INALA RESCUE MISSION
So just how many small animals can one girl, a car and some carry cages rescue? No rescue mission has ever been to large, to complicated or too far to drive for ACS. We'd drive to the other side of Australia if it means we can save a precious life! The following rescue is a typical case of what we would call a backyard ' collector '. These individuals are known to compulsively collect large numbers of animals ( usually several types of animals ) for no real reason at all and usually the animals end up being bred from compulsively resulting in them being mistreated or in worse cases investigations into cruelty to the animals takes place. Collectors often do not realize the conditions their animals are living in and often do not want to part with any of the animals even though they have far too many to cater for.
ACS Brisbane shelter received a call from a member of the public in late January 2007 who's call had been forwarded onto us by the RSPCA. Basically a man told us that his partner had taken off around a week prior and had left him with her pets. He stated that he was unable to afford the costs involved in feeding and caring for the animals and that he needed them gone asap. We were told on the phone that their were 5 rats and a few guinea pigs with their babies that needed to be rehomed...little did we know what we were about to find on arrival to the home.
We arranged to pick up the animals that evening as the days had been very hot and we were concerned the animals would not cope with the summer heat. On arrival to the property in the early evening Brisbane shelter manager Jessica discovered something she did not expect to see. Around 150 rats and their babies, approximately 15 mice and 7 guinea pigs ( some which were pregnant ) were being kept in appalling conditions in tiny cages and fish tanks. They had no food at all and only some had water. All the animals were very thin and it was assumed that some if not many had passed away recently. The home and cages were indescribable the only word that came to mind was a ' pit ' a pit of filth, droppings and a strong stench. The owner of the animals then elaborated/changed his story and told us that council had been called to the property twice already and that if the animals were not removed they were going to come round a third time and hit the owners with a $150 fine. This in itself was appalling to here...appalling to think that the animals had already been seen twice in the conditions they were in and that they had not been taken and nothing had been done regarding the situation. The cages were stuck shut and could not be opened so the owner grabbed a screw driver and began unscrewing the cages so that we could get the animals out. Keeping composed the rescue went ahead as planned and we took as many rats that we could fit into the car. Needing emergency help ACS then contacted Lou from BRR ( Brisbane Rat Rescue ) in a desperate situation asking if she could help us by taking in the rats. Out of dedication and passion for these small animals and without a twitch Lou joined forces with us and that night all the rats and mice were taken to her home to be cared for. The rats and mice are currently now residing in the care of Lou and ACS have taken on the 7 guinea pigs. Sadly ACS was unable to fit the last 40 male rats into our car on our first trip so a second rescue mission was taken place on the following day. A volunteer from the rat rescue joined Jessica in the rescue on the second day and we arrived at the home even more appauled than our first visit. This time it was an unbelievably hot summer day and the cage the rats were in had been turned on it's back so their were four solid sides and no air circulation. The bedding was dropping and sunflower seeds and the man had hosed all the rats with water as he thought it'd keep them cool. This hosing only made the bedding stink even more, made the rats filthy and made the cage very humid. The rats did not have any water at all on our second visit and they did not have any food some would have surely passed away from the heat. We were unable to obtain photographs of the enclosures the animals were kept in although have tried to describe them as best as we can. All the rats were taken to Lou at Brissy rat rescue where emergency cages, donations of bedding and overwhelming volunteer supported awaited. If you wish to find out further information on how the rats went after this rescue please contact us and we can put you in contact with Lou.
Below are photos of the case as it stands. ACS was unable to get good photographs of the setup the animals were kept in due to poor lighting and risk of the owners becoming abusive so most of the photos were taken at Lou's home once the rats, mice and guinea pigs had been rescued.
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