Latest news 17.06.2017:

Promoting excellence in the care and breeding of fancy rats
About the NERS
Membership
Committee
Rattitude magazine
Members' forum
Rat-keeping information
Next NERS show
Show calendar
Show results
Show articles
Longevity award scheme
Championship scheme
Hall of fame
NERS Rescue fund
Rescue stories
Fundraising
Looking for rats?
Buying from pet shops
NERS breeders
NERS rescues
Contact us

Rescue stories

Sparrow

I applied to the NERS fund for a spay for Sparrow. She came with her sister Bramble from the wonderful EGPRR - I was asked to help because at the time they were overrun! The girls had arrived to EGPRR with their emaciated mother aged approximately 5 weeks old and I picked them up aged about 7 weeks. Sparrow was a prim and proper little girl and a little timid whereas Bramble is a boisterous daredevil! Sparrow become incredibly hormonal at about 4.5 months old, spending days on end on heat and generally causing chaos in her cage. At the time we had two other rats that needed surgery, so Sparrow was most likely going to have to wait a little while for the op. A friend suggested applying to the fund so Sparrow could have her operation sooner; this is exactly what happened and Sparrow was able to have her operation a couple of weeks before Christmas, rather than in the new year as we thought. This meant that we had a lovely calm Sparrow for Christmas! These days Sparrow is a calm, docile, gentle girl and all the problems associated with her hormones have gone :) She's not as timid now as when she was young but is still very prim - she always makes sure she looks her best and always washes after she has eaten. Sparrow and my husband share a particularly special relationship - she'll sit with him for ages! I really appreciate the help of the rescue fund in helping us in the situation, it has made the world of difference to Sparrow and the rest of the girls, and allowed us to take in more rescue girls as our group is more stable! Thanks so much to the fund and all that fundraise for it :)

Pinky and Amber

We had three spays and one castration done, part paid for by NERS. We are a very small rescue so its difficult for us to find the large sums of money needed to neuter rats with behavioural issues. We depended upon the NERS fund to help us out.

Back in July last year we had Amber handed into us with two litters. In total, 5 of the boys presented as needing castrations and all three daughters. Sadly we lost a daughter before surgery to a genetic condition affecting her intestines. We asked NERS to help us with the remaining three spays (spays cost us a lot more too). Because of their operation, two daughters Jet and Jade were immediately offered a home to live with an older male rat whose health excluded him from neutering. He was otherwise unable to live with other rats, and these two have now made his life a lot happier. Jet and Jade were rehomed in January of this year.

Amber was paired with Pinky (see photo). Pinky came to us in October as an almost feral boy. Completely unhandled and one of the worst cases of neglect I've seen so far. At just 8 months old he, and his brother Brain, had been left in a disgusting cage on sawdust without being cleaned or handled. Brain died less then a month later from sudden onset pneumonia. Despite the vet's efforts to give him oxygen, she told us afterwards she'd never seen lungs with so much scarring. Pinky's issue was that he was socially inept with other males which made it dangerous to introduce him. He was castrated at the same time as Amber was spayed in an effort to calm him down and possibly house him with females. Human wise, Pinky was 100% totally unhandleable when he arrived, not trusting treats and not allowing touching at all. Although once with Amber we managed to get him to bare handed pick ups and treat taking (most importantly medicated food), we felt he could come on no more in our care. There are some things rats can only achieve in a permanent home.

Pinky and Amber remain our greatest success story. During recovery we noticed they both slept as close to each other as the bars would allow (both being on their own). Just two weeks later we opened both cages and Amber walked in, straight into Pinky's nest and they both fell asleep together. They bonded very closely. These rats were rehomed just last month into a group of girls and Pinky has not only learned to boggle, and is coming out for cuddles but is also learning ratty etiquette in a much calmer fashion. I'm hoping for updated pictures from his new home soon. Amber herself is much much calmer now and the spay completely rid her of her in-cage nipping behaviour.

We are very grateful to NERS for the help with these rats. However, I'd like to see it more clearly written that you will not help established rescues as I was informed that I would not be allowed to apply in the future for this reason. I cannot see that stated anywhere on your website. For now, we limit our intake of rats as we have to assume each one may require neutering (we see a lot of these cases here) and without the extra help with costs we struggle. Sadly most of our fundraising goes straight into more routine vet treatments/bedding/food/transport etc.

I am glad that there is a fund to help those with no means of fundraising at all...or those who choose not to name themselves a rescue at all. Without that there are a lot of rats who would otherwise have been euthanised.

© NERS 2001-2017