Rescuers from United Animal Nations (UAN), The Humane Society of United States and North Star Rescue have removed and are caring for over 1,000 rats from a property in Los Angeles County after receiving complaints from neighbors, who were witnessing the rats escaping from the house. It is believed that the owner of the house is receiving mental health treatment, and that the population of rats resulted from the house owner’s daughter bringing home a pregnant pet rat. Neighbors contacted producers of the reality television show Hoarders.
When rescuers arrived at the hoarder’s home, they found hundreds of rats roaming freely throughout the house. Some were suffering from skin conditions, parasites and other medical ailments. The owner kept several rats as pets and upon the untimely death of his wife, tried to fill the void by breeding more rats, until they eventually took over the entire house. The rats were removed from the home on Thursday and Friday and were then transported to a shelter in downtown San Jose.
"Often, well-meaning individuals become overwhelmed with more animals than they can properly care for," said UAN Emergency Services Manager Janell Matthies. "United Animal Nations provides critical support in such cases, often exposing rescued animals to loving human contact for the first time in their lives and preparing them to be adopted into permanent homes."
North Star Rescue is currently sorting rats into compatible social groups, assessing their health and behavior, and is hoping to make the rats available for adoption from December 5th. The organization is seeking volunteers and donations of pet supplies, including rat food, extra toys and hiding places.