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Over 100 pet rats living in dirty and overcrowded conditions rescued from house in Leyland

Posted on - 12th June, 2024 - 10:37am | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Crime, Health, Leyland, Preston News, South Ribble Locations, South Ribble News, Wildlife and Conservation
Over 100 rats were living in dirty conditions at a Leyland home. Pic: RSPCA
Over 100 rats were living in dirty conditions at a Leyland home. Pic: RSPCA

Over 100 pet rats living in dirty and overcrowded conditions have been recused from a house in Leyland.

The RSPCA rescued 74 rats which were trapped in cages and 38 which were running loose at the property on Haig Avenue.

They said one was seen drinking from a leaking radiator as the animals had no water and large nests were found in a set of drawers.

Read more: Update on ‘Moana’ the emaciated dog found in Moor Nook

Out of the pets which were rescued, multiple were pregnant and have since given birth to around 80 babies in RSPCA care.

The owner, Sarah Jordan, 31 has been given a suspended prison sentence. She has been banned from keeping all animals, apart from cats, for 15 years.

Some rats were pregnant and living in overcrowded and small spaces. Pic: RSPCA
Some rats were pregnant and living in overcrowded and small spaces. Pic: RSPCA

On 28 May at a sentencing hearing, Preston Magistrates Court heard how one of the charity’s Animal Rescue Officers, accompanied by a vet, had gone into the house on 18 April, 2023, following concerns.

A ‘strong smell’ of ammonia was coming through the letterbox and police were called to help gain entry.

In a written statement to the court, Jess Pierce, the Animal Rescue officer said: “As soon as we entered the smell of ammonia was overwhelming, it was stinging my eyes and it was very difficult to breathe. There were two large rat cages and three smaller cages. All the cages were filled with rats, they were also loose in the room. 

Some were trapped in small cages with no food or water. Pic: RSPCA
Some were trapped in small cages with no food or water. Pic: RSPCA

“All the cages had beds and enrichment but there was no fresh food or water anywhere, the room was also very warm. There were a few rats with skin conditions and poor bodily condition. I also witnessed one young rat drinking out of a leak in the radiator.”

The court was told that those living in cages had soiled bedding, no food and empty water bottles. The others, which were running free were in a room with electrical wiring and disinfectant solutions.

Three of the pets had fur loss and scabbing, one was missing half a tail and the other had a large untreated wound on the back of his neck.

Some of the pets were in poor condition, with scabbing and fur loss. Pic: RSPCA
Some of the pets were in poor condition, with scabbing and fur loss. Pic: RSPCA

When interviewed by the RSPCA, Jordan said she had bought four male and three female rats from someone in Preston and admitted she bred them to sell, ensuring they only went to ‘the best homes’.

She was aware some of the rats were pregnant but did not see it as a problem because she had owners lined up.

Jordan, who had pleaded guilty to four Animal Welfare Act offences at an earlier hearing, was given a four-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months. A 60-day curfew from 8pm to 7am was also imposed.

Others were found nesting in drawers. Pic: RSPCA
Others were found nesting in drawers. Pic: RSPCA

Three of the pets were put to sleep on veterinary advice but the remaining animals are being looked after at RSPCA centres across the county and some have already found new homes.

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