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Rats pt. 2: Humane Society of Southern Arizona preps for special rodent weekend

Posted at 4:24 PM, May 31, 2024

This story is a follow-up to our original coverage: Rats! Humane Society looking to adopt out pet rats found in Marana

TUCSON, Ari. (KGUN) — The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is hosting a special adoption event this weekend for baby rats in need of loving homes.

Following the rescue of over 150 baby rats in April, HSSA has been dedicated to their care and now has 46 rats ready for adoption.

Jose Ocano, Interim Chief Program Officer at HSSA, shared insights into the effort.

“The team continues to work diligently to care for the animals. We’ve had several adoptions already, which is great. We’ve adopted up to 70 baby rats and have about 50 more available for adoption this weekend.”

This event comes after Marana Animal Services officers found the rats abandoned behind a grocery store.

Despite the best efforts to care for the fragile newborns, 37 did not survive.

“When we got in about 158 baby rats, we knew it would take an all-hands approach. It’s been incredible to see the team and community come together,” Ocano said.

HSSA’s initiative includes a generous offer for early adopters.

“Thanks to a few donors, the first 20 adopters who show up will receive a $200 baby rat starter pack, which includes a multi-level enclosure, food, bedding, and toys. This ensures the rats and their new owners start off on the right foot,” Ocano said.

The event aims to not only find homes for the rats but also educate the community on proper rat care.

“We never want to see an animal grow up in a shelter because the best place for a pet is a home. Rats are very social and intelligent. We adopt them in pairs or trios to ensure they have companionship," Ocano said

Adopters can also look forward to support from HSSA, including a free vet visit to ensure their new pets’ health.

“Our adoption counselors provide all necessary information. We also offer a free vet visit, which can be crucial for establishing care routines for these little ones,” Ocano added.

The adoption event will be held on Saturday, June 1, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, June 2, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at HSSA’s main campus at 635 Roger Road, Tucson, AZ 85705. Adoption fees are set at $10 for a pair and $15 for a trio.

Eddie Celaya is a multimedia journalist at KGUN 9. Born in Tucson and raised in the Phoenix area, Eddie is a life-long Arizonan and graduate of the University of Arizona who loves the desert and mountains and hates the cold. Previously, Eddie worked in print media at the Arizona Daily Star. Share your story ideas with Eddie at, or by connecting on Facebook or Instagram.