Russell the roborovski hamster was sitting inthe pets at home adoption scheme. We don't really approve of this scheme as it appears to be little more than a way for them to offload unsold "stock" but occasionally we spot an animal we think we can make a real difference to so we take them home. Russell was on his own and advertised as needing to stay that way. He was also a typically skitty robo. I could foresee the life he would have, in a tiny duna cage all alone and rarely handled. Robo's are often spoken of as watching only pets as they're so fast but we firmly believe that they can be tamed as much as any other hamster species, it just takes a little time. And so Russell came home with us and we initially planned that he would be company for a single male mouse. Russ was a bit too nervous for mouse intros though so when we took in some russian hamsters soon after we tried him with them instead. He now lives very very happily with Leia and Lucie in a Savic Ruffy and is quite easy to handle. Robos do need to live in cages with very close bars or solid sides but most such cages are far too small. The Savic Ruffy is the only cage I would ever recommend for robos now as the bars are close enough to keep them secure but it also offers a good amount of space.
In November 2008 we were involved in the rescue and rehoming of hundreds of mice from a hoarder in Wales. This man had started with a pair of mice who had escaped and bred prolifically in his run down and messy house. Frustratingly the authorities allowed him to keep a couple of mice and it seems that they bred with mice remaining in the walls of the house resulting in hundreds more needing help a year later. We offered a permanent space to a group of six boys from Furry Friends. Male mice are very hard to home as they can be a little smelly and keeping them together can be difficult. However we seem to have developed a way of dealing with scrappy males and can usually keep them in their groups now. That said, these boys were squabbling quite a bit and I observed that one, Bisto, seemed to be at the centre of all the fights. Eventually I made the decision to remove him and you can read more about him below. The remaining five live well together as long as they're not given things to get possessive over and there are no sudden changes to their habitat.
Shortly before having to remove Bisto from the mouse group, we'd offered a home to a solitary chinese hamster boy from Furry Friends. The plan was to try him in with Russell and the girls but, although he didn't mind the girls, he objected to Russell. So it seemed an ideal solution for Bisto and the chinese boy, now named Po, to live together. Introductions were pretty straightforward and the two of them now live very happily together in a ferplast mary (which is almost identical to the ruffy pictured above apart from having wider spaced bars).