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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2004, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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hiding a pet rat

this is my first post. yes, i'm a n00b. i have never even owned a rat (a hamster once...). but, i come to y'all for sagely advice.

i'm active duty military, living in the barracks by myself, four lockable wall lockers that aren't searchable when they're locked. i really, really want to get a pet rat, as i've heard they make great companions.

so, if i get one, keep its cage locked in a wall locker while i'm not there, and didn't do anything stupid like let it get loose or blab to everyone, is it feasable to get away with owning a rat? pretend that i have common sense, and will remember to change the litter to avoid smells, get a close confidant to take care of it if something comes up, etc...

any advice or stories would be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2004, 02:03 PM
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I personally feel that having a pet where not allowed is irresponsible. What happens if it gets sick? How're you going to get it out to get care if needed while you're on duty? Worse yet, what happens if it's found? They can dig and play and make a good deal of noise, from what I understand. If it is found, will it be put down? What if it escapes? Will it be treated as a pest species and exterminated?

Aside from that, air circulation and socialization would be my biggest concerns for the rat, were you to get one. A wall locker can't have much air movement and being in that space day in day out could lead to some issues in itself.

If it were me, I'd wait until I had a suitable living environment and didn't have to hide it. My $0.02.

Welcome to PT, btw!

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2004, 02:12 PM
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First, welcome to PT!!! GLad to have you here.

Now, with that said. I have to say I agree with Jade. It is just not responsible to have a pet where you are not allowed. There are just to many risks.

Being married to a soldier I have a bit of insight here. You are correct that a wall locker can not be searched if it is locked. However, they can force you to unlock it if they suspect a pet and get specific consent from your commander.

Jade, Dave says they generally would not exterminate the pet, but would make it be re homed. That's been his experience anyway. \

I understand your desire for a pet, but please think this out more. There are so many what if's in your life. Field time, NTC, staff duty, deployment... etc.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2004, 02:13 PM
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Nope, not suitable at all. Rats need lots of interaction, space to play etc. I tell people that are going to get a rat to get more than one so that they're never alone. They are very social little guys! Aside from the space and light issue, Jade's right, they can be pretty noisy when they want to be, and they will escape given the smallest chance! Definetly get some pet rats when you have a more stable environment for them, they do make awesome pets!


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2004, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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yeah...that's what i was thinking, all. glad to see that my "voice of reason" still works, because it agrees with everyone.

*sigh*... i'm not very patient sometimes, but i don't want to provide substandard living conditions for a pet.

thanks all!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2004, 05:01 PM
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It is so nice to see that you took all that advice in stride. Once you are able to have a pet, if you are interested in rats let me know. If you are not close enough that I can be of assistance I do know breeders in many areas. One thing that I would add is please get two...a same sexed pair, as no matter how much human interaction we can give our rats they still need a rat buddy. Single rats often do not live as long and can have more health issues than those kept with at least another buddy.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2004, 06:38 PM
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Aren't you allowed to have fish?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2004, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfomatic
Aren't you allowed to have fish?
yeah, but they only know two tricks: ignore me, and eat. and i can't touch them.
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