Home » Rodent mad woman who bathes her 50 pet rats in kitchen sink goes viral 

Rodent mad woman who bathes her 50 pet rats in kitchen sink goes viral 

by Press room

A rodent lover who owns 50 rats has gone viral after bathing her ‘babies’ in the kitchen sink.

Since receiving her first few rats in 2018, Michele Raybon, 51, from Palmdale, California, has not been able to stop adding to her mischievous pack, and now owns  50 of the ‘cuddly’ critters – 25 males and 25 females.

After welcoming Naked Rats, Elvis and Chuck, as well as her two Hooded Rats, Lucy and Ethel, into her home the mother-of-two hasn’t looked back.

Michele went viral late last year after posting a video of her rats bathing in her kitchen sink on Facebook, receiving more than 350,000 views.

Michele Raybon, 51, from Palmdale, California, has 25 female and 25 male rats who she refers to as her ‘babies’ and insists they can do no wrong 

The animal lover went viral late last year after posting a video of her rats bathing in her kitchen sink on Facebook, receiving more than 350,000 views

The animal lover went viral late last year after posting a video of her rats bathing in her kitchen sink on Facebook, receiving more than 350,000 views

Since receiving her first few rats in 2018, she has not been able to stop adding to her mischievous pack, and now owns 50 of the 'cuddly' critters

Since receiving her first few rats in 2018, she has not been able to stop adding to her mischievous pack, and now owns 50 of the ‘cuddly’ critters

After welcoming Naked Rats, Elvis and Chuck, as well as her two Hooded Rats, Lucy and Ethel, into her home the mother of two hasn't looked back, now with 25 females and 25 males. Michele holding one of the naked baby rats

After welcoming Naked Rats, Elvis and Chuck, as well as her two Hooded Rats, Lucy and Ethel, into her home the mother of two hasn’t looked back, now with 25 females and 25 males. Michele holding one of the naked baby rats

Michele, who is retired, said: ‘They’re my babies, they can do no wrong.

‘They each have their own individual personality so several rats stick out to me more than others.

‘They’re very social and when you feed them, they all come running.

‘Some you’ll know if they’re not as friendly and some other ones are a lot more friendly.

Unlikely pals! Michele's cat seems unbothered by the presence of one of her pet rats alongside him on the sofa

Unlikely pals! Michele’s cat seems unbothered by the presence of one of her pet rats alongside him on the sofa  

At first Michelle aimed to sell her rats and started to breed them, but soon stopped and kept them as pets. Pictured Some of Michele's rats through their cages

At first Michelle aimed to sell her rats and started to breed them, but soon stopped and kept them as pets. Pictured Some of Michele’s rats through their cages

Michele got them from a breeder in Texas, and when she moved to California there were no rat breeders out so she

Michele got them from a breeder in Texas, and when she moved to California there were no rat breeders out so she 

Along with her 50 rats, Michele, who is an animal lover, owns four dogs, three cats and two pigs.

Along with her 50 rats, Michele, who is an animal lover, owns four dogs, three cats and two pigs.

‘I got them from a breeder in Texas, and when I moved to California there were no rat breeders out here.

‘So that’s why I have so many because I bred them for temperament, just so I could sell them to other people who love rats.

‘Then I stopped selling them and now they’re my pets, that’s why I have so many. There are a lot of them.’

Along with her 50 rats, Michele, who is an animal lover, owns four dogs, three cats and two pigs.

She said: ‘The pigs live in a barn which is their little area, I feed the cats when I feed the dogs so it isn’t a lot of work.

‘I love animals, I wanted to be a vet when I was growing up, but it never happened.

‘I wouldn’t call it an obsession, but because I do love animals, I rescue a lot of animals.

The animal lover wanted to initially be a vet while growing up but settled for owning animals instead

The animal lover wanted to initially be a vet while growing up but settled for owning animals instead

Some of the 50 rats bathing in the sink, which were the first spark for Michelle being an online rat sensation

Some of the 50 rats bathing in the sink, which were the first spark for Michelle being an online rat sensation

She rescues a lot of animals but wouldn't call it an obsession, and instead calls her pets her 'babies'

She rescues a lot of animals but wouldn’t call it an obsession, and instead calls her pets her ‘babies’

When visitors enter Michele's home, they are often shocked by the number of rats they encounter, but Michele said her 'babies' quickly win them over

When visitors enter Michele’s home, they are often shocked by the number of rats they encounter, but Michele said her ‘babies’ quickly win them over

‘I have a heart for them so right now I have four German Shepherds – two I bought as puppies, and two were rescue dogs.

‘I do tend to rescue animals, so my ex-husband calls me Dr Doolittle. I take care of them; I take them to the vet.

‘Before I had, two sheep, two goats, 25 chickens and about 15 ducks and geese.

‘I was in the US Army and became disabled, so I was taking care of them by myself, and it became a lot so I gave them to new homes.

‘I used to rescue cats, feral cats, I took care of them and rehomed them. I really do have a heart for animals.’

Despite many people being turned off by rats, Michelle says hers usually win people over in the end

Despite many people being turned off by rats, Michelle says hers usually win people over in the end

She knows some people can't get passed the idea of the stigma but believes they are kind hearted animals

She knows some people can’t get passed the idea of the stigma but believes they are kind hearted animals

Michele used to have two sheep, two goats, 25 chickens and about 15 ducks and geese but the US Army veteran became disabled and was unable to care for them by herself

Michele used to have two sheep, two goats, 25 chickens and about 15 ducks and geese but the US Army veteran became disabled and was unable to care for them by herself 

Michele would like to change people's predisposed idea about rats, who think that they're dirty, diseased animals

Michele would like to change people’s predisposed idea about rats, who think that they’re dirty, diseased animals

'All my rats have a good temperament, so I'll introduce somebody to one of them and I usually win them over, or the rats win them over,' she said

‘All my rats have a good temperament, so I’ll introduce somebody to one of them and I usually win them over, or the rats win them over,’ she said 

When visitors enter Michele’s home, they are often shocked by the number of rats they encounter, but Michele and her babies quickly win them over.

She said: ‘Some people are very open, but others not so much.

‘Some people have a predisposed idea about rats, they think that they’re dirty, diseased animals.

‘All my rats have a good temperament, so I’ll introduce somebody to one of them and I usually win them over, or the rats win them over.

‘But some people just can’t get passed the idea of the stigma.

‘A lot of people have changed their minds and they surprisingly want them as pets.’

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