A TINY hamster was found dumped in a shopping basket at Motherwell’s Asda store.
The Scottish SPCA has launched an investigation after the hamster was left in the basket in the car park on Thursday.
The male roborovski hamster, named Tom Thumb by SSPCA staff, was inside an exercise ball which had been put in a plastic bag.
He was collected by a Scottish SPCA inspector and taken to the charity’s Lanarkshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Hamilton.
Inspector Sam McDonald said: “Tom Thumb is very small, no bigger than two inches, and was understandably very frightened when he was found.
“The person who spotted him handed him in to staff at the supermarket who then contacted us, so we can’t be sure whether the plastic bag had been tied or not.
“Regardless of this, abandoning Tom Thumb was an extremely cruel thing to do and whoever did this couldn’t have known he would be found by someone who would help.
“The supermarket is close to a residential area so it’s possible the person who dumped him lives nearby.
“Tom Thumb is still really nervous but is in good overall condition and we’ll soon be looking to find him a loving new home.”
Abandoning an animal is an offence and anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.
Anyone with information relating to this incident is urged to call the SSPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.