Rat Retreat seeks donations to save rodents during Idaho Gives

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 28, 2014 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

CREATED Apr. 27, 2014

At Dawn Burke’s home, you’ll be greeted with a friendly wave and a happy rat – yes a rat.

Inside the Rat Retreat, Dawn takes in rats that have been neglected or abused. She says many rats are bought on a whim.

“It’s a three dollar pet,” said Burke. “The kid wants it the parent buys it and then finds out the kid’s not going to take care of it and the parents don’t want to take care of it. So they call us”

People throughout the country breed rats to feed to snakes while the rats are still alive. Burke is working to end this practice. “We’re making the uproar for them,” she said. “We’re speaking up for them. Yeah, yeah.”

Right now, Burke is taking care of four rats in her home. These rats need constant medical attention. She an Rat Retreat volunteers work hard to show rats are valuable pets and change their bad image.


“People think of rats as filthy but actually hey are really clean,” said Burke.

The Rat Retreat participated in last year’s Idaho Gives and the response was overwhelming.

“We were shocked,” said Burke. “We raised $1500. I think $200 was a sponsored gift, but we came in number five out of 149 small non-profits.”

For the cost of a dinner for two, the Rat Retreat can pay for medication, spay and neutering, or proper bedding.

“I think it helps us as humans to give back to the animals and it doesn’t matter if it’s a dog a cat or a rat,” said Burke. Rat Retreat volunteers are making hand-crafted bracelets they will give to their top donors. It’s their way of saying thank you for the generosity shown by so many people.

“People who love rats love rats and they want to fix these problems,” said Burke.

For more information on the Rat Retreat visit their website at theratretreat.org

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