Thank you for considering volunteering to be a Rat Friend!
If you would like to skip ahead to the sign-up, click here.
If you would like more information first, read on...
We understand your time and privacy are valuable and as such will not share your information with a person in need unless the situation is indeed
an emergency and meets the following requirement:
The rat was found and not acquired as a result of intent on the part of the individual.
We would also like to make the following clear:
You are not, under any circumstance, obligated to do anything!
You needn't be an "expert" - by default you know more about rats than they do.
Anything you can do to help someone who isn't a "rat person" is helpful. Some helpful things you can (but don't have to) do are:
Whatever you can do to help is helpful!
- Tend to their immediate concerns. Talk to the person. Any advice you have to offer will be most welcome, I'm sure. If you think of all the
misunderstandings people have about rats, having someone reassure them that the rat they found isn't going to give them the plague, attack them in
the middle of the night, tear down the neighborhood, etc is in fact, useful. Knowing that they'll be happy with people food, cardboard boxes, and
newspaper for bedding will be a consolation to them.
- Offer a spare cage. Most people don't have these things lying around the house. Even a little vet/travel cage you might have to loan them
would be of help.
- Offer food. A handful of rodent chow can mean a lot to a concerned non-ratter.
- Offer a water bottle. Perhaps you have an old water bottle you can scrub out and loan them for the occasion.
- Offer a place to hide. Maybe you have an extra igloo or a small box or an old and tattered hammock they can borrow.
- Check for friends. Find out where they found the rat and see if they'd be willing to check back there, or, if you're close, show you where
they found the rat so that you can see if any former cagemates are around that area as well. As you know, rats are best kept in pairs or groups
and it seems that, quite often, more than one rat is released in a given location.
- Find out what they want for the rat's future, how long they feel they can take care of the rat, etc. Perhaps they're interested in keeping the
rat as a pet and want to know what kind of cage to buy, what a rat's needs are, etc. Perhaps they just wanting to find the rat a home but are
willing to wait until a home can be found. Maybe they're terrified of rats and need you to help them locate shelters immediately that will give
the rat a chance at finding a home. Perhaps you can take the rat in for awhile while we help you find the rat a home...
And before you sign your life away, let me tell you about the process:
1. They contact me. I determine the legitimacy of the request, respond to any wildlife concerns, weed out the surprise litters and similar
2. I look for their closest "Rat Friend," and provide a first name and email address and/or phone number with the disclaimer that that person will
talk to them and otherwise help them however they can.
3. I send you an email with any useful information about the situation (if the rat is scared or aggressive, sick, a baby, their name, phone
number, etc) so you can be prepared for their call.
4. You talk to them and let me know if there's anything I can do to help from afar.
Here's what I need:
Note: Fields denoted by * are required.
And remember: How you wish to help is up to you. Some Rat Friends can take rats in on the fly, others simply know where one can take rats
without fearing for their safety, and others can simply provide advice. Anything helps. There aren't a lot of incidences of abandoned rats (that
I know of) but it happens occasionally and all you would do is talk to the person that found the rat, assess the situation, and determine how to
proceed from there.
Our goal is to ensure that good people don't regret doing a kind thing.
- Nanaimo, British Columbia
- Vancouver, British Columbia