#trending: Hamsters found neglected, dead and rotting at Hougang HDB common area
PARIS, FRANCE — According to Instagram posts from Hamster Society (Singapore) posted on Saturday (June 4), the non-profit group said that they were alerted to a case of severe negligence of several Syrian and dwarf hamsters at Blk 709 Hougang Ave 2.
SINGAPORE — Several Syrian and dwarf hamsters were found severely neglected at Block 709 Hougang Avenue 2, the Hamster Society (Singapore) said in an Instagram post on Saturday (June 4).
The non-profit group said that it does not "usually interfere" in such incidents but when it found out that the hamsters had not been fed or given water in days, it "had to intervene".
Since Saturday evening, its initial post has attracted more than 1,800 likes and 130 comments, with many expressing shock and grief at the state of the hamsters.
The society said that the owners had used the building’s common area to house the hamsters, and their volunteers arrived to find the creatures dead and rotting — in the same cages as the surviving ones.
Maggots, mummified carcasses, and "a stench of death and ammonia from pee and poo" left them horrified.
Responding to TODAY's queries via WhatsApp on Monday, one of the society's volunteers, Serena Sim, 26, said that a total of 14 hamsters in five cages had been found in the common area. Of these, three were already dead, and the surviving ones were in "quite terrible condition".
"The owner kept them in pairs or trios even though hamsters are strictly solitary and will fight if kept in the same cage," said Ms Sim.
Volunteers on the scene also found that, despite the sweltering heat of late, the hamsters were not provided even clean drinking water.
Suffering from extreme overheating, hunger, and dehydration, they “gobbled up everything” when offered water and fruit by kind passers-by.
The society suspects that the survivors might even have turned to cannibalism, since the deceased hamsters’ bodies were “completely hollowed out with bones sticking out”.
The survivors have been sent to a veterinary clinic and will be in quarantine while they undergo rehabilitation in foster care.
Ms Sim added that the society had spotted a sign dated May 27 posted by Aljunied-Hougang Town Council giving the owners a week's notice to clear the cages from the common area.
"It was already seven days when we went to rescue the hamsters", said Ms Sim.
Some online users pointed out that the owners seemed to have some knowledge of hamster care, expressing concern that the owners may have met with a mishap leaving them unable to continue caring for the hamsters.
In response, the society said that “the hamsters were not abandoned” but were severely neglected while still in the owners’ care. It has reported the case to the Animal & Veterinary Services (AVS).
As for the surviving hamsters, which are now in foster care, major challenges still lie ahead.
According to Ms Sim, the fosterers have noted more health issues popping up as the days go by, such as diarrhoea, which is usually induced by stress or parasites.
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