It Takes A Village To Rescue Rats

Friday, May 25, 2018


“Saving an animal won’t change the world, but it will change that animal’s world.”  At the Chautauqua County Humane Society this is something we strive for every day. For dogs, cats, and even rats.



On Monday May 21st the Chautauqua County Humane Society (CCHS) received a message regarding a fish tank with three rats that had been found abandoned near the Lakewood Fire Department.  The message had come from a CCHS volunteer. CCHS Community Relations Director Brian Papalia was closest to Lakewood at the time, so he was asked to retrieve the rats and bring them to the shelter.  Papalia said “When I was asked to get the rats, at first I was a little hesitant. I couldn’t help but think of the scene in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade when he was covered in rats, but they were animals in need of help, so I went to pick them up..”   

When Brian arrived in Lakewood there were no rats to be found.  After doing some searching, and finding a village employee he was told that the rats may be at the Lakewood Village Hall.  

When Brian arrived at the Village Hall, he started with “I’ve got a strange question for a Monday morning?” The staff knew immediately that he was there for the rats, but the rats weren’t at the hall. While at the hall  a village employee came in saying that he knew the location of the rats. They were back by the fire department. The volunteer that had discovered these abandoned creatures took measures to make sure that their tank was out of the elements, and even gave them some almonds to munch on as they awaited their rescue.

So after about an hour of searching around, and with the help of a number of  Village of Lakewood employees the three rats had been found. Unfortunately one of them had passed away.  A heart warming moment happened as Brian was loading these poor rats into his car.  Papalia says "A village employee who was driving a dump truck rolled down his window, pumped his fist, and yelled out, thank you - their lives mater too!"

Now it was time to get them back to safety at the Chautauqua County Humane Society on Strunk Road in Jamestown.  About a 17 minute drive, if you are unfamiliar with Chautauqua County. Papalia says “As we are driving away, the movement of the car caused a reaction in a tissue box home inside the tank, and out come a whole bunch of little heads.”  There were 7 baby rats in the shoe box.

So the family of rats are all now safe, sound, and up for adoption at the Chautauqua County Humane Society.  

We will wrap with the vision statement of the Chautauqua County Humane Society:  “A community that treats all fellow beings with kindness, compassion, and respect.  All fellow beings, even the rats.