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Rats get a bad rap. Melissa knows that’s true, but feels there’s such a misconception out there. She knows firsthand that rats can be smart, clean and cuddly. She adopted her first from the Animal Humane Society’s Woodbury location and she was hooked. Recently she added two brothers, Jake and Eddie. Jake is a real character with big Dumbo ears and a smudgy nose.  He and his brother share a two story condo with three siblings, also named after Steven King book characters: Jenna, Susanna and Oy, which will be familiar to readers of The Dark Tower. The females are spayed so that there won’t be any unexpected additions to the family.

The rat family is non-stop entertainment. They know what to do when they hear certain commands like, “noses, noses, paws, paws, paws, paws”. They back away from the cage door because they know it’s about to close. And, for obvious reasons, they also know the word “cookie”. And they’re pretty darn smart when it comes to getting fed. Every time Melissa fills the food bowl, Jake dashes over and shoves as many kibbles in his mouth as he can, then he scoops up two big paw-fuls, and shuffles off to bury the food up in a corner. But, each time he goes back to hoard more food, the other rats just raid his stash instead of running all the way to food dish. Who knew rats were so ingenious? “I can’t imagine my life without them now. They’re amazing animals. I wish more people would realize they are great pets,” Melissa says.

Photography courtesy of Laurie Schneider Photography. For information on pet portraits visit http://www.lschneider.com/.

Walk for Animals

Animal Humane Society locations


4375 Hwy. 55 S.E.
Buffalo, MN 55313
(763) 390-3647

Operating hours

Coon Rapids

1411 Main St. N.W.
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
(763) 862-4030

Operating hours

Golden Valley

845 Meadow Ln. N.
Golden Valley, MN 55422
(763) 489-2201

Operating hours

St. Paul

1115 Beulah Ln.
St. Paul, MN 55108
(651) 645-7387

Operating hours


9785 Hudson Rd.
Woodbury, MN 55125
(651) 730-6008

Operating hours

  • Administration
    (763) 522-4325
  • Animal Admissions
    (763) 412-4969
  • Pet Behavior Helpline
    (763) 489-2202
  • Boarding
    (763) 489-2222
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