Rat Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Oooh, I wish I could do it! There is nothing in my area at all anymore. There was ONE breeder forty five-ish minutes away. And they stopped breeding.

I have the space... the time... and if I got enough donations, I'm almost positive my parents would say yes.

I just want to help so much, but I'm at a loss as to how to do so. I know, I know, a lot of people want to start rat rescues... and I also know it's a really big responsibility. But I know I love my little critters and I also know a lot of people around me who really like rats and who are always looking for rats intermittently... but because we don't have any breeders or rescues anymore, petsmart is the only option. And our local Petsmart only sells boys... not very helpful if you have girls!

I just don't think it's very ethical to rely on donations... I know that's how most rescues must run. But it always made me nervous. I've been considering doing a Booster event (you can buy t-shirts and it's all free for the person setting up the booster, too, and you're not just donating to get nothing). I even had a name picked out: Arctic Hearts and Northern Lights Rescue (AHNLR)... though Northern Lights Rescue is shorter and kind of sounds better.

This is all just contemplation right now, of course... so I assumed it would go in the lounge?
I know a lot of people here want to start rescues themselves... so what is your plan to do it? :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,526 Posts
Fable and I try to help rescues, as we wanted to start one. We did a full scale rescue situation and it was insane. We had a post somewhere about it. It's more time consuming than you think, heart breaking, and expensive as ****.

I still want to run one, but they don't run on money from donations. They're primarily out of pocket. You don't get donations to cover even half a neuter. When I'm in better places financially and everything I will open one, but that will take years and years yet.

I wouldn't recommend it to you until you are older and have hundreds a month to burn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
But what if someone were to take donations (like run a booster) that were over their startup costs, and put the rest of the money away in a bank account? To be honest, there are so few rat people around here, I doubt I'd ever get more than one or two at a time...

CNY isn't very big on rats, sadly.

I can't imagine anything like what happened in OH happening here. o_o

I'm primarily looking to bridge out with the humane society here and take any rats they might get in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,526 Posts
Well it would depend on costs. You have to assume in your finances that every rat potentially needs it's own cage, a pound of food a month, bedding, and assume the worst which is all your rats get sick at once/need life saving surgery in the dead of night. Assuming you don't drive, this means taxi costs. I once had to drive about an hour to get my rat to a vet at ten at night on a weekday.

You also have to assume every female carries the risk of twenty additional pups which will need three cages when old enough.

Finally you need to have a network of foster homes and quarantine homes lined up. For us, this meant driving 200 miles.

If you're thinking this couldn't happen to your area, three hoarders have occurred. Detroit, Cincinnati, and in a rural nowhere town. Anyone can be hoarding.

I don't want to put you out, I just want you not to get over your head. For now, I volunteer to rescues who need people to drive rats around and I volunteer at shelters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I understand, nanashi, and thank you so much :D I think I'm going to try to get everything set up and try to raise the original $1,000 I was planning and lock away the extra funds... and then possibly set up a storenvy to keep money coming in, perhaps?

As horrible as it sounds, I don't think I would ever let myself take in more at a time than I know my capacity would be. I know how many I can take in, and that's how many I've got to stick to. I'm planning on a DCN (that can be split off into boys and girls, of course) - so I can take six of either gender at one time at max, and an additional four in the quarantine cage I'm planning on purchasing.

This is all hypothetical, of course. I've been setting up a mock-website and calculating costs of things, and I'll be asking whether or not it's even a possibility at some point with my parents. I know such a small scale (only 16) doesn't seem like much... but in my opinion, every last rattie counts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,871 Posts
I thought of doing something like this in the future. I volunteer at my local shelter and foster kittens. I was going to say if they came across small furry pets I would foster and/or take them and find them homes myself.

So that might be an idea on how to get started?

When I was looking to rehome my male two different rat rescues contacted me. IDK what area of NY u r in.

Taking in rats and rehoming them would probably be the easiest part. But if one got sick or if they all got sick! Or if one is being aggressive and you have to separate it. You will prob need extra cages for that just in case. Maybe you can talk to local vets about a discount for your rescue, some are very helpful with rescues.

And it doesn't sound horrible at all. Taking in only what you can fit/afford sounds very smart and reasonable!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,526 Posts
http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?t=27071


Don't forget you can't just throw rats together. You really need more than two cages. If you are thinking 12 rats, I would say have as many spares. I have a garage of spares and I'm not even rescuing at this time !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I just wish that money wasn't the issue. I have a huge home. I have two outbuildings that (though they can't be used in the winter) could be used as quarantine in the spring/summer/early fall. We also have an entirely separate house 5 minutes away that is empty (no one is renting right now). Like, an entire house that's just sitting there needing a purpose.

Just off the top of my head and looking around, I could fit at least three DCNs just in my living room... not to mention we have an entire section of our house that is empty and never used.

I have all the time in the world. I only go to school nights except for tuesdays and thursdays (which are only from 11-3 anyway). Everything is perfect except for the fact that it couldn't be run off of donations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,526 Posts
If good hearted people got to run rescues without worry, the world woukdnt be in such a sorry state. Fable and I learned how bad it was when we rescued. It cost $200 in gas and that was to foster rats out. Nevermind that the idiot we worked with didn't want to work with is - a quick pick up and sort job took nearly three hours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Hey, I'm in Upstate NY, and I wanted to let you know that we do actually have a big issue with rats getting turned in to shelters. I volunteer at our local SPCA, and we currently have a male rat in, and just adopted out two others. Then I know someone who does rescues about 45 minutes away from me, she's a member here on the forum, and I adopted my boy Sasha from her. She gets a lot of accidental litters in, and other rescues.

So there are a lot of rats without a place to call home up here, believe it or not, and not a lot of adopters. That means you may have to put up many rats for a very long time. I am not trying to discourage you- I think it's a fantastic idea and hope to open my own exotic shelter someday, but I'm letting you know that, realistically, paying for all of the cages, bedding, food, vet visits, etc, can be very difficult. Not that I run a rescue, but I own a lot of animals and I've worked with a lot of injured/disabled/ailing animals (mostly wildlife), and it can be very difficult, time consuming, and expensive.

Instead of a full-blown rescue, I would recommend that you try fostering, first! You can help out a shelter and give the ratties a great place to stay while they wait for their forever homes. It can still be expensive and difficult, but not quite as much and more on your own terms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
@Perocore: Whereabouts? I'm not so much in upstate as in a very akward part of Oneida that doesn't know what it wants to be >_< I know up closer to Canada there's one... but I'm talking Lowville and lower part of upstate? I'd love to volunteer to foster if there IS a rescue up here though!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
479 Posts
I was going to suggest fostering/small scale rescue. Even calling local shelters to talk to them and offer yourself as a place to house x number of abandoned rats would give you some experience and help. Often local shelters/pounds autoeuthinize or euthanize small animals faster as people don't go to those places looking for them. Some just outright refuse to accept them. I knoe a guinea pig rescue that gets a lot of theirs from shelters that are not designed to care for small animals, and often have no clue how to care for them even short term. And if you can connect with a rescue even one that is a little farther from you you might be able to work as a long distance foster, taking rats out of shelters in their name and having them be able to help with some cost issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,292 Posts
It's great you want to run a rescue! But like others have said, you really can't get into it unless you've got your own income and I would say are living on your own too. Also, even though you want to cap the number you take in so as not to exceed you limits, you've got to consider the possibility that someone just dumps animals on your doorstep without even asking you, because unfortunately people do that a lot. Will you have the funds and space ready to take on those kinds of cases? It could be a box full of rats suddenly forced into your care, and of course you wouldn't have the heart to just leave them outside
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,474 Posts
As Nanashi has already said, we've already had a rather good sized rescue under our belts; but it's made us realize that we were so under prepared. The surrender did not want to work with us and there was definitely some deception on her part; what started out being "three litters of pups" needing homes then turned out to be 36 rats of all ages which then morphed into 50+ that was sprung on us the day of the rescue.

It was hectic and stressful and aggravating but also very rewarding once the rescue was completed. But you also have to remember that we could not take them home and slowly adopt them out once quarantine was over. We didn't get to socialize them or see who they got along best with, or if they had to be housed alone.

We do intend to open a rescue but not any time soon. Nanashi is also correct that almost every rescue is run solely on out of pocket cash of the proprietor. Now fundraisers could, hypothetically speaking, pay for a good portion of the expenses but realistically it probably won't. There are so many things that could happen with it; it could take off and donations could be wonderful, or it could flop and not bring in any money and leave you with little to no supplies and several cages full of hungry mouths.

But lets say you have the funds and the cages and the supplies but you're at your limit on rats and someone dumps a box full of mixed genders on your doorstep and every female is pregnant. What will you do then? You have a big heart, I can tell by your posts, and I don't think you could turn them away. Things can escalate very rapidly in the rescue business, especially if you're trying to keep things small.

I'm in no way trying to dishearten you or ward you off from starting one, I just want you to know the facts and perhaps become a little more prepared before you jump into this line of work. It's wonderful that you want to do this and I do hope you open your own sometime in the future, I just hope you take our comments and advice first and wait a little while. Fostering would be excellent first step and I know your local rescue could use the help. That will give you a good bit of experience and it will allow you to build your connections with other fosters and rescues; trust me when I say that you'll want to have contacts and friends in this business.

Here's the two threads we started when we jumped on the rescue bandwagon, you can see how hectic the first one was and then the relief once it was finished.
http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?188673-MICHIGAN-Rats-in-need-of-forever-homes-ASAP!!!&highlight=rescue
http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?191898-50-Rats-All-Rescued!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
I agree with waiting until you are on your own and financially independent. Fostering and otherwise helping out an established rescue is a great idea to get your feet wet and get some advice from a seasoned rescuer as a mentor-type situation. Rescue takes a tremendous amount of money, time, energy, and other resources, so it's important to objectively view your situation. Are you going off to college soon, anything like that? Dependent on others for transportation? If so, wait for sure.

It's good you appear to know your limits. Most people find it impossible to say no when they need to, and unfortunately this is something that is really important. It's not just the number you think you can handle alone, such as "I have space for 10 rats" - you have to expect every rat you take in to be sick, pregnant, or have other issues (not all will, certainly, but you have to be prepared for the possibility). A trusted vet who is willing to work with you is invaluable, don't even think of starting a rescue if there are no good rat vets near you or vet bills may be a big issue.

You also have to be prepared to make hard decisions. Are you going to try to rescue every feeder rat or rat from a byb out there? If so, you will crash and burn in no time. You will have to make distinctions and choose where to focus your efforts to do the most good, and that can be hard to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
Also, donations are nice, but like everyone else said, they are few and far between. Relying on them is not wise and simply won't work. Fundraisers are good, too, but realistically most don't rake in all that much, and a single big vet bill can wipe it all out. If you do not have considerable disposable income it will be very difficult for you to run a rescue, even a very small one.

The fact that you have the ability to quarantine properly is wonderful - it is VITAL that you practice appropriate quarantine measures as a rescue. It's also important to establish a standard of care that you can stick to. You never want to be a rescue that animals have to be rescued from.

If you decide to move forward, start out very small and take things slowly. It is very easy to get in over your head once word gets out. Stick to helping out shelters in your area, for example, or working with any established rescue near you until you get a better feel for things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
Check that, just over a year before they closed. Most rescues (and breeders for that matter) are gone within 1-2 years of starting, sadly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,292 Posts
I was talking to the owner of a local rat rescue and I was actually surprised to hear how her rescue is going right now. She's got 16 rats, 9 ferrets, and 3 sugar gliders currently at the rescue. NO volunteers or donations, she socializes, cleans, and cares for all of the animals by herself and they all stay at her house. She works at an animal shelter so she isn't swimming on money either I would guess. Her animals are are really well cared for (vet care, good food, DCNs, free range) but still I can't imagine caring for that many animals all by myself with no financial or volunteer help whatsoever. So I guess you've got to prepare for that to possibly be your life if you decide to open a rescue
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
You should all check out this thing amazon has, when you buy something off there it donates like 5% or something to any organization signed up. Its rad, you could sign up for that and then since i make a lot of amazon purchases for work i would donate too you! :)
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top