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Sleepy Whiskers Rodentry Ethics

Health & Temperament

My rats are bred to be healthy, and free of deformities, parasites, and any genetic illness. Rats are promised to be free of any health issues and parasites (mites, lice, internal parasites) at the time of adoption. Rats adopted from Sleepy Whiskers Rodentry are treated with a topical treatment, kitten revolution, before adoption as well. 

Rats bred and adopted from Sleepy Whiskers Rodentry are promised to be non-aggressive. Sleepy Whiskers Rodentry rats go through rigorous temperament testing between the ages of 6-8 weeks, to ensure that only gentle, non-aggressive rats, with a sweet and "squishy" disposition, are added to the Sleepy Whiskers Rodentry's breeding program.  Rats that are still sweet and personable, but not what I'm personally looking for, will be adopted out by trusted owners. Rats exhibiting any type of aggressive or overly-dominant behaviors will be humanely culled, as they pose a risk to myself, adopters, and other rats. Personality does vary from each rat, and it makes takes some time for shyer rats to fully trust their new owner. If any form of genetic illness or disease were to pop up, that line would, unfortunately, be discontinued.

Breeding Ethics

All Sleepy Whiskers Rodentry rats will only be bred when they are sexually mature and in peak body condition.

My does are bred typically 1- 2 times with a 31-62 day break between litters. Does can be bred from 4 months and are retired by 12-18 months depending on the does' health and condition. Though the discretion of each line, I may breed later or early. Bucks are bred as many times as needed but are only bred when in peak health and condition. They are retired at 18-24  months.

All does and bucks will be provided with adequate care before, during, and after breeding. Retired rats may either reside with ECMR or be adopted out. 

Regarding Young Rats

All baby rats born in Sleepy Whiskers Rodentry will be left with their mom until 4.5-5 weeks of age. At this time Does will continue to live with their mother and aunts. The bucks will live with their father and/or older males, this will teach them community and will overall make them a more well-adjusted rat.

I handle every rat briefly daily for health checks until this weaning period, this helps me get a sense of their "True" temperament. I usually adopt out around 8 weeks. I start accepting deposits at 6 weeks after I do temperament testing and post available babies. Certain lines such as newer ones, or dwarf will be held back until 12 weeks. 

Adoption Ethics

Not every who fills out an adoption form will be promised that they will be able to adopt rats from Sleepy Whiskers Rodentry.I will only adopt rats out to people who are knowledgeable and willing to go above and beyond for their pets. This includes an adequate habitat with enrichment, access to food and fresh water, and access to veterinary care. I am more than happy to keep any rats that don't get adopted! My main goal for breeding is to better the species and to share the love of rats in my small community. I also won't deny based on misinformation, as long as the adopter is willing to change and commit to proper care.

Culling Ethics

Sleepy Whiskers Rodentry has two types of culling, hard culling, and soft culling. A hard cull is humanely euthanizing a rat and a soft cull is pet-placing a rat.

Sleepy Whiskers Rodentry hard culls are based on behaviors deemed harmful and aggressive. Rats that exhibit aggressive behaviors that cause harm to other rats and humans are immediately hard culled. 

Rats that are also unhealthy to point of low quality of health will also be humanely euthanized. 

Rats that have undesirable behaviors or health issues that don't affect the quality of life (shy, squeaky, jumpy, just uncomfortable with humans, congenital missing limbs, eyes, ears, or some other deformation.) will be placed in experienced pet homes or kept at Sleepy Whiskers Rodentry, THEY WILL NOT BE BRED AND ARE NOT TO BE BRED. All rats adopted out from Sleepy Whiskers Rodentry are removed from my breeding program for a reason and should not be bred, but that doesn't mean they won't make amazing pets still. 

I use AVMA guidelines for humanely euthanizing. 

Ethics Promise

Elk County Mischiefs recognize that as a breeder I have a responsibility to protect and preserve fancy rats as well as the rat fancy, and to ensure the welfare of the animals that I sell, produce, breed, and own. I therefore subscribe to the following code of ethics:

General Ethics:

  • To provide for each animal in my care an environment which meets their physical, emotional, and psychological needs. This includes adequate living conditions, correct nutrition, proper bedding, and needed health care.

  • To promote and encourage responsible pet ownership.

  • To begin and further a study which increases my knowledge of the science of breeding Fancy Rats and Mice.

  • To maintain an interest in all animals which I sell and arrange for the return/placement of an animal of my breeding which is in need or no longer wanted.


Breeding Ethics:

  • To be familiar with and knowledgeable of the standard for those varieties which I choose to breed, including proper coat, color, conformation, and temperament, and to use that standard as a goal in striving to improve the variety with every breeding.

  • To breed only animals which are sexually mature, in good health, and are free from hereditary defects, parasitic infestation, poor temperaments, and communicable disease.

  • To be knowledgeable about the effects and consequences of mycoplasma as a disease, and until such a time as we acquire a method for controlling or eliminating this disease, breeding with the goal of producing an animal which is mycoplasma resistant.

  • To be knowledgeable about the causes of tumor growth in rats and to breed with the aim of producing an animal which is not genetically predisposed to this condition.

  • To discontinue the breeding of animals who consistently produce offspring who have a defect or disorder which is detrimental to the animals’ well-being, or temperaments which make them unsuitable as companion animals.

  • To provide a pregnant doe and the resulting kittens with the housing, nutrition, and care necessary to meet their physical, emotional, and psychological needs.

  • To assure that every animal produced has the necessary temperament to make it a suitable companion animal.


Selling Ethics:

  • To not sell or otherwise place rat kittens under 6 weeks of age

  • To consciously seek the best possible homes for animals that I place or sell.

  • To sell only healthy animals who are sound in temperament and free from parasites.

  • To stand behind the condition and quality of all animals as represented at the time of sale.

  • To be sure the buyer is fully informed when selling an animal that has a known defect, health, or other physical condition or serious deviation from the standard.

  • To never knowingly sell a pregnant doe without fully disclosing the fact to the buyer.

  • To take responsibility for any offspring produced by a doe that was unknowingly pregnant when sold.

  • To take back or find a home for any animal whose placement is not successful.

  • To provide to a purchaser full instruction on feeding, housing, and general care.

  • To provide the new owner with ongoing support and assistance with problems that may arise.

  • When selling an animal to a novice breeder or fancier as breeding or show-quality stock, to provide support, advice, education, and guidance to assist them in achieving their goals.


-Sleepy Whiskers Rodentry

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