Rat infestation finally thinned after intense work by posse of rescuers

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 13, 2015 in Rat News | Subscribe

FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP, MI – As of Friday afternoon, June 12, nary a rat could be seen scurrying around an Airline Road house that’s been infamously infested with the critters for weeks.

Fruitport Township authorities had barred the home’s tenant from living there and had given the landlord, Dale Carr, a deadline for showing progress in removing the rats – estimated to be 1,000 or more.

The out-of-control rat population grew from a cage of domestic or pet rats that were dropped off at the property a few months ago during the winter, according to Carr’s former tenant, Christine Lea Bishop.

Bishop ran an animal rescue operation, called the Critter Café Rescue, out of the house she rented from Carr. She had to shut down the rescue operation after being ordered to leave the home.

The rats were removed by a crew of 5-8 people that by tore down ceilings and walls inside the building and physically grabbed the fleeing rats, Carr said.

“When they ran out, they caught them by hand,” he said. “The ones that got loose, they ran them down, the younger ones did.”

The identities of people in the crew were not disclosed, but Muskegon County Animal Control officer Tiffany Peterson said the group amounted to a Fruitport Township rat posse, including a licensed trapper, who got together and simply took care of the problem.

The group set up a metal barrier to prevent the rats from escaping and packed them into plastic bins with straw and holes cut for ventilation.

“The mess is cleaned up,” Peterson said.

Carr said the rats were sent to a no-kill facility.

A few rats likely remain at the site, but the situation is much less concerning, Fruitport Township Supervisor Brian Werschem said.

“We’ll continue to try to eliminate all the rats,” Werschem said. “We’ll continue to try to keep an eye on it.”

Werschem said that Carr still has to abate – fix or tear down – what the township has deemed to be a dangerous building.

Carr said he may tear down the building but is going to have builders visit and see what the price would be to rehab the structure.

At 70 years old, the rent money is a big part of his retirement income, Carr said.

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