The Ryders Alley Trencher Fed Society (RATS) have been using their dogs (terriers, mostly) to hunt and kill The Verminous Bucktoothed Riptide since 1995. Now the AP is the latest news outlet to discover the organization that is spoken of in hushed squeaks in trashbags across Manhattan.
On a couple of recent nights, an eclectic group of ratters converged on an alley near City Hall about an hour after sunset. The lineups included two border terriers; a wire-haired dachshund; a Jack Russell terrier/Australian cattle dog mix; a Patterdale terrier, an intense, no-nonsense breed that's uncommon in this country; and a feist, a type of dog developed in the American South to tree squirrels.
"Get 'im! Go!" Serge Lozach yelled as his cairn terrier, Hudson, streaked down an alley after a fleeing rat. Unlike many of the other owners, Lozach doesn't breed or show dogs, but he has taken Hudson to several alley hunts. "I like watching him have fun," Lozach said.
There's nothing illegal about hunting rats with dogs, but the chill that runs down your spine knowing that a pack of dogs and their owners are Fighting Back is so good it should be illegal.
Also, rat birth control efforts are a lot less entertaining to watch (hmmm or are they? "Dina what the hell I thought we did it like, fifteen times on Monday how are you not preggo?")
Watch the dogs have fun in this superb video on RATS that you should totally see after your lunch break.