New York City Dogs Hunt Rats as Part of RATS Pack

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If you’re a rat in New York City you might want to pack your little bags and move to someplace safer.  NYC is the newest hunt site and rats are the target.  Unlike rural fox hunts where only foxhounds are invited, the NYC-based group Ryders Alley Trencher-fed Society (RATS) has a variety of dogs involved. The ratters group includes border terriers, a dachshund, a Jack Russell terrier mix, a Patterdale terrier and a Feist (seen in the photo). Not exactly English foxhounds but no red coats or hunting boots needed as these dogs and their owners seek out rats.

RATS has been meeting for over a decade as they chase their small prey through New York City alleys and streets. The owners say that the gatherings help maintain breed specific behaviors in dogs who would otherwise be couch potatoes in the city’s high rises. The humans say that the hunts help rid the city of one of humanity’s longtime enemies while giving their dogs exercise and a good time.

Dogs have to be trained for the hunts but once they are, the dogs use their various abilities as team members to kill rats. For example, one dog will sniff out a rat and give “voice,” alerting the other hunt members that the chase is on.  Another dog will flush the rat and other dogs will actually chase and catch the prey. Once the rat has been caught and killed, the body is unceremoniously dumped in the trash.

Not everyone appreciates the night-time hunts. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has gone on record decrying the rat hunts as a, “blood spot.”

4 thoughts on “New York City Dogs Hunt Rats as Part of RATS Pack”

  1. Personally, I wouldn’t want to encourage my dog to kill anything.
    Today a rat, but tomorrow the kids bunny or next doors cat? How do they know the difference?
    I don’t know enough about PETA to comment but to my mind its a blood sport. Just because we don’t like rats doesn’t mean we should use dogs to kill them and there’s something very worrying about people getting a kick out of the ‘sport’. Don’t we (quite rightly!) condemn dog fighters for the same thing?

  2. There you have it Stupidity at its best the dogs noises can tell the deferens. If you DON’T know the defense between this and dog fighting you have no busses having a dog. Let’s not hurt the good rats just the dirty deceased ones Oh that’s right there’s none of them dirty deceased ones in your neighborhood. So your saying that there something wrong with Hunting I Hunt with a bow & arrow so I’m really sick in your eyes? Stupidity you support guncontrol and dont know shit

  3. Nothing wrong with this – this is what certains dogs are bred for! ie: Rat Terrier!

    I would however be alarmed if my dog was bit by one.

    PETA needs to crawl back under the rock they came from.

  4. I personally see nothing wrong with this so-called ‘blood sport’. They are rats, many of them diseased and dirty as ‘Lane’ pointed out. If you found a rat in your basement, what would you do? Our dog is a hunting dog – that’s what his breed (Brittany) was born and bred to do. He recently grabbed a bunny in our yard, but he is pretty harmless to our indoor cats. I think it’s great that these owners acknowledge the fact that their dogs are cooped up in apartments and don’t have yards to run in – and are letting them do what the breeds love to do. We hunt deer, turkey, birds, etc – are we all bad people? (Of course, PETA thinks so).


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