Small Angels Rescue has rescued more than 1,000 hamsters since it was founded in 2003. One of our most memorable moments was back in January of 2010 when we were alerted to some hamsters that were part of a group of 26,000 animals seized from a Texas exotic animal dealer in an undercover investigation. They found animals languishing without food, water or vet care in overcrowded, unsuitable conditions.
After a judge ordered the dealer to turn over the animals to rescuers, Small Angels was asked to take in a number of roborovski and dwarf hamsters who had been seized in the raid. We couldn’t take in all the hamsters we were asked to, but we found spots for 30 of them. A volunteer kindly drove them up from their temporary holding location in Norfolk, VA and we sexed them and quickly sorted them into their new foster homes.
The hammies were somewhat traumatized when they first came into the rescue; they clearly hadn’t been handled much and with all the changes they’d been through, and they were scared of people. They’d also obviously had little exposure to toys and other forms of enrichment and began exploring these with gusto in their new foster homes. We were grateful to have the chance to step in and offer them all better lives! Some of the roborovski hamsters were in poor health and passed away not long after coming into the rescue. But, we’re pleased to report that the rest thrived and were either adopted out or remained in the care of our loving foster homes!
Different Types of Hamsters
There are more than 20 kinds of hamsters in the wild, but only a few have been domesticated. Classic Golden, or Syrian Hamsters are usually about 6 to 8 inches long and weigh 3 to 5 ounces. They are colorblind and see their surroundings in black and white. They come in many colors. One variety is the Teddy Bear, or Long-haired. Golden or Syrian hamsters are solitary animals. If kept together, they will fight, sometimes to the death. Even though pet stores often house Syrians together, this is a harmful situation for the animals. It leads to competition, aggressiveness, unsanitary conditions, and, in the case of mistaken sexing, babies.
The Campbell’s Russian Dwarf Hamster is about 2 to 3 inches long, 1 to 2 ounces, and round and fuzzy with plentiful fur on his tail and feet. The Winter White Russian hamster is similar but a bit smaller and turns white in winter. The dwarf has delicate feet, a soft coat, compact physique and a dorsal stripe running down his back. Other species are Chinese and roborovski hamsters—variations on the dwarf hamster. Dwarf hamsters, are sociable and prefer each other’s company. They are best kept in same-gender pairs if they have been together since birth.
Please check out our following care guides for more information on hamsters:
Please consider supplementing your hamsters base diet with our recommended food mix recipe:
To see our adoptable hamsters, check them out on Petfinder.
When you are ready to adopt, please complete our application.
The adoption fee for hamsters is $10 each for the first three animals, then $5 each thereafter.