Every year during the holiday season, we get the same message from Humane Societies across the land: Don’t give a pet as a Christmas gift. It makes sense, too. Unless you know the person you’re buying for specifically wants a pet (and you know exactly what pet they want), there’s a decent chance that pet could end up back at the Humane Society. The recipient could look at the pet as an added responsibility they weren’t planning for or can’t provide for. For that and other reasons, many pets originally bought at gifts end up still looking for a forever home.
— Natasha Pace (@NatashaPace) December 15, 2016
I’m not saying this to try and deter you from adopting a pet this holiday season. If you really want one and are capable of taking care of a pet, have at it! And if you’re looking for something a little different than the standard dog or cat, the Peterborough Humane Society has a number of rats who are new in town and looking for a home.
The rats are coming from North Bay and are among more than 600 that were removed from an apartment there by the North Bay and District Humane Society. Since the North Bay shelter doesn’t have facilities to accommodate such a large number of rats, a number of other Humane Societies across Ontario have stepped up to take some of them in – Peterborough and the City of Kawartha Lakes among them.
A rat as a pet? It’s not as unusual as you might think. Remember Daphne‘s show rats in Frasier?
A friend of mine who has done quite a bit of work with lab rats also has pet rats herself. In my experience with them, they seem like fun enough pets. They stay in their cage most of the time, but every now and then they’ll take ’em out and play around with them. They seem pretty friendly, but I wouldn’t go sticking your fingers into the cage…
And think of the possibilities! I didn’t know until just recently that rats can be trained to play basketball.
I tried (so far unsuccessfully) to convince my friend to train her rats to play basketball with me… Still working on that myself, but there’s plenty of videos out there to keep me happy.
I’m personally impressed that the rats actually know which end they need to score on, rather than just nailing baskets at either end. This Ratsketball league I’ve been thinking up in my head suddenly seems more promising… and potentially more exciting than real basketball. I mean, could you imagine if a slam dunk involved the player going through the hoop after the ball?!
Though I kinda wonder if the rats actually like basketball or are just playing to get treats…
And for those of you curious on HOW to train your rat to play basketball, here’s a how-to video I found that could be helpful.