You Can Make A Difference

Diane Newburg
From the May/June 1998 Rat & Mouse Gazette

There is a story from an animal welfare group that goes something like this: An author on vacation looks out his hotel room window and sees way down the beach a person appearing to be throwing things into the ocean. Deciding to investigate, he approaches and discovers that the man is throwing starfish stranded by the high tide back into the water, one by one.

The author observes, "There are thousands of starfish; what possible difference can you make?" The man picks up another starfish and tosses it into the ocean, saying "It made a difference to that one."

As I look at my constantly growing rat family, now mostly rescues, I feel blessed to have been able to provide a home for so many abandoned or neglected ratties - presently, Digby, Baily and Baxter, Shiloh, Dakota, Winnie the Blue and her babies Chloe and Zoe and Sweet William, Watson, and Wild Thing.

New friends often comment on how pretty my Black Tailless and Siamese are. I readily offer the name of the breeder. To my surprise, I am usually given a tongue lashing! I am informed, in no uncertain terms, that my suggestion is totally unacceptable and there is no way they would go to a breeder merely to get a “pretty” rat.

I enthusiastically encourage a growing trend to rescue rather than promote bringing more ratties into a world where loving homes are not guaranteed. To people wanting ratties, please check the shelters and any orphanage in your area before pet stores, and try to take home ratties in same sex pairs or trios! It would not take many rescuers each year to ensure that our shelters and orphanges woud remain empty. You CAN make a difference.