Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rescued rats safe, well cared for

Submitted by EARS volunteer Norma Rodriguez of Bellflower, California

A juvenile ("juvie") rat
and his momma.
I was so wrong when I commented to another volunteer that, “At least we won’t be carrying the baggage of emotional attachment when our deployment with the rats ends.” Right. Like I won’t remember the little rat who would literally grab the apple slice from my hand. Maybe someday I’ll delete from my camera the little white “juvie” who was so cute with his mama. Maybe tomorrow I won’t wonder if someone will remember to attach a second water bottle to the divided cages. By the way, it took a couple of days to remember we were working on “cages,” not kennels. This deployment will remain in my heart just as all deployments do with everyone else.

Large "condos" at the
temporary rat shelter
As tragic as the situation was, as always, there were some truly funny moments during this deployment. What else could you expect from such amazing folks as the EARS volunteers? There will always be laughter. Everyone comes away with a special memory.
EARS volunteer Linda Olvera of
Oakland, CA enjoys cuddle time.
I think all of us who were fortunate to be able to volunteer our time and efforts to this deployment came away with knowledge and appreciation we never imagined having. I certainly learned, from observing first-hand, more about the life cycle, personalities and abilities of rats. Every creature, including humans, has talents and abilities others don’t have, and the sooner humans recognize and accept this, the sooner animal abuse and neglect will end and animals will receive the respect and appreciation we all deserve.

Thank you to all who assembled and then reinforced cages, all who watered and fed, all who schlepped cages and bins to the sorting room, all who cut cardboard for the cage tops, all who swept the floors, and especially all who cut chicken wire for the cages to prevent the rats from escaping.

Photos this post courtesy Norma Rodriguez.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rats make international news!

The story of the rescued rats is popping up nationwide and even as far as Great Britain and Australia!

Check out these news segments with video from KTVU Channel 2 and KCBS Channel 5.

Thanks to all of UAN's Emergency Animal Rescue Service volunteers who deployed to help these critters.

The rescued rats will be available for adoption and transport to other rescue groups after December 5. If you are interested in adopting, please contact North Star Rescue.

Monday, November 22, 2010

In search of the ideal pet

What's a good choice if you want a pet who is smart, affectionate and clean? The answer might surprise you ...

Welcome to the rat race

It's been a busy day here at the emergency shelter UAN's Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) volunteers are running for 1,000 rats rescued from an overrun home in southern California last week.

Rescued rats enjoy their new "condo"
This morning we arrived to find that seven rats had escaped from their new "condo" enclosures. Luckily, all were quickly captured and returned to their cages. Volunteers are now wrapping the "condos" in chicken wire to prevent more escapes. The intake process continues. Rats are being "sorted" according to gender and placed into the large rolling condos in groups of 15 or so. 

A "juvenile" rat, about two weeks old.
In the last 24 hours, our rat pack has grown by about 25 -- two new litters were born and they are resting comfortably with their new moms in our maternity ward.

Several news cameras have visited the shelter today, and we're hopeful the media attention will help these rescued rats find new homes and educate people about the many good reasons to adopt rats as pets!

Read coverage of the response in the San Jose Mercury News.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rat rescue: A UAN first

There is a first time for everything, and this is a first for United Animal Nations: a rat rescue. This weekend, a dozen of UAN’s Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) volunteers from California are caring for approximately 1,000 rats removed from an overrun home in Southern California on Thursday and Friday.

EARS volunteer Lynn Frischmann carries
rescued rats into the temporary shelter.
North Star Rescue, a San Francisco Bay Area group specializing in small animal rescue, and The Humane Society of the United States removed the rats and transported them to a temporary shelter at Andy’s Pet Shop in San Jose. UAN volunteers spent the entire day Friday setting up cages and “condos” for the rats; stocking their new homes with food, water and bedding; and unloading the rats and sorting them after they arrived.

Today, EARS volunteers continue to work with North Star Rescue volunteers to intake the animals – a process that could take several days for so many animals. Read more about this rescue and sheltering operation on the UAN Web site.

Many of the rats are pregnant or had just given birth. Check out this video of a few of the youngest residents of the temporary shelter: