A man rang police to report that his former girlfriend had left their hamster "looking like a fat little pig" by over-feeding it.
He rang 101 and explained to the operator that it was his pet, but his ex-girlfriend wouldn’t give him back and she was overfeeding him.
The call was one of several released by Northumbria Police in an attempt to persuade the public to stop bombarding them with unnecessary 101 calls.
The Northumbria Police operator listened sympathetically as the unnamed Geordie caller revealed: “Me and my girlfriend split up a while ago and she’s got my hamster but she’ll not give us it back."
The man was politely informed that it wasn't a police matter.
Other time-wasting calls included:
- A woman who rang to say she had been sold an over-spiced hamburger.
- A man who had tied his finger to his overflowing toilet with a shoelace.
- A call asking police to come and catch a spider.
- A woman who claimed she had been overcharged at a supermarket.
- One person even called to report an overly friendly dog.
The force says it receives a million calls a year to the non-emergency 101 number.
Around 15 per cent are about non-police matters, costing the taxpayer an estimated £200,000.
Chief Superintendent Sav Patsalos said: "These calls to our 101 service mean our call handlers act as a referral service rather than being able to help those in need."