Yale Road Adoptables

Jul 2, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Diana Hockley, Rodent Ramblings

by Diana Hockley

KRL loves to share with our readers about animal rescues across the country, especially those who take in pet rats. This week we are chatting with pocket pet rescue Yale Road Adoptables in Michigan.

KRL: Rescuing animals is a labor of love and total dedication. What was the catalyst for the creation of Yale Road Adoptables and when did it come into being?

YRA: Yale Road came into being kind of gradually. In the summer of 2011, I was once again in a position to have pocket pets, and after having rats off and on since I was 16, I was anxious to be a rat mom again. I’d never heard of a rat rescue before, but having come across them on the internet, I decided to try to adopt that way. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a local rescue I could adopt from, but I did come across many, many animals that needed homes during my search. I took in a few here, a few there, bought a few cages, and next thing you know, I was off and running. My first official rescue intake was November, 2011 and my first adoption took place in April of 2012. rats

KRL: What sort of set-up do you have? Is it a private house, a shed, or a purpose-built complex?

YRA: YRA is set up in my private home. I started out in a large room upstairs, but am gradually moving the operation to the basement, which is much roomier, not to mention warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

KRL: How many can you accommodate and what animals do you take in?

YRA: Yale Road takes in mainly rats and degus [ed: a small rodent common in central Chile, sometimes referred to as the brush-tailed rat.], though I’ve also taken in parakeets, rabbits, chinchillas, hamsters, mice, and African Soft-Furred (ASF) rats. How many I can accommodate is flexible; it’s more a question of how many cages I can maintain. Ten rats in one cage is one thing; 10 rats in five cages is another matter, as it involves much more effort and supplies. Ideally, I like to maintain no more than about 20 cages/pens. pets

KRL: How does the local community regard your activities, and are they supportive in adoption and/or monetary terms?

YRA: I would say the local community, insofar as they’re aware of Yale Road, is supportive. I’m a one-woman show, so I don’t do much in the way of events, but those who have adopted from me or surrendered to me tend to keep in touch and are supportive generally.

KRL: Rescues depend on donations from the public; do you charge a small fee for your animals when they are adopted? And do you have PayPal and credit card facilities?

YRA: I do not charge adoption fees, though any donations are gratefully accepted. As a general rule, I find that people are very generous, and will usually donate as much or more than what I’d ask were I to charge a fee. My philosophy is that adoption fees do not ensure a good home. My asking questions and getting to know my adopters is how that happens. The same philosophy holds true with surrenders, though I’m currently contemplating requiring some kind of surrender donation or fee.

I do have a PayPal account, and donations with a credit card can be made that way. The address is gotrats10@yahoo[dot]com.

KRL: What are the special challenges to rescuing animals, and are any harder to adopt out than others?

YRA: Without a doubt, the first and most challenging aspect of taking on “problem children” is managing their numbers. They are the ones you most want to say yes to, the most in need, but if there are too many then you’re faced with maintaining the numbers and having limited space and resources for those who have a chance at a home. pets

KRL: How many animals do you think you have saved so far?

YRA: Approximately 420 rats, 20 degus, 15 mice, 12 hamsters, 13 ASF rats, two chinchillas, two house rabbits, two dogs, and a parakeet either reside at Yale Road now, have been adopted from here, or have lived out their lives here. There are also a few residents that I have adopted in my own right, including two dogs, a cat, and a Richardson ground squirrel named Peanut.

KRL: Do local vet surgeries help in any way?

YRA: Absolutely! Yale Road pays a reduced “rescue rate” for surgeries, including spays, neuters, and tumor removals. I’m blessed to have a vet who is not only a very skilled surgeon, but loves rats as well: Dr. Donna Barnes at North River Animal Hospital in Fort Gratiot, Michigan. I could not do what I do without her.

KRL: Does the nearest ASPCA send rats to you, and do they help if they can?

YRA: Unfortunately, no. Not being a non-profit organization does have its drawbacks. I do network with several small animal rescues in nearby states, however, and have done a number of rescue-to-rescue transfers in the past.

KRL: Have you been involved in any hoarder or big rescues? If so can you tell us about it?

YRA: Last June I was involved in a large rescue in Fruitport, Michigan. A home there had some rats that were loose and running the property. As you can imagine, they quickly multiplied, and the house and yard were completely overrun. The authorities condemned the home, and I went over to trap as many as possible before the exterminator arrived. With the help of a local police officer who, bless him, had never dealt with rats before but was willing to do whatever needed done, we managed to trap 69 semi-feral rats. Sister rescues Critter Camp in Illinois and Jaydas Critter House in Port Huron, Michigan took in some. Most of the resulting litters were adopted, and many still reside here with me. Two of the little ones were subsequently adopted by the police officer and his family, which was a very lovely ending.

KRL: What are your most urgent needs right now and how can people help?

YRA: Lab block, chinchilla pellets, guinea pig pellets, timothy hay, and aspen bedding are a constant need. Cage accessories, especially shelves such as lava ledges and hanging chew toys are always appreciated. Gift certificates to Family Home and Farm (here in Michigan), Amazon.com, or Pet360 are wonderful. Cash donations are the most useful, as I buy my feed and bedding locally. pets

KRL: Is there anything you would like to add?

YRA: Rescue is not for the faint of heart. It’s the toughest job I’ve ever done, but it also comes with the greatest rewards. I am constantly amazed at the caring and generosity of the people I’ve met through this rescue; those who are adopting, those who are surrendering animals into my care and those, like KRL, who support rescues and help us get the word out about what we do.

KRL: What are your website URL and Facebook and Twitter details?

Website: www.yaleroadadoptables.weebly.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/YaleRoadAdoptables

Our address and phone are:
Yale Road Adoptables
10045 Yale Rd.
Greenwood, MI 48006
Email: gotrats10@yahoo.com
Donation link: gotrats10@yahoo[dot]com (PayPal)

KRL: The mission statement for your rescue?

YRA: I don’t know that I really have a mission statement, per se, but this is what I state on my home page: “In the summer of 2011, I found myself in a position to once again have pocket pets. Since then, finches, house rabbits, degus, rats, chinchillas, and mice have found their home here. In my adoption adventures, I’ve found so many more little ones who are in need of loving homes. I take in as many as I responsibly can. In order to take in those who need homes, I need to find homes for those I’ve taken in. This rescue is to help those efforts.”

Editor’s Note: Yale Road Adoptables has taken some time off from rescuing, but should be back up and running this fall. Be sure to keep an eye on their Facebook page for more information.

Check out more rat rescue profiles & other pet rat and mouse related articles and stories in our Rodent Ramblings section and other animal rescue and pet related articles in our Pet Section.

Advertise with KRL and a portion of your ad fees can go to an animal rescue.

Diana Hockley is an Australian mystery author who lives in a southeast Queensland country town. She is the devoted slave of five ratties & usually finds an excuse to mention them in her writing, including her recent novel, The Naked Room. Since retiring from running a traveling mouse circus for 10 years, she is now the mouse judge for the Queensland Rat & Mouse Club shows. To learn more, check out her website.


  1. Really enjoyed this post. Reminded me of my son’s pet rat.
    He ‘rescued’ the rat from the school lab. Named him Bong Hit. I called him bongers. They, as all animals, are smart. Bongers loved to snuggle. And. As with any animal wild or domestic. You treat them with respect and they will go to hell and back for you. Josh would frequently take Bongers outside with him. Often he would set Bongers down and Bongers would go ‘exploring’. After 15 minutes or so Josh would yell “Bongers” and a few minutes later here would come Bongers around the corner of the building and on into our apartment.

  2. Yale Road Adoptables (YRA), hello! I’d never heard of your rescue before receiving this issue of Kings River Life from my friend, Lee Juslin (who has also written for KRL). It is always nice to meet “small” rescues. The Fruitport case you’ve spoken of here was my best friend Christine’s Critter Café and Rescue. Christine was and is my best friend. I’d like to add that what happened to her was due to the fact that an irresponsible someone dumped a boxful of rats on her property in the wintertime which Christine didn’t even discover for about a week’s time. By the time she did discover them, they’d already begun to colonize. And because Christine doesn’t like to euthanize, she did her best to squelch the numbers. I know that she separated the rats by sex and some might even have been altered. But she too was a one-woman show. She did the best she could do with the resources she had and it’s too bad that the media and the township criminalized her actions. She now has a felony offense to her name which was totally unwarranted. After months of being homeless, she finally found another position but is about to be on the street again due to no fault of her own.

    I wish you all the best in your endeavors. I’ll find you on Facebook, “like” and follow you. Be careful not to take in more than you can handle. That’s what got my bestie in the trouble she’s now in.


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