So, I don't know if I posted about the person who was talking my ears off a few days ago about wanting those senior rats. Well, we finally connected again today and she said she didn't have internet to fill out the adoption form. Naturally.
So, I tell her we can do it over the phone. And really, I probably could have skipped to the important questions and come back to the name, address, etc etc after I saw she could care for rats. The diet was fine, but she keeps most of her rats in tanks. Why? Because she has so many. And for her, tanks are easier. Now, if you don't know, rats are to be kept in wire cages. Not fish tanks. There's a reason they call them fish tanks and not rat tanks.
So, I'm telling her, she will have to come up with two "cages" (like legitimate wire cages) if she wants to adopt. And so she starts telling me about the tanks. Oh she's got a 20g that the girls could go in, and then she's got a 15g -- oh wait, no, she needs to save that, cause she has a blue rat and someone she knows has a blue rat and that person wants blue rat babies, so she's gotta hang onto that tank to breed them. Um, what? I tell her, you're not supposed to be breeding these random pet store rats, you don't know genetics, so on and so forth. Oh, but the female's dumbo and has thrown dumbo in the past (in the past???) and just this once, cause this person wants blue. Clearly, not just this once if the female's littered in the past. Oh and then she goes on to tell me she doesn't condone breeding, but somehow she figures that the just this once argument will be perfectly fine because it's ok to say "breeding is horrible!!! But let me just do it this once and then I'll go back to that." Wtf? I don't think so. Oh and it gets better. Then she says, well, the first time the mom had 6, then 8 babies. And she's like, well this person wants 2, so like, if she has 12, do I think I could come there and get the others and rehome them for her? *yanks out all hair on head* NO. I'm trying to REHOME already existing, living rats.
So, as if that wasn't bad enough, she says she's using aspen. Which is fine for a lot of small animals, but the wood beddings aren't good for rats, because they have the oils and phenols which are bad for their respiratory systems. Causes respiratory problems. You know what causes additional respiratory problems? Living in tanks with no ventilation or air exchange and breathing in tons of ammonia.
So I told her, look, even if I was to approve her (which I wouldn't, after hearing about the "just this once" breeding, the tanks, and the aspen... god knows what else had we continued with the form), the person who I have that would be bringing them to her would likely not leave them with her. Very nice guy, but he has like 2 rats per double critter nation. He would get there, see the tanks, see the aspen, call me up and be like, did you know about this? how could you!! And not leave them there. And so I told her that. Especially because it's the tanks AND aspen. If it was just a tank, with carefresh, maybe I could let that slide. And I'm sure I've told people with open-air cages, don't use wood bedding, and then do, but at least with wire cages, it can air out. So it's one thing to let bedding slide, or to tell her, try to use different bedding, but when it's tanks AND bedding that are wrong, she's not changing them both, especially when she says she has not a ton of money.
And she repeated, well, she uses the tanks and aspen because she has so many. Well, then HAVE LESS. It doesn't do anyone, or the animals, ANY good to "rescue" them if you're going to keep them in sub-par living conditions. Great, she got them out of a pet store. Great, she got them out of a feeder bin. But then she puts em in a bad "cage" (if you can even call it that), with the wrong type of bedding, and she thinks that's better? Some of those pet store rats may have gone on to be pets in wire cages, she doesn't know. If you can't provide a decent cage with the right bedding and right stimulation, you shouldn't have the pet. Simple as that. I'm not saying she needs critter nations. While I think it's great some people give their rats cages that size, I don't require that adopters need that size of a cage to adopt rats. But they at least need a wire cage about the size of a 10g tank (if not larger) to adopt a rat or two. That's about the smallest you can go for rats. But at least, it's a wire cage. You can hang hammocks, things for them to do. Play with. What can you do in a tank? Oh, she's got an igloo. Who-hoo. You know why she's got an igloo? Because it's hard to do much else with a glass tank.
Oh, but I almost forgot, she asked if they came with cages. For a $10 adoption fee for a pair of rats? Um... let me think about that... no.
Anyway, so I told her, this guy would not likely leave them with her. Because, truthfully, it's not ideal living conditions. I would like to think the phone cut out right then, but in reality, she probably hung up on me. Just in case, because I wasn't positive, I did call back and leave a message saying, hey, if the call died, call me back. It's been about a half hour, and nothing. So I guess she hung up on me. Oh well. The hunt for the homes for the senior rats continues.