Justin Bieber has been accused of putting his pet hamster on a "short path to its doom" by an animal charity.
The Canadian singer was videoed handing his pet Pac to a screaming fan after he performed at the Jingle Ball in Atlanta last week. The 18-year-old only gave the hamster a home in October and it is unknown why he decided to gift it to the adoring girl.
His decision has now come under fire from the California Hamster Association, which has accused him of committing "animal cruelty" by ditching the rodent.
"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," a representative for the organisation told TMZ.
The spokesperson explained hamsters can be anxious and don't respond well to changes in their lifestyle.
It has been suggested Justin should have been more responsible and taken Pac to a shelter when he realised he was unable to care for him properly.
Despite the claims, it's thought Pac is flourishing with his new owner Victoria Blair. The 18-year-old was delighted when her idol gave her the pet and has insisted she will care for the hamster "like a tiny rodent god", according to TMZ.
In the recording of the exchange, Justin was heard making his fan promise to care for Pac properly.
Victoria has kept people updated on the pet's progress, regularly posting images of the animal on Twitter. So far she has taken Pac to a pet store, taken naps with the animal and played with it.
Her updates mean many of Justin's fans have started following her on the social networking site, although not all of them are happy about her stroke of good luck.
"I waited outside after the concert and he just gave it to me!!!" she explained on the site. "And I have some haters now but it's okay I'm a strong girl and Justin chose me for a reason! (sic)"
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