A tiny hamster was dumped in an exercise ball and left in a shopping basket at a supermarket car park in North Lanarkshire.
The Scottish SPCA were alerted after a member of the public spotted the animal outside Asda on Watson Street, Motherwell, on Thursday afternoon.
The male roborovski hamster, who is just two inches long, was found inside the ball which had been put in a plastic bag and left in a shopping basket.
The "frightened" animal was collected by a Scottish SPCA inspector and taken to the Lanarkshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre where he has been named Tom Thumb because of his size.
Inspector Sam McDonald said: "Tom Thumb is very small, no bigger than two inches and was understandably very frightened when he was found.
"The person who spotted him handed him in to staff at the supermarket who then contacted us so we can't be sure whether the plastic bag had been tied or not.
"Regardless of this, abandoning Tom Thumb was an extremely cruel thing to do and whoever did this couldn't have known he would be found by someone who would help.
"The supermarket is close to a residential area so it's possible the person who dumped him lives nearby.
"Tom Thumb is still really nervous but is in good overall condition and we'll soon be looking to find him a loving new home."
Anyone with information relating to this abandonment is being asked to contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.
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