Krista Shaw, Maple Ridge BC SPCA branch manager, has eight rats up for adoption. (Krista Shaw/Special to the News)

Eight rats needing homes in Lower Mainland

A mischief of rodents came into the Maple Ridge SPCA shelter, now up for adoption

If you have been thinking of adopting a dog, but the smallest breed is still a bit big for you, look no further than the Maple Ridge branch of the BC SPCA.

Although they have a bad reputation – they are often viewed as disease-spreading and filthy – rats make great companions, said branch manager Krista Shaw.

And, there are currently eight rats waiting at the Maple Ridge branch to be adopted into a loving home.

“We refer to them as pocket dogs because they are super smart and loving and affectionate,” explained Shaw.

The rats came to Shaw from a very large intake by the SPCA.

“There is a house that had over 75 rats and they couldn’t care for them anymore,” Shaw recounted.

Out of the 75, Shaw received 12 of the rodents at the beginning of July, which were triaged by another Lower Mainland branch of the SPCA.

RELATED: 97 rats surrendered to SPCA from B.C. home

All of the rats have been checked and treated for lice.

Since then two have already been adopted, and four more are being transferred to the Richmond branch on Thursday, Aug. 20.

“They are super, super smart. You can train them to do tricks. They know their name. We can’t hear it, but rats do laugh when they get tickled which is really cute,” she said.

And, they can be trained to do pretty much anything a dog can do, added the branch manager.

Rats originated from Asia and their domestication began around 200 years ago, states an information page on the BC SPCA website.

Rats can weigh up to about 650 grams and measure between 23 and 28 centimeters in length, plus an additional 18 to 23 cm tail.

Their coats can come in a few styles from smooth to curly and there are many different colours.

Rats do require a lot of attention.

BC SPCA guidelines include spending time with your new pet so you know how they behave normally, so when something unusual takes place like breathing issues or loss of appetite, you can get them to a veterinarian right away.

RELATED: ‘I couldn’t leave them’: B.C. road worker rescues rats left in box at highway rest stop

Handling your rat gently and carefully with two hands – one under the rat’s hind and the other around its chest.

They also need daily exercise. A tall enclosure with multiple levels that they can climb is optimal for a rat.

And, male and female should never be kept together – even for a short period – unless they are neutered or spayed. According to the BC SPCA females can have up to 12 litters – with six to 12 young per litter – in one year.

The BC SPCA recommends getting at least two rats together providing they are the same sex and have a large habitat because they need the social interaction.

They also need chewing items like cardboard, wooden toys, and apple branches, to help wear down their ever-growing front teeth.

Rats can snack on unsweetened cereals, seeds, plain popcorn, nuts and dried pasta. Their staple diet should include rat pellets or blocks, which provide them with a balanced diet and a small amount of vegetables and fruits should be provided every day. They also need water available to them at all times.

The only negative thing about adopting a rat, said Shaw, is that they only live for about three years.

“Some people will only get a rat once in their life because they were so sad over the loss.”

For more information about adopting the rats call 604-463-9511.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BCSPCAMaple Ridge

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Irish folk supergroup Kíla set to perform on Saturday

Online concert will be available through Harrison Festival Society

Man wanted by Abbotsford Police for domestic assault

Morgan Knull, 27, has multiple prior convictions

Mission woman a part of new Hero Cups

Cheyenne Schulz has been working at Tim Hortons for years while also working as an outreach worker.

Fundraiser golf tournament raises $74,000 for Fraser Valley hospitals

Chilliwack General Hospital will benefit from a tourney at held at the Sandpiper Golf Resort

Canada West Golf Championships cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

UBC, UBC-O, UFV and UVic athletes will not hit the links this year, Kelowna was set to host

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Dozens of Canadian venues to light up red in support of entertainment workers

Local facilities among dozens across Canada to participate in Light Up Live

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Most Read