Thank goodness he squeaked. If he’d have stayed silent, we may never have known a tiny, helpless hamster was inside the pile of rubbish dumped on our hospital doorstep, and his potential fate doesn’t bear thinking about.
Kickers is a happy and healthy Syrian hamster now, who lives a cushy life with new owner Sam Murray.
She says: “I was so sad when I heard that this little guy had been dumped in the street; it was such a cold morning and anything could have happened to him.
"As soon as I saw him I just wanted to help him and give him a loving, warm home. He’s such a character and very clever. I’m glad I’ve been able to give him another chance at being a wonderful pet.”
Kickers is named after the branded shoebox he was placed in, inside an exercise ball. The box was wrapped in a plastic bag, which thankfully insulated him from the harsh frost of that cold January morning.
The sweet little thing was discovered by Blue Cross Veterinary Nurse Tracey Parnell right outside our Hammersmith hospital in West London on her way in to work.
Tracey said: “We are all shocked someone abandoned him as he could have easily escaped or got hypothermia or died from the freezing temperatures.
"He was very stressed and was squealing when I opened the ball up to see what was inside as I thought it was a bag of rubbish. It’s unusual for a hamster to make this noise and they only do in the most threatening or stressful of situations”.
We are all shocked someone abandoned him as he could have easily escaped or got hypothermia or died from the freezing temperatures." Tracey Parnell, Veterinary Nurse
We warmed him up and he started to eat straight away. Once settled he was examined by our vet and found to be fit, healthy and friendly, despite his ordeal.
Kickers was the second rodent within a week to be dumped outside a Blue Cross animal hospital inside an exercise ball, after rat Vivienne was found outside Victoria hospital just days before.
Kickers is now happy and loved. He’s being treated for mites when we visit him, so his ears look a little crusty. His Blue Cross Vet, Seb Prior, says the stress of being abandoned is the likely cause of the pesky pests increasing in number, and he’ll be just fine with treatment.
This hamster’s tale has a happy ending, and it’s all thanks to our wonderful supporters for making this possible.