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January 14, 2012

Man surrenders 94 hamsters to MSPCA

LAWRENCE — More than 90 hamsters were found in one man's apartment, well-cared for and kept in aquariums, buckets and Tupperware containers.

The Boehm Street man had 94 hamsters in total and decided on his own it was just too many. He went to the MSPCA's Small Animal Shelter at Nevins Farm in Methuen last week to let officials there know he had a large number of hamsters he wanted to surrender.

"The situation was not dire, so we asked him to wait a week so we could prepare for them," said Mike Keiley, director at the Methuen shelter.

Keiley said the man planned to take a cab to the shelter to turn over the hamsters. Instead, the MSPCA officials sent a van with two workers and the city's Animal Control Officer Ellen Bistany to the home yesterday to pick them up.

"He started with one hamster, and there got to be more and more," Keiley said.

Keiley said the man knew he was running out of room for the hamsters.

"They are all in good health and will make nice pets for people," Keiley said. "There are just many, many of them. He ran out of space for them and that's when he came in."

Keiley said some of the hamsters would be sent to other shelters in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Those shelters would take from three to 12 of the animals each. He said the hamsters remaining at the shelter would be put up for adoption for a $10 fee.

Bistany said the man was emotional at giving up his beloved pets.

"He was overwhelmed," she said. "At first, he wanted to keep a couple of them, but then he changed his mind."

The man had been keeping the hamsters for about five years, officials said.

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