A California woman lived with 300 rats in a parked van — until authorities stepped in and she agreed to let go of her scores of rodents, a report said Thursday.
The woman, identified only as Carla, started with just two pet rats, who quickly multiplied inside her vehicle, parked on a street near one of San Diego’s toniest communities.
They clawed into the upholstery, burrowed into seats and often scampered outside the van, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
After several complaints, San Diego Humane Society officers showed up Oct. 8 and “realized right away the situation was significant,” said Capt. Danee Cook.
“They could tell immediately that it was a huge amount [of rats],” Cook said. “They were living out of the van, coming and going.”
Carla apparently realized her rodent issue had gotten out of control and asked for help.
“This was not a cruelty case, this was a relinquishment, an owner asking for help,” Cook said.
“She was feeding all of them, had water for all of them,” Cook added. “This didn’t meet the standards of hoarding.”
She agreed to give the rats up and officers began the dirty job of plucking them out of the van, finding them “in every crevice,” Cook said.
Authorities collected about 320 rats, mostly babies, and 140 are currently ready for adoption.
Rats can give birth every four weeks and produce a dozen pups in a litter. The woman, meanwhile, has a new SUV to stay in, thanks to a GoFundMe from her community .