This article is from the WSSF 2013 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
Shows & More
By Karen Robbins
Gillian Kent, Intel Rattery, Ontario, Canada, e-mail
QI have recently gotten into the rat breed, although I have bred, shown, and trained dogs since 1989. I was reading over your requirements to register a rattery name and I’m wondering how this works for breeders in Canada. I am located in northern Ontario, about 7 hours from the USA border. This would mean a lot of traveling to attend a show in NY or PA or even Illinois, but I have only seen shows advertised for CA. This is an impossible quest for me but I would like to register my rattery name with someone! And I would like to be a member of a club so I can learn more on breeds, genetics, etc. So, is there a club I could join that doesn’t expect me to fly to the west coast to show my rats? Could you give me any information on getting a registered rattery name? I would like to start keeping pedigree records on the ones I now own. Can a rat with an unknown background be registered anywhere and shown?
Right now with my rattery I am training rats to be
Therapy Rats as I am disabled and have trained a few assisted
therapy dogs. However, there are people out there that cannot afford
such a dog, or live in a small apartment with no means of
walking a dog especially if they are wheelchair bound. So I am
training rats to come when called, settle on laps (companionship),
litter trained so they can travel outside in pockets or bum bags for
those that need an animal to be able to leave their homes. I realize
that there are some jobs the rats would not be able to do, but they
can be used as hearing rats for the deaf, taught to pick up dropped
items, and be companions for mentally challenged.
Here in Canada I have not come across any pedigreed rats or registered rats, and I have rescued quite a few parents with litters. When people come to buy my rats, they cannot get over that they come when called, love to ride on shoulders, and lick faces and hands. I hope to go on tour to schools to educate people as to what rats are all about and how useful they can be.
Any assistance you can give me would be great. I amhoping to get a couple of Burmese and Wheaten Burmese from another rattery if they approve me, and a few Husky and Variegateds from a breeder in NY. Thank you for your time.
A We have separate rattery name listings: 1. When you join, the rattery name you sign up with (or let us know later what you come up with) is listed free on our Rattery/Mousery Names page. This page is just a listing of names used by our members/breeders over the years so you can come up with something different than what is already used (this is especially important so your pedigrees reflect your breedings and not have a name used by someone else that would look like they are the ones that bred that animal). 2. The formal Registered Rattery/Mousery program is for those locally that show in our shows on a regular basis and get their animals evaluated (one of the requirements to sign up for this so we know the animals being bred are worthy), so unfortunately someone like yourself would not be able to do this because of the distance.
The closest clubs I know of to you that have shows are one in Illinois:
American Rat Club (has one
show a year)[Update: club defunct as of 10-8-16], and one in Michigan: Rat Fanciers of the Lakes
(two shows a year)[Update: club defunct as of 2015]. You would have to contact
them to see if they have a
Registered Breeder program like
ours and their requirements to show in their shows (some clubs
require membership, others require you to have your rats
with them before they can be shown. There is no East
Coast rat club right now even though there are a lot of breeders in
that part of the country, so you would have to contact breeders individually
to find out what they have. There is an online group in
The New York City Rat Meetup Group
that you might want to check out (they don’t have shows). There is also an
event called RodentFest put on by The Rodent Club
(usually in PA) [Ed. Note: no longer being held] where people
get together to sell (I’ve heard they have a
what the classes are or how formal it is) that is usually in the spring and sometimes the fall.
You are more than welcome to join AFRMA to learn more about rats and showing and get your name listed on our Rattery/Mousery Names page. Being a member does not require you to show your rats with us (we have other Canadian members that joined just to learn more), nor do the rats have to be registered or pedigreed to be shown in our shows—they just have to meet the standard for color/coat/marking/ type, etc. We do have pet classes that are just for fun so it doesn’t matter if the rat could be shown in the conformation classes—here the classes are judged on how calm, sweet/licky, fast, or other personality trait they have. We also have a wealth of information on our web site where you can learn more about rats, etc., 24-hours a day. We also have various books, posters, and other items that we sell on our Sales pages. The Back Issues of the newsletters are another way to learn more about rats. Being a member will give you the benefit of being able to purchase many of these items at a discount and advertise on our web page Members’ Breeder’s List.
Great to hear of your training rats to be Assistant Therapy Rats! There is a gal locally that teaches her rats to be service rats (she has taught hers to alert her before she has a spasm). She was in the news a couple years ago about this.