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‘Pretty horrific’: Kingston Humane Society caring for dozens of abandoned domestic rats

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Late last week, the Kingston Humane Society was contacted about a recycling bin that was left on a stretch of the K&P Trail, full of both deceased and live domestic pet rats.

“Ivan” the rat was one of the lucky ones. In fact, when Global News saw him mid-day Monday, he seemed chipper considering he just had some of his tail amputated. The rodent is one of four that now reside at the humane society — at least for the time being. Christie Haaima is the animal programs manager.

“I know rats aren’t for everyone, but it was pretty horrific these innocent beings to fend for themselves,” said Christie Haaima, the animal programs manager.

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On Friday, the humane society received a call saying a recycling bin of pet rats had been left on a section of the trail. After a weekend’s worth of rat wrangling, those in charge at the society finally had a handle on things. Haaima was the lead.

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“(The) total number of live rats we were able to save was 37 and then unfortunately when we arrived there were seven that there deceased already on the scene,” Haaima said.

“It’s pretty sad not being able to save those guys, but 37 lives saved is awesome.”

Read more: Kingston Humane Society saves and rehabilitates 6 feral dogs

With room at a premium at the Kingston Humane Society, the call to foster some of the abandoned critters went out. Executive director Gord Hunter says he was more then pleased that that call was answered.

“And in this case, 37 rats — that’s a lot of animals to have in the building at once and we have 32 of them in foster care right now, and that’s within a weekend’s worth of calling around and asking who can help us,” Hunter said.

Hunter says he’s not surprised knowing just how caring the community is. As for this incident, Haaima says it didn’t have to happen this way.

“If you have an animal that you need to surrender that you can’t care for anymore, please get in touch with us,” Haaima said.

“Give us a call. We can book a surrender appointment.”

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Without witnesses, the humane society says it’s unlikely they’ll find whomever left the rodents to fend for themselves or hold them accountable.

As for Ivan, he and some of his brothers and sisters incurred some medical bills to get them back to health. The humane society is accepting donations to cover those bills.

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