Sunday, August 17, 2014
After having had several dozen hamsters over the past several years there comes a time when they get old or sick and all the attention and care you give them won't help them from dying. I do believe with my whole heart that when you decide to adopt a pet, no matter what kind of pet it is, you are responsible for the health and welfare of that pet. That means when your pet becomes sick you should take it to a veterinarian instead of letting it suffer.
I've had to take several of my Hamsters to the Vet's office and have them humanely put to sleep. Some of my family and friends can't understand why I would spend money on a rodent in that way. But they became part of the family and I loved them, so I could do nothing else.
I've heard and read that people think the humane thing to do for rodents is to gas them using your car's tailpipe and letting them slowly suffocate from carbon Monoxide. But this not a humane thing to do to any animal. My next door neighbor told me he would chop off my hamsters head and put him out of his misery and it wouldn't cost me a thing.
I just thought that was the most disgusting thing I had ever heard. Most people unless they have hamsters as pets don't understand how attached we get to them and I think if you are going to take care of a hamster, then you have a responsibility to make sure they don't suffer when they get sick. It doesn't cost all that much to take them to the vet's office and have them put to sleep and it's the most humane thing you can do.
So before you think about getting a pet, consider whether or not you are willing to take care of it if it gets sick, or if your going to let it suffer.
Another thing to consider is who is the Hamster or other animal for? If you are buying the animal for a relative as a gift, they may not want it after a while and the animal may get taken to a shelter or given away.
I personally have rescued many hamsters from my neighbors and daughters friends after they were given the hamsters by their parents or relatives and the kids got tired or bored with them. The parents didn't want to be bothered with the animal since it was supposed to be the child's animal and they end up giving it away. Thankfully these animals were given to a good home.
Most times people just don't consider all that goes into owning a pet. For instance they think they can buy a hamster and leave it in it's cage and everything will be fine. But hamsters just like other pets need and thrive on stimulation and love.
One of my neighbors was going to just throw away her sick and dying hamster, just put it in the dumpster and go buy and new one. I took the sick hamster and tried feeding it canned dog food. Sometimes they get old and weak and can't chew the seeds anymore. The hamster perked up and lived for five more months. Probably more happy than it had ever been.
Then when he started having trouble walking I made the appointment and asked the Vet if I should have him put to sleep. I told her how I got him and we both cried as I put him in the box I brought with me to the Vet's office after he had been put to sleep using the small gas chamber. It only took seconds and he felt no pain. I took him to a spot in the mountains that I take all my hamsters to and dug a hole and buried him next to all the other hamsters I'd had.
Even though I had only had this hamster for five months I grieved for him, just as I had for all my other hamsters. But thankfully I know that he was happy for a little while and died knowing he was loved.
So before you buy a pet think about what you would do if it gets sick. If the answer is nothing, then reconsider getting a pet at all.
Posted by Mary Kirkland at 12:00 AM