by Danielle S.
For World Rat Day (April 4) we decided to feature a unique organization that helps pet rat rescue.
The Travelin’ Rat is a unique organization: our mission is to help animal rescues, especially those that take in rats, wherever we can and in whatever way we can. This is generally done through fundraising, but we also help rescues by sitting with them at events, helping with transports, and spreading the word when rescues need help. We are very often confused with a rescue; though we help them and work closely with them, we do not rescue animals ourselves.
We’ve gotten a lot of compliments about what we do. There are a myriad of resources out there for dog and cat rescues, but not many geared toward rats! Those of us involved in The Travelin’ Rat are passionate about both rats and rescuing. These are what brought us together and what we work so hard for.
Our organization is composed of five board members and two volunteers. Danielle is our president and treasurer, Frank is our VP, Julia is our secretary, Abby is our multimedia specialist, and Patricia is RatMaster General. Patricia receives all of our shipments and sends out our orders. Abby is also in charge of our social media team, comprised of Yana and Miranda.
Fellow rat enthusiasts and founding members Danielle and Julia started attending shows together in the mid-Atlantic region in 2008. Julia likes to sew, while Danielle has a knack for finding unique rat items, so they decided to set up at some of the rat shows in the area, then donate net proceeds of whatever they sold during the day to local rescues that take in rats. Frank soon joined them and together they created The Travelin’ Rat. Eventually they created a Facebook page and enlisted the help of the group’s computer expert, Abby, to create a website. Thankfully Patricia jumped onboard when there were some big changes happening within the group; without her, TTR may not have been able to continue functioning.
It took a lot of hard work with quite a few bumps in the road to get to where we are today. Once online, we started with our Rescue of the Month program, where net proceeds of sales from our web store, Etsy store, and Zazzle store, and donations taken in, are sent to a different rescue each month. That’s still our most popular program, but we have also been able to add the emergency rescue fund and send monetary donations to rescues for different events throughout the year. Funds are available to 501(c)(3)-approved rescues that register with us (we cannot donate funds to non501(c)(3)-approved rescues or rescues outside the U.S., but we do help them a little differently): www.thetravelinrat.org/rescue-resources.html
Although we donate items to other rescues, we only distribute funds to rescues that take in rats. These rescues can take in other animals, but they must take in rats to qualify for funds from us.
In order for us to keep helping rescues, fundraising is necessary. As well as our web sales that benefit the Rescue of the Month, our biggest fundraisers are the World of Pets expo in Maryland in January, our World Rat Day raffle in the spring, our fall Facebook auction in November, and the Crafty Rat 10-10 sales in April and December.
We are grateful to people who donate to these fundraisers, buy from them, and who even just spread the word. We’re also appreciative of those who have set up fundraisers for us through hammock, soap, candle, chocolate, Tastefully Simple, and Pampered Chef sales. Every little bit helps! For ways to help us, you can check out our website: www.thetravelinrat.org/ways-to-help.html. Some of the ways to help cost you nothing!
We’re excited to be where we are today. We couldn’t do what we do without our amazing supporters!
The Travelin’ Rat
Helping Rescues Wherever We Can!
Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section & watch for more pet rat articles every month. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to Rattie Ratz.