How about the Rats?
Are you very worried about the rats? Were they scared? Hurt? Terrorized and then fed to snakes? The answers were no, no, and no.
The Rats are secured in a PVC tube, made with Schedule 40 thickness. There are holes drilled for the rats to breathe and the dogs to scent them. Bedding is placed in the tube to keep them comfortable.
In fact, the rats in barn hunt are treated as well as the dogs. They are completely socialized, fearless of their canine counterparts, and well protected in their tubes. The judges will tell you it’s unacceptable for a dog to excessively harass the rat, and dogs who are able to be called away from the rat quickly are more successful in the game. The rats are given breaks, taken out of the ring and placed back in a cage with water and food. At the end of the day, they go to their home cages where they are well taken care of for all their hard work.
Learn more about the whole Barn Hunt activity!