A preschool in Singapore is being exposed to allegedly being neglectful to a pet hamster and not providing proper care to it, resulting in the hamster being severely injured.
The hamster was kept in poor conditions after a fight with another hamster and was rescued from the school, which allegedly refused to surrender the second hamster.
The NParks group director for AVS, Jessica Kwok, said that they are currently investigating the case and will take “necessary and appropriate enforcement action against anyone who does not provide adequate care for their pet”.
Hamster Society’s statement
Meet Pamkin the hamster. She is unable to open her right eye and has suffered extensive injuries – an eye abscess, severe facial infection and swelling, multiple open wound and scabs, signs of skin infection and what looks to be a necrotic tail. According to the informant, she was weak, malnourished and dehydrated when found, and her hideout was caked with poop, pee, and fur.
How did all these happen?
Pamkin was owned by a local preschool as a classroom pet. She was also housed together with another male hamster (whom she eventually fought with and was injured by) and was brought home by one of the preschool students over the Chinese New Year long weekend, during which a visiting family member noted her appalling condition and took her under their care. They then brought her to the vet, leading to the surrender of Pamkin as the school was unable to afford the costs of veterinary care – a basic necessity of proper pet care.
At HSS, we have long advocated against having hamsters, or any living animal, as a classroom pet for various reasons (more on this in a future post) – one of it being that more often than not, when the animal becomes unwell, there is little to no responsibility taken to provide the animal with the necessary medical attention. This seems hypocritical as most would claim that classroom pets are used to instill a sense of responsibility in the children, or to encourage the children to care and love for nature.
We hope that @beanstalksingapore and @nparks_avs can enforce bans on schools owning live animals as classroom pets as we have encountered numerous cases of poor care of classroom pets and we strongly believe that there are more effective and ethical ways to teach children without the use of live animals.
To donate for Pamkin’s care and incurred veterinary bills, you may make a PayNow transfer to *payment details redacted* or refer to our donation page (https://www.hamstersociety.sg/donatenow).
In this case, while we are thankful that Pamkin was surrendered instead of being left alone (which she would have very likely succumbed to her injuries), it felt evident that there was inadequate research done on proper hamster care nor was the need of vet funds considered.
We are concerned about the other hamster, which fought with Pamkin, who is still under their care.
The school has also yet to contact us, or provide a contact, regarding Pamkin as all the arrangements up till now has been made with the parent and family.
Preschool refused to hand over second hamster
STATEMENT ON PAMKIN’S CASE
Pamkin was surrendered to us on 1 February 2023 and we have been taking the necessary steps to provide the care and medical attention she requires and deserves.
We are aware that there is a second hamster under the care of the preschool, amongst other animals. As the two hamsters were housed together, there is a likelihood that they may be in similar condition.
The school has declined our offer to take over the second hamster’s care. As we cannot force such surrenders, we can only hope that they will set a good example and provide proper husbandry and care.
We will be following up with the relevant authorities on the case of Pamkin