Animal hoarding's always been a lurid fascination of ours, along with people who have sextuplets, and Chris Daly. So have you been following this story about the guy who had over 1000 rats in his house? The man, Robert Dier, had initially tried to separated them by sex in three of the ten cages in his house, but soon became "overwhelmed" (the euphemism of choice for hoarders, according to the episodes of Animal Cops we watch).
Interestingly/entertainingly, he lives in Petaluma, which is where Marilyn Barletta, the famous 200+ cat hoarder, is from too. (Note to self: think about opening a Petco in Petaluma.) The man also had seven cats in his house. When asked why the cats didn't eat the rats, the Animal Services manager speculated, "Maybe it was like working in a deli. After a while, you get tired of deli food."
Now, rat fans are outraged that the Petaluma animal shelter euthanized over 1000 of the rats. The collectors say they were trying to mobilize people to adopt them. The animal shelter said in its defense that many of the rats were feral, severely sick (some missing eyeballs, and others with teeth growing into their opposite jaws), and not really adoptable. Nine rats have been adopted, 30 have been sent to LA, 4 are in Rohnert Park, and 150 of the rats are still up for adoption. The shelter says it's carefully screening people, ever since last year when they discovered that someone who'd adopted a rabbit from them was a hoarder as well. (Note to self: That Petco in Petaluma would do great).
The final note in this story? The rat hoarder is a convicted armed robber whose home was used as a hideout in the 60s by people trying to kidnap Frank Sinatra Jr., and as the animal shelter manager said:
He's an intelligent man to talk to, but he smells like rat urine. He told me that when he had only 100 of them, he'd let them sleep with him in his bed. They'd get all in his shorts and stuff. And you can't potty train them, so you know they were urinating and defecating in there.