Kesa Rattery – The Fallacy of an “ethical” breeder

We want to share the following story to help others avoid the pitfall of thinking that “breeders” are in any way better than pet stores. THEY ARE NOT.

Here are Bear and Buddy’s stories.

We were contacted in January by a lady, we will call “Nancy” who desperately needed help with her rats. Nancy tried to do everything right as a first-time rat-keeper: she did tons of research; she invested in a Double Critter Nation; and purchased a mountain of toys and accessories.

Nancy also found a local rat breeder. Someone who seemed trust-worthy, who claimed to take the utmost care with their rats and their “breeding program”.

She found Kesa Rattery run by Jen Percival.

According to Kesa Rattery’s website: “My rats are bred for temperament before appearance, I have very high standards on who I select for breeding.”

What could go wrong? Nancy decided that although the prices were higher to purchase rats from this breeder, it was worth it for the breeder rat experience.

Not one, but two of the three males Nancy adopted from Kesa Rattery became hormonal aggressive upon reaching puberty. Biting her several times, drawing blood every time.

When Nancy reached out to the breeder for help, she was told there was nothing Kesa Rattery could do. Jen, the breeder, said if she takes the biters back, she would cull them (her exact words). Her expert advice was to return them, so she could put them down. When Nancy inquired how, the breeder told her she has the means to do it herself … “humanely”.

We know now, that her method is using CO2 (Carbon Dioxide):

Anyone who has even five minutes to spare can find numerous articles from reputable sources going back decades with definitive proof that although this is an approved method to euthanize lab animals and pigs in slaughter houses, and it is not illegal in some countries – it is in no way humane as it causes immense pain, distress and suffering to the animal as they literally suffocate while fully conscious. Even the CCAC which regulates how lab animals are euthanized states that CO2 should NOT be used when other methods are available.

Nancy knew, despite the Kesa Rattery’s “expert opinion” as a breeder that this just did not sound right. Thankfully, she reached out to the Ottawa Pet Rat Rescue, and Bear and Buddy were not culled for something they have no control over, something that is easily remedied, and something that was genetic and thus bred into them.

Nancy tried, with our help, to explain to Kesa Rattery why her actions were causing not only harm and suffering to the rats she was culling, but also putting the burden of responsibility on first-time rat-parents like Nancy to make an impossible decision, and ultimately leaving already overburdened Rescues, like us, the task of finding a solution. Meanwhile, Jen as Kesa Rattery continues to breed and sell rats – up to two litters per month (that’s 20+ babies per month). Despite what their mission statement may say, the value of each individual rat is inconsequential.

Bear & Buddy will be the lucky ones because of Nancy’s ability to understand the inherent wrong of killing an innocent animal. Not to mention the completely inhumane suggestion that there is a way to “cull” an animal at home without the use of veterinary prescribed sedatives.

Bear is safe, neutered, and now perfectly happy and friendly living with two girls, Tiger and Jill.

Buddy was neutered in April and with a lot of love and time put into socializing him, is now available for adoption with his other brother Button.


Other Incidents involving Kesa Rattery:

April 2021: Jen Pervical posts to get rid of two baby rats. One is extremely ill, the other one lives with the ill rat. While the treatment is simple (as stated by Jen herself), she states she will cull them soon if they cannot be picked up by someone. Jen chose to disable the comments on the post.

Feb. 1, 2022: Kesa Rattery plans to sell babies in one week while experiencing an undiagnosed outbreak causing respiratory symptoms. There seems to be no veterinary involvement as she is waiting for Doxycycline ordered online.

Feb. 5, 2022: Kesa Rattery still experiencing symptoms. Including a senior female named Ilsa.


March 5, 2022: Just one month later, senior female Ilsa is being bred to get “one more litter from her” with Zion, father of the hormonal aggressive boys. Jen of Kesa Rattery is aware that Zion is the father. Ilsa is pictured “bunking” with Zion as per Jen’s own post.

March 6, 2022: The very next day, Kesa Rattery changes her plans to breed Ilsa, then immediately proceeds to post to rehome Ilsa while a) potentially pregnant having been in the same cage as Zion and b) still potentially contagious having still exhibited symptoms just one month ago.