Earlier this month, Justin Bieber very oddly gave away his pet hamster Pac to a screaming fan after an Atlanta holiday concert (see video of the exchange below).
Naturally, this bizarre exchange pissed off a bunch of people – including the California Hamster Association (which I had no idea existed).
Speaking with TMZ, the CHA slammed Bieber’s causal gift as an “act of animal cruelty.” From the site:
The CHA tells us … hamsters are fragile creatures that “often succumb quickly to illness and death,” especially when faced with “sudden environmental change.”
In short … “The moment that hamster was handed off to a screaming girl in a harsh, frenzied environment was likely the moment it gazed at the short path to its doom.”
Pac apparently survived the ordeal and is reportedly being cared for by the 18-year-old superfan as if he were Bieber himself. The CHA says the right thing, naturally, for the pop star to do would have been to leave Pac in the care of a animal or rescue shelter.
This isn’t the first time Bieber has stirred up trouble with animal activists. Back in 2011, he received flak for selling his baby boa constrictor “Johnson” to raise money for charity. The snake was later sold – and then immediately donated to the Reptile & Amphibian Discovery Zoo in Owatonna, Minn.
“I found it really disgusting that celebrities like Bieber would stoop to a level of using living creatures as a fashion accessory and then so easily discard it,” the winning bidder told E! Online. “I am a huge pet and animal lover and was amazed that Mr. Bieber would actually auction off his own personal pet.”