Rainbow Rat Refuge Inc.
FOSTER / ADOPT
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Take us home - forever!
Adoption Application for Rainbow Rat Refuge
Thank you for your interest in adopting! We appreciate adoptive families more than words can describe. Our Foster Rats have so much love to give and can bring so much fun and joy into their families' lives.
With that being said, it’s important that you try to be as sure as possible before going forward with this process, as it is also a big commitment. While we understand and recognize that sometimes circumstances, feelings, and capacities change, rescue rats have typically already been through a lot in their short lives. We know that frequent moves are stressful for rats, and would like to ensure compatibility and a forever home is found for our foster rats as much as we can. For this reason, our Adoption Application is fairly thorough, and it includes information on the role of adopter throughout, along with the questions. This is to give you a better sense of what adopting entails, so that you can have more insight now rather than waiting until approval.
As well, we like to remind everyone that there aren’t necessarily right answers here, we are simply trying to determine if and which of our foster rats would be a good fit for you. If you are unsure of anything, we would be more than happy to clarify, answer any questions you may have, and go through the document together. We hope our connection with you will be a lasting one - we are here to support you through the transition and learnings for as long as you need. As well, we hope you will show us support and share updates with us. If you decide adopting isn’t for you at this moment, we would appreciate your honesty and will not hold it against you if you want to pursue it in the future. We would recommend scanning through the application before sitting down to go through each question in-depth. It might be a good idea to scroll to the end and have a look at our Adoption Process and the Adopter's Responsibilities as well. Please reach out if you need any help or accomodations with this form.
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Why would you like to adopt?
What makes you a good adopter for our rats?
Are you interested in any particular rats or is this a general application?
Q4: We can’t guarantee the health, personality, or temperament of our foster rats, but we can do our best to find a good fit.
Please tell us about your ideal rats (age, sex, health, temperament, personality).
Q5: Rats need to live in pairs, and preferably groups of 3 or more, except in rare circumstances. In saying that though, we recognize that each rat is an additional responsibility that the adopter takes on. (*Note: We only adopt out in pairs or more).
How many rats would you like to adopt?
Our intakes may have been previously well-cared for, or may have experienced neglect or abuse. Often, rats can be scared when they first arrive, and it can take time and patience to gain their trust. Knowing what you’re comfortable and experienced with in terms of rat care helps us to find the best fit. It is not necessary to be comfortable or experienced with any or all of the things on this list.
Are you comfortable, and/or experienced with the following behaviours/situations (please specify level of comfort/experience for each):
Scared / nervous rats
Introductions (amongst rats if same sex)
Wound and abscess care
Giving medications (oral, topical, etc.)
Are there any reasons why you wouldn’t be able to keep domestic rats in your home?
(Ex. Landlord rules, someone in the building has allergies to animals or hay etc.)
Are you 18 years of age or older?
Is everyone who lives with you agreeable to having these rats in the home?
Not sure yet
Who would be the primary caregiver(s) of these rats?
Do you plan on using this animal as a prop or form of entertainment (for a demonstration, classroom, or a magician's act, etc.)?
Do you plan to breed these rats or have them interact with rats of another sex?
Do you have any other pets? (please list all pets, number of each species, ages, sex, and if neutered/spay)
Will your new rats be housed with any other animals?
Have you ever surrendered, sold or given away an animal?
If yes, this wouldn’t necessarily disqualify you in our books. But we’d like to ask if you can
tell us more about why this choice
so as to avoid similar circumstances.
To find out if the cage you have is suitable for the number of rats you wish to adopt, please check out this calculator:
*For cages, the bigger the better! And we always recommend a cage that is at minimum suitable for 4 rats, even when only 2 or 3 rats are being housed in it. Please note that we will require a video-call appointment to see your cage.
Do you have a suitable cage or will you need a recommendation? What are the dimensions of your cage?
Health issues are common for rats. As well, accidents happen and we are not here to judge, but to learn alongside you and provide the best care we can for these rescued rats. Rats are not low-maintenance pets and there is also no one right way to care for them. There is lots of ongoing learning that will need to happen. If you notice any illness, injury, or other concern with your foster rats, we need to trust that you will contact us.
Are you able and willing to reach out to us if you need support or advice in caring for your adopted rats?
Q18: Rats may need medications from time-to-time, or ongoing. These medications may be preventative, or for treating an active problem.
Are you able and willing to provide any and all medications, as directed by a veterinarian to your adopted rats?
Are you able and willing to cover the basic costs of daily care (food, substrate, and enrichment) as well as veterinary expenses (routine, annual check-ups, and emergency) for these rats?
If yes, please tell us your estimate of these costs.
Q20: Kids and rats can be great companions for each other. Kids can be very loving and engaged with their new family members, and rats can be cuddly and fun. However, there’s always a chance that things don’t go as planned and someone could get hurt. For this reason, we just ask that you acknowledge the risk and supervise handling / all interactions between your adopted rats and children.
Do you have children and are you able and willing to supervise all interactions between them and your adopted rats?
Rats are prone to health issues such as Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs). They are very sensitive to their living environments. It’s important that their enclosures are cleaned on a weekly basis, if not more, to reduce ammonia, bacteria, and ensure overall health of the rats. As well, rats can only use specific substrates in their cage, due to the threat of dust and wood toxicity. We will go over the specifics with you upon approval.
Are you able and willing to learn about and provide a suitable, clean set-up for your adopted rats?
Your rats will need access to fresh water, and adequate, balanced diets that are suitable for rats. We can teach you about it if you’re unfamiliar. Rats will also need access to safe and fresh fruits and vegetables every day. We will provide you with a list of unsafe foods for your new rats. You will also need to make sure to remove any uneaten excess on a daily basis.
Are you able and willing to learn about and provide your rats with a suitable diet?
Rats need sufficient enrichment in order to live their lives to the fullest. They need opportunities for mental stimulation, exercise, digging, chewing, and socializing. We recognize that some adoptive families may be new to understanding these needs. As well, we are always learning from each other .
Are you able and willing to learn about and ensure that the rats’ needs are met in all of these areas?
You will need to provide your rats with regular free-roam time as well as interact with the rats on a daily basis. Free-roam time needs to be supervised and/or rat-proof.
Is this a need you can meet?
How much time do you anticipate your rats will spend free-roaming on a daily basis?
How much time do you anticipate you will spend interacting with your adopted rats on a daily basis?
Some rats may exhibit behaviours that are bothersome (or worse) to you, such as biting, nipping, chewing, or marking (with urine).
How would you respond to these behaviours?
Are you able and willing to pick up your rats from their foster home or arrange transporation?
This is our Adoption Process:
Fill out the Adoption Application
Wait patiently and an Adoption Counselor will get back to you within 1 week regardless of our decision
2. Learn, Meet, and Decide:
Ask questions! Ask questions now to save headaches later. We want this to work, but only if it’s workable!
If approved, we will arrange a virtual or in-person meet-and-greet with your rats and their Foster Family. We ask that you have your set-up complete by this date so that we can see it and go over its suitability, or recommend improvements.
This is the point where you and the foster family can further reflect on whether it is a good match or not. Be honest! If it’s not, we can look at other options
3. Finalize the Adoption! This includes:
Payment of nonrefundable adoption fee of $25/rat (cash or e-transfer).
Read and sign the Adoption Agreement
Adoption Day! Pick up your rats from their foster family at an agreed upon location. Remember to bring a suitable carrier. We can help you decide on a good one!
Your adoption includes:
Physical exam by an experienced RVT or Veterinarian
Any necessary veterinary care up until the adoption date
Completion of 2-week quarantine period
Handling and socialization in their foster home
Ongoing support from our rescue, for the life of your rats
Your rats' favourite hide or blanket (plus their non-reusable toys, and dig box if they have one!)
Immeasurable love and happiness from your new family member!
Q29: Next, we have listed a list of the primary responsibilities of adoptive families. Please note that we will also provide you with resources to learn about rat care. Some of these may be repetitive, but we ask that you take a moment to reflect, and answer authentically.
Are you able any willing to fulfill these responsibilities?
Summary of Responsibilities of the adoptive family:
Ensuring the health of the animal
Providing clean water and food that is adequately nutritious at all times
Providing a variety of items to satisfy the rats’ need to chew
Providing opportunities for the rat to dig and forage for food
Ensuring their living space is clean and appropriate (ie, heat, humidity and ventilation levels, and substrates are suitable)
Sufficiently socializing the rat with humans and allowing for supervised, safe free-roam time
Supervising the rat during any interactions with other people or animals
Keeping unaltered rats away from rats of another sex, and preventing opportunity for breeding
Ensuring that rats who have been bonded are housed together except in situations in which this would endanger one of them (ie. sudden-onset aggression with subsequent fights that draw blood, temporary hospital recovery, etc.)
Providing lots of patience, enrichment, and love
Ensuring medical needs are addressed promptly and that medications and treatments are followed according to veterinary directions
Monitor the rats health closely (Noting that rats are good at hiding illness and injury due to being prey species)
You can contact us with any questions or concerns. We said we are here create lasting connections and to support, and we mean that!
If you need to… admit defeat. You can return your rats to us whenever you wish, even years later. We are not here to judge or criticize, our focus is on helping the rats.
Ensure your rats are never surrendered, sold, or given away to another rescue, agency, or individual without the consent of Rainbow Rat Refuge.
If you are ever in a position where you are no long time able, or no longer want to care for your rat or keep them in your possession, a term of our Adoption Contract is that you must return your rats to Rainbow Rat Refuge
We also ask that you try and give us as much notice as possible if you can no longer keep your rats, though we understand if this isn’t possible.
Are you able any willing to fulfill these responsibilities?
We appreciate the effort you put into this process. THANK YOU for choosing to adopt! We will be in contact soon. If you don't hear from us within a week, feel free to check-in!
Is there anything else you’d like to add to your application?
Would you like to receive occasional updates and newsletters by e-mail?
This page is under construction! Stay tuned…
see our "how you can help" page for more ideas
Call or text: 705-808-0121
FOSTER / ADOPT
HOW YOU CAN HELP