Rehoming a rat or accidental litter? Things to Consider.

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SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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Are you are looking for good homes for pet rats?
There are a few things you may want to consider, especially if you place ads on kijiji or craigslist.

1. Screen very carefully or they will likely end up as live snake food, breeders, used in barn ratting, neglected, dumped outdoors, or worse.

* Let potential adopters know there will be an application process
* Check references including a vet reference
* Ask questions about care
* Make a home visit as part of the adoption process
* Require updates, pictures, and visits after adoption
* "Create a Facebook page with photos and information. This serves several purposes. It works for marketing as I can continue to upload cute photos and write about how cute/cuddly they are. I can also include adoption information as well as info on caring for rats. It also lets me find out about the people interested in my rats. I can check out their facebook profile, look at their photos (see any snakes? Other pets? Their children? What kind of family/home do they seem to have?), see if we have mutual friends and try to find out through word of mouth about them as well." (Quote from walkinggal )
* Check out potential adopters online, friend them on facebook and check out their facebook page, facebook groups, pictures, facebook friends etc
* Use a nonbreeding contract specifying good care, vet care, home visits, and containing a return clause in case the contract is not adhered to or the person no longer wants the rats
* Deliver the rats to their new home

2. Unless you are rehoming a single rat, make sure to only adopt out same sex pairs or groups.

3. Adopt out to homes having no more then one intact gender of rats in the household. Having two intact genders in the same household is an accident waiting to happen as rats are smart & very motivated, and people are not perfect. Many intact male rats are extremely stressed by having intact females in the same household and may become aggressive.
(Note, a few people have been able to successfully manage this type of situation.)

4. Ask a fee as this may deter snake owners. Asking a fee/pair is recommended.

5. You may want to include an adoption package with the fee.
Items might include: lab blocks, a handout on care, litter box, chew toys, a house, and/or a copy of The Rat Health Care book (book section at Rat Fan Club, but cross out the section on home euthanasia as it is inhumane)

6. You will want to make sure pets are not being given as Christmas presents, Easter presents, etc.
SPCA websites explain why this is a very bad idea.

7. Follow your intuition. If something doesn't feel right, it is a huge red flag,
Do not ignore it. Do not adopt, no matter how good the facts seem.

8. Give adopters links to internet resources,
such as ratshackforum.com ratguide.com and joinrats.com

9. Make follow up visits after the adoption.

10. Keep in contact several times a year over the life span of the lives of the rats.
- This will allow you to know how things are going, and you will be able to offer assistance if any is needed.
- It also allows you to track the health of litters so other adopters can be aware of any potential health issues.

11. Retain ownership of rats you rehome ......... allow them to go to good homes and give them guardianship or call them fosters ..... but retain ownership for their protection

Retaining ownership is a recent suggestion because of situations where people signed adoption contracts and the contract did not provide enough protection because ownership of the pet had been transferred to the adopters
.... such as the couple who adopted a pet pig from the BC SPCA - the people killed and ate the pet pig although they had signed a contract agreeing not to eat the pig, etc. The contract did not offer protection to the pet pig and the SPCA reported that they had no legal recourse
 
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walkinggal

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This is a great post! A really good summary of everything:) I've been going over all these things with my kids since we've had our two surprise litters. This is valuable life lesson information for kids when being responsible pet owners. You should post it on NB kjiji (If you don't already) since so many people post and have no clue about any of this information.
 
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temblabamomo

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In my time taking in rehomed rats from CL, I can't tell you how many people told me they had homes already lined up, then discovered (after my questioning) that those homes were likely snakw food homes. Lotta folks out there who are first time rat owners, realize they aren't up to looking after their rat, and sadly unknowingly give themk to snake owners. Even if I can't take a rat, I email the poster if they seem oblivious. At least a few times its saved a rat's life.
 

walkinggal

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Fredericton, NB
With my 18 babies looking for homes, I'm trying out some "strategies" to find them good homes. I included a lot of the suggestions that SQ mentioned. Time will tell how effective this is. This is what I am doing:

1. Created a Facebook page with photos and information. This serves several purposes. It works for marketing as I can continue to upload cute photos and write about how cute/cuddly they are. I can also include adoption information as well as info on caring for rats. It also lets me find out about the people interested in my rats. I can check out their facebook profile, look at their photos (see any snakes? Other pets? Their children? What kind of family/home do they seem to have?), see if we have mutual friends and try to find out through word of mouth about them as well.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Adopt-a-Rat-Fredericton/371358316231091

2. I have created a kijiji ad. Again, I have used marketing to make the ad interesting with good photos and description. It also clearly states as SQ mentioned to let them know there is a screening process. I also drive them to the facebook page for the above reasons. When someone contacts me through the ad, I push the facebook page again and so far this is working. I have been able to find out a LOT of information about someone via their facebook page. I also do a general google search.
http://fredericton.kijiji.ca/c-pets-to-give-or-donate-Cute-Cuddly-Baby-Pocket-Pets-W0QQAdIdZ367433428

So far my ad which listed yesterday has a lot of hits and I am starting to receive inquiries. Thanks to SQ and others, I have been given names of folks to watch out for.

3. I have created an online rat adoption screening form that each potential adoptive family must fill out. If anyone is interested in seeing this, you can view it here (please don't fill it out as it is active) https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/pocketpetadoption I am hopeful that if someone took the time to fill this out, and give some thought to the time/effort involved, that it will reduce impulse adoptions (in combination with my research).

I recognize I am not charging a fee and that is not recommended, but I am confident (hopeful) that through my screening and research, I will be able to find good homes for the rats:)

Lisa
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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And thanks to Lisa for the facebook idea !!
What a fantastic idea!
I am not a big user of facebook so had never thought of it.
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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Retain owners ship of rats you rehome ......... allow them to go to good homes and give them guardianship or call them fosters ..... but retain ownership

Because in situations this year where people signed adoption contracts .... such as the one signed by a couple in order to adopt a pet pig from the BC SPCA
- and the people killed and ate the pet pig
and although they had signed a contract agreeing not to eat the pig etc, the contract did not offer protection to the pet pig and the SPCA reported that they had no legal recourse
 
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RatsDrawBlood

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although they had signed a contract agreeing not to eat the pig etc, the contract did not offer protection to the pet pig and the SPCA had no legal recourse
What made the contract no good?
 

SQ

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What made the contract no good?
Apparently the people were considered the owners of the pet pig they had adopted from the SPCA and they could legally do anything they wanted ...... the news articles said that the adoption contract was not considered legally binding ..... I assume because it had not been drawn up by a lawyer and wasn't notarized
 

RatsDrawBlood

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pet pig they had adopted from the SPCA and they could legally do anything they wanted
Here in the U.S. I'd assume eating your pet is against the animal abuse law! (Though my rat is so cute I "could gobble her up".)
 

SQ

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Here in the U.S. I'd assume eating your pet is against the animal abuse law! (Though my rat is so cute I "could gobble her up".)
I wouldn't assume anything.
But with respect to rats, the main dangers are about them being used for food, breeders, in barn ratting, being neglected, not receiving proper care, being rehomed or abandoned.
 

RatsDrawBlood

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Other pets? Their children? What kind of family/home do they seem to have?
What other pets, ages of children & family/home should they not have? (In case I end up with an oops litter after adopting a female that's been with males.)
 

SQ

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dogs with a high prey drive, cats, snakes, etc - not only dangerous but living with predators can greatly effect rats although some with a virus? can live in a household with cats and not be terrified.

You will want to know how they plan to keep the rats separate from all other animals - rats are prey (dogs, cats, ferrets, large birds etc) or predators (hamsters, mice, small birds, etc)

Rats are not pets for young children who might accidently hurt them.

Make sure they will be in a very strong cage that can not be tipped over by a child or large animal and a door that can not be opened by a small child or animal, with small bar spacing they can not get out of and another animal can not reach them through (although tails will hang out of cages and can be grabbed :( )

Because people make mistakes
 
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RatsDrawBlood

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keep the rats separate from all other animals ( rats are prey (dogs, cats, ferrets, large birds etc) or predators (hamsters, mice, small birds, etc)
You lost me, do hamsters, mice, and small birds need to be kept away from rats?
 

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