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San Diego woman agrees to give up over 300 pet rats

San Diego Union-Tribune

A woman living in a van in San Diego has agreed to give up all 300 of her pet rats, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Thursday.

Although the unidentified woman reportedly started with two rats, the rodents multiplied exponentially. They all lived in a van with their owner, crawling into its seats, door panels, upholstery and even the engine wiring. One video showed some of the rats clustered on the dashboard.

{mosads}The rats would also often scatter around outside the van, which was parked near a convenience store. Neighbors complained about the rodents and called the San Diego Humane Society, whose officials were able to save many of the rats beginning earlier this month after speaking with the woman.

Law enforcement officers also reportedly became involved, and they “realized right away the situation was significant,” Capt. Danee Cook said, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

“They could tell immediately that it was a huge amount,” Cook said. “They were living out of the van, coming and going.”

Cook said the woman told the Humane Society she was sorry that the rats had gotten out of control. She agreed to turn them over, and Cook denied that this was a case of animal cruelty. 

“This was not a cruelty case, this was a relinquishment, an owner asking for help,” Cook said.

“She was feeding all of them, had water for all of them,” Cook continued. “This didn’t meet the standards of hoarding.” 

Officials spent days cleaning rats out of “every crevice” of the van, Cook said.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help the woman, who is called Carla on the page. As of Friday morning, the $5,000 goal was reached. The fundraiser says that the woman worked at the convenience store where the van was parked.

“She is an amazing person who has had a string of bad luck and if she loses her job it will be devastating to her,” the GoFundMe page states.

Approximately 140 of the rats are now up for adoption.

Tags GoFundMe Humane Society rats San Diego

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