Here at Squeakin’ Pups we stand behind the quality of the rats we offer, and guarantee them to be in good health at the time of adoption, the correct gender, not pregnant (applies to females only, of course), and free of genetic defects that will unreasonably shorten their lifespan or affect their quality of life.
This note goes over the details of each part of our guarantee and what to do if you believe there is anything wrong with the rat you obtained from us. Our guarantee was created, first and foremost, to help our adopters have peace of mind when adopting. Even if you are outside of stated time limits for anything we cover, or you have an issue not mentioned here, please still contact us if there are ANY problems with your rats. We are always here to help! ™
*WE DO NOT COVER THE COSTS OF ANY VETERINARY, HEALTH CARE, MONETARY LOSS, OR OTHER BILLS AND/OR EXPENSES ARISING FROM ILLNESS, INJURY, DESTRUCTION, OR DEATH OF EITHER ANIMALS, PERSONS, OR PROPERTY FOR ANY REASON.*
We are very good at determining gender - in most cases we can determine gender on the day of birth. If we happen to get the gender of your rat incorrect, we will take full responsibility for the mistake and exchange it for a currently available rat of the correct gender within 20 days of your original adoption. Please Note: Boys are usually unmistakable by the time they go home with their new parents. Even a late bloomer would show well before the 20 days after adoption.
If our gender error causes a pregnancy, we will take responsibility for the pregnant rat as explained in our pregnancy rules, if the pregnant rat was one of ours. If the female rat was not obtained from us, we do not offer option 2 of trading her for a new rat, you must take your own female back. However, we will take the male rat you received by mistake back and exchange him for a baby from your own rat’s litter (this is the best option as it guarantees your rat will be bonded to your new baby already).
It is important you notify us as soon as possible once you find your rat is the wrong gender, though. Preventing the pregnancy is better than trying to find homes for unintended litters. The quality of the babies can be unpredictable. Pregnancy We guarantee all our rats are not pregnant on the day you take them home. Therefore, if your rat is ever pregnant we will take her back and take full responsibility for the litter she births. We offer 2 options in this case:
1) You may have your rat back after her babies are weaned or we have found a surrogate mother for them. (Surrogates may not be available if we don't have a currently lactating momma rats with available space in their litters.) This may mean that your rat will be in our care for up to 2 months while pregnant and caring for her litter.
2) If you had not yet bonded with your rat and would prefer getting a new one, you may select a new baby girl from any currently available at the time.
Our guarantee on pregnant rats is only good for 10 days after you take your female rat home (as gestation is only 21-23 days and we separate genders at least 2 weeks before adoption). We can extend that time to 15 days if you notify us the day the babies are born, as we understand not everyone can tell if a rat is pregnant on sight. If it is longer than 15 days after adoption, the rat did not become pregnant with us, as that would be a week longer than normal gestation.
We do not offer a pregnancy guarantee on male rats - that's just silly! We also do not offer any pregnancy guarantee for rats being adopted into homes that contain both male and female rats - regardless of whether they are house separately or not. We are still willing to help adopters who are faced with "Oops!" litters, however the primary responsibility lies with the owner when litters are born outside of our covered date ranges.
Health and Longevity
We regularly check all adults and babies for any health issues to ensure that the rats leaving our rattery are without any illness. Due to incubation periods of certain sicknesses, such as URI, we do have a guarantee for sickness.
If, within the first 14 days of ownership, your rat presents with any symptoms of illness that could result in vet bills, including, but not limited to the following, please contact us immediately: - Sneezing, chirping, wheezing, or other odd sounds - Ungroomed appearance (fluffed fur or dirty/dusty appearance) - Excess porphyrin around ears, nose, eyes, or on coat - Blood in the urine - Abnormal bowel movements (soft or semi-liquid stools, not enough stools, bloody stool) - Abdomen is bloated, tender to the touch, feels hard or lumpy - An “Owie Stretch” - Refusal to eat or drink - Visible evidence of infection or abscess, such as a lump, yellow or green discharge from anywhere, or a head tilt. - OR, Any other symptom you think could be related to sickness or infection of any kind. We are happy to answer questions and be a sounding board if you have concerns about your rat at any time.
If your rat is sick or has an infection we offer several options for you. Which option you pick will depend on how you wish to handle the situation. We will not pay for veterinary visits or any medical fees incurred if you choose to take your rat to a vet instead of taking advantage of our guarantee.
1) We carry most medications to treat URI or infection here at the rattery for our own rats. We will gladly give you a 2 week supply for free so you can treat your rat yourself. If you obtained more than one rat from us on the same day as the one that is unwell, we will give enough medicine under the guarantee to cover all rats obtained on the same day as the one who is unwell. If you have more rats than this in your care, we can also give you medications for all your other rats, however there is a charge for the additional treatments. We keep the charges very minimal.
2) If you feel that you will not be able to treat the rat yourself successfully, we will accept the rat back and treat it ourselves. If you choose this option, you will not receive the rat back. Instead, you will receive a credit with us for the amount of your adoption fee paid for the rat. If you adopted more than one rat on the same day, and you wish to return ALL rats adopted, we will accept back all rats and give you a credit equal to the adoption fee of all rats being returned to us. You may use the credit immediately, or wait until we have more rats that are the type you prefer. The credits do not expire, however they can only be used to adopt new rats.
Please be aware that if you choose to keep a sick animal in your care, and you do NOT treat it to make it well again, it becomes a health risk to other rats and potentially humans as well. When your pet is not kept in good health, they become more susceptible to health risks that can be potential hazards to humans. Keeping your rats’ cage clean is the number one defense against illness or infestation by parasites. If your rat becomes ill, and is not treated, then later dies, the death will not be covered under our guarantee.
We strive to produce happy, healthy, and sociable rats every time. However, since some rats may have genetic health issues we cannot detect before adoption, we do offer to replace a rat if it dies from natural causes within 180 days of birth. All deaths should be reported so we can discontinue problem breeding pairs. This is for the health and safety of all our rats.
You MUST provide proof that the rat died. A photo is sufficient.
In the event one of your rats passes within the 180 days, we will give you a rat credit equal to the amount of its original adoption fee. This credit can be used towards the adoption of a new friend for your remaining rat(s).
We cannot guarantee that we will have the same color/pattern available, but you can also wait a short time for more selection, if you wish. We highly recommend that none of your rats be left without a cagemate for longer than 1-2 weeks, as it can adversely effect their health and well-being. It is often better to obtain new rats in a set of two babies, so that they have someone their own age to play with as well. If you choose to adopt two new babies to replace the one who has passed away, we will offer a 50% discount on the second baby you adopt from us as well.
Disclaimer and Limitations:We are committed to ensuring that our baby rats are going to safe homes. We will only replace up to two rats within a one year period to any adopter. The viability of our rats is very well known to us, and that rate of death would be completely out of the ordinary for our statistics. If it is suspected that your home is not safe for rats to reside, you will be placed on our banned adopter list and will not be able to adopt any further rats from us.
What is NOT Covered:No exchanges or replacements are given on rats purchased as food for another animal, of course. Also, we do not provide a replacement if you forget to feed/water, lose, mishandle, drop, or otherwise cause the death of your rat yourself through negligence or poor care. This includes if you entrust your rat into the care of another person or facility and they cause the death of the rat. This is especially important to note for adoptive parents purchasing rats as pets who have younger children living in the home or allow them to care for or handle their rats. The maturity level of all children can be widely varied, so each adoptive parent should use their best judgement in regards to their own children.
Any deaths that occur outside of the 180 days will be considered on a case by case basis. We highly encourage our adopters to report any and all deaths to us for our records and so we may assist with obtaining new cagemates for the remaining rats.
Genetic Defect/Chronic Disorders
It is possible for a rat to have a genetic defect that causes it to act abnormally or be prone to illness. These genetic defects may not cause death like serious illnesses, such as megacolon which is fatal, but they can turn into a costly endeavor if your rat turns out to need a lot of vet care.
If, within the first 6 months of life, your rat has any of the following, please contact us:
- Appears to be developing abnormally (irregular shaping of head or body, body tremors or other neurological symptoms, etc.) - Has been confirmed by a vet as having a genetic defect which will result in recurring vet bills (tumors, heart or other internal organ malformations/conditions, etc.) - Develops tumors, growths, or other obvious signs of chronic illness. This does NOT include URIs or UTIs as environmental factors play a significant role. Chronic disorders are ones that will recur or worsen as time goes on, ultimately leading to death. - Blood in urine, stools, or from the vaginal opening - Has difficulty moving/walking: goes in circles, bumps into things, falls from cage bars or ledges, etc.
If there is a confirmed incident, we offer the following options:
1) You may return the rat to us and we will give you a rat credit towards a new rat of your choosing. If you decide to adopt more than one rat at the same time so the new baby will have better company, we also will give a 50% discount on the second rat that is adopted with the replacement rat.
2) If you are already bonded to your rat, and willing to accept the veterinary and other medical bills of continued care for it yourself, then we will offer you a rat credit that is twice the adoption fee of your original rat, which you may use at the time of your choosing.
Disclaimer and Limitations:Option #2 is NOT recommended for aggressive rats. Aggressive rats pose a health risk to you and your rats, it is ALWAYS recommended that they be separated from their cage mates and returned. We have seen many injuries and even deaths when they are not. If you choose to keep a rat showing aggressive tendencies, it is highly recommended that you spay or neuter the aggressive rat immediately. Squeakin' Pups accepts no responsibility for any damage, injury, or death that occurs resulting from an owner keeping an aggressive rat in their care. Aggressive rats can be very unpredictable and have underlying health issues causing their aggression. In some cases, aggression can worsen and rats that are only rat-aggressive can become people-aggressive without prior warning signs.
Keeping or Returning your rat will be completely up to you. We never insist on rats being returned to us. If you choose to keep a rat which you know to have health issues, you will be solely responsible for all its medical care. We do not pay for any medical care, treatments, or alterations to any rats adopted from us.
Aggression is a trait that is bred against very heavily here, however it can still sometimes appear unexpectedly. We screen every baby for signs of aggression before clearing it to be homed as a pet, but late onset aggression can still sometimes occur around 5-7 months old.
Signs of aggression to be aware of: - Rat is fluffing up its fur to appear larger and more intimidating - Rat is walking sideways at another living being - Whipping with or thrashing of tail - Hissing or long and loud squeals/screeches - Shoving other rats off ledges, hammocks, or generally keeping them away from places of entertainment or basic needs. - Following another rat (shadowing) or constantly harassing it - Nipping, biting, or lunging at any living being, or part thereof. Even if no blood is drawn, this is an aggressive behavior and will lead to more aggressive actions in the future. - Freezing or stiffening when touched or picked up. This may not seem aggressive, but it is a sign that your rat is very scared and interprets you, or other rats, as a threat. Stiffening will often lead to biting as your rat becomes comfortable enough with its surroundings to retaliate rather than freeze.
If your rat is showing signs of aggression, we will accept it back and give you a rat credit equal to the original adoption fee. If you choose to adopt two new babies at once due to returning the rat, we will also give a 50% discount on the second rat you select to adopt in addition to the primary replacement.
We do not recommend keeping a rat that is showing any signs of aggression, as this could lead to injury of you or your other rats. Rat bites can be very painful, and a poorly placed one can be dangerous. If a rat bites another rat in a sensitive area, it could lead to death of the victim. Even small wounds can become infected or have complications leading to the death of another beloved rat. A rat is easily capable of biting hard enough to break skin, which could damage blood vessels or cause infections in humans. Choosing to keep an aggressive rat is done so at the owner's risk. Any damage the rat does to itself, cage-mates, or any humans who interact with it, will be the sole responsibility of the owner.
Rat aggression can sometimes be alleviated with neutering/spaying of the aggressive rat, however it is not always effective. There are nearly equal numbers of success and failure stories. If you choose to keep and alter the rat, you will do so at your own expense.
Aggressive rats should be immediately quarantined from other rats for the safety of all rats, and you should report the behavior to us immediately. Even if you choose to keep your rat, we will need to know the issues you are having so we can notate our records and redirect our breeding to prevent this kind of occurrence in future litters.