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.
When it comes to working within a rescue, giving animals a second chance at life takes the cake for feel-good vibes, and it’s just as special when the animals in question are rats. As a domestic pet rat rescue, Rattie Ratz volunteers see their fair share of animal neglect; it’s not just dogs and cats in need of rescuing from bad owners and bad situations.
Today we follow the story of Enzo (agouti berk) and Aston (black berk). They came to Rattie Ratz in February of 2016, from the Sacramento County Shelter (SCS). The shelter received a large surrender of 28 rats that belonged to a tenant who allegedly left their apartment mid-lease, and abandoned the rats inside the apartment. When the apartment manager was allowed inside, they were shocked to discover all of the rats left behind. The apartment manager was compassionate and did the right thing by taking the rats to a local shelter where they could be properly cared for.
There were old rats, young rats, and a lot of pregnant females; it was quite a fiasco!
The SCS was able to re-home the majority of the rats, so when Rattie Ratz got wind of the situation and offered to help, there were only nine males left. These males were the last to be adopted because they were understandably a little nervous. The majority of them needed to be neutered as they were bickering with each other, and the shelter didn’t have the resources for rat surgery. Rattie Ratz took the remaining nine males of which Enzo and Aston were part; they were quarantined for two weeks to ensure they were healthy before being neutered and sent to their new foster homes.
Enzo and Aston were nervous rats, but never aggressive. With constant handling from their foster mom they were soon ready for adoption. These two boys were the last of the group to be adopted, and they couldn’t have found better adopters if they had rolled themselves in sugar and pretended to be lollipops!
After only a month and a half in foster care, Cary and Jacob Meggers adopted the boys in April and took them home where they were given names, a safe space to call their own, and doting human parents to love them and show them how ‘ratties’ should be living: Spoiled!
According to the couple, “Aston runs in the wheel every day including the wee hours of the morning. Enzo hasn’t caught on to the wheel, yet, and much prefers the hammock or igloo. We are still working on ‘kisses.’ Every now and then we get one by accident. We have taught them little tricks like using our arms as a bridge to cross from the bed back into the cage. From day one, that is their only method for returning to their house. Now we are working on getting them out via different methods.”
In between climbing all over their new mom and dad, the boys have also discovered the joys of bananas and tunneling under fleece. “They are extremely rambunctious; constantly zipping all over their house and scaling the sides. We bought new fleece to line the lower tray [of their cage], but they would rather be underneath the fleece! Now we only clip the fleece on a couple of sides so they can venture underneath as they please, without destroying the fleece by making their own access holes. They are so funny!”
At the risk of stating the obvious, Enzo and Aston seem to have won the jackpot with Cary and Jacob, and a wonderful relationship has bloomed between the four of them. The couple tells us that, “[Enzo and Aston] are pretty amazing. It’s very clear that they never feared human interaction. They want to be out with us any chance they get.” All Enzo and Aston needed was to be given a chance to come out of their shells and to learn to trust both themselves and their humans.
While it’s heartbreaking to think of what Enzo and Aston went through in their early days, life is full of second chances. It took a team of dedicated people to turn around the lives of these boys from the apartment manager, the workers at the Sacramento County Shelter, and the Rattie Ratz volunteers and foster homes, to their adopters Cary and Jacob. Thanks to the team of compassionate people supporting these boys, Enzo and Aston never have to worry about being abandoned again.
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.