American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

AFRMA Special Announcements


Azrielle Harmony Hagemann

April 9, 2017 - Jozzette & Michael Hagemann - Congratulations to Jozzette & Michael Hagemann, Jozzy’s Rat Pack Rattery, on the latest addition to their clan with the birth of their daughter, Azrielle Harmony Hagemann, on April 2, 2017, at 7:29 A.M. She was 7 lb 13 oz and 20½ inches long.

Leiter Wolfgang Hagemann

June 14, 2013 - Jozzette & Michael Hagemann - Jozzette & Michael Hagemann, Jozzy’s Rat Pack Rattery, are proud to announce the birth of their son, Leiter Wulfgang Hagemann, on June 12, 2013, at 4:37 P.M. He was 8 lb 12 oz and 21 inches long. Congratulations!


Bonnie Walters

2023 - Bonnie Walters - It was sad to hear that Bonnie Walters had died in 2021. She had been going through treatments for skin cancer. Bonnie bred mice since the 1960s and added rats and hamsters in the 1970s. She was involved with the fancy for many years and was a judge for rats, mice, and hamsters. Being a biologist and interested in genetics, she wrote several articles on mouse genetics Genetics for American Mouse Breeders that taught all the early mouse fanciers and continues to teach them to this day. Her main interest in breeding was producing nice pets but a good show animal was appreciated. Four of her rats were included in the shipment to South Africa in 2005.

Her friend Connie Perez shared this, I always loved Bonnie—considered her my Rat Mom. Both Bonnie and Tina were so very kind to me, going back 30+ years.

Our deepest sympathies to her husband Dirk, her family, and her many friends. Photo from the 2017 video interview on temperament by Jeannot Tihoti Maha’a that was posted in the California Rat Breeders FB group.

Tina Shahroody

January 4, 2023 - Chestina Tina Shahroody - It was sad news to hear that Tina Shahroody had died after several months of ill health. Tina used to breed rats, mice, and hamsters and was very involved with and a judge for the old Rat, Mouse, Hamster Fanciers (RMHF) club in northern California. Out of the 18 rats sent to South Africa in 2005, she was the contributor of the recessive blazed which included Russian Blue.

From her friend Connie Perez, Rest in peace, dear friend...

Our deepest sympathies to her family and friends during this difficult time. Photo from Tina’s FB page.

Geri Hauser

April 12, 1935 – April 9, 2020 - Geri Hauser - From the FB page. End of an era. Just to let everyone know my mom, Geri Hauser, died Thursday April 9, 2020, of cancer (Passover). We had the internment Friday April 24 (Arbor Day) (no grave side services were allowed) at the Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, CA (she is buried with my dad, Harley Hauser, who served in the Korean war; he is the one who made all the AFRMA show equipment). She would have been 85 on April 12 (Easter Sunday). The mortuary has an obituary on their page. We also had an interview from 1992 for the club. She was an integral part of AFRMA being a founding member and AFRMA’s long-time Sec.-Treas. and Membership Rep. and handled the online sales orders and the sales tables at the shows. To say she will be missed is an understatement. Karen Robbins

Debbie Ducommun

March 4, 2018 - Debbie Ducommun - We were shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Debbie The Rat Lady Ducommun, founder of the Rat Fan Club and Rat Assistance and Teaching Society (R.A.T.S.). She published The Rat Report from May 1992 to June 2007 and wrote several books on rats including her Rat Health Care booklet. Debbie was a great promoter of pet rats since the early 1990s and was an AFRMA member in the early days. She gave a lecture at California State University, Chico (she was a graduate in 1980) in 2014 on The Special Biology of Rats and was on many TV shows. She died on March 4, 2018, due to flu complications. Our deepest sympathies to her husband Larry, her family, and her many friends both human and rat. This is a great loss to the rat world. Photo from The Rat Fan Club web site. Read Debbie’s testimony How a Rat Led Me to God.

Dale Taylor

July 14, 2015 - Dale Burkhart - We were sorry to hear of the death of Dale Burkhart, a.k.a. Hattie McRattie, rat fancier and operator of the Rattieson Inn rattery back in the late 1990s/early 2000s. She died on April 15, 2015. Our sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Robin MacDonald

February 3, 2015 - Robin MacDonald - We were shocked to hear of the death of fellow rat/mouse breeder/fancier Robin MacDonald of Deer Creek Rattery in Northville, Michigan. She died on January 29, 2015, from complications to a recent surgery. She was only 37. Our deepest condolences to her family and friends. Photo from Borek Jennings Funeral Home. You may read more on the Rat Dippity Rattery Facebook page (Kathryn [Kat] Lovings, Kalkaska MI) and her friend Dayna Holmes’ Facebook page (Saffire Rats, Grand Rapids, MI).

Carol Lawton

May 6, 2013 - Carol Lawton - We are sorry to announce the death of long time rat and mouse breeder and AFRMA member Carol Lawton. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of 2008 and lost her fight on April 30, 2013. Our deepest sympathies to her family during this difficult time.

Kelli Boka and Family

September 3, 2012 - Kelli Boka - We are greatly saddened to announce the death of fellow mouse fancier and friend Kelli Boka of Lots O’ Spots Mousery (LOS) in Santa Clarita, CA. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2009 that spread to her bones. She lost her fight at 10 p.m. August 20, 2012. She was only 43. She loved mice of all kinds and was a serious show breeder. She was instrumental in bringing in many kinds of English mice in April of 2008 that you can see the photos of on our various Standards pages. Many prayers go out to her family. Photo of Kelli and her family: L-R: daughter Kaitlin, Kelli, husband Dan, son DJ.

Brian Shafer

2009 - Brian Shafer - We are sad to announce the death of member Brian Shafer of Sleepy Hollow Fancy Rats (SHFR) in Oakland, CA. He had a massive stroke on January 30, 2009, and was in a coma. He died February 2, 2009. He was a serious show breeder focusing on Self rats in Black, Chocolate, and Platinum, and Burmese and B.E./R.E. Siamese in both Standard and Dumbo. He will be missed at AFRMA shows both as an exhibitor and Pet Judge. Our sincere condolences to his family.


Dale & Lyle Burkhart

2009 - Daly Taylor Dale Taylor, AFRMA’s Vice-President, PR Queen, and operator of Dale’s House Mouse Café at our shows, wed Lyle Burkhart on Sunday, November 8, 2009, in Upland, CA. The wedding was held at the small 100-year-old Anglican Church (formerly the Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church) called the "Fleur de Lis." They had a small private ceremony. Congratulations Dale and Lyle!

Updated September 4, 2023