May 23 2012 by Graham Miller, Wishaw Press
Tom Thumb the hamster
A TINY hamster was cruelly dumped inside an exercise ball and left in a supermarket shopping basket last week.
The Scottish SPCA were alerted after an eagle-eyed shopper noticed the helpless animal at ASDA in Motherwell.
The male roborovski hamster was taken to the SSPCA Lanarkshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre, where he has been affectionately named Tom Thumb.
Inspector Sam McDonald said: “Tom Thumb is very small, no bigger than two inches, and was understandably very frightened when he was found.
“Abandoning Tom Thumb was an extremely cruel thing to do and whoever did this couldn't have known he would be found by someone who would help.
“The supermarket is close to a residential area so it's possible the person who dumped him lives nearby.
He added: “Tom Thumb is still really nervous but is in good overall condition and we'll find him a loving home.”
Abandoning an animal is an offence and anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life. Anyone with information should contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.