by Stephanie Cameron
Stephanie Cameron is a volunteer with Rattie Ratz Rescue in the bay area of California. Each month KRL will be featuring at least one animal rescue adventure story, and every other month there will be one from Rattie Ratz.
As a rat rescue organization, Rattie Ratz takes pride in being a resource for both the general public and local shelters. Although it is not as common to find rats at shelters, it happens more often than most people think. Unfortunately, most shelters do not have the resources or the knowledge to properly care for rats. This is where Rattie Ratz Rescue steps in.
In October of 2015–in just one of many cases–-Rattie Ratz received a call that a litter of five-week-old babies had been surrendered to the Palo Alto Animal Services. A Rattie Ratz volunteer picked up the babies and brought them to a foster home. There were 11 babies, but no mother. The litter was young, but because rats are fully weaned by five weeks, the babies picked up from the PAAS shelter were happy and healthy. And though the shelter didn’t have any additional information on the babies or where they came from, it appeared that they had been well socialized and looked after before they were surrendered–which is not always the case. After a two-week quarantine to ensure they were indeed healthy, the babies were quickly adopted out in pairs.
Two baby girls from this litter found their forever home with the Gonzalez family: Susan, Ricardo and their daughter, Briana. The girls, now seven months old, have been renamed Lacey and Leila. These beautiful and adventurous girls are the perfect duo for this first-time rat family.
Lacey and Leila enjoy spending time with their human family members in the evenings. According to the family, “Play time in the evenings consists of running from the living room down the hallway to the cage in the den. [Lacey and Leila] often like to run along the back sides of the sofa and love seat, burrow in a blanket on the couch, and eat Cheerios under an igloo on the coffee table.”
It’s always appreciated when adopters contact Rattie Ratz to tell the volunteers how much they enjoy their new furry friends. Knowing that someone else has discovered the love, companionship, and playful antics that only rats can give always puts an extra spring in the step of Rattie Ratz volunteers. These happy updates inspire the volunteers to continue to educate the general public on the wonderful world of rats; and every rat adopted from the rescue becomes a lifetime rattie ambassador!
Rats are inquisitive and adventurous, friendly and intelligent. And these girls are no exception. From cuddling in their hammock and having foot races down the hallway, to sharing the wheel as they both attempt to run in it, Lacey and Leila keep their family entertained. Their human family has been afforded the opportunity of watching as these girls–-their personalities–-grow and develop. “Lacey loves to sit on Ricardo’s shoulder and watch the news while Leila will get to the corner of the love seat, hop down, and run back to her cage. She is not much for sitting still and enjoying the peacefulness of the night.”
Rats make wonderful pets for both single adults and families with children. Due to their friendly and playful nature, rats can be fantastic pets for children. A child’s curiosity and imagination can be piqued as they attempt to find new toys and new ways to play with their rats. Rats are very smart, and can be taught fun tricks like running through obstacle courses or jumping from counter tops to shoulders. Children can also learn responsibility, compassion, and a deep appreciation for animals through their rattie companion. The family writes:
“We are so grateful to Rattie Ratz for giving us the opportunity to be the adoptive family for these precious sisters! For our daughter, Briana, having them as part of the family has been a true gift of companionship and pure love! She wrote recently in a presentation about the rats, ‘These two babies are my life wrapped into a cute, playful, happy, curious, and fun bundle[s] of joy!’ Truly spoken from the heart, and sums up their impact on our lives perfectly!”
As rattie ambassadors, it’s safe to say that these girls have done a superb job of showing their family how wonderful rats can be, and it’s evident that Lacey and Leila are being happily spoiled by their human family members, just as it should be! These sweet sisters may have been the first rats to join this family, but I have a feeling they won’t be the last.
If you would like to know more about Rattie Ratz Rescue you can visit their Facebook page. If you are interested in adoptable rats or volunteering for Rattie Ratz Rescue you can visit their website: www.rattieratz.com.
Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section & watch for more stories from Rattie Ratz every other month. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to Rattie Ratz.