There are many ways to acquire pet rats. The Internet will help you to find an exchange in your area.
In principle, you can buy rats from animal welfare organizations in animal shelters, from breeders, in pet shops, and at animal fairs. Especially in pet shops and breeders, you should make sure that all rats are healthy and kept in an animal-friendly manner. For example, if the animals are housed in cages that are too small and unclean, you should refrain from buying them. It is also important that the rats are separated according to gender and are only released from the age of about 5 weeks. It is not recommended to rescue sick rats from a pet store because they feel sorry for the animals. You would help the individual animals, but you would also support the poor keeping and breeding conditions with the purchase.
Animal protection organizations
The best place to buy pet rats is animal protection organizations such as B. the “Association of Rat Lovers and Keepers in Germany e.V.” and animal shelters. But there are also numerous platforms on the Internet where rats are placed throughout Germany. The animals are usually emergencies resulting from uncontrolled reproduction and poor husbandry. You can support this important animal welfare work by taking in some of these emergency rats. You will find rats of all ages and many male animals that have already been neutered at animal welfare organizations and animal shelters. An agency for rats in distress also has the advantage that you will usually get the best advice here. Experienced animal rights activists know their rats well and know which are suitable for beginners and which are not. You will also receive comprehensive information on all other questions relating to keeping, nutrition, and care. If you already have rats and would like to enlarge your pack, placement centers will also help with the socialization of the animals.
Pet rats are also available in many pet stores. Unfortunately, you often get sick, shy, or pregnant rats here. The staff is often not able to provide correct information about the age and sex of the animals. If the rats were not separated according to sex, you will experience a nasty surprise a few days after purchase: When rats have offspring, the number is on average 6 – 12 young animals per litter. Especially newcomers to rat keeping are quickly overwhelmed with such a situation. In addition, it is often difficult to find an animal-friendly new home for the unplanned offspring. Uncontrolled propagation is therefore not in the interest of the animals and must be avoided at all costs. Another disadvantage of pet shops is the often poor advice when it comes to the type and size of the enclosure and the right diet.
You can also purchase your pet rat from a breeder. A reputable rat breeder has a small hobby breed and mates his animals in a planned manner and according to certain criteria such as e.g. B. Coat colors and markings. Unfortunately, there are many black sheep among rat breeders who “produce” the animals en masse and do not keep them in an animal-friendly manner. Most rats are reproduced because they will later serve as food animals (especially for reptiles). Of course, pet rats that come from such factory farming deserve just as much a humane life as all other animals. Nevertheless, you can, unfortunately, do little about these abuses if you buy individual rats free from factory farming. If you are determined to buy your rats from a breeder, it is better to go with a hobby breeder who is primarily concerned with the welfare and health of their animals. The young animals should have grown up humanely and already be used to humans.