ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Animal Control officials in Ann Arundel County have a message for rat owners: Please spay or neuter your rodents.

The Capital newspaper of Annapolis ( reports that Animal Control administrator Robin Small is pitching a sterilization plan for rats, gerbils and other small mammals normally left out of spay and neuter campaigns.

She says the shelter recently had to deal with more than 30 abandoned rats. All the rats have been spayed or neutered by a vet who volunteered to do the surgery.

Although many pet owners don’t realize the rodents can be sterilized, Small said it can actually improve the animals’ health. Rats reproduce very rapidly. It takes just a few weeks for a rat embryo to become a baby rat.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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