Vancouver seeks forever homes for 70 ‘fancy rats’

News source from CTV News Staff, with a report from B.C. Bureau Chief Melanie Nagy

Published Friday, April 26, 2019 10:32PM EDT

Many Vancouverites consider rats to be vermin. But the city’s animal shelter says they can make great pets – at least the domesticated version, known as “fancy rats.”

John Gray, who manages Vancouver’s animal services, says he’s seen a dramatic influx in fancy rats abandoned by owners. There are now more than 70 in the shelter.

“Our staff will work with people looking at adopting and make sure that it’s going to be a new forever home,” Gray said.

The rats cost $5 to adopt, and the city has been using social media to get the word out.

Anna Mak is a proud rat fancy rat owner. She volunteers with a group that rescues those that are neglected or injured.

Mak says fancy rats are loyal, entertaining and intelligent. They’ll even come when they’re called.

“You can never know what they’re capable of because they are so smart,” she said.

They’re also very social, according to Mak. “They get depressed if they are alone,” she said.

To avoid that, they are often kept in pairs. But they multiply quickly, so spaying females is strongly recommended.

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