NOTE - Referring to your distress about hamsters (and any other critters) in those errant pet shops that don't want to listen to advice and continue to house these animals improperly:
Often the SPCA's hands are tied and they cannot and/or will not do anything about the size of habitats, mixed sexes, overcrowding as we know it, etc. There are no bylaws in SA about caged animals in terms of these necessary requirements and, as much as some branches say they do, they actually know precious little about proper care and the details of critters. SPCA can therefore only act if the animals are ill/injured, conditions are absolutely filthy, and if there is no food and water....and if the overcrowding is literally wall-to-wall.
The odd SPCA branch will be keen to learn and take some action but, for the rest, we're kind of on our own here. We've tried to reach out to NSPCA too, to no avail. You can reach out to Ban Animal Trading South Africa (BAT) to see if they can offer assistance by way of pressure or assistance (they do have more clout with NSPCA than what groups do).
But basically the only thing we can really do is to educate the public and continue to at least TRY to educate errant pet shops.
The good news is that many pet shops are starting to see that there is merit in updating their knowledge but, unfortunately, this is happening far too slowly to make a fast enough impact on stopping the cruelty.
Please support those good shops, particularly those that do not stock animals, and promote the hell out of them to get people away from the bad shops. Give them good reviews on Google and Facebook!
Herewith some places you can report cruelty to:
(It helps if you have photos and/or video footage to accompany your report)
Your local SPCA (or the branch closest to the offence) - contacts on this site: https://nspca.co.za/spcas-in-sa/
Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL):
- Online reporting http://www.aacl.co.za/report-animal-cruelty/
- Call the Inspectorate – contact details closest to the offence: http://www.aacl.co.za/our-inspectorate/
Ban Animal Trading (BAT): Online reporting http://www.bananimaltrading.org/index.php/contact-us
Animal Welfare Society: Google your closest branch.
The more complaints received by individuals, the better the chances of legal action being successful. Don't just rely on other people to report.
The wheel that squeaks the most, gets the oil!
For hamsters being kept with obvious lack of knowledge in pet shops, you may direct message any of the admins on the group (take note of POPIA and don't mention the name publicly) and we’ll be happy to try and offer them some advice and encouragement. Please provide as much contact detail (preferably email and/or website/FB page) and state what the problems are, as well as any good aspects within the shop.
If you see a person receiving outdated advice about hamsters at a pet shop, or looking like they are about to buy one, or you simply know of someone with a hamster but obviously lacking knowledge, PLEASE refer them to this website or our Facebook group. It may even be a good idea to download and print a few basic care sheets, not just for hamsters but where available for the other critters too, and keep on hand to give to someone who looks as if they're about to purchase something dodgy. SPREAD THE EDUCATION!
HAMSTERS SOUTH AFRICA
Please note that Hamsters South Africa IS NOT a charity, shelter or rescue organisation and will never ask for donations.
We may sometimes put out a request for donations (either financial or items) on behalf of a rescue organization, but full official details of that concern and plea will be provided, and any donations will need to be made directly to them.
If you ever receive a request for donations to Hamsters South Africa, please report immediately to one of the HSA Admins:
FACEBOOK GROUP ADMINS
Laura Esser - Group Admin
Keri Rall - Group Admin and owner of Keri's Custom Cabins
Robyn Chapman - Group Admin and owner of Robyn's Hamster Supplies
Sarah Mesham - Group Admin, Breeding & Genetics Advisor, and Founder of the Hamster Breeders Society of South Africa,
Owner of Hyggelig Hamster Haven SA
Tana Pressly - Founder and Group Admin
PLEASE TRY NOT TO SUPPORT THE TRADE OF LIVE ANIMALS VIA PET SHOPS.
ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!
FIND A SHELTER NEAR YOU, OR ASK ON YOUR COMMUNITY PAGES.