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Did Justin Bieber commit hamster cruelty?

The singer thought he was being nice by giving his pet away to a fan, but a group is saying he imposed a death sentence upon the hamster.

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber is in trouble with an animal rights group for something he probably considered just a nice gesture. The singer was at the Jingle Ball on Wednesday, Dec. 15, when he suddenly handed down a present to a fan in the crowd and told her, “That’s all you.”

In any other case, this would probably be a thrill, but the fan was suddenly in the middle of a large crowd with a live animal in her hands. Yes, the present was Bieber’s pet hamster.

“You gotta take care of PAC,” Bieber told the girl at the time, to which she responded (rather, screamed), “I will take care of him!”

“Funny… PAC the hamster has his own Twitter account — with over 40,000 followers — and his last tweet was on Wednesday… ‘ATL this is gonna be fun,'” said TMZ. “Poor guy never saw it comin’.”

But it looks like a few people were not amused by the stunt. The California Hamster Association has come out saying that “Justin Bieber issued a death sentence to his pet hamster PAC when he gave it away to a screaming fan.”

The group told TMZ that Bieber’s gift was an act of “animal cruelty” and that hamsters “often succumb quickly to illness and death.” The animals also don’t deal well with “sudden environmental change.”

“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,” the group told TMZ.

They added that if he didn’t want PAC any more, he should have given it to a shelter or someone else whom he knew would care for the animal. But the fan, an 18-year-old named Tori, has since posted photos with the hamster saying she is treating it well.

And really, who will treat an animal better than a super-fan? Any chance to give Justin Bieber a reason to visit your house may be reason enough to make sure the animal is safe.

Bieber has not responded to CHA’s claims.

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