PETALING JAYA, Jan 15 — Some Malaysian pet shops are seeing increased sales of pet hamsters in conjunction with the upcoming Chinese New Year.
This presents a worrying dilemma for pet shelters who are forced to deal with unwanted animals once the novelty of owning a furry friend wears off.
The Star quoted Johor-based pet store assistant Mohn Daniel Hafizuddin who said more customers are buying hamsters, who are members of the rodent family, to usher in the Year of the Rat.
Many customers also expressed a keen curiosity about the tiny critters and would visit the shop to find out more about them.
Despite this, Mohn Daniel cautioned first-time owners to read up on the habits and needs of hamsters before purchasing one and not to assume that they were easy to take care of.
SPCA Johor Baru vice-president Dr Edwin Singam urged people to be responsible when getting a pet and avoid getting one just because it was a “trend” to do so.
“During the Year of the Dog, many pet owners adopted or bought the animal as pets but they ended up giving it away or leaving it on the street.
“I hope this does not happen again. Those who want to get hamsters should really think about it.
“You should get it only because you really want to care for it,” he told The Star.