The RSPCA are urging people to look beyond the stereotype to see if they can offer mice or rats a loving home.
The national animal charity reveals they are taking in more rodents that ever with 228 rats looking for new homes in 2017, compared with 204 in 2016 and 160 in 2015.
They also took in 200 mice in 2017 compared with 109 in 2016 and 147 in 2015.
RSPCA rabbit and rodent welfare expert, Dr Jane Tyson, said: “People may not realise that the RSPCA take in many rats, mice and other species of rodents for rehoming, as well as dogs and cats.
“Sadly rats can sometimes carry a negative stereotype but actually they can make loving and affectionate pets. They are fascinating and very intelligent animals and could make rewarding additions to a family.”
The RSPCA are urging anyone thinking about getting a rat, mouse of any other rodent species to check out their ‘Find a Pet’ webpage to see if they can offer a rescue rodent a loving home.
Dr Tyson added: “There are so many different species of rats across the world, and they have an incredible sense of smell. Some have even been trained to safely locate landmines in war zones so that they can be removed – they really are an extraordinary group of animals.”
Currently, there are two pairs of resuce rats at the RSPCA’s Leybourne centre in Kent, looking for a new home. The rats affectionately named, Glockenspiel, Castanets, Accordion and Tuba were taken into the centre with a large group of rats, as their owner could no longer give the rats the love and attention they deserve.