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An unlikely solution to NYC rat problem: Rodent-slaying dogs

Discussion in 'Other Dogs in the News' started by Michele, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Administrator

    An unlikely solution to NYC rat problem: Rodent-slaying dogs
    Updated 8:04 AM; Posted 8:00 AM
    GRAPHIC CONTENT: Dogs hunting rats in NYC

    By Shira Stoll


    MANHATTAN -- Members of R.A.T.S., the Ryders Alley Trencher-fed Society, are hunting rats to help rid New York City of its rodent problem.

    "You'll never get rid of rats ever," says Richard Reynolds, of Tenafly, N.J., founder of R.A.T.S. "You only try to control it, manage it."

    Founded in 1995, R.A.T.S. is "an eclectic group of residents of New York and New Jersey bound together only by their devotion to terriers and other breeds of dog that were originally bred to seek and destroy vermin," according to the organization's Facebook page.

    The group is limited to eight dogs (usually terriers) per night -- "that makes for a good team," says Reynolds. "If you had to find an average, [we hunt] once a week."

    Usually after a hunt, the rats are put back into the trash, but Reynolds says that sometimes the hunters collect DNA samples for Fordham University, and whole carcasses for studies on rats at Columbia University.

    In addition to hunting the rats, they often weigh them. Anything over five pounds is considered a "trophy rat."

    In a 2013 New York Times report, an NYPD spokeswoman is quoted as saying that there is no information available on the legality of using dogs to hunt rats in the city.

    Westerleigh resident Susan Friedenberg and her dog Tanner, 14, are old-time members of R.A.T.S. -- she can recall taking Tanner on his first hunt in 2004.

    Reynolds speaks highly of Tanner: "In his day, he was the number one star of our organization, and he was an awesome killer of rats, of woodchucks, and just a hunter that would take your breath away."

    Watch the above video to see Tanner and the R.A.T.S. in action.
    ETRaven2 likes this.
  2. ETRaven2

    ETRaven2 Big Dog

    That's great, I think! I'd get my dog in on that for sure! What a great way for folks in NYC to work their dogs and what a great way to be a breed ambassador, by helping rid the city of such destructive, diseased vermin.
    And holy crap! Over 5# is a huge freaking rat!!!!
  3. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Administrator

    The rats are very big here in the Big Apple. And the pigeons walk around like they own the city. It's dangerous:extremelyhappy:
  4. ETRaven2

    ETRaven2 Big Dog

    OMG, I am terrified of birds. They freak me out. I think they are pretty from afar, but they scare me up close. I would become agoraphobic if I lived there!
    Michele, forgive me, I know you have a Chihuahua and don't think you have any bull breeds, but do you have any terriers? Would you get in on this? I so would do it. I would love to try big game hunting with my dog, but 1) I only have one and room for one, maybe two (backyard is very small) 2) I don't see me being accepted in the hog-hunting community as a "serious hunter" and 3) I have no freaking clue what to do or even know where to find a mentor to teach me....so......I live vicariously through the hunters on this forum and the vids I watch on you tube.
    This (rat hunting), however, I think I could handle!
    I should get involved in barn hunt, huh? Yep, I should. We will have to see how drivey B is.
  5. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Administrator

    If I had a terrier breed, I would definitely get into this.
  6. Worg

    Worg Big Dog

    Great looking dogs! Patterdales are probably one of my favorite small breed dogs.
    This is a considerably more humane method than traps where the rats can be alive caught in a trap for days until someone checks them.

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