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Last Updated: Wednesday July 29 2009 15:42 GMT

Ricky investigates school pet holiday fears

Harry the hamster

Are school pets suffering in the school holidays?

A charity has called for more to be done to look after school pets in the holidays.

Ricky's been finding out more...

"Loads of you have already broken up for the summer holidays and over the next six weeks you might be doing something fun or going abroad.

But life might not be so easy for thousands of school pets.

Schools across the UK, especially primary schools, have hamsters, gerbils and even rabbits in the classroom. So what happens to them when it's the end of term?

Harry the hamster
Harry the hamster


Well a leading vet's charity says it's worried for the welfare of school pets as they find new homes over the summer.

They reckon the majority of them will end up with teachers or people who have no experience in looking after animals.

But that's not the case for Jasmine and her school pet, Harry the hamster.

She's taken Harry home for the summer because no-one else at her school had the time.

Loads of pets

Jasmine's already got one dog, two cats and a hamster. She knows exactly when to feed her animals and can spot if they're unwell or in need of attention.

Ricky with Jasmine (middle) and her sister Natasha (left)
Ricky with Jasmine and her actual pet hamster Jules

Experts say people like Jasmine are better off at looking after school pets because they've got more experience.

I caught up with her in Bolton where she lives with her family.

As we started to film the interview her dog started to bark really loudly - I think he wanted to get involved.

Jasmine keeps her school pet in her bedroom alongside her other hamster.

She told me that she's looking forward to looking after the new addition to her pet family and hopes other school kids will do the same.

Pet care

Dusty the cat is one of Jasmine's pets!

If you've taken a school pet home for the summer then vets reckon you should contact someone who already looks after a similar animal, so you can ask them questions.

They also says it's a good idea not to move it around too much, make sure you feed it the same food it was being fed before and at the same times.

I'm sure after spending so much time with Harry the hamster, Jasmine will be sorry to see him go. But at least she'll get to see him at school along with the rest of her mates come September."