Las Cruces – City animal control officers have started removing hundreds of large, feral rats from inside a Las Cruces rental home.
Animal shelter director Beth Vesco-Mock says the rats some sickly and displaying evidence of fighting are about the size of a four- to five-month-old kitten.
Animal control officers had taken two skinny dogs and about 170 rats to the shelter by mid-Thursday, and officers estimated there were at least that many rats still hiding in the home.
Officers also found the fur and skeletal remains of two dogs that were presumed to have been eaten by the rats.
Authorities have charged 55-year-old Debbie Martin with three misdemeanors for excessive waste, improper care and maintenance of animals and dead animal removal. Each of the charges carry a maximum fine of $500 or 90 days in jail.
Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.