Rats dumped at Valley Humane shelter

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Mar 6, 2015 in Rat News | Subscribe

Pat Quick

Pat Quick

Pat Quick, an employee of the Valley Humane Society in Casa Grande, lifts a rat from an aquarium on Thursday.

Want a pet rat?

– Contact the Valley Humane Society

– 15699 W. Aniceto Road, Casa Grande

– 836-0904

– valleyhumane@yahoo.com

– www.valleyhumane.net

Posted: Friday, March 6, 2015 9:51 am

Updated: 9:59 am, Fri Mar 6, 2015.

Rats dumped at Valley Humane shelter


Casa Grande Dispatch

Casa Grande Valley Newspapers Inc.

When Valley Humane Society’s volunteer dog walkers arrived at work early Wednesday morning, they were met with dozens of new shelter residents they weren’t expecting.

“Our dog walkers come in between 5 and 6, and that’s when they saw them,” said Pat Quick, Valley Humane Society’s bookkeeper, about the estimated 50 pet rats discovered on the shelter’s property south of Casa Grande.

To make matters more interesting, the rats were not in a box or cage — they were set loose on the property, free to climb and dig as they pleased.

“They were hanging all over the fence and everything,” said Valley Humane Society receptionist Alexis Balderrama. “Somebody had just dumped them on our facility. We have no idea (who did it). I think they did it overnight.”

Balderrama said the rats appear to be domesticated. “They let us hold them and everything like that,” she said.

Quick said two of the shelter’s kennel cleaners helped round up the rats. “They were burrowing into the ground, and they had to get a shovel and dig them out and catch them as they were coming,” she said.

Quick said it’s possible some rats could still be on the loose. “Even (Wednesday) night when the kennel workers were cleaning, they found two more of them running around,” she said. “We don’t know how many of them were dumped or why.”

Some of the rats were placed in a large fish tank donated to the shelter. Others were placed in a rabbit hutch found in one of the shelter’s storage rooms.

“We found some absorbable kitty litter we put in with them,” Balderrama said, adding staffers separated the male rats from the females to prevent breeding. 

Nonetheless, there will be more rats when all is said and done, as Quick said “at least a half dozen” of them are pregnant.

This is the first time rats have been residents at Valley Humane Society, but the shelter plans to adopt them out, just as it does with canine and feline guests. 

“We actually have some people that want us to transport a couple females to them (Friday),” Balderrama said.

Quick is aware, however, that many people buy rats as food for other pets, such as snakes. 

“We thought maybe if we put a price tag of $10 on them, maybe people wouldn’t be coming to do that,” she said. 

“We would just really have to come out and ask them, and hopefully they’d be honest with us. But we don’t want to sell them for food.”


Reach Casa Grande Dispatch Reporter Shane Dale at 423-8619 or sdale@trivalleycentral.com.


Friday, March 6, 2015 9:51 am.

Updated: 9:59 am.

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