Woman living in van with 320 rats agrees to give them up

Chiara Giordano
A woman who lived in a van with 320 rats in San Diego, California, has agreed to give them up for adoption: San Diego Humane Society

A woman who lived in a van with more than 300 rats has agreed to give them up after the situation “got out of control”.

The unnamed owner, who lives in San Diego, California, started with just two pet rats for company in the vehicle she calls home.

But the rodents quickly multiplied to 320 and soon clawed through the van’s upholstery and chewed through the engine’s wiring, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

And as people began to notice them coming and going from the vehicle, they began to complain.

The woman eventually contacted San Diego Humane Society to ask for help and subsequently agreed to give them up.

Danee Cook, from the society’s law enforcement department, told the Tribune: “This was not a cruelty case, this was a relinquishment, an owner asking for help.

“She was feeding all of them, had water for all of them. This didn’t meet the standards of hoarding.”

It took officers two days to round up all of the rats, which they found in “every crevice”.

Most of the rodents were young, and many of them where pregnant.

About 140 of them are already up for adoption in same-gender pairs.

Rats can give birth every few weeks and have usually have litters of 10 to 12 babies.

They are said to make good pets as they are social animals and enjoy interacting with humans.

The woman’s vehicle was not salvageable and she has since found somewhere else to live.