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Hello everyone, a few incidents in the past few years has led me to go to college earlier, and it's a complete necessity at the moment, but the issue is I have two male fancy rats who are still quite young, around a year, and I don't know what I should do for their benefit. I can't really leave them with parents because though I could come home on weekends to change their fleece and keep charts for diet schedules etc, they likely will not let them out of their cages, and if so, not more than a few minutes of the day, and that makes me worry about the isolation/boredom. I don't have any friends who could watch them, or anyone who has enough rat experience to take care of them, (at my school, they don't allow first years to live off campus so I can't get an apartment to let them live in). Does anyone have any suggestions, it's becoming somewhat desperate, I don't want to just give them away because I don't want to lose them and subject them to ill treatment, but leaving them without their full care is the alternative.

Are their any programs that allow temporary homes? Or have you seen a similar situation. I realize getting my rats was extreme poor planning, but it was well over a year ago, and at the time I didn't think I was going to college for two years or more.
 

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This is a rather difficult situation... years ago, I kept pets and other prohibited things in my dorm room and I knew many people that did. Most colleges enforce rules when someone complains and they let other things slide.

A friend of mine kept her pet rat in her dorm room and it became the floor and eventually dorm mascot, in fact it was rather popular, despite being "prohibited". In her defense, she was Bo Derick kind of attractive and she had the kind of personality the melted butter at a distance and I'm pretty sure she could have moved in an orangutan and no one would have minded...

In college, a whole lot of what you can get away with depends on you, if your dormmates like you they generally won't turn in your pets or other violations... if they don't like you, your life will be crap.

As to doing the right thing and asking for permission goes, it usually isn't given, because policies are policies and there's a reason for them. If the college changes the policy they won't be able to enforce it when someone really does bring in a problem animal. Consider the situation if your roommate is rat phobic for example. With the right roommate, and floormates and dormmates your rat might become a popular attraction, odds are that the housing police aren't going to toss your room looking for pets without a cause. On the other hand, if your rats upset someone you might as well consider them gone.

Best luck
 

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Well, you could arrange something with one of the rat forum peeps that live near your college - they could house them and play with them, and you could come by and see your babies..?
 

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Like Rat Daddy said, this is difficult.

If your parents are cool with the feeding of the rats, then I'd stick with that route. It's not ideal, but it lets you keep in contact with your rats until they do pass on. I'm going on the assumption that your parents will not do more than feed and water them. It's nice to think that they may have a change of heart, but it's best to assume they won't and be pleasantly surprised later. So be prepared for weekly visits home to change fleece and play with rats.

The reason I suggest that you stick this out is that you don't know what college will present you. Like Rat Daddy said, you could possibly break the rules and get away with it. You won't know until you get there. You need to get a feel for what could slide. Also get an idea of the punishment if you get caught. If it means expulsion from the dorms, which are tied to your academia, then it's not worth it. Rats are great, but they're not worth jeopardizing your future.

And possibly, just possibly, you'll make a friend off campus who would love to care for your rats. That's something else you cannot predict. Maybe it'll never happen, but college kids are an eclectic bunch. Hit up college discussion groups and look for animal lovers to connect with. One of them might be willing to hold your rats. Even if they don't play with the rats, they're closer to you so that you can still bond with them. ****, if you can join some discussion groups right now, you may be able to arrange to join some social functions when you first arrive.

Otherwise, you may have to consider making them rescue rats. But I think it's too early for that decision. While the rats will have some moments of loneliness without you there, it might be short-lived.
 

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While the rats will have some moments of loneliness without you there, it might be short-lived.
And besides... it could be worse. It could be just ONE solitary rat; at least they have each other. :)
 

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What a difficult situation. Moving away and starting college can be stressful enough, but having to make a difficult decision about your ratties must make it even trickier.
I agree with what's been suggested - leave the rats at home under the care of your parents and spend all the time you can with them on weekends. In my opinion, it's not worth risking breaking the rules, and personally, I wouldn't consider giving them to a shelter/rescue/new owner who may be inexperienced, because the care they get there can be quite inferior to what your parents are able to provide (even if your parents only interact with them a tiny bit). Plus, think how happy they will be to have you home with them on weekends!
Best of luck with this situation as well as with college :)
 

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Will you be sharing a room? I kept a guinea pig in my room at uni and no one ever minded. He used to come to lectures with me in my handbag, and I brought him back salad from the canteen :)
 
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