Rescue Journal

two days off...

Carol  ·  Nov. 26, 2012

packed full again.
feed runs, errands, new dog coming in (maybe)...a potential adoption meet and my personal stuff.

i got off early from work yesterday afternoon...i literally felt like i had been run over by a truck and advil just wasn't doing the trick to get me moving very well. so i whipped thru my clients, worked thru my lunch and came home early to take some heavier duty drugs..i think i feel a bit better today?

thank to all of the weekend warriors for all of their help this weekend...everything looked and felt great.

jesse is up and down..better on saturday not so great on sunday. part of the issue is he really is a highly strung and very sensitive dog so not being physically right is messing up his head.

i do appreciate everyone suffering with me over the rat problem here. misery likes least i do!
just to be clear tho on the options available and already explored. snap and sticky traps are not an option as too many rats are left to suffer for too long, stuck in goo or with their tails, feet or noses snapped shut in a trap. trap and release is not an option because rats have a travelling distance capability of up to 12 miles and i don't know of anywhere around here not within 12 miles of someones house. plus just dumping farm rats off into the bush somewhere where they don't have access to food, probably isn't a great solution for them to have to deal with either. loose cats on our property is not an option..between dogs and coyotes the cats would be at huge risk. plus the cats are still killing them, it just keeps my hands and soul a bit cleaner. we do have one of the electric pulse sending rodent expellers but on the rat expelling frequency, it is extremely noisy and REALLY irritating to both the other animals and me. there are birth control options being tested in various labs but they are not available for purchase to the public yet. the electocution traps might be an option we could try but i am not sure on the safety for our other animals if they get at it and i am not wholly convinced that electrocution is all that humane either.

at this point the only two options i see as working for this is...either periodically doing population control with poison or getting rid of the barn yard birds altogether and refusing to rescue more. either way...birds die because there is no where to go or rats die because they are breeding here.

and i am not too fond of either option.

i get that most of you are uncomfortable with this aspect of rescue...the conflicts of interests that make rescuers do terrible things. i am really uncomfortable with it too. but is a reality of rescuing multi-species farm animals here.
if i do nothing...due to health and safety...we will eventually be shut down because the rodent numbers will soon overwhelm us. if i start dumping them somewhere else, we will be passing on the problem and piss off someone else and that too could shut us down. if i am going tohve to kill them, i want it to be as non violent as possible.i have to say that working for years with human palliative cancer patients who also do sometimes bleed is probably one of the least painful and distessing ways to go out...but it does take awhile...and that is hard for us to watch...the getting weaker, more vulnerable and disoriented and not comprehending, what is happening to them now.

this truly is one of those damned if you do, damned if you don't...the entire situation, every which way you look at it... sucks.

but bottom line...too many rats here pose a threat to our animals and to saints as a whole. and that means my job is to minimize the risks to all of us.
welcome to the world of rescue where it isn't all warm and fuzzy and where you can't always find a way to be the good person you really want to be...sometimes you just have to do things you know aren't right. and that is a horrible feeling.


julie Hartland

Ashley, have sent you a couple of emails re Donation Box @ your Vets.

Will you bring monies with you please & give to Laurel, Ta, Julie.


perhaps you need to find someone more blood-thirsty to take over the rat problem? or at least someone to help you shoulder it?
i see Morgan is helping a little already...


Ashley, around what time do you think you will be dropping of baking? If it is during bank hours you can drop it off right at the Scotiabank we open at 9:30


I got freaked out tonight when i let the mini pigs in the feed shed, scared the ehll out of them when i i was hurrying them out of there.What if a little peice got eaten by them... what if the rats when cleaning out here nests in the barn chuck some out... rats like to gather food and store it ...

I hate to see anything suffer and by wednesday i will be crying as they will be totally effected by the poison by then.

I got over a dozen out in my live trap at the feed shed over a month ago .. but i also carried the guilt of letting them go where i did for weeks after ... would they get picked off there??

We do catch and release here but i have a creek out back of my place so we pack a ton of food with them and cart them out over the creek into a good hidy spot.


I like Brent's idea - simple and makes sense, and you only have to do some barn animal shuffling once a week.


I have a bunch of baking to deliver Wednesday morning... should I drop it at SAINTS or to the bank?


My 2 cents worth. Keep the 4 containers you have, leave them out where they are not in anyones way, but with a bit of horse/cow/pig food (which ever is easier)in them to entice them and get used to the boxes, then once a week move the guys around and change out the real food for the REAL FOOD. Saturday night might work cause I think I am out the next 4 Sundays, and I'll empty the boxes out. Might get better results.


rats are a huge problem. I don't know about your climate but in my climate they are common carriers of lepto.


PS - bless your heart for worrying about ALL animals, both in life and death. It is a beautiful heart and soul you have.


Would it be possible to cut and paste what you wrote above on what you will and won't do with the ratties to an exterminator company and see if they have any suggestions or solutions? You can't be the first kind-hearted and humane person to come across this issue...they may even step up and help you out?


Keeping my fingers crossed that Jesse manages to heal & calms himself down a bit.. I felt so bad for him Sunday.

On the rat issue.. this may sound nuts.. but what if we used a part of maggies solution.. the garbage can idea.. we can put out a few, and then feed them the poison while they are in the can...we could possible build something they could be contained in until they pass. I do find it very difficult to see them struggling and not sure if it is more humane or not..but I catch them when they are like that & drown them.. I absolutley hate doing it & it sometimes makes me cry.. but I totally get that it is necassary.