The Great New York City Rat Hunt

There’s a fascinating story by Corey Kilgannon in today’s issue of The New York Times. It follows the exploits of the Ryders Alley Trencher-fed Society, or R.A.T.S., a group of dog owners who take their pets to downtown Manhattan to hunt and kill rats: “The dogs raced toward a pile of trash bags in the middle of the alley, with the smaller dogs combing through the bags and chasing rats out toward the larger dogs. Ernie, a 3-year-old hunt terrier, snapped up a fleeing rat in his jaws and gave him a hard shake. The rat quickly went limp. Ernie’s owner rejoiced over the kill — it was Ernie’s first, after just a few outings of hunting vermin.”

(Photograph: Michael Appleton. Caption: The Ryders Alley Trencher-fed Society, named so its acronym would be  R.A.T.S., has been bringing their dogs to find and kill rats for 15 years, mostly in downtown Manhattan in areas where trash and rats are abundant.)

[“In Manhattan Alleys, Dogs on Rat Hunts Find bags of Fun” via The New York Times]