The Ryders Alley Trencher Fed Society put their working terriers to the test hunting rats in the alleys of New York City.
Rat hunting in New York City.
If you have rats we want to hear about it!
The Ryder's Alley Trencher-fed Society (R.A.T.S.) is an
eclectic group of residents of New York and New Jersey bound
together only by their devotion to terriers and other breeds
of dog that were originally bred to seek and destroy vermin.
Most of the two-legged members hold white-collar jobs by day
and take to the alleys and garbage heaps only by night. Four
legged members include Border Terriers, Norfolk Terriers,
Fox Terriers and Dachshunds, each breed having been
developed to be specialized rat catchers. Most of the dogs
have day jobs as well, being show champions, agility
competitors or loyal house pets. But on weekend nights both
man and beast become rat catchers.
R.A.T.S. came into being in 1995 at the request of a state
park superintendent whose guests at the park were being
besieged by scores of hungry rodents eager to share a
picnic. He felt that dogs might succeed in holding down rat
populations where traps and poison had failed. The dogs had
already been trained at their vocation in American Kennel
Club earthdog tests and den trials conducted by other
organizations. The experiment was a resounding success and
the loosely knit society was born.
People have used dogs to eliminate rats nearly forever. The
R.A.T.S. teams today hunt some of the same alleys, parks and
streets where the American Revolution was born and where our
founding fathers lived and worked. The dogs' handlers
dedicate their time, effort, and a considerable amount of
training to giving the dogs the opportunity to prove that
they are very good at fulfilling their historic purpose. The
dogs? Well, they never had more fun.
While the members' focus is on the development and
preservation of the working terrier breeds, they are always
happy to visit places and properties where rat infestation
is a problem. There is never a charge to anyone for
eRATication. Coffee, water and kudos are appreciated.
The R.A.T.S. nighttime forays have become a hot ticket item
in New York City with many visiting terrier enthusiasts; the
most distant traveled from Cairo, Egypt to participate.
Still, it is all about the dogs, their hereditary vocation
and masking New York a better place to live.
Got rats? rats@rathuntersNYC.com