Pet Station’s Free Hamster Giveaway… I still got burning questions

This storm has obviously blown over… but I’d like to keep track of such happenings. While things are now quiet, there are still questions that don’t seem to have been addressed:

1. What is Pet’s Station going to do about the designated “Free-Gift” hamsters?

Note these requirement on the AVA’s own PET SHOP LICENCE CONDITIONS (2) DISPLAY AND SALE OF SMALL MAMMALS* (pdf format):


12. Each animal in the shop must be accounted for. The source of an animal, its date of arrival in the shop (and Singapore), the medical history and date of purchase / release to the buyer should be available.

I can only hope that the grading of Pets’ Station will be revised.

2. Will the AVA take into consideration this near-violation of of the licence agreement when considering Pets’ Station annual licence renewal request?


14. The shop should be able to show that customers have been duly provided with relevant information relating to their purchase of the animal. For example, the shop could implement a checklist or sales agreement initialled by the customer to acknowledge that relevant information has been provided. Information provided to customers should include the following:

(a) Details of the animal – the breed and whether it comes with a pedigree certificate; its age & sex;

(b) Advice on care of the animal;

(c) Conditions for refund / replacement, if any.

Seriously, for a free-gift, will the staff even bother with any parts of this regulatory requirement?

And look, with the original proposal to give the hamsters away at a roadshow, wasn’t this a SECOND regulatory requirement that would have been violated? Do the AVA, and in fact the petshops it grants pet-selling licence to, even know the regulatory requirements that actually govern the pet-selling licence?


15. All animals must be kept in their designated display areas approved by AVA. Any change of location of the animal display area must be approved by AVA.

Actually, the galling thing is the cost of the licence:


Pet shop licence fee: S$126 / annum

Application fee*: S$94.50

*The application fee is a one-time, non-refundable fee that is payable for all pet shop applications and for updates to pet shop licences requested by the licensee.

3. How many such incidences have happened? This particular incident was in the limelight because it was a large scale promotion involving a government related body. What about small-scale animal-giveaway promotions that take place within a petshop’s premises? Check out the “Pet shop best practices” on the AVA site. I particularly like this:

Customer Education & Service

25. The shop has a system, e.g. a checklist, to screen customers to determine whether they will make responsible owners.

26. The shop does not sell animals to children not accompanied by adults.

27. The shop provides good customer and after sales service.

30. The shop practises good business ethics and honours all agreements.

I just want to say rats smell more fragrant.

Here’s the chronology:

This is the first post

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Free Hamster?

I was sent this by Chinky – and I have to say I was shocked. Here is the coupon. Thanks Chinky for bringing this to my attention so I can post it here. This is terrible – when you buy accessories, you get a free hamster? Apparently you normally get a free hamster for $35, but now you can get one for only $25 if you are a Passion Card member at their Tiong Bahru Atrium sale later this month.Please write in to Pets’ Station at this email address and tell them to stop giving out free hamsters. You can also write to them at their feedback form.

Please also do write to Peoples’ Association to tell them that they should not be supporting this under their Passion Card. Passion Card’s contact details are here.

Update : Pet Station just wrote back to say that they are canceling the promotion. The PA also wrote back to say the promotion is off. Thanks to everyone who did write in!

Click on the post title to read the comments… I cannot understand the Anonymous’ stand that it is ok to get a free hamster. Among the tec minions’ pre-kitty managerie, we had a large number of hamster. As kids we had no idea just how prolific they are. Our parents were also taken by surprise. After a few stork visits which exhausted our list of potential (and still willing hamster adopters) we hit on the bright idea of separating the males from the females. This stopped the storks, but it still didn’t stop our hamsters from developing reproductive system problems, most commonly womb cancer after they get past their first year. It is small comfort that our hamsters tend to live to about 2 years of age, quite advanced for the little furries.

And in addition, we find abandoned hamsters from time to time. Once was a large cage by the roadside – red ants were already crawling all over and agitating the six hamsters trapped inside. The most recent time was when btmao was out feeding in Area2. In a landscape trough outside one of the blocks, she saw something wriggly. While the then resident community cat ate just a metre away, she checked out the trough and saw baby hamsters scuttling about. I brought a pail and we managed to find 6, while trying to stave off the kitty’s advances. After an hour, we went back again to search the trough, worried we might have missed some.

The good news is we managed to find homes for all these foundlings (if only it was as easy to find kitties homes). But we do not care for the experience as it’s even tougher to find hamster fosters then kitty ones and we can’t take them ourselves due to the accident potential quotient in kitty central.

Where did all these foundlings come from? Irresponsible pet owners of course. But the burning question is, how does getting a free hamster for spending $35 at a petshop foster responsibility toward the free-gifted hamster?