We’ve all heard of the crazy cat lady archetype. She lives alone and dotes solely on her many cats, often hoarding them and holing herself away. But, who has ever heard of a crazy rat lady (ehem, or man)? Reuters reported on Friday, August 1, that hundreds of pet rats were removed from a small Ohio apartment after the rats’ owner had been evicted.
The owner had called the local Humane Society for the many rats to be removed. There were three hundred of them in all. Because of the eviction, the owner was not able to take care of the rats anymore. He needed help.
Animal control officers had to really work hard to remove the rats. While some of them were in cages, many others were allowed to roam free which meant that they found all kinds of cozy places in which to burrow. Rats were found by rescuers in holes in the walls as well as in the cushioning of the furniture. The rescue operation spanned over a series of days.
Reuters reported that the rats could breed very quickly, often beginning at about three months old. Litters could exceed 13 little ones at a time and mothers could spawn a new batch a few times per year. Because of this, pet rat populations could quickly get out of control.
The rats are considered rescued and are now available for adoption. The owner took very good care of his rats and reportedly loved them. Because of his care and love and because he reached out for help, he will face no charges for animal cruelty.
This rat owner has done much better than some. Last May, news was reported that a woman who lived in a hotel room had bred rats and released them into the park on purpose. The woman had bred the rats over a series of years and she seemed to breed them wherever she happened to live. In her case, 1,000 rats were found at the hotel room and were killed by exterminators as the rats had begun burrowing through the walls and into other occupants’ rooms.