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.

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