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Dizzy the Hamster Gets Jazzy New Life

Written by Michelle Kretzer | March 26, 2012

The first time that PETA staffer David Perle saw Dizzy, the hamster was nestled in the arms of a young girl who had rescued him from an apartment complex parking lot and was searching for his owner. A group of boys had tried to tell her that he was theirs, but she suspected their motives were less than pure and refused to hand Dizzy over. (A PETA staffer in the making, perhaps?) When she happened upon David, he agreed to take the little hamster in if no one claimed him.

So that very night, David’s two cats, Ella (after Fitzgerald) and Billie (after Holiday), welcomed their new roommate. When a friend sent David a picture of Dizzy Gillespie with his cheeks puffed out as he played the trumpet juxtaposed next to a picture of a hamster whose cheek pockets were stuffed with goodies, the resemblance was uncanny, and the hamster was named, completing the jazzy family. It’s a wonder that Dizzy didn’t get dizzy rolling around the apartment inside his plastic hamster ball.

We’ll never know how Dizzy’s life started—it’s possible that someone purchased him from a pet store and then dumped him outdoors when he was no longer wanted. But we know that he was happy and loved after he was lucky enough to be rescued by a wise little girl and adopted by a caring guardian.

Do you have a great animal-rescue story? Share it in the comments.

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  • Ruth says:

    PETA-thank you for standing up for those who have no voice. Compassion is never for those too small; Mindy, compassion is never wasted because your estimation is that an animal is insignificant.

  • Anna says:

    Smart little girl! I would have done the exact same thing as her.

  • Tracy says:

    PETA does a lot more for humans than you would think. Factory farming releases more greenhouse gases than all other sources including every car in the world. When we feed our livestock we take food from developing countries, further leading to starvation. Everytime PETA stands up for animals that cannot help themselves they stand up for people who also cannot; developing nations and future generations!

  • rob roy says:

    You know, Mindy, if you want to help only humans you should go to a site that’s geared to that and not hang out commenting on an animal protection site. That’s like going to a world hunger site and complaining that it isnt’ primarily about ferrets. WTH!

  • Petra says:

    Once I had a little rat, her name was Mouse. One day I was cleaning the house and left the balconydoors open, Mouse was gone… I looked everywhere and could not believe she had fallen of the balcony and survived. One week later, I had totally given up on ever finding her, I accidentally walked by a petstore and there was a note in the window saying: ‘Rat found, white with gray spots’. I couldn’t believe my luck and called the number on the flyer. That evening I dropped by to see if it was indeed my rat they’d found. I almost didn’t recognize her, she’s a Husky and apparently the loose their gray spots when the get older… She had changed a lot in the week she was gone but she recognized me and crawled up in my shawl as she always did. Ofcourse I was curious about how they had found her, she had walked pretty far. They told me the mailman had seen her walking in the garden and asked them if they knew who she belonged to. They told him they didn’t know but decided to catch her anyway because they were sure she was tame. Lucky for me they worked at an animalshelter and weren’t afraid of rats! Mouse did have a little injury though, she’d broken her little leg. Because she was so young and little it had healed quickly but she’s always walked a bit funny since 🙂

  • Ayesha says:

    gee…so selfish. They can live(the animals) without us, but we can’t live without them.

  • Emma says:

    It was Christmas of 2009 when my family and I found a grey rabbit in the street. We were on our way back from a holiday dinner at my Grandmothers. We couldn’t believe that some one had left this beautiful bunny to die in the street. After a frustrating half hour of trying to coax her into a box we finally did it. Being only about 12 at the time, I was overcome with the excitement of bringing home another pet to add to the many creatures I already had. Two of which included Sneakers and Pickles who where also rescues. Bean now lives happily here with me. She gets lots of attention and treats and she loves to run in her pen outside. She truly has a lovely personality and I can’t imagine to this day who could throw her out onto the street.

  • Cynthia says:

    Mindy, A compassionate organization such as PETA surely does not promote intolerance and disrespect to humankind. Yes, PETA has targeted and mocked supporters of animal cruelty, but only after attempting to first offer them guidance and a more positive approach towards reaching their goals. This happens in the media all the time when our supposed role models inflict suffering upon others. It’s crucial for society to boycott animal abuse, and PETA has influenced enormous differences in the way people treat and consider animals. PETA is an animal rights organization. It’s only logical that they promote their focus. It’s also only logical that when making a difference in the lives of animals, we are also making a difference in the lives of human beings.

  • David P. says:

    Thanks for your concern, Christopher! Dizzy was a cool cat…so to speak. Rest assured that he was as curious about Ella and Billie as they were about him, often nosing up to theirs when they’d go over to his cage to check him out. I of course never allowed him to run around free and unsupervised with the cats around, but he was a brave little guy!

  • Jessica says:

    My roommate and I got Blueberry, our silly shepard mix mute from the streets. I was driving and was horrified to see a dog hit by a car and then repeadlty hit by others. I stopped and as I went to pull this dog out of the road, Blueberry ran out into the street to get to the dog too, Blueberry was crying, hysterical and now in the middle of the road with me about to get hit. I scooped him up and then took him home. I was going to find a shelter for him but my roommate decided to adopt him and add him to our family of pups. It took him awhile to get use to being spoiled but we turned him over 🙂

  • Ralpy's Best Bud says:

    My dog Ralph is from the Cayman Islands. He was found lying in at gutter at six weeks old. Poor guy needed a blood transfusion. I adopted him through the Cayman Islands Humane Society, who do an amazing job by the way. Ralphy soon got better and became very energetic! He now lives in the UK with me and my family and is treated like a king 🙂

  • Lina Hong says:

    A pomeranian was thrown outside her house by a family (I don’t know which one) 2 blocks away. My aunt went out for a morning run, and when the dog caught sight of her, she immediately followed her. It’s as if she was starved and hurt before by their family and abandoned. The dog would not leave my aunt alone and kept following her home. My aunt decided to take her in, because it seemed like it was going to rain. For weeks we took care of her, and even put up signs looking for the owner. Unfortunately, no one decided to claim her. So she is now my new friend, and I named her Mimi! 🙂

  • Justine says:

    My third kitten Nika, was found by accident, but I feel that she was more likely placed in my life. I was visiting friends on a summer evening. We heard a little commotion caused by some neighborhood children in NE Chicago. I was curious so I went to see what was going on. The children, communicated to me in Spanish, which I am not fluent in but speak a little of, that they found a kitten. I LOVE animals, so I wanted to see it right away. This kitten had to be only about 3-4 weeks, looked as though it were the runt of a litter and probably hadn’t eaten for a couple days. It was dirty and shaking. I asked the kids if I could hold it, as i wanted to check it out. She fit in the palm of my hand. I was saddened and shocked at how small she was. They told me that they had found her in the garbage. With more details, it was clear it wasn’t an accident that she ended up there. She wasn’t just in the dumpster, but rather in a foot-pedal bathroom garbage can that was placed beside the dumpster. I talked to the childrens’ parents to find out what they were going to do with the kitten. In not so many words, they said they would put it back where they found it. I told them I would take it and care for it. In my head, I said I will see her through the night, hopefully she will make it, and that i’d take her to the anti-cruelty society in the morning. I bathed her, bottle fed her, and set up a place for her to sleep, separate from my two other cats, who weren’t too happy about this new addition. I didn’t sleep a wink. Deep down, I didn’t think she’d last the night. I can’t even put into words the condition she appeared to be in. Remarkably she survived and my love for her had exponentially grown in just one night. I knew she would be part of my family. My two other cats took about 3 weeks to warm up to her, which meant protecting her from them the best I could. Having her to look after helped me through a rough time, as I was dealing with some heavy issues. I finally understood those bumper stickers you see that read, Who saves who? Nika, meaning Gift of God, was meant to be in my life, and she who needed to be saved, now has all the love she could ever receive.

  • Vivian says:

    I am really fed up with those ignoratn people who keep whining about PETA and other organizations protecting animals accusing them of not doing anything for humans. There are a lot of organizations working with humans and I do respect, donate and volunteer always when I can. It doesnt chá Ge or affect the fact that animals also need help, peite room amd respect. And what I hate most is that people criticizing are usually ones who doent do anything for humans or animals. Só, honestly, if you are complaining about something, get out of your ass and do something yourself and stop bothering people whi are doing more than you!

  • Joyce Huff says:

    we rescued a guinea pig at a cemetery on a hot Mother’s Day! We had driven in to find my gram’s grave when we saw this poor creature running loose….we took him right away to Petco & he got a home. We never did get to Gram’s grave that day

  • Hundy's Mom says:

    My orange cat, Hundred, was born in a hippie cooperative house to a guardian who basically didn’t care that he had a cat. The guy moved out and left the cat behind; Hundred got outside and disappeared for several months. Right after I moved into that house (two years ago), someone recognized the ginger kitty and brought him back inside. We got him vetted and back up to fightin’ weight (he was very, very skinny), got him neutered too. When I moved out, he came with me. He’s my favorite cuddle buddy, strictly indoors, and now even a little chubby!

  • Rachel says:

    Why don’t you shut up and leave PETA alone. It’s not their job to worry about humans. Aren’t there like a million other organizations that are about them, and you can’t let the animals have one without whining about it. And this has nothing to do with Dizzy the hamster.

  • Christopher says:

    Question, who puts two cats and a hamster together? Common sense says the cats could scare the hamster

  • Mindy says:

    Doubt this will do any good because for all the good PETA does for animals they certainly do not do good for any humans. Perhaps PETA should become a STAR and start showing tolerance and respect for others.