On June 23, a large number of hamsters have been abandoned in Yoshida Park in Niigata prefecture.
A woman walking in the park found abandoned 25 Djungarian hamsters which were put in 9 plastic cases. Hamster foods and water were served in the cases. The woman reported it to the police. Then hamsters were rescued by the local animal care center. Three hamsters had already died before rescue.
To abandone animals is against the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals. Its Article 44, Section 3 says, a person who has abandoned a protected animal shall be punished by a fine of not more than one million yen (=$10,000).
Basically the animal care center does not take hamsters under their care. They keep only cats and dogs. The center is temporarily keeping the hamsters as an exceptional case, and looking for new owners.
Rescued hamsters were
8 adult hamsters (3 males, 5 females, of which 3 are pregnant)
14 juvenile hamsters (7 males, 7 females)
Photo: Abandoned pregnant hamster
Photo from Niigata animal care center
By July 3rd, 11 juvenile hamsters were transferred to voluntary new owners. 5 adult hamsters (3 males, 2 females) and 3 juvenile hamsters (2 males, 1 female) are still waiting for new owners.
Note: The center says “5 adults have not been transferred yet”. I think three pregnant hamsters are not to the subject for the transfer.
The voluntary new owner must agree the condition that the owner keeps only one hamster in one cage (=keeps hamsters separately), because hamsters fight each other.
News source is Niigata prefecture government.
July 7th update:
New owners of all hamsters except pregnant hamsters were determined.