Let’s be very clear on something—not everyone is meant to be a pet owner.
But for those of us who are more proper-animal-care-inclined, it may become our responsibility to rescue an animal after someone else failed in the pet parent department.
A guy on Reddit, “clemthelemon,” found himself in this position.
The OP (Original Poster) wrote into the “Am I the A**hole?” subReddit, wondering “Would I Be The A**hole” (WIBTA) if he intervened.
The OP asked the thread:
“WIBTA (Would I Be the A**hole) for freeing my gf’s (girlfriend’s) roommate’s hamster from suffering a prolonged death/simply putting it out of its misery?”
Recently while visiting their girlfriend, the OP noticed the roommate’s odd pet arrangement.
“My gf lives with a girl who owns several pets, including a small snake and a hamster. They existed in separate cages for a while, but when I went to their house recently I saw that both animals had been placed in the same cage.”
“I asked my gf about it, and she said roommate put the hamster there to feed the snake. ‘Ok’ I thought, ‘circle of life, so be it.'”
But since the roommate has been gone, the OP has struggled with the situation.
“That was three days ago, and my dilemma starts here.”
“I came back today and saw the same hamster in the same snake tank. The hamster claws desperately at the glass trying to get out, and the snake seems to have zero interest in it.”
“Keep in mind, this is a big hamster and a fairly small snake (I’m not sure of the breed, but it isn’t much longer than a foot). I have no idea if those snakes eat rodents that large, I grew up around big iguanas that ate baby mice, so I wonder if the roommate even knows how to feed it.”
The OP has gone so far as to weigh their options on resuing the pets.
“Anyway I’m sitting here watching this starving hamster clamber around the cage without food while baking under the heat lamps (for the snake), and I’m considering just taking it out and letting it go.”
“I could possibly re-home it, but at the same time I feel like just letting it go free in a field where a bird could snatch it or something would be better than to let it suffer anymore. There’s no food in the cage, no place to sleep, and the whole scenario just rubs me the wrong way.”
The OP wondered if it would be wrong to intervene with someone else’s pets.
“The snake doesn’t react to it at all, even when the hamster climbs all over it trying to find a way out. Idk if I should just let it be, or if intervening with pets that aren’t mine would be a d**k move.”
The OP later updated the post with more about the roommate’s pet ownership history.
“Lots of feedback, very much in the favor of re-homing all animals involved.”
“I’m so pissed at this girl. Gf told me more incidents of different things happening with different pets recently.”
“For example, roommate’s friend’s dog ate her pet songbird, (how in the F**K did that happen?) she was sad about it for all of 10 mins then bought another which she ‘likes better anyway’.”
The OP also had an unfortunate update to share about the coexisting hamster and snake.
“There is a gecko that wasn’t watered since she left (it has been now), and the stressed out hamster DID end up attacking the poor snake. The hamster is now with the other one, eating and drinking.”
The OP is more sure than ever about moving forward with a rescue.
“I’m pacing around my room with clenched fists trying to find a way to get them all out in one go. I could go to the landlord, but that risks getting my gf and the other OK roommate kicked out and blacklisted.”
“F**k the pet owner, I’ll put my foot through her door and load them all up in my car if I have to.”
The OP also wanted to clarify they meant no harm to the hamster with their original question.
“Oh and I should apologize for my odd title, no I don’t mean to kill the hamster.”
Other Redditors wrote in on the post, rating the potential pet rescue on the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some Redditors simply wrote in to confirm that the OP isn’t in the wrong for wanting to help.
“For me, this falls under exactly the same circumstances as breaking a car’s window to save an animal or child. Usually it’s illegal to break into a car, but saving the life takes priority. Yes, you’d be stealing a possession, but saving the life takes priority. A resounding NTA and good for you on rehoming it.” – Fuzzy-mornin-teeth
“That is so sad, the roommate is beyond evil, I’m so angry I’m seething. It would be one thing if the snake quickly ate the hamster but this is cruel, unnecessary torture.”
“You said in one of your comments you were gonna rehome it and I’m so glad that you are taking action and not just letting it starve. You see doing a good thing, kudos to you, absolutely NTA” – Andy_Warhole
Others agreed and cited the roommate’s behavior as an example of animal cruelty.
“Thank you for caring and saving the hamster”
“This whole scenario is so cruel” – AnnaBanana3468
“Don’t set it free, that’s pretty much just as cruel. But definitely get it out of there. Not only is it cruel to the hamster but dangerous for the snake. Generally live prey should be avoided unless the snakes absolutely refuses anything else because when prey fights back it can severely injure the snake.”
“I would keep an eye on how she keeps her pets and maybe consider reporting her to animal welfare inspectors in your area” – Vanaathiel88
Some urged the OP to also save the snake, as it was in equal or more danger as the hamster.
“It’s not only cruel to the hamster, but also the snake, as the hamster can hurt or even kill it as well.”
“Personally I’d rehome the hamster or give it to a pet store or something, because both animals are just suffering in their current predicament.”
“Imo (In my opinion) the girl shouldn’t have either pet.” – BananaSnakes
“NTA! Rehome both animals, they are probably starving and stressed!” – ComplacentViolinist
A few also lamented that some people really shouldn’t have pets, this roommate very much included.
“NTA if you rehome the hamster. This is cruel and abusive to the hamster, and the hamster will probably go after the snake at some point.”
“I think you should call whatever animal services you have in your area, anyone who does this, especially when they’re not home to supervise, shouldn’t have pets.” – tnscatterbrain
“Thank you for laying it out! I was horrified by this story not just for the poor hamster, but also because this roommate clearly has no idea how to care for the snake either. This person should not be allowed to have pets.” – Optimal_Coconut
“NTA. She’s an irresponsible pet owner and shouldn’t have the hamster or the snake. Rehome the hamster. The fact that she left a live feeder in the tank for so long unsupervised means she has no f**king idea how” to care for her animals properly. I’m not against feeding live if it’s the only thing your snake will take but she’s being cruel to the hamster and putting her snake in danger.” – GodzillaSuit
Now with an extensive thread backing them, hopefully there are happy endings in store for all of these pets involved.