Colorado animal control officers received an unusual call from a concerned citizen Thursday: Dozens of tame, friendly rats were on the loose.
The Larimer Humane Society told the Reporter-Herald it received a second call about roaming domesticated rats Friday. That's when the Humane Society's animal protection and control team headed to Fort Collins to search for the rats in two designated nature areas.
Part of the search-and-rescue effort was streamed live on Facebook. An official used peanut butter cookies his children made to lure the rats out, where they were captured in nets, according to the Larimer Humane Society. The rescue mission took approximately an hour, the Reporter-Herald noted.
We have rescued 60+ pet rats that were abandoned in natural areas in Fort Collins. The cold and local wildlife put these abandoned animals in danger. If you have any information on this case please call Animal Control at 970.226.3647 ext 7. pic.twitter.com/DTWb54oJg5— LarimerHumaneSociety (@LarimerHumane) December 22, 2017
With temperatures dipping into the single digits, rescuing the rats was a priority. Officials say the rodents appeared to be in good shape, other than being cold and hungry.
In all, more than 80 rats were rescued, officials say. It is believed the rats were owned and abandoned by the same person. The owner could face animal cruelty charges, a humane society spokesperson said.
The rats will eventually be available for adoption, officials said.