It’s safe to say most families come to the SPCA looking to give a forever home to a dog or a cat, but how about a rat?

“Woah, that’d be cool!” said one pet shopper.

And that openness is a good thing because a whopping 97 rats were surrendered to Victoria’s SPCA earlier this week!

“All of these rats came from one residence, it was a downtown low-income residence,” said Larissa Johnston with Victoria’s SPCA.

“The owner, unfortunately, has gone into hospital and couldn’t look after them any longer.”

Ranging in ages from three weeks to two years old, these curious creatures are all now looking for new homes.

“I like to think of them as mini dogs,” said Johnston.

“They’re so intelligent, they’re so social, they are also very food motivated so you can teach them tricks. We’ve seen people that have rats that are so friendly that they sit with them on the couch kind of like a lap rat. They’ll be in your hood, your hood, the picket, kind of climbing up around you.”

And those fables about rats being dirty? Victoria’s SPCA says to forget the myths you’ve heard.

“Domestic rats are actually quite clean animals, they’re great at grooming, I’ve seen some that are even litter trained… so that’s not something to be concerned about,” said Johnston.

And, believe it or not, according to the SPCA, rats are quite popular pets and expect them to go fast.

“Right now we’re just taking applications as we sort out who is going where, and who is getting transferred to other branches,” said Johnston.

“But we definitely have some great applications in, so I don’t think those guys will be sticking around for too long.”

Some of these super social animals will be shipped to other shelters across the province.

The rest? Well, get in line.

Kori Sidaway