|Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Samuel Whiskers|
Something very sad happened last week. My other half came across a wild rat in the house next door, he was asked by a scared lady if he could remove it and noticed that the rat was acting a bit strange (not moving much and squeaking). He rang the RSPCA for advice and was told to leave the rat outside in a box and monitor him for half an hour before taking him to the vets. R decided to head straight to the vets because the rat was clearly not happy, the vets advised him that they would take a look at the rat and let it him free if all was well.
Around 45 minutes later R telephone the vet to see what the outcome was and a cheerful receptionist told him that due to the law the rat was considered vermin so immediately euthanised. Both R and I are really disappointed and upset about this as if R had been informed of this in the first place, he would have let the rat free in our local park and let him take his chances in the wild.
Considered "vermin" or not, this rat was not hurting anyone and really didn't deserve to be immediately put to sleep. Upon telling several people about what happened I was met with responses like "ewwww, a rat!" and "they are full of diseases!" and although I accept rats aren't the most popular animals and are responsible for the spread of certain diseases, I honestly don't think such a negative response is called for.
I have found an interesting link about wild rats that is well worth reading if you get the time.