Pet rats dumped in communal bin outside flats in Whickham

One rat survived after being dumped in a cage outside flats in Whickham. Credit: RSPCA

Two pet rats were dumped in a communal bin outside a block of flats.

The RSPCA condemned those responsible for leaving the animals in a domestic waste bin outside the flats in Whickham, near Gateshead.

They were found by a workman at about 10:30am last Wedneday 27 September in Bowness Road.

It is not known how long the animals had been inside, but one of the female rats had started to eat the other, which was deceased.

The surviving rodent was seen by a vet and is now recovering at the charity’s York, Harrogate and District Branch animal centre, from where it will be rehomed.

The surviving rat will be rehomed. Credit: RSPCA

RSPCA inspector Lucy Green said: “These pet rats had literally been thrown out with the rubbish with absolutely no thought whatsoever for their welfare. It must have been an extremely upsetting sight for the person who found them.

“There’s no excuse for abandoning animals in circumstances like this and we’d appeal to anyone with first-hand information to come forward.”  

Since the beginning of 2020 the RSPCA has received 1,861 reports to its cruelty line about rats in need.

In March this year, four of the animals were left in a sodden cage in plummeting temperatures in Wallsend, North Tyneside. Two of them had large, untreated masses and were put to sleep on veterinary advice while the remaining pair were rehomed by the charity.

Dr Jane Tyson, the RSPCA’s rodent welfare expert, said: “Pet rats are very active and intelligent and need plenty of space and lots to do to help prevent boredom setting in.

“When provided with the right environment they can make fantastic companions. They’re incredibly sociable animals so they always need rat friends to live with, but many also enjoy interacting with people too. Some owners have trained them to fetch a ball or even give a high-five!"

Anyone with information about the incident in Whickham is being urged to contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018 quoting reference number 01160046.

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