A ROUTINE visit to the vets ended in devastation when a young family’s hamster escaped through a hole in the floor, never to be seen again.
Shannon Coskin, 18, of Ilex Court, Goring, took her 18-month-old daughter’s pet, Rosie, to Heene Road Vets after it began limping.
But she was shocked when the vet put it on the floor to assess its walking, and it escaped through a small hole behind the counter.
Several days later, despite trying to coax it out with food, it had still not appeared.
Shannon said that she was dissatisfied with the handling of the situation, arguing that Rosie should not have been put on the floor in the first place.
She said: “The vet lost our hamster and we were told if it didn’t turn up by the weekend, to lose hope.
“If I took my daughter to the doctor, I wouldn’t expect them to lose her.”
“We can’t be the first people to have taken a hamster in and it would have been better to put her in a box, not on the floor.”
Shannon explained how her daughter, Michaela, was too young to understand the full extent of what had happened but had kept asking where her hamster had gone.
The hamster was given to Michaela as a birthday present by her grandmother, and she has helped to feed and look after it since.
Shannon said: “She bangs on Rosie’s cage every day and feeds her different bits.
“Rosie has always been in Michaela’s room and we’ve just said to her that she will come home soon, as she doesn’t understand what happened.”
Shannon said nothing will make up for what has happened and only the safe return of Rosie will be good enough.
She said: “It is our family pet. The practice said we would talk about what to do next when it comes to it but it’s not good enough.
“It may only be a hamster to some people but they have lost a patient, regardless.”
Practice manager Jeremy French said everything had been done to find Rosie.
He said: “I have said to the owners, realistically, it is unlikely to appear now.
“But we are still looking for it, taking the skirting boards off at night just in case.
He added: “We are profusely sorry and have offered the owners a replacement hamster, which they have said that they would accept.”