Woman Discovers Box of Live Hamsters Abandoned in Pet Store Dumpster

A leading pet store chain is investigating an allegation that a box of live hamsters was found abandoned in a dumpster behind one of its outlets.

PetSmart confirmed to Daily Dot that it is conducting a "review of the situation" after TikToker bherman18 posted a video online chronicling the alleged discovery outside one of its stores in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

In the clip, a woman named as Bri Herman on the account can be heard telling viewers she "just found a box of f***ing hamsters." The clip can be viewed here.

@bherman18

sorry ab my language I was shocked. This is in Selinsgrove Pa. @PetSmart when is it gonna stop? #viral #fyp

♬ original sound - bri herman

While she speaks, the video cuts to a cardboard box, labeled "live animals" which is then opened to reveal three live hamsters inside.

The video, which has been viewed 1.2 million times, sparked anger among other animal lovers on TikTok.

"Those animals deserve better," Ft.xpapii wrote. "They aren't just product to sell."

User8044242950301 agreed, asking: "How can any employee just leave animals to die with no guilt?" Kirra.Christine commented: "I'm so thankful you guys just happened to come that night,"

Despite the anger felt by many, several comments also came in from individuals claiming to work for PetSmart stressing the incident was not reflective of standard practices.

"I work at a PetSmart in Canada and I can guarantee we do not treat our animals like this," maddib.rapz wrote. "We take such good care of them."

PetSmart also responded to the viral clip, writing: "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We've shared this with our team to look into right away."

In a follow-up TikTok post, Herman said she had contacted PetSmart's corporate offices regarding the matter and was told they would get back to her once the incident had been explored further.

@bherman18

Hamster pt. 2. I’ll keep you updated when the store reaches out! #fyp #petlover

♬ original sound - bri herman

She said that when she found the box it was labeled "three Chinese dwarf hamsters" which matched the description of the three animals found inside.

Herman also noted that the box appeared to have previously been opened and then subsequently taped closed.

Despite these details, she claims that she went back to the store where the hamsters were allegedly found, the manager tried to suggest they may not necessarily have come from there.

They did, however, tell her she would be updated once they had discovered "how the situation happened."

In a statement issued to Daily Dot, PetSmart confirmed it was "familiar with the individual who posted" the videos of the hamster discovery and confirmed an investigation was ongoing.

"We have been in contact with her and collected information to help further our review of the situation," they said.

Newsweek has contacted PetSmart for comment.

In her most recent video, meanwhile, Herman has confirmed that while the hamsters are currently being looked after by animal rescue following their ordeal, she intends to adopt all three.

Newsweek has contacted Herman for comment.

Hamsters rank among the smallest and yet also the easiest pets to care for.

Last year, one hamster even ended up going viral on TikTok after their owner constructed an impressively elaborate maze for them during lockdown.

A glass box full of hamsters.
Stock photo of a box of hamsters - a woman went viral on TikTok after discovering a box of the pets abandoned behind a pet store. Liukov/Getty