Published: 13:00, 03 September 2021
| Updated: 17:38, 07 September 2021
An appeal has been launched after a hamster was found abandoned in a garden in Dartford.
The RSPCA was contacted after the pet was found by a member of public round the corner of their house near the path in Ridge Way.
She was discovered inside a cage with a gift bag full of food, bedding and cleaning spray early on Wednesday morning.
The hamster, now named Pom Pom, was collected by RSPCA Inspector Rosie Russon.
She said: “This poor hamster was abandoned in her cage and left for a member of the public to find round the corner of their house.
"Thankfully, she is in good health but we would always urge anyone who is struggling to care for their pet to never abandon them like this.
Rosie believes the presence of food and accessories suggests someone left her hoping they would care for her.
But she pleaded with owners to "never abandon your pets", adding: "We understand that people’s circumstances can change which may mean they can no longer care for their pets but we would urge anyone who is struggling to please reach out for help from friends or family, or charities like ourselves who can find a suitable home for them."
The charity is now appealing for information and asks anyone who may have seen something overnight or early on Wednesday to call on 0300 123 8018.
Pom Pom is now in the care of another RSPCA officer, Inspector Kirsten Ormerod, until she can be rehomed by the RSPCA's Medway branch.
Sadly, the charity does see lots of small pets such as hamsters and guinea pigs being abandoned.
The charity says they are often seen as an easy "start pet" for children but just like all pets, they are complex animals and require time and patience to care for.
Google searches for "Hamsters for sale" saw a 200% increase in July last year compared to 2019 as the pandemic saw pet ownership rise significantly.
The RSPCA Medway branch has seen an influx of small pets coming into its care and is concerned many people who bought pets during lockdown are now giving them up as they go back to school and offices.
For more information on caring for hamsters click here.
To donate to the RSPCA’s Cancel Out Cruelty campaign and help the organisation to rescue animals in need, click here.