Home 4 the Holidays Pet Adoption Drive

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 22, 2014 in Rat Answers
Closed



Home 4 the Holidays Pet Adoption Drive Aims to Find Homes for1,000 Orphaned Pets


Reno, NV- There’s no place like Home for the Holidays and the Nevada Humane Society is asking for your help in finding homes for dogs and cats during the Home 4 the Holidays Pet Adoption Drive. The drive is November 22nd – January 4th.

Home 4 the Holidays aims to find homes for 1,000 orphaned pets this holiday season.

Adoption fees for Home 4 the Holidays are as follows and all dogs and cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped, services that normally cost over $240. There are also a variety of small animals available for adoption, including rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and more.
· Adult Dogs: $25
· Adult Cats Under the Age of Three: $15
· Adult Cats Over the Age of Three: FREE
· Kittens $60

Adopters will also receive several complimentary gifts including Blue Buffalo pet adoption packs, pet supplies, and more, all while supplies last.

For pet adoptions in Reno, visit 2825 Longley Lane.

Article source: http://www.kolotv.com/home/headlines/Home-4-the-Holidays-Pet-Adoption-Drive--283570761.html

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Cuban couple keeps rodents called huitias as pets

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 21, 2014 in Rat Answers
Closed

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Congui, a domesticated hutia, rides on the front door of an American classic car driven by its owner Rafael Lopez, in Bainoa, Cuba. Five years ago Lopez and his wife Ana Pedraza adopted Congui, their first pet hutia, a large rodent that lives in Cuba, Jamaica, Bahamas and some of the smaller Caribbean islands. More than a half-dozen more of the furry animals have been born at their home after occasionally bringing in a male hutia in to mate with Congui. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Rafael Lopez sticks out his tongue infused with rum for his pet hutia Pancho, in Bainoa, Cuba. While some hutias can be aggressive, the 50-year-old Lopez and his wife have found the hutias to be pleasant companions. Lopez, calls the hutia “a precious, curious and very intelligent little animal.” (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Pancho, a domesticated hutia, confronts a camera, in Bainoa, Cuba. With their rope-like, dark tails, long front teeth, and whiskers that appear to be vibrating, hutias look like giant rats. They measure nearly a foot long (about 30 centimeters), with the largest ones weighing in bigger than a small dog. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Rafael Lopez strokes his pet hutia Pancho, in Bainoa, Cuba. While some hutias can be aggressive, the 50-year-old musician and his wife have found the hutias to be pleasant companions. Lopez, calls the hutia, “a precious, curious and very intelligent little animal.” (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, one of Ana Pedraza’s pet hutia, listens to her sing at their home in Bainoa, Cuba. Pedraza lives with her husband in a large home with a patio in this community about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of the capital of Havana. They built a special cage for their pets after discovering that letting them loose only resulted in the destruction of telephone cables and furniture. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Ana Pedraza gives her pet hutia, Congui, a drink of coffee, in Bainoa, Cuba. Five years ago Pedraza and her husband Rafael Lopez, right center, adopted Congui, their first pet hutia, a large rodent that lives in Cuba, Jamaica, Bahamas and some of the smaller Caribbean islands. More than a half-dozen more of the furry animals have been born at their home after occasionally bringing in a male hutia in to mate with Congui. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Ana Pedraza gives her pet hutia, Congui, a drink of coffee, in Bainoa, Cuba. Conqui and her brood like to drink coffee and munch on crackers, greens and root vegetables. Congui’s son Pancho every once in a while likes a little nip of rum. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)




Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 5:00 pm
|


Updated: 9:02 pm, Wed Nov 19, 2014.


Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Associated Press |


0 comments

BAINOA, Cuba (AP) — Some people keep guinea pigs or hamsters as pets.

But in Cuba, where a larger, more exotic rodent runs wild, Ana Pedraza and her husband prefer the hutia.

With a rope-like tail and long front teeth, the hutia looks like a giant rat, only cuter, some would say. They live in Cuba and other Caribbean islands where they are sometimes hunted for food.

But Pedraza and her husband Rafael Lopez say they only want to want to protect and take care of the animals, which measure nearly a foot long (about 30 centimeters), with the largest ones weighing in bigger than a small dog.

The couple began collecting hutias about five years ago when they found one languishing on a roadside and named her Congui. They found her a mate and now have more than a half-dozen hutias in their home about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of the capital, Havana.

Congui and her brood like to drink sweetened coffee and munch on crackers and vegetables. Her son Pancho enjoys an occasional nip of rum.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

on

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 5:00 pm.

Updated: 9:02 pm.

Article source: http://www.heraldstandard.com/headlines_ap/cuban-couple-keeps-rodents-called-huitias-as-pets/article_ae7eaae9-9937-551c-a02d-708b71fc77e3.html

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Infected rat: Keeping your kids safe with any pet

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 21, 2014 in Rat News
Closed

Following the death of a 10-year-old boy who died, according to the San Diego County medical examiner’s office, as the result of being bitten by an infected rat bought as a pet, parents may want to rethink the value of unusual pets and how to warn children before allowing them to play at a home where more exotic animals are kept.

Aidan Pankey died one day after he brought home a new pet rat that was bought at Petco, according to the ABC affiliate in San Diego. His family is now filed a lawsuit against Petco.

After reading about young Aidan’s death, I am reminded, as all parents should be, that with great pets comes great responsibility for a child’s safety.

As the mom of a 10-year-old boy who adores all animals, and would cuddle and adopt anything that walks, crawls, or flies across his path, Aidan’s story captured my full attention.

Most parents already know to warn kids about how to approach strange dogs – palm down and let them sniff the back of your hand so the dog doesn’t think the child is holding a treat it could snap at.

However, dogs seem to be where our cautionary advice to kids on pets ends, and this news story is a powerful reminder that we should also consider how to approach more exotic pets.

The Animal League website offers some good basic rules for any pet: 

  • Children should not be left alone or allowed to sleep with an animal.
  • Ensure that you and your child always wash hands with soap and water after handling pets.
  • Teach your child not to pull on the ears and tail of animals, or pinch, squeeze, or make loud noises.
  • Never approach strange dogs or animals.
  • Don’t allow your pets to lick your child’s face or any cuts or scratches.

The choice of an exotic or unusual pet means reading all the literature that comes with it, plus some additional research by parents.

As with anything you hand your child, read the instructions and know the potential dangers before handing it over.

In Aidan’s case, according to ABC, he already owned one rat and had kept it without incident. This was a companion to the first animal that caused the tragedy.

While I am not a rat person, I recently saw how a boy could love one as a pet.

Last month, when the weather was extremely cold, a river rat got into our dining room and was cornered by our two cats.

Quin, 10, and his brothers Ian, 18, and Avery, 14, said, “Aaaaaw! Save it! We can keep it.”

I was shrieking, “They bite! Hit it with something!”

We ended up compromising, with Ian trapping it in a large container and me escorting it to the river a few blocks away with the stern warning not to return.

So rats aren’t my thing, but I know all about how great it is to see your child love a pet, no matter how unusual an animal it may be.

Frankly, when parents consider a pet, we may think more about the creature’s welfare than the child’s, asking “Who’s going to feed it?” and not “Will it hurt my child?”

I was rough on pets as a kid.

When I was a little girl, my father would buy any pet I asked for.

There was the chameleon bought at the circus that I let out of its cage so it could “get some fresh air.” Gone.

There was the canary the cat actually ate, just like in the old expression.

Then there was the bunny given to me at Easter, which died after eating plastic flowers I put in the cage to “make it happy.”

As a parent, I run a two-cat and one-massive-dog family.

The most exotic we’ve gotten as pet people is when my pal Ed Florimont sent the boys a “singing” frog via Grow-a-Frog kit, that allows the owner to watch a frog grow from a tadpole sent in the mail.

Hence, we raised a Xenopus laevis, or African clawed frog, which would trill or “sing” when it was about to rain.

When we moved to Virginia from New Jersey, we donated our frog, which we had dubbed “Frogginstein,” to a local school.

Still, I realize many parents choose more unusual animals as pets because their kids’ friends own an exotic pet of their own. Over the years, my four sons have come home asking for: a snake, a ferret, a rat, a hamster, and various lizards – all the result of friends owning one.

Because of these friends, and the requests that resulted, I have become more careful about asking the parents of potential playdates if they have any pets that fall more into the zoo-than-home category.

Animals can add so much to our kids’ lives, teaching them to be responsible caretakers, but we must never forget that these are all domesticated animals with wild instincts.

When we tell our kids the bedtime stories of “Where the Wild Things Are,” it’s important to remember that some of them may be under our roof, curled up beside our children.

Article source: http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/Modern-Parenthood/2014/0226/Infected-rat-Keeping-your-kids-safe-with-any-pet

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Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 20, 2014 in Rat Answers
Closed

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Congui, a domesticated hutia, rides on the front door of an American classic car driven by its owner Rafael Lopez, in Bainoa, Cuba. Five years ago Lopez and his wife Ana Pedraza adopted Congui, their first pet hutia, a large rodent that lives in Cuba, Jamaica, Bahamas and some of the smaller Caribbean islands. More than a half-dozen more of the furry animals have been born at their home after occasionally bringing in a male hutia in to mate with Congui. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Rafael Lopez sticks out his tongue infused with rum for his pet hutia Pancho, in Bainoa, Cuba. While some hutias can be aggressive, the 50-year-old Lopez and his wife have found the hutias to be pleasant companions. Lopez, calls the hutia “a precious, curious and very intelligent little animal.” (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Pancho, a domesticated hutia, confronts a camera, in Bainoa, Cuba. With their rope-like, dark tails, long front teeth, and whiskers that appear to be vibrating, hutias look like giant rats. They measure nearly a foot long (about 30 centimeters), with the largest ones weighing in bigger than a small dog. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Rafael Lopez strokes his pet hutia Pancho, in Bainoa, Cuba. While some hutias can be aggressive, the 50-year-old musician and his wife have found the hutias to be pleasant companions. Lopez, calls the hutia, “a precious, curious and very intelligent little animal.” (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, one of Ana Pedraza’s pet hutia, listens to her sing at their home in Bainoa, Cuba. Pedraza lives with her husband in a large home with a patio in this community about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of the capital of Havana. They built a special cage for their pets after discovering that letting them loose only resulted in the destruction of telephone cables and furniture. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Ana Pedraza gives her pet hutia, Congui, a drink of coffee, in Bainoa, Cuba. Five years ago Pedraza and her husband Rafael Lopez, right center, adopted Congui, their first pet hutia, a large rodent that lives in Cuba, Jamaica, Bahamas and some of the smaller Caribbean islands. More than a half-dozen more of the furry animals have been born at their home after occasionally bringing in a male hutia in to mate with Congui. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Ana Pedraza gives her pet hutia, Congui, a drink of coffee, in Bainoa, Cuba. Conqui and her brood like to drink coffee and munch on crackers, greens and root vegetables. Congui’s son Pancho every once in a while likes a little nip of rum. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)



Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 4:00 pm
|


Updated: 8:01 pm, Wed Nov 19, 2014.

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Associated Press |


0 comments

BAINOA, Cuba (AP) — Some people keep guinea pigs or hamsters as pets.

But in Cuba, where a larger, more exotic rodent runs wild, Ana Pedraza and her husband prefer the hutia.

With a rope-like tail and long front teeth, the hutia looks like a giant rat, only cuter, some would say. They live in Cuba and other Caribbean islands where they are sometimes hunted for food.

But Pedraza and her husband Rafael Lopez say they only want to want to protect and take care of the animals, which measure nearly a foot long (about 30 centimeters), with the largest ones weighing in bigger than a small dog.

The couple began collecting hutias about five years ago when they found one languishing on a roadside and named her Congui. They found her a mate and now have more than a half-dozen hutias in their home about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of the capital, Havana.

Congui and her brood like to drink sweetened coffee and munch on crackers and vegetables. Her son Pancho enjoys an occasional nip of rum.


© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

on

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 4:00 pm.

Updated: 8:01 pm.

Article source: http://www.yankton.net/news/strange_ap/article_fcbd2307-5cf3-5eb6-9966-315b3cc42622.html

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Dead rats, live bugs repeatedly found at popular NYC pharmacy chains

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 19, 2014 in Rat Answers
Closed

MANHATTAN (PIX11) – Pharmacies aren’t just for prescriptions anymore.

From anti-freeze to light bulbs, cough medicine to milk, they sell it all. But are they handling it all?

A PIX11 investigation uncovered filthy conditions inside city pharmacies, clawing through state records to expose conditions that could make customers sick.

Patron Frank Alvite, of Massapequa, was picking up a quick lunch at Duane Reade located at Amsterdam Avenue and 59th Street. But he didn’t know other hungry creatures had been snacking inside the convenience store: mice.

“Well they’re not doing a very good job at keeping the place clean,” he said. “That’s disgusting.”

The Duane Reade at which he was shopping has failed three inspections and during those probes, inspectors found more than 2,000 mouse droppings. Inspectors had to destroy 30 pounds of dog food and treats were rodent defiled. They found beetles crawling on the pet food shelf likely causing contamination and in the basement, they discovered a heavily soiled toilet

The chain failed 21 inspection in the five boroughs during the one year New York State provided PIX11 with reports.

In a statement, Duane Reade said: “We take this matter seriously and  took action at the time to improve the situation in those stores.”

Customers typically turn to pharmacies when they’re sick, but what’s going on behind the scenes  could land them in a doctor’s office, experts said.

“I think it’s the education level of food production and what needs to be done and having people that are vigilant check that there are no mouse droppings, that they have an exterminator there on a routine basis,” sanitation expert Peter DeLucia said.

Another popular pharmacy chain, CVS touts its deals with high-paid celebrity endorsements, but there was no Hollywood glamour to the recent inspection at a Lower East Side store on Grand Street.

Inspectors found dead insects in candy boxes in the basement, another 60 dead flies, half a dozen dead roaches, and 110 mouse and rat droppings. They found either inaccurate thermometers or none at all in seven of the basement and retail level coolers and freezers.

When PIX11 asked the store’s manager if she knew about the rodent problem, she said no.

“I don’t really know. I haven’t been here for that long,” Anna Sanchez said when asked about whether they’ve been able to get the flies and roaches under control.

PIX11 then took its hidden cameras to Rite Aid on Broadway in Washington Heights, part of a chain of failures for the brand with 19 failing inspections in total for the Rite Aid Chain.

Inside, inspectors counted up 540 rat droppings, finding part of the source being a large, furry rat carcass in the basement. And even rats enjoy a good snack. Inspectors found their droppings among the Kit Kat candies, which had gnaw marks, and ordered 24 bags of the chocolate treats destroyed on the spot.

The store failed to post its inspection report.

In a statement to PIX11, Rite Aid’s corporate headquarters said: “Rite Aid has also taken additional actions to improve our food safety and sanitation program including requiring all New York City area store managers to successfully complete a food safety and sanitation course.”

Customers say despite the filthy conditions, they frequently have no other choice of where to shop.

“if you come home late like of people do you run here, most grocery stores close earlier,” Rosa Hamer said.

Article source: http://pix11.com/2014/11/19/undercover-investigation-exposing-the-citys-filthiest-pharmacies/

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That’s Not a Dog: Coyotes Alarm Frisco Residents

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 18, 2014 in Rat Answers
Closed

FRISCO, TX-Frisco we have a problem, it’s quick, adaptable and could eat the family pet!

We’re talking coyotes! Frisco residents recently flooded animal control’s phone lines to report the wild animals.

On Monday night, the City of Frisco held a meeting to talk about coyote scare tactics. Encouraging residents who come face to face with coyotes to use hazing techniques to scare them off!

Tips to ward them off : Don’t leave out any trash or pet food, don’t run away from them, and act big, bad and loud if you see one!

Apparently these dogs are real scaredy cats!

“The coyotes are feeding off the mice and the rats and the rabbits and if they can’t find them they’ll go after the little dogs,” said Eric Richey.

Luckily for us, one thing the coyotes aren’t into is humans. The city says trapping and killing the coyotes won’t work, only cutting numbers down temporarily and removing them is costly.

Just remember, humans are encroaching on coyote habitat, so don’t expect them to make like a tree and leave any time soon.

Article source: http://cw33.com/2014/11/18/thats-not-a-dog-coyotes-alarm-frisco-residents/

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Letters from the editor: Wrapped in the warmth of a pet lover's caring

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 17, 2014 in Rat Answers
Closed

I rise early. So does the pooch.

We get up around 5 a.m. By 5:30 we’re walking.

A couple of days after adopting Jackson, we stopped by a Starbucks for some wake-up juice. A group of ladies was gathered on the patio.

One immediately identified Jackson as a rat terrier. Usually he’s mistaken for a Jack Russell (and terribly insulted by it, I might add).

But this woman had a “ratty” at home. Within seconds I was seated at the table, looking at iPhone photos of her little chewer.

This was good. I had lots of questions and knew of no one else with the same breed.

First, could she watch Jackson while I went inside to order coffee?

Sure, she said, taking his leash.

When I went back outside I quizzed her on the breed’s issues — namely barking, chewing, chewing what’s been chewed, and then barking at what’s been chewed.

I then asked if rat terriers need to wear sweaters in wintertime. A passerby that morning had scolded me with an unsolicited “What, no sweater?” question-statement, so I was curious.

Now if you go out after 8 a.m., he won’t need a sweater, my new friend explained. But at 5:30 a.m. he’ll need one during the colder months.

Not the answer I wanted.

I didn’t want to be that guy who walks a sweater-wearing dog. I am pretty sure Jackson didn’t want to be that dog, the emasculated one that rats would laugh at rather than fear.

But it sounded like I had little choice. The tail sometimes wags the dog.

I thanked the ladies for the conversation and headed home, where I told my wife and daughter that we needed to go shopping for dog clothes.

The next morning Jackson and I passed the Starbucks. The same lady flagged me.

She produced a plastic grocery bag. Inside was a hand-knitted sweater. She had made it for her rat terrier but wanted Jackson to have it instead. She also gave me a hand-me-down dog parka.

Jackson slipped into and modeled them. He looked ridiculous but comfortable. He promptly showed his appreciation by chewing his new outfits.

The thoughtful act — heck, most-thoughtful acts — from a stranger stunned me. The woman probably didn’t remember my name from the day before, and I didn’t really expect to see her again, but the fact that I had a rat terrier was enough for her to want to help him.

But in the end, I was the one who walked away feeling warm.

JOHN CANALIS is the editor for the Daily Pilot, Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot and Huntington Beach Independent. He can be reached at (714) 966-4607 and john.canalis@latimes.com.

Article source: http://www.dailypilot.com/news/tn-dpt-me-1120-letters-from-the-editor-20141117,0,4082773.story?track=rss

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Rats the way to do it at Halloween event

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 17, 2014 in Rat News
Closed

A GHOULISH Halloween event with a rodent twist is being held in an award-winning town park.

Halloween Fright Night will take place at Ward Jackson Park, in the West Park area of Hartlepool, on Friday, October 31.

The Friends of Ward Jackson Park have organised the scary Halloween family walk which will be filled with ghosts, ghouls and gruesome characters.

One of the star attractions at the event will be The Rat Lady, also known as Danielle Shaw, who is taking along her per rats, Rowan and Reed.

People can pet the rats and can have their selfies taken with the pair.

There will also be a funfair, fancy dress, home-made pumpkin competition. Children under 15 years old must be accompanied by an adult, and entrance to the park is only via the park lodge entrance.

Admission is £1 per person and tickets are available in advance from the Place in the Park Coffee Shop, which has also gone all out with a Halloween theme.

The cafe is also hosting a Halloween Disco for under 10s over three nights, on Thursday October 30, Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, from 4pm to 6pm.

Tickets for the party are now on sale at £5.50 which includes lots of ghoulish games, frightening food, a disco and fancy dress competition.

Article source: http://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/news/local/rats-the-way-to-do-it-at-halloween-event-1-6911631

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Rats the way to do it at Halloween event

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 16, 2014 in Rat Answers
Closed

A GHOULISH Halloween event with a rodent twist is being held in an award-winning town park.

Halloween Fright Night will take place at Ward Jackson Park, in the West Park area of Hartlepool, on Friday, October 31.

The Friends of Ward Jackson Park have organised the scary Halloween family walk which will be filled with ghosts, ghouls and gruesome characters.

One of the star attractions at the event will be The Rat Lady, also known as Danielle Shaw, who is taking along her per rats, Rowan and Reed.

People can pet the rats and can have their selfies taken with the pair.

There will also be a funfair, fancy dress, home-made pumpkin competition. Children under 15 years old must be accompanied by an adult, and entrance to the park is only via the park lodge entrance.

Admission is £1 per person and tickets are available in advance from the Place in the Park Coffee Shop, which has also gone all out with a Halloween theme.

The cafe is also hosting a Halloween Disco for under 10s over three nights, on Thursday October 30, Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, from 4pm to 6pm.

Tickets for the party are now on sale at £5.50 which includes lots of ghoulish games, frightening food, a disco and fancy dress competition.

Article source: http://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/rats-the-way-to-do-it-at-halloween-event-1-6911631

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Twenty-seven pet snakes helped Gourock man battle depression

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 15, 2014 in Rat Answers
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Published: 15 Nov 2014 10:00

A GOUROCK man has told how his 27 pet SNAKES have been the secret therapy which has helped him battle depression.

Stuart and Lesley with a Royal Python.

Stuart Finan has suffered mental health problems since he was about 13 but insists he is feeling better than ever thanks to his pets.

His collection includes 15 royal pythons, seven corn snakes and five corn snake babies.

Stuart told the Telegraph: “For a long time I have suffered from depression and I do still get my down days, but the snakes have really helped.

“It’s something to take your mind off the thoughts you’re having and they give you something to focus on.

“I enjoy watching them and handling them — it’s quite relaxing.

“It also keeps me busy, as you have to clean them out and feed them.”

The 31-year-old, who lives with his girlfriend Lesley Hay in Henderson Terrace, says he has always been a fan of the reptiles.

He said: “I’ve always been fascinated by snakes as I wonder how something so small can swallow things so big.

“I bought my first one about 10 years ago.”

Stuart says he is used to people being alarmed by the snakes but stresses there is no need to be.

He said: “I’ve only ever been bitten once and it was my own fault, as I put my hand in to the hide without knowing where the snake was.

“You can imagine how scared the snake was to see this massive hand appear out of nowhere.

“Most people don’t realise how placid snakes are. As long as you remember that you have something which could hurt you and you treat them with respect then you will never get hurt.”

Stuart, who keeps the pets safely locked away in wooden vivariums and plastic boxes, says that one of his snakes did go missing last year while he staying in Greenock.

But after months ‘on the loose’ it eventually turned up — in his neighbour’s bag.

He said: “While I was staying in Ardgowan Street I was feeding the snakes and I turned round for two seconds and the snake had disappeared.

“We looked everywhere for it and but couldn’t find it anywhere.

“One month later the woman downstairs came round to say that she had found the snake in one of her bags after she had returned from a trip to England.

“She wasn’t sure if the snake had been in her bag the whole time she was away or whether it had snuck in when she returned!

“She was really calm about it and put the snake in a Tupperware box.”

Luckily for Stuart, his girlfriend Lesley also loves snakes and even feeds them frozen mice and rats once a week.

He said: “One of our friends also used to be petrified of coming to our house because of the snakes but as soon as she realised that they can’t hurt you she was fine — and now she has five snakes of her own.”

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