Homeless woman found living in her van with more than 300 pet rats

Written by on October 18, 2019 in Critter MIA, Critters vs Humans vs Critters - No comments

It quickly became a hard lesson in rat reproduction.

A San Diego woman started with two pet rats. But the pair quickly multiplied to more than 300 — all of them living in and around her van, which was parked outside some local businesses near Del Mar.

The rodents had shredded the interior.

They had tucked into every nook and crevice.

They had, in short, taken over.

A woman was doing her best trying to care for hundreds of rats. Photo: San Diego Humane Society

The woman, who had fallen on tough times, was doing her best to take care of the animals.

They had food and water. But they had become too much.

So, on Oct. 8, she contacted the San Diego Humane Society for help.

“Her pet rat population had gotten out of control and she wished to relinquish all of her animals so they could find good homes,” the humane society explained Thursday.

Rats rats everywhere. Photo: San Diego Humane Society

Humane society officers spent several days capturing all the rats and taking them to facilities in Oceanside, Escondido and San Diego for assessment.

“The rats have undergone veterinary exams and tests to make sure they are healthy, happy and ready for adoption,” the facility said.

Now, 140 of them are looking for new homes.

The rats are available for adoption for $5 a pair. Those pairs should be the same gender, so they don’t, um, become more than two rats. Photo: San Diego Humane Society

The humane society says rats make great pets.

“They are very social, smart and love to interact with humans,” the group explains. “Rats eat pellets, veggies and fruit. Domestic rats stay clean by grooming themselves like a cat several times per day.”

Meanwhile, a crowd funding page has been set up to help the woman in the middle of this case of accidental hoarding. It says she works at the nearby convenience store.

Close to $5,000 was quickly raised to help buy her a replacement vehicle. But then a used SUV was also donated.

“She is an amazing person who has had a string of bad luck,” the fundraiser organizer, Vanessa Hodges Black, wrote.

“We are currently looking into avenues to provide Carla with some Mental Heath services, revolving around the Animal Hoarding and Homelessness issues,” the page continued.

Photos San Diego Humane Society

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