Anyone can be a hero
When clinical psychologist sought to connect with her younger female clients suffering from depression and anxiety, she decided to experiment with bringing rats into their appointments. Pebbles, a young female rat, would sit in the room with the clients and allow them to pet her while they shared difficult stories.
However, one day Pebbles was insistent on licking away the tears of a client and would not leave her alone. A knock at the door interrupted the appointment, and the therapist went outside to answer, as it must be critically important to warrant an interruption. A friend of the client informed her psychologist that she intended to commit suicide after her appointment that day. Her psychologist reentered the room and asked if there was anything she needed to tell her. The client explained that she had been planning on committing suicide but had changed her mind. When her therapist asked why, she stated,
"because the rat loves me."
A Lifetime in the Making
Second Chance Heroes hit the ground running in early 2019, although the dream to start a rat rescue began many years prior for founder Eva Cross. With more than a decade of experience caring for rats, and tailoring her higher education to study how rats experience the world, Eva wanted to find a way to save as many lives as possible, knowing that each rat has the potential to be a hero for their human guardian, as her rats have been for her. With an extensive knowledge in evidence-based conclusions of rat behavior and the psychology of stigma, Eva loves speaking to others about rats and illustrating what fascinating and wonderful companions they truly are.
With tremendous help from Vicki Schutz of Dreamcatcher Rattery, the two developed a network designed to place as many rats in loving homes as possible and have been working hard to make Second Chance Heroes a simple, compassionate option for retired laboratory rats who are eligible for the life of a beloved family member. Second Chance Heroes does not take a stance on animal research, but rather welcomes with open arms the rats that laboratories are able to rehome.
Saving lives, one rat at a time
At Second Chance Heroes, we are dedicated to working closely with laboratories to foster rats that have retired from their busy jobs as scientists. We strive to place them into loving homes that will provide them with high quality care as well as love and affection.
Rats in need
We are regularly asked to take in rats that need to be rehomed for various reasons. We are here to support those making the difficult decision to rehome their pets, and place them into loving homes whenever we are able. When we do not have the ability to bring the rats into our care, we counsel owners on rehoming options.
Small animals that breed quickly and have large litters, like rats, are often found in hoarding situations or with families who have become overwhelmed unintentionally. In the cases where SCH does not have available space for intakes, we work with our community to find adopters and shelters who can assist in placing the rats into loving homes and treating those in need of veterinary care. To date, we have been able to network out 30 rats without needing to place them into foster care!