SPCA seeks homes for 33 rats seized in Portsmouth

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 20, 2017 in Rat News | Subscribe

PORTSMOUTH — The city’s animal control officer seized 33 pet rats from a Gosling Meadows apartment Monday and brought them to the New Hampshire SPCA, where they will be placed for adoption.

Lisa Dennison, executive director of the NHSPCA, said the rats were brought to the Stratham shelter on Monday and are a mix of ages, colors and genders. She said the owner originally had two rats, thought they were both male, then learned otherwise when they began multiplying. 

Portsmouth Housing Authority Director Craig Welch said caged animals are not allowed in public housing neighborhoods and he was grateful for the assistance from the SPCA. Dennison said the animals were surrendered because they are not allowed in Gosling Meadows, adding it was “not a hostile surrender.” 

“It was a breeding situation that got out of control,” she said. 

Dennison said Monday afternoon that the rats had not yet been medically evaluated and will be separated by gender to prevent further breeding. Among the 33 new resident rats, she said, some are nursing babies. 

The SPCA director said rats are not an unusual species for the shelter to encounter but large amounts of any species is unusual. 

“It’s not always malicious,” she said. “It happens.” 

Dennison said rats make great pets and when the 33 from Portsmouth are medically cleared they will be placed for adoption. She said the shelter doesn’t have the time or the money to neuter rats, but instead keeps them separated by gender. When they are placed for adoption, she said, they’ll likely go to new homes in same-gender pairs. 

Dennison said the shelter would appreciate supplies or gift cards to help care for the rats. She said the SPCA needs rat cages, blocks, water bottles and Oxbow Regal rat food.

Donations can be made to the NHSPCA online, or at the shelter located at 104 Portsmouth Ave. in Stratham. 

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