Adoption Contract

and Liability Waiver

Before purchasing or making a deposit on any rat(s) from Once Upon a Mischief Rattery you will be asked to read and agree to our new Adoption Contract and Liability Waiver.



The current version will always be linked here on our website as well as linked from our facebook page.


Before accepting any deposits, I will email you the copy of the contract and waiver to digitally sign. You will not receive a paper copy but I will email you a digital copy for your records. 





Why have a contract?


Sadly far too often people will have the excuse of "I didn't know". All of the information and terms are plainly outlined but they didn't read them, somehow missed them or did not fully understand and did not ask.


Having a contract means that both of us are on the same page. All of my terms and expectations are fully outlined and by signing you are saying you understand them and agree to them. No one can come back later and say "Oh I didn't know or wasn't told that" because you signed that you did. It also clears up any confusion on what I am expecting and my policies.


I also very much want my adopters to understand all of my polices and hopefully this helps!


You are not signing away your soul or anything! Just agreeing to take proper care of the rat(s) and provide them a safe healthy home.





Pet Only Contract


My rats are sold under a non-breeding pet only contract. When you purchase rats from me you agree to take all preventative measures to ensure they do not breed either on purpose or accidental.

If you are a breeder I have a different breeder contract. If you are wanting to breed and purchase my rats under a pet only contract, you are beginning your breeding practices on a very unethical and irresponsible note and I will have proof that you knowingly are that unethical. Don't be that type of breeder.



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.

Why do we need documentation from a licensed vet?
I am acknowledging that I am not a vet nor is the buyer, likely to be. To protect both of us a licensed vet should give their professional opinion on the health issues of the rat. It also prevents a buyer from causing abuse or neglect and blaming it on a health issue. Or if someone just changes their mind and decides they no longer want the rats and try to lie for a refund. I will always take back rats but will not refund for buyers remorse.
Why does this not cover tumors or myco?
While there are genetic links to these issues, by far the cause is environmental. Both tumors and myco flairups are by far mostly caused by husbandry issues. Diet, weight, stress, care, cleanliness, etc...
I try my best to breed healthy and strong animals. I want them to be able to fight off illness or never get it to begin with. Animals with beautiful temperament that are less likely to be stressed. Babies coming from strong healthy moms and are weaned naturally so they get a good strong start at life.
I feed my rats a healthy balanced diet and keep them at healthy weights.
I am careful to prevent environmental issues by limiting things like air irritants and provide clean cages.
I would not breed a sick rat. I would never breed a rat with a history of tumors or URIs.
Why only 48 hour guarantee?
Within 48 hours any symptoms should be very well noticeable. Once the rat has left my care so many factors could influence the rats health. Improper care or improper quarantine could occur.





Why have a Liability Waiver?


Under the law I am already protected from liability as long as I am not purposefully selling sick animals, and doing everything in my power to ensure they are healthy and free of issues.


Yet after this very scary Seoul outbreak I feel it is only responsible to make 100% sure every owner knows the risks.


You have to be aware that owning any pet can come with major health risks. These are usually very rare and nothing to worry about but they do exist. And as I said this is with any pet, rats are no more at risk then a cat or dog.


I have had my rattery tested and do all preventative measures I can to ensure their health and safety but the very nature of these viruses means no one can be 100% sure.

I have information on Seoul and me testing HERE.





What if you do not agree?


Everyone must agree with my terms before purchasing any animal from me.


I am always open to discussion though! I always am willing to have a discussion with someone. I want everyone to feel happy with the adoption process from us.


Everything in my contract is pretty common among rat breeders.


If you have any questions or concerns, simply ask! email me or send me a facebook message and I can explain the reason behind something or make it more clear, etc.... I won't bite I promise :)

I'd like to thank Ohana Rattery for sharing the outline of the Liability Waiver to use!




Contact me for a copy of the breeder contract! I am always open and willing to work with other breeders as long as they share my ethics and are responsible knowledgeable breeders.





All breeders are free to copy/use the outline of my contract but I would ask that you let me know and give me credit

Once Upon a Mischief Rattery
Dunkirk, NY


Once Upon a Mischief Rattery Adoption Contract and Liability Waiver
Revised on 03/29/2019


Thank you for choosing to purchase from Once Upon a Mischief. Rats are our entire world! They are our passion and we dedicate so much effort, time, energy and planning into every life we bring into this world so that we may share perfectly sweet, friendly and healthy babies with the world!

As much as we love and are truly excited to bring animals and people together we are really striving to find not just a great loving home but a forever home as well.

The purpose of this contract is to make sure both you (the buyer) and myself (the breeder/seller) are on the same page and for you (the buyer) to understand what we are looking for in the overall care and husbandry of our rats you purchase from us.





  1. Deposits, Payment of Purchase Price and Refunds

    1. The sum price listed and agreed upon must be paid in full before the release of said rat(s) to the buyer.

    2. Buyer acknowledges and agrees that Buyer will forfeit the deposit and any rights to the said rat(s) if:

      1. Buyer fails to complete the purchase of the rat(s) for any reason, or

      2. Buyer fails to pay the full balance of the Purchase Price within (7) days of the agreed delivery date.

      3. Buyer fails to pay the deposit within 3 days of claiming or being offered the rats. 

      4. In either event, Seller shall be free to sell the rat(s) to another party.

    3. In the event that the rat(s) are not available due to sickness, death, or any other circumstance owing to the fault of Seller, Buyer’s deposit will, at Buyer’s option, be either refunded or transferred to a future litter of rats.

    4. Beyond that all deposits are non-refundable and no refunds will be given if the Buyer decides they no longer wish to have the rat(s) at any time.

    5. Exceptions to the non-refundable deposit

      1. If the breeder decides the buyer is no longer an approved adopter they will be removed from the wait list and at the breeder’s discretion be refunded. If the buyer is caught lying, being dishonest, broke this contract or it was discovered they have abused/neglected animals (past or present) buyer will not be refunded.

      2. If the breeder closes down the rattery, stops breeding or goes on a hiatus for 6 months or longer, buyers who have paid deposits without purchasing rats will be refunded in a timely manner.

      3. If a MAJOR life event has occurred that would prevent the buyer from taking rats, the buyer will be either be placed on a hold until they can purchase rats or be refunded at breeder's discretion.

      4. If the buyer has been placed on the waitlist for only 1 specific variety and for whatever reason the breeder no longer will have that 1 variety available, buyer will be given the option to stay and choose other varieties or be removed & refunded.

      5. If the waitlist is removed all of those who have paid a deposit to be on it will be refunded or have the option to credit their deposit towards future rats.

    6. All shipping and travel fees/expenses are non-refundable for any reason unless the Seller is at fault and can not meet the agreed upon plans or the rat(s) can not be made available for any reason.


  2. Seller’s Representations and Warranties
    Seller represents and warrants to Buyer that:

    1. Seller is the legal and true owner/breeder of said rat(s) and that Seller has full right and authority to sell the said rat(s).

    2. Seller guarantees that the said rat(s) are as described, the correct variety, at least 6 weeks of age and fully weaned, the correct sex, females are not pregnant and said rat(s) were bred by the seller.

    3. Seller guarantees that the said rat(s) are in good health to the best of the Seller’s knowledge. That all rats are free from parasites & skin issues such as mange, ringworm, mites, lice or fleas. The said rat(s) are free from any respiratory ailments. (Note new home sneezes are common as the rat adjusts to their new home/new scents).

    4. Buyer has 48 hours from the time they took possession of said rat(s) to have the rat(s) examined by a licensed veterinarian, at Buyer’s sole cost. If said rat(s) fails the examination, Buyer may return the rat(s), with a written statement from the veterinarian, for a full refund of the rat(s) or exchange for a future rat. All vet fees are covered solely by the Buyer. Failure by Buyer to have the rat(s) examined within the 48 hour period will nullify this warranty. If the Buyer chooses to keep said rat(s), no replacement or refund will be given and all medical costs and treatment are the sole responsibility of the Buyer and the health guarantee will be null and void.

    5. 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. 

    6. This guarantee does not apply to tumors, Mycoplasma or respiratory issues which may be caused by overall care and husbandry. It does not cover abuse/neglect or any improper care. The Buyer agrees they have thoroughly researched the health and care of rats and understands how that care will relate to their overall health. 

    7. Buyer is always responsible for all medical costs of their rat(s). This guarantee covers only the original buyer and is not transferable.

    8. Buyer may return the rat to the seller if they can not give it proper health/veterinary care. Seller will treat and/or humanely euthanize said rat(s) if need be to no cost of the Buyer. Buyer forfeits all rights and possession of the rat in doing so.

    9. Seller guarantees that the rat is friendly and has a good temperament. Buyer may return the rat(s) at any time if the rat ever causes a bite which breaks the skin or attacks another rat that causes injury. An exchange from a future available litter will be given on the return of the rat at the discretion of the Seller.

    10. The Seller will take back possession of the rat(s) at any time for any reason during the rat’s lifetime. Seller will not issue a refund or provide another rat as a replacement to the Buyer. 


  3. Fitness of Purpose

    1. The rat(s) were bred as a companion animal (a pet). The rat(s) were sold under a PET ONLY/Non-Breeding contract. 

    2. Rat(s) are not to be used as a classroom pet, barn hunts, food for other animals or any situation that may put the rat in harm’s way or having the rat(s) kept outside of the Buyer’s home without written consent from the Seller.


  4. Buyer’s Representations
    Buyer represents to the seller that:

    1. Buyer agrees to quarantine their new rat(s) if they currently own rats, as well as quarantine any new rats they bring into the home. The definition of Quarantine for this purpose is: to separate and isolate to prevent the spread of disease, including bacterial infections, viruses, fungi and parasites (both internal and external). Quarantine must be in a separate rat free location or share no airspace and maintain a persistent quarantine environment. No shared airspace or handling between rats. The minimum quarantine must last 3 (three) weeks. If Buyer chooses not to provide quarantine, it is at their own risk and will make the health guarantee null and void.

    2. The rat(s) will reside with the Buyer as a companion pet to Buyer and Buyer’s family. The rat(s) will reside indoors in a safe and proper temperature controlled environment. 

    3. Buyer acknowledges that they are allowed to keep pets and rats at their current home. Buyer either owns the home or has written consent from their landlord/Owner of residence, and that it is legal to own rats and/or these varieties of rats at their location. Buyer has consent to own rats from everyone in the household so that they will not be forced/asked to re-home them.

    4. Buyer will keep the rat(s) in a proper well-ventilated cage of adequate size. Cage bars need to be no larger than ½ inch wide. Plastic bottoms are suggested against by the Seller. No aquariums, crittertrails or all plastic cages. Keeping your rat(s) in any inappropriate cage will make the health guarantee null and void. If Buyer misrepresents the cage they will be housing said rat(s) they will forfeit the possession of the rat(s) at the Seller’s request. Buyer will not allow the rat to live free range without the use of a cage or free range without supervision.

    5. Buyer will provide proper bedding for their rat(s) within their cage. Proper bedding means aspen, kiln-dried pine, sani-chips, or hemp. Use of paper beddings such as but not limited to carefresh or fleece bedding is strongly advised against by the Seller, using these beddings makes the health guarantee null and void.

    6. Buyer will provide a clean and healthy environment for the rat(s). Buyer will keep the rat(s) cage clean, safe and secure. Buyer will not use candles, incense, air fresheners near the rat’s cage and provide a smoke free home.

    7. Buyer will provide the rat(s) with nutritious proper food. They agree to feed a block/kibble diet as the base/staple of their rat(s) diet using one of these brands of food: Oxbow Essentials Adult Rat food, Mazuri Rat & Mouse food, Native Earth/Harlan Teklad/Envigo, or other food that the Seller has agreed upon. Provide clean fresh pure water (no added extras such as but not limited to vanilla, vinegar, vitamins without Vet instruction) in a proper water bottle. 

    8. Buyer will always provide necessary veterinary care for the lifetime of the rat(s). Necessary care means they will seek treatment for any major injury or illness and that the rat’s quality of life will always be high. No rat will be allowed to suffer without treatment.

    9. Buyer agrees that rats are highly social animals and need companionship from other rats of the same sex (or a spayed/neutered rat of the opposite sex). Buyer acknowledges that they, other people, or other species do not replace the companionship of another rat and that keeping a rat alone is neglect. Buyer agrees that if at any time they are unable to provide a cagemate for their rat they will return the rat to the Seller. Buyer agrees that they will always provide their rat(s) with a same sex or a spayed/neutered rat of the opposite sex cagemage except in these few circumstances:

      1. The rat’s cagemate has recently passed and the Buyer is actively looking to purchase a new cagemate.

      2. The rat or the rat’s cagemate has had an injury or is recovering from an illness, injury, or surgery and needs to be kept alone in a temporary hospital cage to recover.

    10. Buyer agrees to never house the rat(s) in a cage or enclosure with animals of any other species. 

    11.  Buyer is not acting as an agent for any other person or business in the purchase of the rat(s). Buyer agrees they are not purchasing said rat(s) as a gift for another person (outside of point (i) ) Buyer has given correct and truthful contact information.

    12. If Buyer is purchasing the rat(s) for their children they acknowledge that a pet is a huge responsibility outside of a child’s sole care. Child will mean anyone under 18 years of age. Buyer agrees that it is to be a family pet and that they, as the adult/parent are responsible for the rat(s) care for the entirety of their life.

    13. Buyer will not sell, give, release the rat(s) to a pet shop, retail store, animal testing facility, research facility, or any agents of any such business or facility. Buyer will not sell, give, release, or re-home the rat(s) to any other person for the entirety of the rat’s lifetime without written consent by the Seller.

    14. In the event that the Buyer can no longer care for or provide the rat(s) a proper home, they agree to return said rat(s) to the Seller and forfeit all ownership. Returning the rat(s) will be at the Buyer’s expense and responsibility. Seller agrees to take back possession of the rat at any time. 

    15. Buyer acknowledges that the rat(s) are being sold under a PET ONLY/Non-Breeding contract. Buyer agrees to be responsible and never house unfixed rats of mixed genders together, never allow play dates or any interaction between males and females who are not fixed. Buyer will make absolutely sure of the sex of any new rats before placing them together. Buyer will make sure that all cages and enclosures are absolutely secure and that rats are unable to escape and interact. Buyer acknowledges that they are responsible for all of their rats and will not allow unsupervised access to children or others who may mix the rats up.

      1. In the event that said rat(s) are bred either on purpose or accidentally, Buyer agrees to return the rat(s) and any babies born at the Seller’s request and at the Buyer’s expense. 

    16. Buyer acknowledges and consents that if they break any part of this contract by breeding (on purpose or accidental pairing) or through neglect or abuse, the Seller has full discretion to share the Buyer’s name/location and all correspondence to other breeders, groups, and even publicly to warn and inform others.

    17. Buyer acknowledges that the rat(s) they have received are the rat(s) they agreed to purchase. By accepting the rat the Buyer agrees that there are no obvious health issues or concerns such as no scabs, wounds, injuries, infestation, or respiratory ailments.

    18. Buyer has read, understands and acknowledges the liability waiver. 


  5. Entire Agreement
    This Agreement represents the entire agreement between the parties. Seller and Buyer have made no other agreements, promises, representations or warranties, express or implied, unless specifically stated in this Agreement.

    By signing here you, the Buyer agree that you have been informed of everything in this contract that pertains to your specific purchase on the date listed below by the Seller/Breeder (Aimee Sek/Once Upon a Mischief Rattery). You agree that you had any and all questions and concerns answered and were of sound mind at the time of signing this waiver and contract. By signing this you did not purchase under false pretenses and fully acknowledge the consequences outlined in said contract about doing so. 


Liability Waiver


It is important to understand that your pet rat can be a vector for diseases. Your rat may or may not show symptoms of these diseases but can still transfer them to you. Many of these diseases do not affect a healthy human adult but for those with immuno-compromised systems, including but not limited to: children under 5, pregnant woman, the elderly, those on immune-suppressant drugs, or with viral infections, rats may need to be reconsidered as pets. 

This is true of all pets. Taking on any pet, even cats or dogs can pose health risks. Always be smart and if there is an animal bite or scratch from any pet seek medical advice, even more so if someone is a child, pregnant, elderly or have a lower immune system. 
I, the breeder, Aimee Sek (Once Upon a Mischief Rattery) , am fully informing, you, the adopter, on this date of the risks of owning pet rats, and you, the adopter hereby, accept the risks of owning pet rats and release, I, the breeder, Aimee Sek (Once Upon a Mischief Rattery), of any liability associated with owning pet rats. 
On the date of Feb 2017 my rattery tested negative for Sendai and Seoul Hantavirus, through Forestville Animal Hospital and Idexx Labs. I have brought new rats into my home since then from respected and well-known established breeders, who have not had any health issues. I have no concern over health issues. At this current time to the best of my ability I ensure all of my rats are free from health issues.
I do my very best to ensure the health and safety of all my animals. I do have a proper quarantine system in place for all new animals coming into my home, though quarantine may not catch some viruses as the animal will not show symptoms. I do not visit pet stores that sell rats. I do not handle wild animals and my home is pest free.

The nature of these viruses and the ease in which they can be spread just from the environment, clothing, being in an area that has wild rodents, etc… means that I can not guarantee that at any moment my rats have not been infected though. And you must understand the risk that they can easily become infected through these methods by you and your family as well.
Below is a list of the zoonosis diseases and the symptoms that may be carried by pet rats. 



  • Seoul Strain of Hantavirus 
    Seoul Virus is a type of hantavirus commonly associated with hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. Symptoms appear with one to two weeks and in rare cases up to 8 weeks. 

    Symptoms include:
    Intense Headaches
    Back and Abdominal Pain
    Blurred Vision

    Later symptoms include low blood pressure, acute shock, vascular leakage, and acute renal failure. In rare cases, it can be fatal. 
    Seoul Virus is transmitted through the feces, urine and saliva. The most common transmission happens when feces, urine, or saliva is dried into dust, the dust particles fly up and we breathe them in. Seoul Virus cannot be spread from person to person or person to rat. 
    To prevent infection, wear a mask and gloves when cleaning cages, do not use a vacuum or sweep dust particles into the air, spray down any bedding before moving it, wash your hands before and after handling your rat. 

  • Rat Bite Fever (Streptobacillus moniliformis)
    Rat Bite Fever or Streptobacillus moniliformis is an infectious bacteria. Contrary to its name, Rat Bite Fever is found in more than just rats: mice, hamsters and gerbils can also carry it. Symptoms appear within 3-10 days of infection but can take up to three weeks. 

    Symptoms include:
    Muscle pain
    Joint pain

    In rare cases without treatment, rat bite fever can be fatal. 
    RBF is transmitted through a scratch or bite from a rodent, handling rodents with the disease, even if they do not bite or scratch you, and through ingesting food and water contaminated with rodent feces. It is not transmitted from person to person. 
    To prevent RBF, regularly wash your hands, wear protective gloves when washing cages and avoid putting your hands in your mouth when handling your rats and cleaning their cages. 

  • Salmonellosis
    Salmnellosis or salmonella is a common disease which most people associate with undercooked chicken. All common pets can carry salmonella in their digestive tract including: dogs, cats, rats, mice, rabbits, lizards and snakes. Salmonella infection can occur in humans and the animals

    Symptoms for humans include:
    Abdominal Pain

    For the immune-compromised, the symptoms can be life threatening
    Symptoms are rare in small animals but include diarrhea that contains mucus
    or blood, lethargy, and they may vomit or have a fever. Prevention of transmission to humans includes making sure you buy animals that appear healthy, animals with severe diarrhea should be avoided. They should be bright eyed and an active. Always wash hands after handling an animal and avoid eating or drinking around your pets. If you do become infected, rarely is hospitalization required, the treatment is just lots of fluids while the bacteria moves out of your systems. Symptoms should fade within 5-7 days. 

  • Leptospirosis 
    Leptospirosis is a bacteria called leptospiria. 

    Symptoms include:
    High fever
    Muscle aches
    Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
    Red eyes
    Abdominal pain

    Some infected people never show symptoms. They will become sick between 2 days to 4 weeks after exposure. If the first symptoms progress a person may experience kidney or liver failure or meningitis. The second part of the infection is called Weil’s disease. 
    People can become infected with leptospirosis through contact with urine or other bodily fluids
    (not saliva through) and through contact with water, soil or food contaminated with urine of infected animals. 
    Prevention of transmission includes avoiding urine of infected animals, wash your hands after handling, do not eat or drink around your pets. Be sure to vaccinate your pets against leptospirosis as well. 




You agree to the risk associated with pet rats both listed above and those not listed and hereby will release Aimee Sek (Once Upon a Mischief rattery) from any and all liability of owning a pet rat.