ENSURE YOU ARE PREPARED FOR A HAMSTER
The first thing you’ll need to do is read our Hamster Care Guide to ensure you’re up to date with everything your future pet will need to live a happy and healthy life with you. Even if you have kept hamsters before, it is important to check our care guide before applying to adopt – hamster keeping is an active hobby and guidance has changed significantly over the last few years.
CHECK YOU MEET OUR ADOPTION CRITERIA:
- Can and will meet the lifelong needs of their hamster
- Is seeking a personal or family pet and is not seeking a hamster for an education or business setting
- Is not intending to gift the hamster to another person or to surprise anyone in the home with the hamster
- Is an adult of 18 or older and can enter an adoption contract
- Adult named in the adoption application will be the hamster’s primary carer and children will always be adequately supervised when interacting with the pet
- Already has an entirely suitable setup ready for their chosen hamster
- Will keep the hamster’s living space indoors
- Will return the hamster to our care if their circumstances change and will not attempt to rehome the pet privately
- All members of the adopting household consent to bringing a new pet into the home
- Has full and express permission to bring a caged small animal into the home by the homeowner/landlord/agent and any other relevant parties
- No member of the household has ever been legally barred from owning hamsters
- Not expecting a significant change in living or financial circumstances that would affect care quality or ongoing affordability of the hamster
- Has permanent residence on the island of Ireland OR right to stay for a minimum of two years from the date of adoption
- Can make a safe space for the hamster enclosure where other pets and known hazards cannot affect the pet
- Can provide medical care as needed and has sourced an accessible exotic vet with emergency contact details
CHOOSE A HAMSTER
We prefer to match prospective adopters to hamsters based on their needs, personalities, and your keeper experience level to ensure as smooth a transition as possible from their foster home to your home, but we do list adoption profiles for all our current hamsters available for adoption on our website.
SOURCE AND SET UP YOUR ENCLOSURE
Remember that you will need to have a complete setup before adoption approval is granted – we do not rehome hamsters into “starter” setups or temporary accommodation.
Even if you have used an enclosure for a previous hamster – this does not mean it meets minimum requirements.
This is where the few keepers who fail our adoption checks are most likely to stumble, so please double-check your enclosure offers at least the minimum amount of usable floorspace in one level before applying.
You will then need to ensure you have enough substrate, adequate food, and suitable enrichment for your new pet. You can see some excellent examples of full hamster setups for a variety of species on our website.
COMPLETE THE ADOPTION FORM
Once your setup is ready and you are happy that you meet the Adoption Criteria, fill in the Adoption Form below. Answer every question in as much detail as you can and leave no blank responses – doing so will delay your application. Answer all questions truthfully – we do check into your answers and will ask for proof that you meet our criteria as needed.
HAVE A CHAT WITH US
We aim to review all applications as quickly as possible – we do not want to delay our hamsters from finding their forever family for any longer than necessary! Our team reviews the Hamster Info Ireland email accounts daily but do note that our volunteers may need to prioritise more urgent work over application processing during busy periods. Please be patient with us once you send in your application – check in using the contact page on the website only if you have had no response from us in one week.
We will organise a video call with you to discuss your interest further if we are happy with your written application. You do not need to prepare anything further for this interview, but you should be prepared to discuss your application, prove you meet any of the listed criteria, and show your completed setup in the call. We can adjust our process to facilitate access needs – let us know in the additional information box on your application if this applies to you and we will email you back with alternatives.
COOL OFF PERIOD
We will apply a ‘cooling off period’ of two weeks from date of application to hamster release date to prevent impulse purchasing, but once your form is signed for a specific hamster, they will be reserved for you and will not be homed to anyone else within that period. After that, your hamster will be ready for collection as agreed with your adoption manager – details vary depending on your circumstances and the location of your chosen hamster. Our rescue is home-based, so our fosterer volunteers will agree a pickup time in advance that suits both parties.
BRING YOUR HAMSTER HOME
Once we have approved you and matched you with a suitable hamster, it is time to sign the adoption contract and bring your pet home! Your adoption manager will provide the contract once your assessment is complete, usually on the same day of your videocall. The adoption fee will be discussed during the video call – the minimum adoption donation is €10 but enhanced donations help keep the charity running to rescue more hamsters. It costs around €140 to provide a new fosterer with a rescue kit to provide a hamster in need with a foster home for up to 3 months, so we make no profit for our charity on our adoption fees and rely on public fundraising to offset the deficit.
If you fail to collect your hamster at your pickup time without contacting us to explain, your chosen hamster will no longer be reserved for you, and you may need to complete a second two-week cool down to ensure you are committed to taking on a new pet.