Today we received a concerning and urgent email. A man had two female rats and was allergic, and if we didn’t find a way to take them off his hands by 4pm, he was going to end their lives. He didn’t have money for the veterinarian, he explained, so he would have to “do it the old fashioned way”.
We don’t know what “the old fashioned way” is exactly – but we can hazard a couple guesses. None of them pretty or humane. So we went.
Before we arrived we were assured they were in good health and friendly. Only one of those two assertions was accurate.
River and Sky are both friendly, loving girls who love to be pet and cuddles. River, aside from some lice, seems to be in good health. Sky is in rougher shape. Her left eye is shrunken – our best bet is an injury caused infection and then it withered away. She has pretty bad bumble foot on both back paws, her fur is patchy and in tatters from a bad lice infestation, and she has an diagnosed aliment (the vet was unsure as well) where her head makes very spastic movements and she has poor balance. We believe that it is this infection or whatever the cause may be that caused the bumblefoot – she would not have had the balance to climb the steep metal ramps in the narrow cage they were being housed in. Their cage was dirty and had the remains of moldy bread, rotting fruit, a seed mix, and a bunch of almonds.
All in all it was just really, really sad.
Immediately after picking these girls up we made an appointment and brought them to see a vet for an opinion and to get Sky on some antibiotics we knew she needed. The rescue went from what was supposed to be an intake to post and adopt out, to an intervention where more vet visits are likely probable.