We started this weekend with quite an adventure which eventually took us to the Toronto Humane Society (THS). Mrs. Rattitude and myself had been considering adopting more little ones and finally decided we would go “take a look” at who was at the THS. For those that do not know us, “take a look” is the same as we’re going to adopt and it’s just a matter of who. I set up the quarantine cage before we left home.
You can find what animals are available for adoption here. Just follow the links to “Other Animals” for Rats, Mice, Rabbits, Gerbils, Hamsters, etc.
There used to be a listings for Jeremy, Colin, Jasper, and Georgie … they are home with us now, but there are still more rats available. These boys are in good health and appear to be passing through our quarantine period well. We’re seeing the usual new home stress symptoms but they are quickly passing.
Of the four, only Jeremy recognized his name and he is also the easiest to identify, a brown and white broken hooded. The other three are virtually identical agouti berkshires and we have since offered up new names to them: Nibblett, Frank and Gordon. These boys have been relatively well socialized considering they were with the THS for about six months. They are curious and quick with only a minor nibbling issue from who else, Nibblett. Time and patience will take care of that issue, he just needs more love and attention … we have plenty of that.
The THS is a great organization but as with lots of “pounds” they are more knowledgable about cats and dogs than small or exotic types of pets. They tend to spend their resources there, too. There was evidence to point to more care is needed in the Small Animal department. The cages, expecially the rat habitats, were in desperate need of cleaning. They had pine shavings in them! Old, and as best we could tell, vitually scentless but it was still pine and rats have more sensitive noses than humans.
They have a “rat” insert they give with the copy of a magazine you get when you adopt. The volunteers know this insert very well, unfortunately the insert only warns against the use of cedar, nothing about pine. Well, I made sure they knew about pine … I made sure everyone I came into contact with there knew about pine and how bad it was!
If anyone is currently considering adopting rats, please also consider your local pet shelter, humane society, your local SPCA or related agency as a place to adopt from.
Also, if you choose to adopt from a shelter, please consider making a donation equal to the price you would pay at a pet store or from a breeder to help those animals that are still waiting for their permanent forever home.
PS: I only specifically named the Toronto Humane Society for two reasons. One, they should have known better about the pine (hopefully our suggestions are being listened to); and two, they do the best they can to care for the rats that they take in, please help them by adopting there.
We helped by “cleaning out” one of their cages, who will step up and be next?
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