People Playing 'Pokémon Go' Save Dozens Of Abandoned Animals

As the mobile gaming app Pokémon Go continues to surge in popularity, inspiring players to be on the prowl outdoors for those fictional creatures, some real-life animals are feeling the benefit.

This week, Sara Perez and Matthew Teague paid a visit to a local park in Houston, Texas, in hopes of stumbling upon some Pokémon they could "catch" with their phones - but what they found instead snapped them back to reality.

There, trapped in cages with no owner in sight, were dozens of little pets who needed someone to save them.

"[We] saw a strange box on the ground [and] said box had a cage in it and inside were hamsters abandoned in the heat with no water and birdseed for food and they were close to dying!" Perez wrote in a Facebook post. "They had pinkies [baby mice] they were trying to keep from dying and most of them were suffering from heat exhaustion!"

Perez says that she and Teague called out in case their owner was around, but no one appeared. So, rather than leave them in the sun all alone, she took them home and gave them food and water.

Fortunately, all of the 27 abandoned animals found in the park managed to survive - but now what they needed most was to find loving homes. For that, Perez turned to her friends on the Pokémon Go: Houston community Facebook page, asking if anyone was interested in helping.

Perez tells Click2Houston that four of the hamsters have been adopted out so far; she plans to get help from the Houston SPCA with finding homes for the rest.

Interestingly, this isn't the first pet rescue that's been facilitated in part by the viral game. In recent days, two other Pokémon Go users in Houston found and rescued an injured puppy they might have otherwise missed if it weren't for the app inspiring them to walk through a park.

Say what you will about this latest craze - but it's reassuring to know that through the growing interest in Pokémon, more animals in need might be saved.