The Florida Hamster Fiasco

The Florida Fiasco has begun! Of course, by Florida Fiasco we mean a large intake of 150+ syrian hamsters are traveling to The Pipsqueakery this Friday May, 26th. Ultimately we plan to transfer many of these hamsters to other rescues for adoption all over the country, but before we do that we have to make sure they are healthy, past any pregnancy risks, and relatively adoptable.

Here’s their story. On Monday, May 22, 2017 a man brought 75+ hamsters into a shelter in Florida, thus beginning The Florida Fiasco. He told the employee doing the intake know that he had a large number of hamsters still at home but since he couldn’t afford the surrender fee he just brought some of them. That wonderful employee let him know that if he brought all of the hamsters in the next day the surrender fee would be waived. An hour and a half after the intake that employee contacted me asking for help and agreed to drive the hamsters all the way to us if we could get the go-ahead for a transfer. Unfortunately, by mid-afternoon that same day many of the females from the initial intake had been euthanized because they could have been pregnant and most shelters simply aren’t equipped to handle an intake that large when it could have easily tripled in numbers because of the pregnancies. At 3:30 I got ahold of the director of the shelter and offered our assistance officially as up until that point I had only been in contact with an employee of the shelter. We knew that we had to act quickly if we hoped to save the rest of the hamsters from euthanasia.

The next day, May 23, 2017, the same man brought another 75+ hamsters to the shelter. At this point we had not yet worked out a transfer arrangement, but we tried to make it clear that there was no need to euthanize healthy females. We were sure we could handle all of them, and for us it would make more sense to emergency spay or even euthanize the litters after birth for the health of the mother. However, we knew that the unfortunate reality was that shelters have to make tough choices and the females from this group were also euthanized.

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, we reached an agreement with the director of the shelter to transfer the remaining 93 hamsters (plus several litters of babies) to The Pipsqueakery. Their employee was willing to do the driving and The Pipsqueakery was willing to fund the costs of the transport.

That brings us to today! It’s time for us to start fundraising to help these furry little critters. We need donations to help cover the cost of extra bedding, extra food, veterinary care, a few chew toys, the inevitably destroyed water bottles, transport costs, and all the other little things that it takes to do a rescue this big. I know the goal of $10,000 seems high, but it comes out to us spending approximately $100 to save each hamster which is actually pretty reasonable. Of course, some hamsters will not require any extraordinary care so they won’t be nearly that expensive to rescue, but some hamsters will also likely need veterinary care and even surgery to get to the point where they are adoptable. This money will go towards all of their basic needs, any veterinary care they need, and the expenses associated with transport (which is actually really expensive).

Please help us save the Florida Fiasco hamsters by making a donation through our, donating supplies from our Amazon wishlist at or going to to find other ways to help us.

Thank you so much to the wonderful people at the shelter and all of you wonderful supporters!
  • Alex Guillen 
    • $5 
    • 56 mos
  • Victoria Fowlks  
    • $30 
    • 56 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 61 mos
  • Naked Sheep Knits 
    • $15 
    • 63 mos
  • Jasmin Smith 
    • $5 
    • 63 mos
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Alex Michelle 
Bloomington, IN