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November 20, 2010
UAN Volunteers Caring for Approximately 1,000 Rats Removed from an Overrun Home

Volunteers travel to San Jose to provide critical sheltering support for rats rescued during shooting of A&E "Hoarders" show

San Jose, CA (November 20, 2010) – United Animal Nations (UAN), a Sacramento-based national nonprofit organization, is running a temporary shelter in San Jose for approximately 1,000 domestic rats removed from an overrun home in Los Angeles County.


UAN volunteers are caring for 1,000 rats removed from an overrun home in Los Angeles County. Photo courtesy North Star Rescue.

The rats were removed from the home on Thursday and Friday by a team from A&E’s Hoarders show, The Humane Society of the United States and North Star Rescue. They were then transported to a shelter that UAN staff and volunteers set up in downtown San Jose.

“Often, well-meaning individuals become overwhelmed with more animals than they can properly care for,” said UAN Emergency Services Manager Janell Matthies. “United Animal Nations provides critical support in such cases, often exposing rescued animals to loving human contact for the first time in their lives and preparing them to be adopted into permanent homes.”

UAN was asked to lead the initial sheltering effort because of its expertise in setting up and operating temporary, emergency shelters for large numbers of animals displaced by disasters or rescued in cruelty cases. In the last two years, UAN has sheltered more than 5,000 animals during 24 responses in the United States and Canada. UAN has more than 3,000 trained emergency sheltering volunteers, including 400 in California.

Distinguished by their red shirts, thirteen UAN volunteers have traveled to San Jose from as far as Eureka, Fresno and Los Angeles to set up the temporary shelter, assist with veterinary exams and care for the rescued rats through Wednesday. North Star Rescue volunteers will continue caring for the rats until they are adopted. PetSmart Charities Emergency Relief Waggin’® program also donated much-needed sheltering supplies to the rescue effort.

When rescuers arrived at the hoarder’s home, they found hundreds of rats roaming freely throughout the house. Some were suffering from skin conditions, parasites and other medical ailments. The owner kept several rats as pets and upon the untimely death of his wife, tried to fill the void by breeding more rats, until they eventually took over the entire house.

  • Anyone wanting to volunteer or adopt a rat can contact North Star Rescue at northstarrescue.org.
  • Read more about this response in UAN's Emergency Response Journal.
  • To support UAN’s Emergency Animal Rescue Service, which provides temporary sheltering for animals displaced by natural disasters or rescued from large-scale cruelty situations, visit www.uan.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Alexis Raymond, (916) 583-8261

Founded in 1987, United Animal Nations (UAN) focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the bond between people and animals through a variety of programs, including emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. Learn more at www.uan.org.

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