Since many of our members provide homes to rescue rats, we'd like to define what FRA considers to be a Rescue for the purposes of clarity regarding fundraising and donation decisions.
In our view, a Rescue is an establishment through which animals pass from a previous home to a suitable new permanent one.
We do not consider homes who only provide life-long residence for rescued rats to be Rescues for fundraising purposes as this would mean that a great many of our members could be considered 'rescues'. These homes would be better described as Sanctuaries.
Rescues should seek to ultimately rehome all rats handed into them. We accept that there may be a delay for any who require rehabilitation before they are ready to be rehomed, and that some may have physical or behavioural issues which mean that they could prove very difficult to find the right home for (e.g. the very rare chronic biters, or rats with unusual complex health needs). However, there is always the possibility of a suitable home being offered at any time, particularly given the number of experienced owners accessible through a specialist site such as ours, so these rats should still be deemed homeable.
Someone running a Rescue might of course choose to keep some rats as permanent residents. We take the view that these should be considered as their pets rather than as part of the Rescue, and therefore the financial responsibility should be their own, kept quite separate from the finances of running the Rescue itself.
In line with making a distinction between Rescues and Sanctuaries, we have introduced a new guideline for Rescues who have an entry in the web directory, requesting that they indicate the scale on which they usually operate (Existing entries will require an update - please send a PM to FRA or use the report function). A new section has also been provided in the web directory for members running a Sanctuary to list themselves if they wish to declare that they are open to receiving rats.
Fancy Rats urges members to be cautious when supporting unregistered charities financially. Whilst the vast majority of causes are entirely worthy, there are possibly some individuals who may seek to take advantage of your compassion and generosity towards rats. We also urge members to satisfy themselves that any Rescue which they intend to support meets their own criteria regarding ethics and levels of care, as not all will be equal.
Fancy Rats Team