, 2008 at 5:32 am

What an amazing story :D
Pannie is such a cutie and he must be very thankful for you to have welcomed him in to your home!

2 mikachewie October 19, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Awr. Pannie is so lucky <3! Older hammies often get over-looked, so providing her a loving home so she can live happily for the rest of her life is so awesome and kind.

3 HoppingHammy October 19, 2008 at 8:39 pm

This is such a sweet story, and a happy ending for Pannie. He is a cute little guy, I don’t know how anyone could pass him up just because he’s slightly older? You’re so kind for rescuing him, Ospray, because he probably would still be sitting at that place right now…or euthanized. :(

The first 2 photos are adorable, and I’ll admit he has quite a cute bum too!!

4 Ippo456 October 20, 2008 at 10:49 am

Aaww good for Ospray for adopting.
Even though hamsters have a relatively short lifespan, it’s sad that people still can’t keep them for the short period life that they have.

5 dusty October 20, 2008 at 3:12 pm

I think it’s great that a hamster can spend his “retirement” in a loving home. Good job on adopting him!

6 DolphinDreamer October 21, 2008 at 6:20 am

Such a great story! Pannie is such a lucky hamster! :)

7 fufiche October 22, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Lovely story! Pannie is very lucky to have you loving him. He looks very fuzzy and sweet to. :) I’m very happy for both of you.

8 FruitsCandy October 23, 2008 at 3:49 pm

This is a great story. He is so cute and a very lucky hamster! :)

9 mousyblack December 2, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Great story. My hamster, Hammy, is just over one year old and looks about the same age as Pannie! ;-)

10 genesisway February 2, 2009 at 10:41 am

I can tell than Pannie is very happy with his retirement. His ‘pension’ (cookie, house, love…) is something all hamsters will want in their lifetime. But not all will receive such a blessing.

You have a big heart to adopt Pannie during his old age.

11 Allie May 26, 2009 at 4:34 am

Can anyone tell me where to find an adoption center???

12 I June 19, 2009 at 4:27 am

awwwwwlllllllll what a cute story! i think thats good that pannie has a good home. :lol: :D :evil:

13 Ilovemyhammies November 13, 2009 at 4:58 am

:XO: Pannie is adorable! This has really inspired me to Rescue a hamster, rather than get one from a pet store. I wouldn’t mind an older hamster at all. My hamsters are 2 years old now and are just as mischievious and fun :lol:

14 LuvHammies June 12, 2010 at 6:28 am

That is so great that you adopted Pannie!! My guinea pig was 3 when I bought her and she just had babies so she was much more calm than the newborns!!

15 coco January 22, 2012 at 10:31 pm

i have a store bought hamster because i did not know of a shelter.my hamster’s name is coco. not mine. it was a good idea to adopt him. my hamster gets a little rambunctious when you hold him a long time. coco will also crawl in and out of your shirt.

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