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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Totally Terrific Tuesday Feature! "Scrappy Rat"

Not only a fabulous fellow member of EtsyVeg Team, but an Etsy seller with a super unique shop! If you can make the rodents look cute to me, you know you're a true artist! I bring you...

Scrappy Rat Designs

bio: I've always been an animal person, and I think if you truly care about animals, you can't go long in life without getting involved in rescuing them. I started out with taking intake calls and helping matchmake dogs and cats with responsible homes for Independent Animal Rescue. We got calls about other animals, too...rats seemed to be especially in need, and we had a hard time finding anyone who would foster these little guys until adoptive homes could be found. Shortly thereafter, a desperate friend showed up at my door with a pair of rats who had been mistreated by a pet store and were brought to the vet where she worked for help. How could I say no. Then, at the vet kennel where I worked, I somehow found myself becoming the resident "rat girl" who was willing to help out when people abandoned their small pets. Over time, this grew into Raleigh Rodent Rescue, which I ran for six years, helping find foster homes and permanent ones for mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, degus, chinchillas, brazillian opossums, even the occasional bird or non-rodent-eating reptile. With the help of some fantastic volunteers, we helped about 100 animals a year, and worked to spread the message that buying animals from pet stores isn't just bad for dogs and cats, it's just as harmful and sometimes worse, for small animals and exotics as well. Most people we encountered never even knew there was a better option, or that these species end up left in shelters (and unfortunately, put down in them) just the same as dogs and cats. We did our best to help out our local shelters and animal control by taking as many of these little guys into foster care as we responsibly could and we met some pretty fabulous, caring people who adopted from us.
Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with a genetic spine disease that causes intense, continual pain and I had to start thinking about how I could take care of myself while taking care of the animals I love, including those closest to me, my own pets who need me more than anyone. With the help of my friend Kay her impressive group of volunteers at Carolina Pet Rescue, Raleigh Rodent Rescue was merged with her organization so I could continue fostering animals and helping the way I can without compromising my health or the time my own animals need from me.
Scrappy Rat Designs is a creative way I can share with others the animals I have known and the deep responsibility and love I feel for their welfare. I hope when people visit my store they can see this in the cards and other items I design, and that they can communicate their own compassion to everyone they mail them to. I often donate card sets to different animal rights and rescue organizations for use in their fundraising, and I frequently offer the price of items or percentages of my sales to animal protection groups. One item that is always sold with 100% of the profit I make donated is my cookbook, Yummy for Dogs, filled with loads of recipes I've developed for dog treats and special occasion meals. During the "research and development" phase, I was lucky to have an abundance of volunteer tasters among the dogs at the kennel where I worked, and later among the dogs I trained working for Sylvie's K9 Solutions. My other passion is writing, both in the form of non-fiction (including several pet columns in various magazines) and poetry. I also have just had my fourth book of poetry published, which will be available shortly via my site, as well as that of my publisher, Foothills Press.

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1 comment:

mvegan said...

So awesome! We are lucky to have Scrappy Rat in EFA and Etsy Veg, I love her unique, adorable creations and that she's a great friend to the animals!!! Michele