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Old 06-06-2012, 02:04 AM   #1
Bozly's Family
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: California
Posts: 167
Exclamation Adoption in the US (Tips)

I just wanted to write a short biddy about some avenues for hammy adoption in the U.S. For a long time, I solely looked at PetFinder for hamsters in need of adoption, but over the last few months I've discovered some other avenues and wanted to share them with other Americans on the forum. Hope this post can help at least one person looking to provide a good home and lots of love for a hammy in need

1. City & county animal shelters
In California, city and county animal shelters are legally required to keep animals for at least four days after they are impounded before putting them down. I'm not sure if the state is also required to put all of their animals online, but the Los Angeles shelter systems at least put most of them online immediately after they are taken in (some shelters have different sections for lost/found animals and animals up for adoption; I suggest looking through both sections). I was surprised to find a number of hamsters on the city and county shelter's websites each day I checked the last few weeks; the shelters cross-list a few of their available dogs on Pet Finders, but I never see them listing any hamsters. Moreover, there are possibly more hamsters that the shelters are holding beyond what is listed on their websites. Whereas adoption agencies that rescue hamsters from shelters or from owners who relinquish them sometimes have the resources necessary to foster their hamsters for longer periods of time, city and county shelters are not obligated to do so (additionally, I have noticed that these hamsters are often kept in large groups in one small cage)- so these hamsters are in URGENT need of homes.

2. Adoption agencies
Several adoption agencies, which claim animals from shelters or receive relinquished pets directly from owners, do hamster rescue, and some are even dedicated entirely to small animal rescue. I've found many hamsters to adopt from these agencies through

3. Online classifieds
(eBay Classifieds (Kijiji) - Post & Search Free Local Classified Ads., Marketplace in North Branch, CraigsList)
There are always hamsters available on my local CraigsList, Oodle, or Kijiji (eBay Classifieds) listings, either by local breeders (who probably shouldn't be breeding but are just trying to make a buck) or by owners. Many of these hamsters are unfortunately listed as "free"- while I'm sure the owners list them as such because their agenda is to provide a good home for the animal, rather than to make money, I am always worried that these hamsters are being picked up for snake food. I always hope that these hamsters get adopted by good homes before that can happen, but I'm not a reptile owner nor lover. Another good reason to adopt from online classifieds is that most of the hamsters available on these websites come with their former homes, food, and toys, which provides a nice starter kit for the new owner at a discounted price.

4. Pet store
Petco, Petsmart
When I recently asked a store clerk at Petco about one of the robo hamsters available for sale in the tank, the clerk told me that there was also a wonderful litter of robos in the back that had just been turned in by a family and were up for free adoption. Yet there was no sign for this adoption anywhere in the store like there was for the cat adoption happening in-store that day, so these hamsters could have missed some great opportunities to go home with families looking for a new member. Luckily, several of the robos were adopted out just the day before and I'm sure the rest are all in good homes now as well- they were pretty irresistible. However, the incident made me realize that it's not a bad idea to ask about available hamsters for adoption in-store, even if the store doesn't use PetFinder (either directly or through an agency) to list them.
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