HEROES IN OUR HEARTS TRIBUTES
Remembering the heroes who touched our lives
Donations to honor a beloved rat who has passed away OR who is still with us may be sent to paypal.me/secondchancerats. Please send an email to with any information you would like to include in their bio.
In loving memory
MEAN OL' MOLLY
Molly was a hell of a fighter. She had a rough start to life, when a kind citizen found her under their car in the city of Richmond and asked animal control to come save her. Molly wasted no time to bite every single staff member at animal control, endearing herself to absolutely no one but me. I stepped in and brought her to Second Chance, the very first rat we took in, thinking that her pregnancy hormones were causing her aggression and that she would calm down once her babies were grown. How wrong I was! We tried positive reinforcement for months before I accepted that Molly was just mean, and wanted to live her life with minimal human contact. And that was okay.
Molly got the chance to live how she wanted: without being bothered by humans too much, with her daughter Ginny, endless food and water and things to chew and destroy. Most importantly, Molly felt safe. I don't think she cared that she was loved, but she was very much so.
She will be remembered fondly as a true spitfire, who was only ever exactly who she was and nothing else, and took no shit from anybody. Molly was an inspiration, and she will be deeply missed.
Mean, Bitey, and Loved. 2019-2021
In loving memory
A big personality with a big heart. She will be missed.
In loving memory
Fred was the son of the first rat ever to come into the care of Second Chance Heroes Rat Adoptions - Molly. Fred was a gentle giant, sweet, and loving. Fred and his siblings, George, Percy, Bill, Ginny, and RJ were an unexpected but most welcome surprise when Molly was brought our way. Fred was loved from the day he was born, first called my “Little Boy Blue.” For being so big, he was surprisingly dainty and so gentle. He had a kind spirit but was tough as nails. He fought like hell this last year after surviving pneumonia the first time. Eventually, his heart failed, and I knew it was his time. He lived a short life, but a full one. Full of love and companionship. Fred was truly an inspiration. I feel like we should all desire to be a little bit more like Fred.
Kingston was a young pet rat who was found outside of someone's home in Kingston, Georgia. He was very scared and was fed table scraps by the home owner until Abby Chesnut from the blog Healing Whiskers was able to catch him from the drainage pipe he was taking refuge in. She immediately took him to the vet and found that he had a respiratory infection, a previously broken tail, and was very skinny. After nursing him back to health, Abby slowly introduced Kingston to the rest of her mischief. He was very anxious around other rats but blossomed when introduced to Abby's older rats Vincent and Xavier. Kingston enjoyed the rest of his days with his brothers and loved head massages and of course, his most favorite person, his dad Johnny. Kingston constantly struggled with respiratory infections as he got older and had nebulizer treatments daily. Sadly his breathing got so bad that Abby and Johnny had to make a hard decision to help him over the rainbow bridge. They both take solace that they provided Kingston with a loving safe home while he was with them.
TO THE RATS OF BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH,
You help us every day in our journey to improve the health of humans and animals everywhere. You bring joy to those of us who work with you, and healing to those of us who are benefitted from your work. May you always be treated with dignity and respect, and may you retire to good loving homes.
Azalea was not long with us before the damage from the poor husbandry of a pet shop feeder bin took him from us. Never have I had an animal, a pet, my friend, who gave so much love, joy, and affection so generously. His loss made a permanent mark on my soul and being, and he remains a source of faith in the love of our creator. He was a lifeline during one of the most difficult periods in my life. In honor of him, we have saved several rescues, and a couple more who did not make the cut as breeders. They each grow more loving, confident, trusting, and expressive of their individuality with each day. As amazing as they are, none have come close to the miracle that Azalea was for us. His life was priceless and will remain in our hearts Always.
Bergie (short for Heisenberg - we were Breaking Bad fans back in 2014) was rescued from poor conditions he never fully recovered from and was on medicine his entire two years with us. When brought home for quarantine, he promptly spent the evening escaping from his hospital cage to come into the next room to climb up in bed with me - and he continued to surprise and amaze with his cleverness and intelligence. Agreeable, loving, and would have no issue tugging at your sleeve to get affection from you, he would often be found with his three adopted brothers doing what they did best - spreading joy and smiles.
We have been caring for rats for about ten years now, mostly rescues and humane society rats that no one wanted (so we have had quite a few) but none of them stuck with me, connected with me, and make me miss him more than any pet I have had in my life than dear Bergie.
Lily was THE FIRST rat to join the Second Chance Heroes rescue. She became a sanctuary rat at the request of her savior, who was able to remove her from the house where she was kept in a drawer in a closet and bred repeatedly to feed her babies to another animal. Lily was the model of forgiveness, and we were most grateful to be able to give her a life full of love and joy during her last year. She was even able to watch her last litter grow up and move on to happy homes - a far cry from her previous litters. Lily was truly extraordinary. She will be missed.
Harvey lived a short life outside the lab, but it was full of love. She died a hero, with many who cared about her and was rooting for her behind the scenes.
"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent
Rest in peace, Harvey.
Monty was loved immediately by all who had the fortune to meet him. He was goofy and dramatic with a big personality. He loved to popcorn around his cage with his partner and played as long as his eyes were open. He was very loved.
In loving memory
Riley was definitely my 'hero'. He came into my life shortly after the sudden death of my husband at an early age. I was completely alone, and struggling to hold on & couldn't find much happiness or purpose in life -- then my little cuddle-mouse Riley found me. He brought so much joy & love into my world and gave me a reason to live again.
He was such a snuggly little boy & he so loved being held and cuddled. After initial acclimation, he had free range of the house & would hardly let me out of his sight. If I did have to leave the house, even if only for a few moments -- when I returned, he'd come running as fast as he could, and jump onto my feet, wanting me to pick him up & play with him and cuddle him. If I was feeling a bit sad, he sensed it & would be exceptionally loving & always managed to make me feel better.
We had little games we'd play, and once we got started, he didn't want to stop! If I sat down at night to watch TV, he had to sit on my lap. He had so many cute little things he'd do - even after rat-proofing the house, I had to be extra careful about leaving anything within his reach - he had his "stash" under the couch, and he would carry off almost anything he could get hold of & hide it away, along with his own toys.
We had 3 happy years together, before he crossed the rainbow bridge. He was an exceptionally special loving boy & will always remain in my heart as my sweet 'cuddle-mouse' forever
In loving memory
Nadia was born in the fall of 2016 and lived over three years. She passed away gently during the night, in a nest of aspen she dug herself as her final resting place.
She was bold and exceptionally friendly. She cared deeply about her friends and brought food to her fellow mischief members Lucy, Mattie, and Eva in their final illnesses. She loved snuggling baby rats and playing with Tomte the dog (watch a video of them goofing around at To the end, she loved exploring, snacks, and being held. She welcomed Second Chance Heroes rescues into her life a few months before her death and ensured they made a safe transition to their new life before she died. She was an ordinary PetSmart rat but she was extraordinary.
She is survived by the Spooky Squad and the Spooky 2.0s, who are too bright and full of life to grieve her. This is as it should be.
Cold Harbor’s Espionage
She will live in our hearts and minds forever.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF STINKY 3
The one who started it all
Desmond was a hero waiting to find the human who needed him most - SCH founder Eva Cross. Desmond's favorite food was guacamole and his favorite toys were plastic grocery bags. He loved running them up to the top of his double critter nation cage and stuffing them into his food bowl. His favorite song was Girls/Girls/Boys by Panic! At the Disco, and would brux and boggle every time it came on.
Forever in my heart; July 2, 2015 - April 28th, 2018