A group of dog owners who go by the name Ryders Alley Trencher-fed Society (RATS) meets occasionally after dark to help curb New York’s rat population.
According to group members the real goal isn’t just to remove the rats, it’s also to train their dogs how to use their innate hunting skills. Richard Reynolds, the group’s organizer, says ” It’s about maintaining the breed type through actual work.” Most of the dogs involved in the hunts are terriers.
Members of the group gather in parks or alleys after sunset and set the dogs loose in trash piles. The send rats scurrying and then chase them down. After a kill, the dogs retrieve the rats and bring them back to the owners. Bodies are collected and dumped in the garbage. According to Fox News, “In one recent foray, the dogs dispatched 13 rats within about a half-hour.”
The NY Health Department had no comment on the hunts.
The Telegraph has additional AP photos of the hunt here.