Rattie Ratz Rescue: Animal Rescue in the Time of Covid

Jun 12, 2021 | 2021 Articles, Pets, Rodent Ramblings

by Stephanie Cameron

Stephanie Cameron is a volunteer with Rattie Ratz Rescue in the bay area of California. Each month KRL will be featuring a column from Rattie Ratz.

As a volunteer with Rattie Ratz Rescue, a non-profit pet rat rescue located in the Bay Area of Northern California, I have witnessed first-hand the affects Covid has had on the running of a rescue. Of course, as soon as Covid became publicly known, keeping the volunteers and animals safe was the Board’s primary concern. All public events were canceled as soon as the shelter in place was ordered back in March 2020, and they will remain cancelled for some time to come.

Some of the rats rescued over the last couple of months

However, even at that time, adoptions never stopped, even for a moment. The amazing volunteers continued their dedicated work of helping our foster and sanctuary rats, and the public continued to generously donate a portion of their hard-earned income, doing their part to make sure a cause they believed in continued to stay on its feet.

Social distancing was practiced, to keep everyone as low risk as possible, and both the adopters and volunteers were grateful and very respectful of the safety precautions put in place. The digital space became a much-needed life line, as it did for many around the globe both for professional and personal means of communication.

At Rattie Ratz Rescue, new volunteer orientations were conducted by video calls to help limit in-person meetings. To replace the monthly volunteer socials Rattie Ratz once hosted, video calls were implemented as a way to check in with the volunteers as well as to try and garner a sense of community, that had partially been lost when the volunteers could no longer come together at events or socials.

While a lot of counties across the United States are starting to open back up; sadly, the lasting effects of Covid will stay with us for a long time to come. While the ability to adapt and the compassion that formed during Covid are inspiring, there is still a lot of hard work ahead of us.

Although it may feel as though we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel we are not out of the woods yet, and for many shelters and rescue organizations the struggle is becoming more severe. With volunteers leaving and more animals trying to come in, rescues and shelters simply cannot keep up with the demand and are having to turn animals away or place them on months-long waiting lists.

Kindhearted people who became involved in volunteer work to help fill in the extra time they had during lock down are starting to pull back, but there are more animals in need than ever before. For those who struggled to find work during the peak of Covid, the strain of the past year is finally taking its toll. There are still many surrender requests flooding shelters and rescue organizations like Rattie Ratz Rescue, asking for help.

Baby rats in foster care

For some owners, the financial strain has finally become too much. They are forced to move and cannot find housing that will allow their pets, or they simply can’t afford to care for their pets any longer. With the flood of surrender requests at its peak, and volunteer’s stepping away from rescue work to pick up their old life, the need is stronger than it has ever been for rescues and shelters.

Rattie Ratz volunteer

Rescue work is a tireless task – no new hobbies were picked up in 2020 if you worked or volunteered in animal rescue, but the rewards far outweigh the hard work. Rattie Ratz Rescue does not have a rescue facility, the rescue is 100% powered by volunteers and foster homes. I am continually in awe of the love our volunteers have for their foster rats, and their willingness to generously open their homes and hearts to these animals in need, even during a pandemic.

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. You can also keep up with our pet articles by joining our KRL Facebook group. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to Rattie Ratz.

Stephanie Cameron works and lives in the Bay Area, and has been active in the rat rescue community for a number of years. She got her first pair of rats – sisters named Snowflake and Diamond – when she was eight years old. In her spare time she enjoys reading, walking her dogs, traveling, discovering fantastic vegan recipes, and singing in the shower.


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