Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time

A Gorgeous Man & Dying Rat Turn Heads and Change Minds

August 25, 2014 by Leave a Comment

Your Turn

As New Yorkers returned from Long Island beaches to Penn Station on Sunday night, we encountered a sick rat who was hobbling very slowly through a crowded corridor. City dwellers are accustomed to seeing rats on the train tracks or on the streets late at night, but we almost never see one inside of a lit building. As a result, many people stopped to watch and take photos. I wanted to spring into action to help this suffering animal, but I didn’t know what to do. A ticket agent directed me to a police officer who said the animal consumed rat poison. He said he couldn’t do anything until the rat died. When I suggested that he put her out of misery or move her out of the busy hallway, he asked, “How would you like me to do that?” I could see that the rat was on her own.

Rat hobbling and dying in a NYC train station

Rat hobbling and dying in NYC train station

I attempted to direct the rat to the wall where she might be less stressed and where people would be less likely to taunt her, but I didn’t have any luck. As I stood there helplessly, I noticed that many people passing by were saying, “Yuck. It’s a rat” without a stitch of sympathy. And that’s when I realized that this rat didn’t have to die in vain. To the people who said, “Yuck,” I responded, “She’s dying from rat poison. She must be in so much pain. I wish I could help her.” I don’t think anyone expected to hear that, and I could almost see the lights go on in some peoples’ heads as their disgust turned into compassion. After a few minutes, a (gorgeous) man in his twenties or thirties, who said he was an orthopedic surgeon, scooped up the squealing rat in a plastic bag and said he was taking her home to die in peace. If I hadn’t been so stunned by his confidence and compassion, I might have pretended to be dying so that he would pick me up and take me home too. This man’s actions spoke louder than my words, but I’m glad to have possibly opened a few hearts and minds by asking people to consider the suffering of the rat. Our interactions with animals – wild or domesticated – always present us with an opportunity to advocate for them and to be their voice.

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Deedo says:

    I worked in the restaurant industry for years, where rats periodically moved in when nearby construction forced them out of their nests. It was never easy to witness the methods used to eliminate them. The worst are the industrial glue boards. More than once I had to beg kitchen staff to use a wine bottle to put a trapped animal out of its misery with a quick blow to the head. I loath those glue boards, easily the cruelest method imaginable to manage an animal population in a business. A trip to any hardware store will show you how rampantly this cruel practice is employed.

  2. ML says:

    On the one hand I’d feel for the rat, but on the other I wouldn’t have any idea what would actually help. Rats have very poor eyesight, and so the rat probably wasn’t that interested in the people standing around. How do we know that putting the rat in a bag is any less traumatic than letting him or her expire in public?

  3. Kathy B. says:

    Life is life. Lack of empathy carries over into people’s daily lives.

  4. Laurie herndon says:

    Wouldn’t the world be a wonderful place if we all had this much compassion for all Gods creatures…great or small! You are my hero! Bless your heart for caring for one of my favorite creatures!

  5. Ashlee rae says:

    Thank god there are still good people in this world. Its sad to know how many innocent rats, and other animals die in vain every day due to lack of knowledge of humans I hope this will help to change the views of these precious living creatures. Thank you for your help xoxoxo

  6. Patrycja says:

    Thank you for doing the right thing! I took a sick rat home from DC streets for the same reasons.

  7. Elinor Hawke-Szady says:

    I wish more people would do things like that. I would have done what he did.

  8. Elizabeth Forel says:

    how considerate and compassionate of you Donny and also the “gorgeous” man. Rats are sentient creatures, too. And this poor little guy was suffering. You do not have to “love” rats but at least have respect and compassion for them. I have had letters published in newspapers in support of rats and have have gotten poison pen letters in response, sent anonymously to my home. I was told I had a serious mental illness. Funny actually that someone would be bothered so much by my letter to lash out.

  9. Valerie says:

    This man did a great job. Gorgeous or not, we honestly shouldn’t care; the intention was to help this poor lil animal to die in a peaceful environment and that shows this guys is having a beautiful soul and is caring. I hope it opened ppl’s eyes… I really do…

  10. Jannette says:

    Last week I took a sick pigeon to The Wild Bird Fund (NYC, upper west side) and they were caring for a baby rat that was rescued. Please always stop to help an animal in need!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *