Arlington, VA

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is now opening adoption for dozens of rats and mice rescued from a hoarding case in the county earlier this month.

Animal control officers from AWLA seized 67 rats and mice from a home in the Rock Spring neighborhood on March 6, following a tip from a county agency involved with the situation, according to an Animal Welfare League spokeswoman Chelsea Jones.

Jones said the majority of the animals are now up for adoption from the Arlington Welfare League except for a few still being treated for upper respiratory infections — a common ailment in animals forced to live in overcrowded and unclean conditions.

Two of the rescued rats were “in very bad shape” with multiple tumors and had to be euthanized, Jones said, but not before staff baked them a dessert.

“They had a big ol’ cake they got to chew on,” Jones told ARLnow.

The animals’ owner has not been charged with any crimes, but was banned from owning any more “companion animals” as of March 13, according to the AWLA’s Chief of Animal Control.

Officers originally obtained a warrant to remove 18 of the domestic rats and mice from the woman’s house after she failed to improve the conditions, AWLA said. But when the officers entered the home on March 6 they found another 49 rodents, including two mice that had recently given birth to 20 babies.

There were so many animals that the Arlington organization had to ask Animal Welfare League of Alexandria to help re-home some of them.

The mice now available for adoption are a mix of grays and bright, unusual golds.

“We found out that they’re certain breed of mice called silky mice so they all have really shiny fur and interesting colors that you don’t see in the general mice you get from the pet store,” said Jones.

Photos courtesy of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington

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