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Pet rat abandoned in South Ham churchyard
A PET rat was abandoned in a Basingstoke churchyard over the bank holiday weekend, with no water or food.
A member of the public discovered a rat cage under a tree next to St Peter’s Church in Pinkerton Road, South Ham, on Saturday.
The RSPCA is appealing for information with the hope that someone saw the rodent being abandoned.
The three cage doors had been left open, there was no food inside and a water bottle was lying on the floor so the rat would not have been able to drink from it. Paper chips on the floor of the cage were sodden from the rain, and there was a sign reading ‘beware of the man-eating rat.’
Jan Edwards, RSPCA inspector, said the cage was dirty. She added: “I am very keen to trace the person responsible for abandoning this animal as it would appear they have failed to ensure the needs of this rat and left it at real risk of predators not to mention causing her undue distress.”
The RSPCA is now looking after the rat at a shelter in Fareham, where staff have named her Bear.
Under the Animal Welfare Act, anyone found guilty of causing deliberate suffering to an animal can face up to six months in prison and/or a £20,000 fine.
Anyone who recognises the rat or has information about the incident should call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for Inspector Edwards.