Rat Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm putting this in general, because I think it would benifit anyone who has to give away their rats, not just oops litter babies like me. Please don't hate me Mods.


Okay so, can you guys help give me advice? I've started lining up homes for Pippa's babies. She'd due this weekend.

I've been talking to a couple about getting a pair of rats, and I'm a little bit concerned, but also scared that I've just become a rat snob.

So far the red flags for me are:

-at first wanted both a male and female pair, untail I explained why that was a bad idea*
-claim to have had rats before but didn't know boy+girl=no?

I suggested they join here, and check out RatGuide and DapperRat. I hope they do join here! The chick seems nice. But I'm scared of my grandratties going to bad homes. Especially since I know so many poor rat owners..

I'm talking to them more, asking about bedding and food, so I'll try to update with what they say.

Should I ask for maybe a picture or two of their last set up? Or for them to tell me about their past rats? Or for like a... character reference?

I'm scared that if they used to have rats they won't take my advice on caring for them.. You know how people can be.

*they are taking a pair of males now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
If they want them for free or very cheap- some people will say they want pets and instead take them and turn around and sell them to animal testing labs (they could also feed to snakes). Definitely ask for an adoption fee. If they ask for a certain size of rat don't do it o_o if they don't know the basics I wouldnt risk it. You could ask for a picture of what they plan housing them to ensure good homes- good cage=cost money=probably cared
Ask what vet they take their rats to
They can make up rat personalities, and character references seems a little time consuming
When you get the picture of the cage, run it through search google images to make sure its something they took and not just found
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,054 Posts
When I'm rehoming rescue litters or older rescues, I have a list of criteria that I go through. Cage, bedding, food, smoking, current pets, past experience, reason for wanting these particular rats, and more that I'm probably forgetting. A wrong answer (usually regarding bedding and cages) doesn't particularly exclude a potential adopter, but if they aren't willing to listen to why their answer is wrong and fix it then they're out. I talk to people for a minimum of 1.5 to 2 weeks (most of the time longer if they are adopting a pup since I start looking for homes early). Typically if they're willing to put up with my incessant questions and spouting of facts then they're likely to be a good match. Red flags would be if someone asks for a rat in terms of small, medium and large; this is reptile feeding lingo. If someone isn't willing to let you do a home inspection or at the very least see their cage and pictures of their current rats (if applicable), if someone already has a million pets, if they're not willing to show you the supplies they have when you drop off the rat(s), etc. I typically do an initial meeting with people so they can meet the rats with no promise that they can take them home at that time. If I'm comfortable with them then they can take them home at that point, if I'm not or they don't have everything they need, I leave with the rats and either have them let me know when they're completely set up or inform them that it's not a good fit (this has only happened once and is a little awkward so screen well ahead of time). It takes a lot of time and effort, but it's very much worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
When I've been doing research regarding the buying/adoption guidelines I noticed a trend. You need photos of your cage/set up and some background if you've owned rats before and are experienced. Also they ask for you to bring a proper way to transport the rats (not a box or bucket).

It sounds like these people just don't have a clue, and I think it was good that you suggested looking here and those websites for more info. If you truly think these folks wouldn't be a good fit then go with your instincts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
Next, we would like you to be aware that there are dishonest people who routinely obtain animals for profit by fraudulently answering "Free To Good Home" ads. They are usually very persuasive and friendly. They know all the "right" answers to your questions because they do this sort of thing on a regular basis. Some may even bring their kids along to make you think they are a loving family!The most important thing you can do to discourage this kind of person is to charge an adoption fee! This makes it much more difficult for them to realize a profit so they will usually not bother contacting you.What can happen to an animal if you let one of these con artists have it?* Used to "live train" fighting dogs. The animal you expected to be a pet is used to bait a fighting dog and is literally torn to pieces.* Sold at Flea Markets or Auctions to anybody who happens along. Most of the time these animals are neglected, kept in cramped, unsanitary conditions and often become sick and diseased.* Sold to a Class-B Dealer who then resells the animal to a research facility. People who practice the despicable act of rounding up strays to sell them are referred to as "Bunchers". At the research facility, the animal may suffer abuse and most likely will be euthanized after they are finished with it.* Used for breeding stock in a "Puppy Mill". The living conditions in most of these establishments are deplorable. Bitches have continuous litters, one after the another.* Used as live food or bait for exotics like snakes or alligators.* Sacrificed in cult rituals. Some people find this hard to believe, but the FBI has many files documenting this kind of activity in our country.
This particular segment was from http://www.almosthomeadoptions.com/index.php/tragedy-of-free-to-good-home
@kksrats :I did I thing on animal testing in my hometown... Although most labs keep specific lines of rats/mice ie wistar rats bred from myco free stock there are 'other' things they sometimes need them for breeding, ect
@smilebud :don't freak out about the quote (was just mentioning it), if they have a decent cage, seem good, all the things other people said, I'm sure they'll be fine
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,054 Posts
This particular segment was from http://www.almosthomeadoptions.com/index.php/tragedy-of-free-to-good-home
@kksrats :I did I thing on animal testing in my hometown... Although most labs keep specific lines of rats/mice ie wistar rats bred from myco free stock there are 'other' things they sometimes need them for breeding, ect
@smilebud :don't freak out about the quote (was just mentioning it), if they have a decent cage, seem good, all the things other people said, I'm sure they'll be fine
I happen to work in a laboratory (and have worked in others) with rats and mice and I can guarantee you that absolutely no one is bringing animals in from some place other than an accredited supplier. A. you have myco (and who knows what else), B. you couldn't use them for any research whatsoever, so what's the point, C. we have strict policies that forbid it. If someone somewhere is doing this it's probably not in the US and if it is, it's probably the most unlikely scenario anyone would face when rehoming a small animal.

I'm not saying that what you posted is wrong about other animals. My husband had a pitbull stolen from his yard to be used as a bait dog and recently there was a guy arrested here for torturing puppies he got from craigslist. Any animal that I have to rehome comes with an adoption fee, not because I want to make money (I put way more money into my animals than my husband needs to know about :p), but because it deters the people who would use them for something other than pets. With rats it's a firm $15 because that's more than any snake owner would ever pay even for the largest rat. All you can do is be smart about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
I was under the impression that behavioral studies often used them but thinking about the reproduction rate of rats, it would be pointless to risk contamination when they're readily available. Thanks for the correction :) I don't mean to hyjack this thread but kksrats I'm curious to how you feel about animal testing and conditions in labs that you've worked at as you quite obviously love and take good care of your own rats. I don't know if it would be appropriate to start a new thread for a single post or what... But thanks for your time
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,054 Posts
Everyone that I've met absolutely adores the rats and mice we take care of. I know that the animal facility staff does a lot to make sure the animals are happy; they have enrichment and things to chew on. One of my lab mates and I do a lot to make sure the animals are well socialized and we spend a couple of hours each day talking to and handling our animals. This might not be the case with all scientists, but all the ones that I've met are great as far as the animals are concerned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thnaks everyone for your replies!

I've been messaging back an forth, and it turns out that they used to use pine shavings.. But when I told them that it was dangerous they didn't freak out or anything, just apologized and said they didnt know. So that's promising I guess? If I do end up going with them, I'll give them a baggie of the litter I use so they can try it out.

They're getting a new cage this weekend, so I get the pictures then. Apparently it's 3ft long, Which sounds promising , becuase even if it turns out to be a rabbit cage, they can still add shelves and hammocks.

So far they're very open to my suggestions, but now you guys have put the fear of them making it up into my heart... They are willing to drive 3 hours to get here though, because they say no one has rats where they are (the ontario boonies). You don't think someone would waste that much gas (6 hour round trip) for something they were just going to feed to a snake, do you?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
When I was a kid there was a poster in my grade school, then the same one (more or less) turned up in my junior high school and then in my high school... "Looking for unwanted small animals of all kinds" In my senior year I met the boy who had posted the flyer when I went to his house and there was a magnificent huge black indigo snake and a huge pile of empty small cages of all kinds in a downstairs room... They had the black indigo snake since before it was listed as an endangered species... which was a long time even back then... And although they lived in one of the nicest houses in town and were quite affluent, they had been adopting unwanted pets to feed their snake for many years.

I asked the boy about the "deception" and he matter of factly, replied that they never lied to people about where their rodents were going; then he remarked that most people didn't ask, so he didn't mention it either....

I suppose many people don't want to know what happens to the pets they discard so they don't ask... For the most part, I suppose people don't like to lie, so if you ask... they just might tell you what their intentions are...

Our rats lead a very unorthodox life style, so I'm sure there are folks out there that wouldn't adopt rats to us... There's no way I can honestly fill out one of those questionnaires with a straight face... But if asked, I tell the truth... and I let the person decide if they want to adopt their rats to us.... Some folks ask me to adopt their rats so they can have a better life after meeting our true shoulder rats, they think our rats are amazing... other folks would prefer their rats to live a safer life, entirely indoors in a cage the size of a nation and live a more conventional life, either way I understand.

I don't know what a good test for a potential owner is... but I'd ask questions and listen very carefully to the answers. I think I'd listen for the words friendship, companionship and love... People who want rats for food may say the right things when it comes to cages and food and litter, but they don't get the emotional bond rat owners enjoy... So when you ask them why they want to adopt your rats I don't think they will have a sincere answer that involves the special emotional bond that rats give you.

If someone tells you that they have had a special bond with one rat and want another or that they want a furry friend then you know they will care for your rats... If someone tells you it's because they are interesting animals, or they don't take much care, or they are clean animals (something out of a book)... you know they've got it all wrong and your rats aren't going to a good home.... It comes down to intentions for me... if you intend to be a good rat parent, you will take better care of your rats... If you don't have any good intentions to share, you very well might have bad ones you are hiding.

One young lady once told me her future husband was a nice guy and he had a good job and his parents were springing for a big wedding, when I asked why she was getting married. (anyone else miss something here?) The marriage lasted less than a year. Most people are good at lying about material things, but when it comes down to the emotional ones, they get all hung up because when it comes down to emotions it's easy to tell when someone isn't telling you the truth. Most of us can feel real emotion at any distance, you can't lie to me about they way you feel... but if you say you have a cage the size of a nation and steal a photo from the internet... I guess I'm going to believe you.

Best luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,054 Posts
Someone willing to drive 6 hours total seems pretty dedicated to me. As I said before, someone who doesn't know much but is willing to learn is not an automatic out in my book.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
I really really doubt they would, six hours is not only gas money, but time they could be doing something else. Think of it this way- no one in their area has live rats, they aren't going to drive far out of the way and talk to one person to try to get two rats that can't breed to each other for a snake on a regular basis. :) I would ask why they thought a male and a female would be a good idea, did they plan on getting one fixed? I'm just curious really!
Ask to get an update/picture after they've had them for a week or two, it might help to reassure you everything is okay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
908 Posts
In many animals, males can't cohabitate without fighting or death... So they were probably thinking along the lines of with dogs... with dominant breeds, many people recommend a mixed-sex pair instead of two males to prevent fighting.

That said, a snake owner won't pay more than going market price for feeder rats and that is well below $10 even for a large rat. Plus, the gas money alone would also be a negative factor. If you are charging $10-$15 as an adoption fee, you won't have anything to fear from snake owners... I keep snakes and no one I know would go to the lengths you describe in deception, price, or distance.

I'd say good criteria (that isn't overly invasive) for potential buyers would be showing you pics of their setup or other rats, answering questions about what rats they previously owned (or other pets) and why they want rats. I'd also ask about food and bedding, but again, if they aren't experienced, they may not know what is best. I would provide a caresheet with links to proper food, caging, etc. and give them a sample of food / bedding they are on now.

I wouldn't necessarily knock someone for using pine in the past either... I know people that use it with good results (long term and many animals). There are better alternatives, but pine isn't the worst thing they could use.

You also have to consider the demand for rats in your area and how many potential buyers you have... If you have a waiting list for these rescue pups (more buyers than pups) then you can be more selective... If there are no signs of further interest and you have many to home... If the people seem to genuinely care and are able to pay the adoption fee, then you should feel OK going for it... I remember reading an article online about rescues (dog) being too overly selective with potential adopters and it actually turning good homes away and turning people off of rescue all together.... You may encounter a family with say a kid that really wants to have rats and they have everything correct save their cage is a little small... Is it worth it to hold out for that "perfect" home when the rats could live a very good life with the kid and the slightly smaller cage?

Good luck in finding them homes!
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top