RSPCA appeal to find rats dumped in handbag a new home

Two rats who were abandoned in a handbag and left in the woods are now looking for their forever home.

Ernest and Bunbury, two 18-month old rodents, were taking into RSPCA Manchester and Salford branch after they were found cruelly abandoned.

They were discovered along with two other rats, inside a woman’s handbag and dumped in the woods in West End Lane, Doncaster in March this year.

All the rats were very thin, dehydrated and a little lethargic when found. When they were taken to be checked over by the vet, Inspector Drysdale who rescued them soon realised that two of them were very unwell and sadly had to be put to sleep.

Earnest and Bunbury are now in the care of the RSPCA branch where they have been patiently waiting for their forever home for the last few months.

Susie Hughes, RSPCA Manchester and Salford branch manager, said: “These pair of ratties have had a rough time after they were abandoned in a ladies’ handbag! Thankfully they were found and rescued by our inspector but tragically, we were unable to save the other two as they were too poorly. Bunbury was also found with a nasty tail injury and a third of his tail was dying so the poor fella needed to have his tail removed.

“Despite this, they are really sociable boys who enjoy attention and time out of their cage. Bunbury is the braver of the two and is always up at the bars for a fuss and likes to have a perch on your shoulder too. Earnest has really grown in confidence since his arrival and with plenty more time to socialise, we are sure he will continue to blossom. The pair love lounging around together and enjoy a diet supplemented with fresh veg, occasional fruit and some protein.

“The vets have estimated them to be around 18 months old and whilst we understand that this may put some people off adopting them as they are slightly older for rats, they are really friendly and loving boys who will make it worth your while giving them a home.”

RSPCA rabbit and rodent welfare expert, Dr Jane Tyson, said: “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.

“People don’t realise that each rat has their own personality. They laugh when tickled, and studies have shown they show empathy with other rats and will try to help each other if trapped or in distress. They can also be trained to count, fetch a ball and high-five a human. They really are extraordinary animals.”

The RSPCA urges anyone thinking about getting rats, mice or any other rodent species to check out the RSPCA’s Find a Pet webpage to see if they can offer a rescue rodent a loving home.

If you think you can give Earnest and Bunbury a home, you can contact RSPCA Manchester and Salford branch on 01618 820 680.