500 pet rats need the immediate power of kindness

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jul 21, 2015 in Rat News | Subscribe

In the little shop called Dandelion Dreams on Francisco Boulevard in Pacifica, customers will find supplies for hamsters, mice, rats, guinea pigs, chinchillas and rabbits as well as a small variety of food and treats for dogs and cats. Some of those small animal supplies include: handmade hammocks, footprint kits, wheels, ramp runners, second hand cages in first place working order, bedding, litter, chews, toys and more. The store directly funds rescue and its owner, Jenn Paz, is the director of North Star Rescue, a nonprofit dedicated to the welfare of small companion animals. Any given day in the shop, animal lovers will find small pet rodents available for adoption or fostering. All the animals are rescues.

“We even make houses for them,” Paz laughed. “We are goobers for these little guys and gals.”

Currently the Pacifica shop and North Star Rescue are involved in a massive pet rat rescue of at least 500 rats, all who have been living under one roof in a hoarding situation. The nonprofit is working hard to raise enough money to find enough adopters to place as many rats as possible, quickly. (Visit http://www.youcaring.com/north-star-rescue-379288 for details.)

“The woman who owns them took all of her original rats from a neglect situation but she didn’t separate the genders, and she didn’t have enough cages which created many, many more rats,” Paz said. “Boy rats sexually mature at five weeks and must be separated from the girls. Many of the rats are injured, sick, pregnant, and in dire need of a clean place to live and good food. “

North Star Rescue has taken 100 of the rats already and either brought them to their Pacifica Adoption Outpost for some TLC before they are ready for adoption, or brought them to the shelters they work with, so that all the rats will find a good home.

“Rats are the greatest,” Paz noted. “They are very social and interactive, very intelligent and you can train them.” (They are also good therapists. They have been recognized for helping children with anxiety and stress issues.)

The shop on Francisco will also soon welcome four guinea pigs recently rescued from a cruelty case in Yolo County, where 40 guinea pigs, all dead but these four, were found in the back of a U-Haul.

“We see the worst of people and the best of people,” Paz said. “But all our little pets are amazing and beautiful. While some may not be as people friendly as rats, they still make their families so happy. Often people decide to foster first and then they sign the adoption papers.”

Dandelion Dreams, 1610 Francisco Boulevard, Pacifica. Tuesday — Friday: 12:00 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visit them on Facebook. Learn about all these little critters at: http://www.northstarrescue.org/

Pacifica Tribune correspondent Jean Bartlett can be reached at editor@jeansmagazines.org.

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