Asne Seierstad’s ‘One of Us,’ About Rampage in Norway

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 22, 2015 in Rat News
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Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/26/books/review/asne-seierstads-one-of-us-about-rampage-in-norway.html

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Will This Be The Year Of The Down Under Rat?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 21, 2015 in Rat News
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© Geri Hauser 
This Down Under rat won first place in the Black Vari-Capped category at the January 2015 AFRMA show. Her name is CSR Isabelle, and she is owned and bred by Nicole Marlin of Country Song Rattery.

Have you ever been to a rat and mouse show? If not, the buoyant energy and inescapable cuteness of these pets await you this weekend at the American Fancy Rat And Mouse Association Show. It takes place April 25, 2015, from 11 to 4 p.m. at the Woodcrest Community Center in Riverside, California. This type of AFRMA show usually happens only four times a year and each is a real treat because of the sheer number of rats and mice to see. 

If you just want to observe, make your weekend plans now. If you have a mouse or rat that you would like to show, get moving! The deadline to enter is this Wednesday, April 22 at 6 p.m. Registration is done on the AFRMA website. There are pet classes and show (conformation) classes.

The rat Pet Classes include Most Affectionate, Most Laid Back, Rat Race, Curious Rat Table and many more. The mouse Pet Classes include Cutest, Friendliest, Most Unusual Markings and more. These are broken down into youth and adult categories, so children are not competing against adults.

This show might (or might not) see the final presentation of the Down Under variety of rat in the process to get it standardized by the AFRMA. The distinctive features of the Down Under rats are the marking on the topside with a belly stripe or evenly distributed belly spots, depending on the markings. This type of rat originated in Australia in 1998 and was imported into the United States in December 2002, according to the AFRMA, but it is only in the last couple of years that rat breeders have pursued getting it standardized. 

A new variety of rat is a big deal. Bristle Coat is the newest variety of rat recognized by the AFRMA. It was standardized in December 2014. Previous to that, the most recently recognized variety was the Dumbo rat, which was standardized in 1998. Other recognized varieties are Satin, Hairless, Tailless, Rex and Standard.

More rats than mice are expected at the show, but Robbins said it’s impossible to know exactly how many rats or mice will be shown until registration closes, and there are still a couple of days left. She is expecting people from out of town and possibly out of state to attend. Watch the AFRMA Facebook page for reminders and information about the show. 

“To learn more about the animals from talking to the breeders, judges and show officials,” Robbins said. She added that it’s also an opportunity to purchase new pets.

“We don’t want people to just show up with their pet. They must be entered,” Robbins said. “That must be done by 22nd at 6 p.m.”

My mom has never been a fan of rats, but when I took her to an AFRMA show she sat enthralled watching the antics of the rats and mice. Now it’s your turn!

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Article source: http://www.smallanimalchannel.com/critter-news/2015/04/20/will-this-be-the-year-of-the-down-under-rat.aspx

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Not even flu concerns kept pet lovers away

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 20, 2015 in Rat News
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When Rusty the 9-year-old beagle went home to the Wehrle family two years ago, he had issues.

Lacie Wehrle said he flinched at sudden noises. He would get scared and sometimes growl. But all those symptoms passed and now he doesn’t even chase squirrels.

“He doesn’t want to be any farther than a couple of feet away,” said Wehrle, who came to the fifth annual Northern Indiana Pet Expo on Sunday at Memorial Coliseum with her daughters, Elise, 10 and Ella, 8,  and Rusty in tow.

The Wehrles found Rusty at the expo two years ago through the Allen County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the expo organizing agency. 

About 3,000 people attended the expo this year, down somewhat from the 3,500 who came last year, many attending with their dogs on leashes, said Jessica Henry, local SPCA director.

Another 600 people manned the vendor booths. Of the 100 vendors, 25 were animal rescue operations, she added. 

On Sunday, 112 dogs, cats, and, even two pet rats were adopted.

Saturday’s numbers were down, Henry said. It could have been that Saturday was a sunny, blue sky kind of day that had everyone outside, or it could have been news of the canine flu, the epicenter of which has been identified as Chicago.

“We do wonder if that impacted us a little bit this year,” Henry said.

Rescue operations were asked not to bring adoptable dogs and cats from the Chicago or northwest Indiana area and signs outside the expo asked those attending to not bring their animals inside if they had visited that area, she added.

Fort Wayne Animal Care Control spokeswoman Lindsay Pease said no cases had been found in the Fort Wayne area.

The organization had one two-month old puppy, Skylar, sleeping peacefully in her cage as music boomed and loudspeakers squawked at the expo.

A catahoula mix, Skylar had been adopted, said Margo Nussbaum, an official for Fort Wayne Animal Care Control.

Graham Hayden and his daughter, Zoie, 8, brought their Siberian husky, Noki. All of them were visiting the expo for the first time.

Hayden had heard about the canine influenza but said he wasn’t too concerned.

“It’s not like it’s the plague or anything,” he said.

The Rev. Joe Gaughan from Most Precious Blood Catholic Church in Fort Wayne, a dog lover himself, was on hand to bless the animals, something Sara Brown was eager to take advantage of with her 4-year-old English bulldog, Minnie.

“I live in Huntington and it’s not something, at least in recent years, anything the churches seemed to have done,” Brown said.

She said she wanted her dog to be blessed and to have a happy, healthy life, which is exactly what most people tell Gaughan.

“And they thank God for the love they share,” said Gaughan, whose favorite bumper sticker says, “I hope to become the person my dog thinks I am.”

jduffy@jg.net

Article source: http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/Not-even-flu-concerns-can-dog-expo-6187648

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Pet Talk: Rats as pets

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 14, 2015 in Rat Answers
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Although cats and dogs may be the most common types of pets, for many other pet owners, animal companionship doesn’t stop there. In honor of World Rat Day on April 2nd, here are the ins and outs of caring for a rat as a pet.

“Rats are probably the most social and interactive of the small rodents,” said Dr. Sharman Hoppes, associate professor at the Texas AM College of Veterinary Medicine Biomedical Sciences. “They are quite gentle and seldom bite.”

Though these rodents are fairly docile, they aren’t typically recommended for small children without adult supervision. If you’re taking home a pet rat for your child, be sure to keep in mind that you will end up being its primary caretaker.

“Small rodents should not be pets for very small children,” Hoppes said. “Children less than 10 years old should be supervised closely when handling them; therefore, the care and monitoring of a rat is ultimately the parent’s responsibility.”

While these rodents still require adequate care and supervision, they are somewhat easier than gerbils or hamsters, which have a tendency to nip and are much more active at night.

“Rats are active during the day, which make them fairly easy to take care of,” Hoppes said. “They also don’t have special dietary needs or sensitive stomachs.”

Therefore, compared to other rodents, rats are fairly easy pets, but this doesn’t exempt you from the typical pet-owner duties. Rodents are still animals, and therefore require your constantlove and care.

“All pet rodents need a large enough cage, chew toys, ladders, plastic or PVC pipe, and daily interaction,” Hoppes said. “As with any rodent, the cage should be cleaned one to two times a week to keep ammonia levels down. Keeping the cage clean will also help decrease the incidence of respiratory disease.”

Even though you cannot take them on walks or let them run around in the backyard, ensuring that your pet rat gets enough exercise throughout the day should still be a priority.

“Rats may get obese in captivity, so you should have exercise wheels, exercise balls, or a safe rodent-proof room for them to play in and get enough exercise,” Hoppes said.

Rats are very social, intelligent animals and need companionship. Dr. Hoppes recommends getting two rats at a time so they have company while their owners work or go to school, and to select an active, social rodent with clean eyes, clean nose, and normal teeth. You should also take note that the skin should is well groomed, and that there are no visible lumps or bumps.

Keeping these factors in mind, a pet rat can be a great addition to your home.

Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine Biomedical Sciences, Texas AM University.

Article source: http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/west_university/living/pet-talk-rats-as-pets/article_b0e60438-19d5-5d60-9129-e9dca7924048.html

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Appeal for information after 60 rats and rabbits are abandoned over Easter Weekend

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 13, 2015 in Rat Answers
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THE Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after almost 60 pet rats and rabbits were cruelly abandoned in the Lothians over the Easter Weekend.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity was first alerted on Good Friday when a member of the public discovered 44 rats in a layby on the A68 between the Edinburgh city bypass and Dalkeith. The charity was then alerted to 15 rabbits abandoned on Saturday in the Langton area of East Calder, West Lothian.

The animals are now in the care of the charity’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Balerno.

Assistant manager Kenny Sharpe said, “The rats were left inside a cabinet in the lay-by. There is a mixture of male and female rats, some adults and some newborns.

“Thankfully they are all in good condition despite the circumstances We will care for the rats until we can find them new homes.

“We think the rabbits were dumped and then spread themselves out as they were scattered over several gardens. It’s likely more than one person was involved given the volume of rabbits.

“There are three adults, two of which are pregnant. There are also six bunnies aged around a week old and five ranging from six weeks old to five months old. Sadly, one baby rabbit had to be put to sleep due to a severely damaged back leg.

“This is possibly a case of breeding gone wrong and we are very keen to identify who abandoned these rabbits.

“Anyone with information relating to the rabbits or the rats should call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

Abandoning and causing an animal unnecessary suffering animal is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.

Article source: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/appeal-information-after-60-rats-5485834

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Appeal for information launched after 60 rats and rabbits abandoned over Easter Weekend

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 12, 2015 in Rat Answers
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THE Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after almost 60 pet rats and rabbits were cruelly abandoned in the Lothians over the Easter Weekend.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity was first alerted on Good Friday when a member of the public discovered 44 rats in a layby on the A68 between the Edinburgh city bypass and Dalkeith. The charity was then alerted to 15 rabbits abandoned on Saturday in the Langton area of East Calder, West Lothian.

The animals are now in the care of the charity’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Balerno.

Assistant manager Kenny Sharpe said, “The rats were left inside a cabinet in the lay-by. There is a mixture of male and female rats, some adults and some newborns.

“Thankfully they are all in good condition despite the circumstances We will care for the rats until we can find them new homes.

“We think the rabbits were dumped and then spread themselves out as they were scattered over several gardens. It’s likely more than one person was involved given the volume of rabbits.

“There are three adults, two of which are pregnant. There are also six bunnies aged around a week old and five ranging from six weeks old to five months old. Sadly, one baby rabbit had to be put to sleep due to a severely damaged back leg.

“This is possibly a case of breeding gone wrong and we are very keen to identify who abandoned these rabbits.

“Anyone with information relating to the rabbits or the rats should call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

Abandoning and causing an animal unnecessary suffering animal is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.

Article source: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/appeal-information-launched-after-60-5485834

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Nearly 60 rats and rabbits dumped by the roadside

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 11, 2015 in Rat Answers
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The SPCA said they were called out on Good Friday when a member of the public discovered 44 rats in a layby on the A68 between the Edinburgh bypass and Dalkeith.

They were then called to 15 rabbits found abandoned on Saturday in the Langton area of East Calder, West Lothian.

The animals are now in the care of our Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Balerno.

Assistant manager Kenny Sharpe said: “The rats were left inside a cabinet in the lay-by. There is a mixture of male and female rats, some adults and some newborns.

“Thankfully they are all in good condition despite the circumstances. We will care for the rats until we can find them new homes.

“We think the rabbits were dumped and then spread themselves out as they were scattered over several gardens. It’s likely more than one person was involved given the volume of rabbits.”

He said the rabbits included two pregnant females and six bunnies aged just a week old. Others were six weeks to five months.

One had to be put to sleep due to a severely damaged back leg.

Kenny added: “This is possibly a case of breeding gone wrong and we are very keen to identify who abandoned these rabbits.

“Anyone with information relating to the rabbits or the rats should call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

Article source: http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/nearly-60-rats-and-rabbits-dumped-by-the-roadside-202877n.122794655

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Pet rats and rabbits abandoned in Lothians over Easter Weekend

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 10, 2015 in Rat News
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Rabbits

The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after almost 60 pet rats and rabbits were cruelly abandoned in the Lothians over the Easter Weekend.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity was first alerted on Good Friday when a member of the public discovered 44 rats in a layby on the A68 between the Edinburgh city bypass and Dalkeith. The charity was then alerted to 15 rabbits abandoned on Saturday in the Langton area of East Calder, West Lothian.

The animals are now in the care of the charity’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Balerno.

Assistant manager Kenny Sharpe said, “The rats were left inside a cabinet in the lay-by. There is a mixture of male and female rats, some adults and some newborns.

“Thankfully they are all in good condition despite the circumstances. We will care for the rats until we can find them new homes.

“We think the rabbits were dumped and then spread themselves out as they were scattered over several gardens. It’s likely more than one person was involved given the volume of rabbits.

“There are three adults, two of which are pregnant. There are also six bunnies aged around a week old and five ranging from six weeks old to five months old. Sadly, one baby rabbit had to be put to sleep due to a severely damaged back leg.

“This is possibly a case of breeding gone wrong and we are very keen to identify who abandoned these rabbits.

“Anyone with information relating to the rabbits or the rats should call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

Abandoning and causing an animal unnecessary suffering animal is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.

 

Article source: http://www.theedinburghreporter.co.uk/2015/04/pet-rats-and-rabbits-abandoned-in-lothians-over-easter-weekend/

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59 rabbits and rats found dumped in layby

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 9, 2015 in Rat News
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Some of the rabbits found on Good Friday. Picture: Scottish SPCA


Almost 60 rabbits and rats have been found dumped in a layby on Good Friday.

The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after almost 60 pet rats and rabbits were cruelly abandoned in the Lothians over the Easter Weekend.

Some of the rats were newborn. Picture: Scottish SPCA

A member of the public found 44 rats in a layby on the A68 between the Edinburgh city bypass and Dalkeith.



The charity was then alerted to 15 rabbits abandoned on Saturday in the Langton area of East Calder, West Lothian.

The animals are now in the care of the charity’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Balerno.

Assistant manager Kenny Sharpe said, “The rats were left inside a cabinet in the lay-by. There is a mixture of male and female rats, some adults and some newborns.

Picture: Scottish SPCA

“Thankfully they are all in good condition despite the circumstances. We will care for the rats until we can find them new homes.

“We think the rabbits were dumped and then spread themselves out as they were scattered over several gardens. It’s likely more than one person was involved given the volume of rabbits.



“There are three adults, two of which are pregnant. There are also six bunnies aged around a week old and five ranging from six weeks old to five months old. Sadly, one baby rabbit had to be put to sleep due to a severely damaged back leg.

“This is possibly a case of breeding gone wrong and we are very keen to identify who abandoned these rabbits.

Picture: Scottish SPCA

“Anyone with information relating to the rabbits or the rats should call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

Abandoning and causing an animal unnecessary suffering animal is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.



Picture: Scottish SPCA


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Article source: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/59-rabbits-and-rats-found-dumped-in-layby-1-3741685

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Pet Words of Wisdom – Easter rat

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 7, 2015 in Rat News
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dog-patch-webaaaaaDSC_2824Am I the only one old enough to remember going to the pet store to see chicks and baby ducks that were dyed festive pastel colors for Easter? When I tell my staff, most of them look at me like I’m crazy. It was as much a part of my childhood as taking home my fish purchase in Chinese food containers or buying an Anole on a string and safety pin at the circus, all of which draws the same puzzled looks. Boy! Have times changed!

Yes, it is bunny time of year. And no, Dog Patch has not sold a bunny in over 12 years.

Bunnies, when we did sell them, were the number one returned pet. Cute as babies, they’re relatively easy if kept outside in a well built and appropriately placed hutch, but difficult to keep inside.

They can be successfully trained as house pets if you are willing to meet them half way.

The list of negative issues is long and noteworthy. Their bones are light in density and can break if little Sally hugs too hard. While they are sweet when young as they mature, the males tend to get pretty aggressive. It helps if you neuter them. Females will tend towards ovarian cancer unless they are fixed.

While they can be litterbox trained, my own experience has been that I had to move the litterbox to keep up with the rabbit. Bunny urine is concentrated and no joke. Bunnies chew everything, carpets, baseboards, tiles… you name it, they will eat it.

So we have some suggestions. Try a guinea pig— all the fun of a bunny without all the headaches. Now this idea may upset Mom, but you can’t beat a rat for a small pet. Rats are as smart and clean and as interactive as they come. They’re inexpensive to keep as well. Maybe this is the year of the Easter Rat!

Article source: http://www.positivelynaperville.com/2015/04/04/pet-words-of-wisdom-easter-rat/41194

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