Rescue group concerned by local rat roundup

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Members of local rat rescue groups say they are concerned by plans to round up rats at parks in Henderson.

This week 8 News Now reported the city would use bait control boxes at Acacia Park to capture rats following complaints from neighbors. But local rat enthusiasts say the rodents should be relocated without causing them harm.

“A lot of people would rather kill them and have them not exist instead of understanding they are loving and caring,” said Meghan Harrington, the owner of Desert Rose Rattery, which is dedicated to rescuing and breeding rats.

Harrington, who has around 30 pet rats herself, said the idea of trapping wild rats in valley parks or at local homes doesn’t sit well with her.

“With bait, it will poison them and they will suffer,” said Harrington. “(Traps) will cause so much pain to them. It’s not fair. Even with wild rats, they are still animals.”

Harrington said a better way to solve the wild rat issue is with a metal cage that catches rats so they can be released into another area. Harrington does not take in wild rats due to the diseases they carry. But she said if you do come across one, it is likely more scared of you, and it is best to leave them alone.

If you have a pet rat you no longer want, Harrington said you should not simply let them loose outside. They could get diseases from other wild rats. Instead, she suggests giving them to a local rescue group.

The city of Henderson tells 8 News Now its pest control partner will assess the area Friday to see if there has been success. “Our Park Operation Manager was at Acacia Park today and didn’t see any rodents, he only saw rabbits and chipmunks,” a spokesperson with the city noted.

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