Clarification in Response to an Online Post
9 October, 2023
We are aware of an online post alleging the mistreatment of hamsters under our care and wish to clarify them.
Children learn about responsibility, kindness and empathy when they learn to care for their pets. Many parents have also appreciated the learnings.
Pumpkin is one of two hamsters who were donated as a pair to Little Skool-House (Downtown East) in December 2022 and became the centre’s adopted pets. The children were taught how to handle and care for the hamsters, and, together with the teachers, took good care of them.
From cleaning the cage every two days, to ensuring fresh food and water are always available, the hamsters were not just well-taken care of but were loved by the children and teachers.
Over holidays or weekends when there was no one at the centre , children would sometimes take the hamsters home to care for them with their families. At such times, the teacher would pack food for the hamsters and share care instructions with the parents.
Pumpkin was healthy and in good condition when she left the centre for the holidays. After a few days, we were informed that she had sustained an injury. At that point, we offered to take over the care of the hamster but the carer suggested allowing Pumpkin to rest and recover in place for a while. Unfortunately, Pumpkin took a turn for the worse and we were informed by the carer that urgent care was required and she had been asked by HSS to ‘surrender’ Pumpkin. As our priority was Pumpkin’s wellbeing, we agreed to the urgent demand to surrender her.
While the statements made online suggested that we mistreated the hamsters, we would like to emphasise that our teachers and parents are committed to providing the best care they could for the pets. We also fully cooperated with ECDA and the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) to investigate the incident and no further action was advised. The other hamster in our care has also been certified to be healthy by a vet.
We thank everyone for their concern and wish to reassure all that we continue to take good care of all pets in our care.