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Rats in parking lot :(

August 6th, 2006, 03:03 AM
I'm upset and feel a bit sick. Earlier when I was getting groceries, on our way out there were two rats and one was injured and running in circles in the parking lot and the other was watching from a distance. My bf and I had bags of groceries and it was dark and we were walking. A security guard said he would help me catch it so he brought a box and some gloves. When he came over and saw it he said it was a wild rat and that it looked like it had been poisened. I was getting quite upset seeing this and wanted to catch it and bring it to the spca but my bf and the security guard didn't think I should get close and thought the best thing would be to put it out of it's pain. He said he lived on a farm for a long time and that he could do it quickly. He seemed to think it would be the most humane thing to do. I really hope it was, I feel so guilty and very sad :sad: I don't think they were wild I think they were just lost or abandoned. The other one ran off into the bushes :( He just kept running in circles and didn't stop. Does anyone know if this means he was very sick or could he have just been in shock? I've never seen an animal do that before :(

August 6th, 2006, 07:39 AM
At that hour in the summer, I doubt it was a pet. It most likely a wild rat. I kow that in montreal now, there are several neighbourhoods that are having a HUGE rat problem. Personally, if I came out of a grocery store and saw rats I would be disgusted and upset that these rats could have been inside the store... just me.

jesse's mommy
August 6th, 2006, 07:42 AM
Not to gross anyone out, but I'm in and out of grocery stores all day with my job -- you would be surprised at what I've seen, smelled and have had on me. :yuck: You want to think the stores you shop in are clean and perfect in their back rooms, but I can tell you every single store has it's dirty little secrets. Some are more gross than others, but they all have them.

August 6th, 2006, 07:34 PM
I would have rathered try to save it. It could have been an inner ear infection and not poison that was causing the behavior as i've found from searching. I hope it died quickly :rip: Poor little rat.

August 6th, 2006, 08:15 PM
umm i doubt those were someone's pet. Plus they were right, you don't get close to every animal you see in the dark.
I'm all pro saving animals and I hope I don't start something here, but I think there should be a limit on what you touch and save off the streets.
Rats are dangerous. You wouldn't have been a happy camper if it bit you. They carry many diseases.

August 6th, 2006, 08:53 PM
Thank you for your comment jiorji I was hoping to hear some opinions. I'm trying to get more clear with myself about how I should deal with these types of situations as they seem to keep coming up and causing me a great deal of grief. So if anyone has any story's or suggestions feel free to share!

August 7th, 2006, 05:55 PM
The rat was most likely wild. Wild rats are prevalent in most cities, and sometimes don't act fearful.
You should NEVER attempt to catch a wild rat or any wild animal for that matter.
Domestic rats are friendly and don't normally bite but they're NOTHING like they're wild cousins. Wild rats are very agressive and tend to be territorial, if cornered they WILL bite, and considering the one was running around in circles acting funny, it may have had rabies, and even if not, was obviously sick and could have infected someone.
Next time you see a rat or another wild animal acting like this do not get close to it, call animal control and they can either decide to catch it and release it somewhere else or put it to sleep.
If a wild animal is sick, with rabies for instance, it will not act rational and may even come at you and attack.
Calling your local animal control will also allow them to test the animal for rabies or other diseases if they feel it may be infected, so they can keep track of how prevalent the problem is in your area.

I'd also like to say, rats are extremely fast and agile, and even when sick, wearing gloves to catch one may not protect you as they can jump VERY fast, so there's a chance of getting bit either on your face or somewhere else where you're not protected.

August 7th, 2006, 09:11 PM
Yikes, now that I think about it the other rat did leap away jumping very far and very fast so ya they could get in your face pretty quick if they wanted to. I called animal control here to see how easy they are to get hold of and it looks like you can leave a message after 4:30pm but I'm not sure what the hours are that they actually work.

It is interesting the wild animal shelter here instructed me on how to catch a sick and injured racoon with a regular carry along dog kennel which they lent to me last year. I remember the animal control guy casually mentioning I should have a proper trap, he couldn't provide one but was willing to pick the animal up once I caught it. I tried using the kennel and was rather nervous of the racoon and didn't manage to get him. I couldn't seem to find a proper trap without paying a fortune to purchase one which I would have if it had been possible. It's a bit of a pickle not wanting to ignore these situations:P Anyway, thanks for the advice it was helpful!!

August 7th, 2006, 09:32 PM
That's odd re:raccoon. Most shelters will provide you with a live trap to catch them and then they'll come pick up the trap and animal. Every time I've seen an animal control officer talking about sick wild animals they always say stay away and don't try to catch them, lol

August 21st, 2006, 05:25 PM
I'm a huge rodent lover with two rats of my own and a third cagemate for them belonging to a boyfriend, I even carry my rats in my purse when I go to pet friendly places.
However, I completely agree with the ideal that the rats were probably wild. I think that there are points where animals should be put down. And sadly, at least in Idaho, there arent many vets that deal with small critters like rats and guinea pigs, and many probably wouldn't be willing to work on those specific rats given the situations.

August 22nd, 2006, 05:20 AM
I've had 2 rats and am also a huge rodent lover, but I've also had run ins with wild rats, and they're not something I'd like to mess with, lol.

August 22nd, 2006, 10:06 AM
Are wild rats larger or does it just depend on the rat? The ones I saw seemed small. Also the one that ran away was black and for some reason I had the notion that all wild rats were grey.

August 22nd, 2006, 10:31 AM
Domestic rats are friendly and don't normally bite but they're NOTHING like they're wild cousinsSo does that mean they might have come over rather than run away? I didn't realize how little I knew about rats!

August 23rd, 2006, 12:25 AM
Are wild rats larger or does it just depend on the rat? The ones I saw seemed small. Also the one that ran away was black and for some reason I had the notion that all wild rats were grey.

There's several different kinds of wild rats.
The ones you normally see in the city are norwegian rats, and they come in several different shades of grey and brown. They can be light brown to almost black and light grey to almost black.
Their body shape is normally exactly like a domestic rat and they can vary in size, the females are usually smaller.

So does that mean they might have come over rather than run away? I didn't realize how little I knew about rats!

A wild rat is unlikely to come right up to you unless it's acting abnormal because it's sick. It may start to approach you out of curiosity and then run away when you're too close. Wild rats are VERY agressive, if they're cornered they will attempt to defend themselves, but if there's room for escape they're more likely to just run away.


Domestic rats are technically the same breed as the wild brown (norwegian) rat, but they've been bred for over 100 years to be docile.

August 23rd, 2006, 02:18 PM
Thanks for all the explanations! As I was reading, it reminded me of those articles you see where children send in a question to the animal expert:)

August 23rd, 2006, 02:32 PM
:offtopic: whenever I read the title of this thread, I always think of that "Hands in my pocket" commercial..

Rats in my parking, rats in my parking, rats in my parking lot...:D

Sorry for the hijack.:o

August 23rd, 2006, 03:51 PM
please before you touch ANY animal, wild or not, you should know enough about it to know what to do in case it acts out of the ordinary.

Would you touch a dog that seems iritated?? It's the same thing with stray wild rats. You just never know what disease they have or if they're friendly.
I understand your love to save animals, and i hope i don't offend, but one should know when to draw the limit on which animal to save. i am glad you decided against trying to catch those rats as you might've ended up with rabies shots later. Be careful!

August 24th, 2006, 05:15 PM
whenever I read the title of this thread, I always think of that "Hands in my pocket" commercial..I have no idea what you are talking about because I don't have cable:p
Would you touch a dog that seems iritated??Thank you for putting it that way, it puts things into perspective because i can see how even though an animal is small it could still cause some serious injury which isn't worth risking.