Ban Treacherous Toy from Pet Stores

Target: David K. Lenhardt, Chief Executive Officer of PetSmart

Goal: Ban hamster balls from being sold in pet stores, as they pose a serious danger to pet hamsters

Most pet hamster owners purchase a plastic exercise ball so their hamster can run “freely” around their home. Though these toys are thought to be safe for hamsters, they pose many dangerous risks that could potentially take the life of these innocent creatures. Demand that pet stores, like PetSmart, stop selling hamster balls to protect these precious pets’ lives.

Though the topic is controversial, the risks outweigh the benefits of using hamster balls. For these tiny animals, running into a wall is similar to suffering a fender-bender accident in a car. This happens numerous times during each use of the ball, jolting the hamster’s body. It is far too easy for a hamster to accidentally fall down stairs during its use, instantly causing brain trauma and serious bodily harm, most likely causing them to die.

In addition to these obvious perils, these balls have been shown to provide poor ventilation, especially for a hamster who is working diligently to run and move the big, plastic ball with him. Without water and adequate air flow, the hamster is susceptible to exhaustion, even heatstroke. Heatstroke is a big concern with hamsters, as they quickly succumb to it in high temperatures and die soon after overheating if not given immediate attention by someone who is informed and trained on such treatment.

If these concerns were not enough, the plastic balls are generally not very well-made, with the door that opens the ball easily twisting off if the hamster runs into a wall or two during his excursion, freeing the hamster to escape into an even more dangerous situation. If a hamster escapes his ball, he is susceptible to electrocution, poisoning, starvation, if not found, and the predatory behaviors of larger animals in the vicinity. All this to see your pet hamster run around in a ball.

Demand that PetSmart, and other pet stores, stop selling hamster balls. Require employees to warn customers who are adopting hamsters of the dangers involved in using a hamster ball, to deter customers from shopping for these devices elsewhere. Save little lives by ending the use of hamster balls.


Dear David K. Lenhardt,

Please stop selling hamster balls in your stores. Hamster balls are an incredibly popular device for hamster owners, but have many risks that could lead to serious injury or even death in our precious pets. Hamsters can easily be injured in the ball, from running into walls or furniture, and can quickly fall down stairs, causing serious injury and death. The balls are poorly ventilated for the amount of exercise and exertion that their little bodies are putting forth to push themselves and the big plastic device. It is far too easy for hamsters to become dehydrated and exhausted, and can even lead to heatstroke in extreme situations.

Many hamsters do not like the ball, and often hamsters panic when put inside of such an enclosed space. It is cruel for pet owners to put their hamsters in these balls, for purely their own pleasure. Hamsters would rather run on their wheel, or climb on toys or in tubes that are placed in their enclosure. They enjoy being in their own environment, where their scent is marked, and they are free to roam, eat, drink and rest as they see fit.

Please stop selling hamster balls at your stores, and demand that your competitors do the same. Inform customers adopting hamsters at PetSmart of the dangers involved in using hamster balls, and suggest alternative toys to provide pet hamsters with instead. Hamster balls are dangerous, and are certainly not worth risking the lives of our precious little pets.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Paul Wells via Flickr

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