Neutering male rats before re-homing

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lotus49
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Location: Yorkshire

Neutering male rats before re-homing

Post by lotus49 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:40 am

We have two quite young male rats. They get on very well but I think two rats is too few and I like the idea of giving a loving home to a rat who may otherwise be on his own living in a shelter. My wife found a male rat who is looking for a home on the Animals in Distress web site. They are based in Salford, on the opposite side of the Pennines to us but it's a perfectly driveable distance.

I just spoke to someone at the shelter who said that their policy is only to re-home neutered animals. I pointed out that he would be living with two other males and that he would never meet a female and questioned whether neutering was appropriate given that they described him as an "older rat". She said she would check but that this was their policy and they were very unlikely to deviate from it.

Is this typical? Are they doing the right thing or is this an unnecessary procedure that may put his health at risk?

I'd appreciate the views of more experienced rat owners on this topic.

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RedFraggle
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Re: Neutering male rats before re-homing

Post by RedFraggle » Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:17 pm

It's not typical for rats but completely the norm for other animals. Looking at the wider picture it's a responsible policy but is over the top for rats IMO and inappropriate in an elderly rat. If that's their policy there's not much you can do about it but I would point out that most rescue organisations including the rspca do not neuter rats prior to homing. You may just have spoken with someone new who has got the wrong end of the stick or it could be they don't rehome rats often and haven't really thought it through.
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cyber ratty
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Re: Neutering male rats before re-homing

Post by cyber ratty » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:31 pm

To offer an alternative point of view - many adult males remain in rescue for too long because introducing entire adult males to each other isn't the easiest of tasks, so neutering a rescue buck is often the best way to get them into a new home.

If the buck in question still has active hormones, then I would suggest that neutering him is the best option anyway.

So long as the vet is experienced, then the risks are minimal, and better than a buck staying on their own in rescue.

lotus49
Posts: 75
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:13 pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Neutering male rats before re-homing

Post by lotus49 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:34 pm

Thank you both for your posts.

The rat in question was described as an "older rat" but Animals in Distress appears to take any animal and has only a single rat out of a large number of animals they are seeking to rehome so I would guess that they don't have much experience of rats and we don't know how old he is as the previous owner died.

My motivation for adopting the little chap is to give him company and a loving home for the remainder of his life. I'd much prefer to avoid any further stress and however minor neutering is for a male, it cannot be less stressful than not being neutered. Perhaps it would be easier introducing a neutered male but the two we have are friendly little chaps and used to get on well with our older rat so I don't expect it will be a problem. I could of course be wrong but time will tell.

The reason they neuter all the animals they rehome is that they don't want people to breed from them. This makes perfect sense but we only own male rats and if we wanted to breed we already have two entire young bucks who would make much more obvious candidates than a random older white rat of unknown provenance.

The odd thing about this is that the charity has shown absolutely no interest in us. Earlier in the year I applied to be on waiting lists for kittens with a couple of breeders in Yorkshire. They both asked me to fill in great big questionnaires asking us where we would keep the kittens, what other rats we had, what experience of rat keeping we had etc.. This took some time to answer but we completely understood that the breeders wanted to assure themselves that we were suitable. We have been asked no such questions by Animals in Distress, which seems strange given that they have more or less said that they cannot trust us not to breed from this rat.

I shall try writing to them before he is neutered next week but my conversations so far don't suggest they are interested in what I have to say. We shall see.

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