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Adoption Policies

My rats are my world, They are very important to me. I work very hard to develop great lines. Each life I bring into this world is precious. I am not just looking for a home for the babies, but a loving, caring, forever home.


My goal is not to make people jump through hoops or feel like they are being interrogated. I just want to get a good feel for what you are looking for in a pet and what kind of life my babies will be given. I just want to weed out any red flags and only adopt out to those with the rat's best interest at heart. I want serious forever homes,


I try to make a fair and simple adoption process that is both great for me and the buyer as well as striving to make sure my rats go to the best forever homes possible!

How does my adoption process work? Read my FAQ!

General Policies:



  • All rats are only sold at or after 8 weeks of age or older. (Dwarfs 10-12+ weeks)

  • All rats must be sold in same-sex pairs or larger groups. I do not sell single rats. (see why HERE)

  • All adopters must be 18 years old or older or have a parent or guardian purchase from me on their behalf. 

  • You must fill out an application and be approved before any rats will be sold to you.

  • You MUST agree to all of my terms before purchasing a rat from me. You must read, agree to and sign my Adoption Contract & Liability Waiver before purchasing a rat from me.

  • All rats are sold as pets only & under a no breeding contract unless you have my direct consent. I am willing to work with other breeders, contact me!

Picking up your rats!

I am located in Dunkirk, NY 14048

Once the arrangements are made I will send you the info on my address.
I am fairly open with my schedule for days/times though I generally prefer mornings/afternoons.

When you arrive I will meet you outside with the babies. I have a closed rattery, so I do not allow people to come inside (see below). You will need to bring a suitable carrier/travel cage for your new rats. Babies are small, so 1/2 an inch of bar spacing or less.


If you are paying in cash please have exact change. I pretty much never have cash on me so I can not make change. You can pay ahead of time, just ask and I will send an invoice. 





In general, once the rats become available to go to their new homes you have one week to pick them up. If you have paid in full I will hold them for two weeks if needed.

After that the sale will be canceled, the rats will return up for sale and you will forfeit your deposit.


If you need me to hold longer, generally I ask you just wait for a future litter. I may make exceptions but nothing is settled until it is confirmed specifically in writing by me. If so I will give you only one cancelation and pickup during that week of the chosen date only before I cancel the sale.


In cases of emergencies that happen that effect pick up I may make case by case exceptions but it is at my discretion.

It sucks to have to do that but sadly there are many flakey people out there and it is not fair to me or the animals to be yanked around or have my time wasted.




If you need to cancel/reschedule

I understand life happens and you may need to cancel. Please do so at the very least a day in advance.

If you do not show and do not inform at least 12 hours ahead of time that you need to cancel/reschedule, you may forfeit your rats and all fees already paid. I may also refuse to sell any rats to you in the future.

Basically just keep me in the loop, if you need to change days/time I am fine with that, just don't let me sit around waiting for you!





At this time I am unable to travel or meet you for pickup. I am hoping this will change soon!

Do I ship? (Quick answer- NO)


Shipping is actually very safe for rats. Many breeders do ship. It is NOT done through the mail. Shipping is done through an airline, they travel below the plane just like how cats/dogs fly. I would need to drop them off at the airport before their flight and you would need to be there waiting when the plane lands to pick them up.


It is very expensive though. I can not really see someone shipping rats for pets, it is usually done among breeders instead.


For shipping within the US it is going to cost you atleast $205+ the cost of the rats. 

I would have to travel hours to get to an airline and it would be a whole day event for me. It is just not worth the time/energy for me to do this. So I do not ship at this time. I would be happy to refer you to another breeder closer to you.

Do you allow for transports?

No. The owner must pickup their rats themselves. Transports are extremely risky. Some of the worst virus outbreaks the rat world has seen came from transports. I do not trust them. There have also been cases of abuse, misconduct, spread of parasites, etc.... I want the owner to be able to see and look over the rats the day they are picking them up themselves so they can see they are healthy animals they are getting. 




  • All of my rats are priced at $40 each, $80 a pair

  • See more information on my prices HERE

Do you have a wait list?

No. My rats are now all sold as first come when they are ready. This is because I am breeding fewer rats and it may be a long wait between litters. Dwarfs also have smaller litters. 


Please read my Aodption Request page for more info



Pedigrees are the record of a rats line (family tree).

I keep detailed records of all my rats as well as pedigrees.


I only offer pedigrees to other breeders. For pet placement, there is no need for one & like many breeders, I feel that it encourages breeding. I am always open and honest about my rat's pairings, and their parents & history of the line are always posted on my website and facebook.


Every rat does come with a sale receipt and Birth Certificate!





If for any reason your new rat(s) are not working out or you are unable to keep them, I ask that they be returned to me at any time. A year or even 2+ years from now, I will still take the rats back no matter the reason. I will not give refunds and the rat must be returned to me at Buyer's expense.

I want every rat to go to the best home possible and have a good fit/bond with their owner. I will gladly work with you to the best of my ability if something isn't clicking with your new rat.


I breed with a focus on temperament and will never sell a rat that I feel is not an ideal pet with no aggression/hormonal issues. But if for some reason it occurs, I will take back the rat at any time and work with you if you so choose to exchange it for a rat from a future litter when possible.


Deposits are non-refundable.


For the case of shipping/travel- all fees are non-refundable and if needed refunds will only be given for the cost of the rat(s) themselves.



Adoption Terms

I now have an Adoption Contract (details here). Everyone who wishes to purchase a rat(s) from me MUST first read and agree to my terms. Before taking possession of the rat you must sign and date the contract saying that you have read, understood and agree to the terms. You only sign once you have reserved your rats.



Link to Once Upon a Mischief Rattery's Adoption Contract and Bill of Sale


All of my rats are sold under a PET ONLY Non-Breeding contract unless you have my written consent.


Closed Rattery

YES I have a closed rattery, meaning I do not allow strangers to enter, check it out, meet my rats, etc...
NO- it does not mean I am "hiding" anything. I totally understand that to non-breeders, hearing "closed rattery" sounds suspicious. But it is really for the health and safety of the animals. It is very common for breeders to have a closed rattery and I can't even really imagine a breeder not having one. I do not know a single respected breeder that doesn't keep a closed rattery even.

I am very upfront and open about my rattery and my rats. I post tons of photos and videos showing my rattery, my rats and everything having to do with them. My rats are kept indoors (within my home), they have their own room even! If anyone has questions or concerns about their space/care I will be happy to answer questions or show photos/videos.

This is my home though and I do not wish people coming and going. I also have alot of other pets including dogs (one of which is very reactive towards strangers), cats (most of which don't like anyone lol) and a cranky husband lol! There is also a very real safety concern with letting stranger's into your home. It is much safer for both of us to meet in an open area, in this case outside my home.

The most important reason though is that there is a real concern of the spread of illness. Many people have lost entire colonies of rats and litters from outside people visiting. Outside illnesses are easily spread and even carried on people and clothing. If my rats got sick it would not only be tragic & heartbreaking to deal with, it would also mean expensive vet bills, shutting down all adoptions and possibly even ending lines. I'm not risking my rattery. There is a reason we quarantine our animals. It is just not worth the risk.

Sometimes people have concerns over not being able to pick out their rat or choose the friendliest rat. You can truly rest assured. All of my babies have the best friendliest temperaments. I am not going to sell a rat that is not perfectly friendly. The other issue is that you are getting babies and they still have a lifetime of growing up and developing their personalities. I am more than happy to give you info on each baby, little quirks or so. But honestly they are likely to grow and change on their way to becoming adults.












Health Guarantees


My goal is to have the very healthiest rats possible. If at any time I feel a rat is not the very best condition and health I would not sell it. 


When you pickup your rats:  

Always check over your rats when you pick them up and if there is any issues or questions, they should be brought up right away. If something is wrong you should know right away. Health Check Guide. Inspecting your rats will not offend me!



By accepting the rat you agree that there are no obvious health issues or concerns. i.e. no scabs, wounds, injuries, infestation, etc....

I guarantee that your rat(s) are at least 6 weeks of age and fully weaned. I guarantee that any females are not pregnant and that the rat(s) are the correct agreed upon sex.

That all rats are free from parasites & skin issues such as mange, ringworm, mites, lice or fleas. 

The rat(s) are free from any respiratory ailments. (Note: new home sneezes are common! Do not panic. The rats may need time to adjust to a new home filled with new scents. I suggest giving it about a week as long as it does not get worse and the lungs sound clear. Make sure you are also using proper bedding and there are no environmental stimulants that could cause issues such as air fresheners, detergents, candles, even strong perfumes, etc...)

If any of these issues are present within 48 hours of purchase, or a female gives birth within 22 days of purchase, you may return the rat (and babies if pregnant) and it will be replaced or your money refunded. Documentation from a licensed veterinarian must accompany the rat. 


Lifetime guarantee against congenital defect or disease: 

If at any time during the life of the rat(s) they develop a detrimental condition that dates from the prenatal or fetal state, you may return it and the rat(s) will be replaced. You must have documentation from a licensed veterinarian. This guarantee does not apply to tumors or Mycoplasma. 


My goal is to have the very healthiest rats possible. If at any time I feel a rat is not the very best condition and health I would not sell it.

All rats that leave are first treated with a precaution-preventative treatment of Revolution which protects them against mites, fleas, lice, etc... it lasts for a month.




All adoptors are expected to quarantine their newly adopted rat(s) if they currently own rats.
In this sense, quarantine means: to separate and isolate to prevent the spread of disease, including bacterial infections, viruses, fungus and parasites (both internal and external).

Quarantine needs to be in a separate rat-free location and maintain a persistent quarantine environment. No shared air space and no handling between rats.
The minimum quarantine time is 21 days (3 weeks).

You can read about my quarantine practices and my thoughts on it here.
I quarantine all new animals coming in, even those from breeders that I absolutely trust and respect. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

So while I do trust my 
rat's health, I would never tell anyone not to do a quarantine. The choice, in the end, is yours though. I, of course, understand that not everyone is able to do a full proper quarantine, always do the best you can at least.

If you choose not to or can not do a proper quarantine my health guarantee will be null and void.










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