What Do Wildlife Rehabilitators Do with Rats?

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Don’t waste your time taking the common brown or black rat to a rehabilitation center. Rehabilitators will probably take care of a wild rat, and release it back into its natural habitat only in special circumstances. The urban sewer rat that invades your home has no place in a rehabilitation center, in my opinion. I don’t want to lie, some centers will breed them as food for other animals that are worth rehabilitating. Chances of a wildlife rehabilitation center taking in a rat, but then exterminating it are pretty high. I don’t really know if rehabilitators will take care of domestic rats, but I guess that some would, because I’ve heard of people adopting rats from wildlife rehabilitation centers. But again, these are pet rats, not vermin.

Ideally, a wildlife rehabilitator would take a rat if it’s incapacitated or an orphaned baby. The rehabber would inoculate the animal against diseases, then take care of the rat until it gets back on his feet, or if it’s a baby, the rehabber would nurse it until it can feed and fend for itself. Then, he or she would safely release it into a natural area that can support additions to its already existing rat population, and where the rat wouldn’t create issues for the other species of animals that are already living there. I don’t think this ever happens. I mean, it would be really ridiculous if it did, don’t you think? Why would it be so ridiculous?

  • Rats are not worth saving. They reproduce at an alarming pace, spread a ton of diseases, and destroy the places they live in with their waste and their chewing;
  • Wildlife rehabilitation is not a prolific business – most centers barely survive, continuously being low on resources and flooded with more wildlife that they can carry;
  • Nursing cubs and pups is meticulous and almost mathematic work – you have to know when, how, and with what to feed that baby in order to keep it alive and keep it developing, and you have to keep to a schedule. This type of work is not easy!
  • The rat you found in your attic or wherever on your property will only live for a couple of months, rarely for more than a year. What sense is there in the rehabber putting so much effort in rehabilitating this rat?
  • This single rat, or another hundred rats just like it, won’t influence our biodiversity in any positive way, and won’t aid the betterment of our environment.
Rehabilitating street rats is more than unfeasible, it’s entirely ludicrous. Wildlife control pros and wildlife rehabilitators don’t ever choose this line of work because they hate animals, we choose the job because we respect animals and want to help see them through to a better life where they can survive despite our presence, but not as to spite us with their presence. Rats and mice are the exception, and it’s where you should draw the line, too. I hope you understand why rat rehabilitation is ridiculous, but if for some reason you still think it’s the right thing to do, maybe you can find a center that will take your rat in – I’m sure that somewhere in this country a person that feels like you do towards rats will work in a wildlife rehabilitation center, it’s just a matter of finding them. For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does rat removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of rats - my main rat removal info guide.
Example rat trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Rat job blog - learn from great examples of rat jobs I've done.

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