Watch as 112 pet rats rescued from one ammonia-soaked room at Lancashire property with no food or water

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Video footage above shows one rat hiding behind a radiator as others run loose during RSPCA raid.

A woman from Lancashire has been given a suspended prison sentence after more than 100 pet rats were found living in dirty and overcrowded conditions in one room at her house. Thirty eight rodents were running loose at the property in Haig Avenue, Leyland, and 74 others were in cages, with the smell of ammonia so overwhelming it made it difficult for rescuers to breathe.

112 pet rats have been rescued by the RSPCA from one ammonia soaked room at Lancashire property with no food or water 112 pet rats have been rescued by the RSPCA from one ammonia soaked room at Lancashire property with no food or water
112 pet rats have been rescued by the RSPCA from one ammonia soaked room at Lancashire property with no food or water | RSPCA

Large nests were found in a set of drawers and under a bookshelf, while one young rat was seen drinking from a leaking radiator because the animals hadn’t got any water.

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Multiple female rats were pregnant, subsequently giving birth to around 80 babies in RSPCA care. Their owner, Sarah Jordan, 31, had let the rats breed in an uncontrolled way, and several were found with untreated health conditions.

She has now been banned from keeping all animals, apart from cats, for 15 years, following an investigation and prosecution by the RSPCA. 

Large nests were found in a set of drawers and under a bookshelf, while one young rat was seen drinking from a leaking radiator because the animals hadn’t got any water.Large nests were found in a set of drawers and under a bookshelf, while one young rat was seen drinking from a leaking radiator because the animals hadn’t got any water.
Large nests were found in a set of drawers and under a bookshelf, while one young rat was seen drinking from a leaking radiator because the animals hadn’t got any water. | RSPCA

The court was told that 38 rats of mixed ages and sexes were running loose in the room, where electrical wiring and disinfectant solutions were seen. A further 74 rodents were living in four cages with soiled bedding, no food and empty water bottles. 

The court was told that 38 rats of mixed ages and sexes were running loose in the room, where electrical wiring and disinfectant solutions were seen, while others were in cages.The court was told that 38 rats of mixed ages and sexes were running loose in the room, where electrical wiring and disinfectant solutions were seen, while others were in cages.
The court was told that 38 rats of mixed ages and sexes were running loose in the room, where electrical wiring and disinfectant solutions were seen, while others were in cages. | RSPCA

It took a team of RSPCA officers more than two hours to catch and transport them all for veterinary treatment.  

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In written evidence to the court the vet who examined the animals at the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital, said: “The owner of the rats had failed to provide an appropriate, safe, hazard-free and clean environment. Given the evidence presented to myself I believe the rats were likely without food and water for a period of days. The environment - soiled, ammonia smelling bedding - is likely to have developed over weeks.”

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Jordan was interviewed by the RSPCA about what happened. She 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 pleaded guilty to four Animal Welfare Act offences at an earlier hearing, was given a four week prison sentence - suspended for 18 months - on each count to run concurrently. A 60-day curfew from 8pm to 7am was also imposed.

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