by Alyssa Nader
Alyssa Nader 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.
Snowy was adopted, along with his cage-mate in January and homed with two other boy rats. The owner had just moved into a new house, but after the introduction of her rats, her roommate began to feel sick. It turned out that she was allergic to rats and could not live with them. Unable to afford moving again (especially in the Bay Area), the owner reached out to Rattie Ratz to help her rehome the boys into a stable and appropriate housing situation.
Snowy moved into a foster home with a Rattie Ratz volunteer. It was quickly discovered that he was very aggressive to other rats and at times to people as well. A common solution to aggression in male rats is neutering, although it is far from 100% effective depending on the rat. Snowy underwent the procedure, but his levels of aggression did not improve.
Rattie Ratz is prepared for situations like this with several different avenues for helping rats who need homes. Rats who are surrendered to the rescue are kept separate from others initially, to ensure that they are healthy and do not pass along any diseases to our other animals. During this period, they are also assessed for their readiness to be homed. Several factors are considered, including health, age, and behavior, with other rats as well as with people. In most cases, we have great results socializing and nurturing rats who may be fearful, shy, or even aggressive after their last home situation, where they may have been left alone, neglected, or even abused. Generally, the animals we take in are able to improve to the point that they can be adopted by a forever home.
Sometimes, even with good care, adoption isn’t the best option. Rattie Ratz doesn’t give up on any animal. In cases where rehabilitation is not possible, or the rat has health or age-related issues, their forever home with be with Rattie Ratz, which is referred to as sanctuary. Our sanctuary animals are housed and cared for by our most experienced and dedicated volunteers, who know how to maximize quality of life for the rest of a rattie’s days, no matter their behavior, health, or age.
Due to Snowy’s continued aggression, he went to live with Molly, who has owned and cared for rats for over 20 years and currently houses dozens of happy rats with her wife, Ena. When Snowy first arrived, he spent most of his time sleeping and scent-marking his cage. Molly moved him into his own cage that allowed him to smell and view other rats from a safe distance, which he enjoyed and helped decrease his aggression.
Although Snowy is still aggressive to other rats and needs to be kept alone for now but has made huge progress in his interactions with people. Whereas before he was biting and avoiding his caretakers, he is now gentle and comes to the cage to greet Molly and Ena. He has some funny quirks as well. He likes to push all the fabric through his cage bars, like he’s building a fabric wall against the world. Molly and Ena think it’s pretty cute!
Snowy doesn’t need to be perfect to have a loving forever home, and neither does any other animal who comes our way. Rattie Ratz makes this commitment to all the ratties who need us.
Rattie Ratz is an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to help all domesticated ratties who come to us find a loving, forever home.
Rattie Ratz: Rescue, Resource, & Referral
Click here to email us at: info@rattieratz[dot]com
Call us at: (415) 340-1896
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.