Real Life Rat Rescues


It was a warm day in March, and I decided to venture out to shop. I did not know what I was going out for, just going out to enjoy the day. I ended up going to a thrift store, and on the way home, saw a pet store I had not been in for quite some time, so I decided to venture in to look around.

As I went in the normal customers were walking around, getting what they needed for their beloved pets. And I heard the most awful noise through the commotion of the customers. Almost like a I followed the noise, around the corner, inside the store. There it was, a small tank, with feeder rats. The rat in particular was smaller than the rest, it was over crowded, and the larger rats were eating him alive. He was at the highest point he could get, and they were still pulling what was left of his tail and toes. I pulled the tank out and got him out, almost immediately, with tears welling up, and anger beyond belief. One of the associates asked if I needed any help, as I had the bloody, injured rat in my shirt. He said "No! You don't want that one! Pick a pretty one!" I replied "Yes, this is the one I want, do you have a box?" and a box was tossed down on the floor a moment later after he retrieved it from the back. I only put this poor little rat in the box to pay the $8.00 for him, and then went to the car and got him out again, and wrapped him up in the bottom of my shirt, to stop some of the bleeding, and make him more comfortable. I just kept saying "You are going to be OK now..." over and over...but what was I going to do? I had no clue what to do for him, what vet sees rats, was he going to make it? I just knew, even if he did not live long, the torture was over.

When I got home with my rat now named IAN F. which stands for "I Am Not Food". I went to the computer. I remembered a Pittsburgh Rat Lovers Club from being at the Pet Expo in Pittsburgh. Little did I know what a blessing they would be for Ian.

I joined the club, and posted, a post for help. I was immediately contacted, and within 24 hours, Ian was seen by an excellent rat vet in Cranberry. They were not sure if he would make it either, but they sure were going to help as much as they could. He was immediately put on three medications. Two antibiotics, and a soak for his tail, and feet, where the tissue, and toes were eaten off. They said they were trying to save the tail, with the soak, because the tail is used to balance, and a rat needs his tail. But, soon Ian was scheduled for an amputation surgery, on his tail, but enough was left for him to balance. It was just not healing correctly, because part of the bone was exposed. So off he went for surgery.

I was so nervous that day, you would have thought my only child was in surgery! I was so worried that something would happen, and Ian just would not have the strength to make it. He was so small and so badly injured. What if he died? I already loved this little guy more than anyone could imagine. Then, hours later, it was already time to pick Ian up. So off to the vet I go again.

When they brought him out, I started to laugh with tears in my eyes. All bandaged around the middle in purple bandages, to keep him from removing the staples in the end of his tail. His fuzzy little face, just so cute! He made it! And what a cutie he was! They all fell in love with him at the vet's office. My Ian F.

Ian has gone on to become very chubby and spoiled here. I have many rats now, that have needed a good home for one reason or another. Ian inspired me to rescue others, but none were ever as bad as he was. And Ian knows he was rescued by me. He cuddles, and is very affectionate. Something that I never thought would happen after all he had been through. Even the guy at the pet store told me I would NEVER be able to hold him and have him as a pet.

After all the bandages were off, staples removed, toes and tail healed up (he is missing most of his toes, but his feet healed up), ankle laceration, head lacerations, and the cut across Ian's nose...all healed. I made another trip back to that store, with a chubby, shiny, healthy pet rat, in my arms. They did not even remember him....but I hope, after reading will. My Ian F. My love.

Kristen Schliecker