Meet the fearless dogs solving NYC’s rat problem

These dogs are making conditions ruff out there for New York City rats.
The Ryder’s Alley Trencher-fed Society, more commonly known as R.A.T.S., is a group of vigilante pups and their devoted owners who venture out into the dark New York City streets for the sole purpose of tracking and killing pesky rodents.

“Terriers have an innate sense to do this, it’s in their genes,” Rat Master and R.A.T.S. founder Richard Reynolds told The Post.

The group goes out as often as possible and always responds to any citizen’s call, never accepting money, and almost always delivering results.

Every so often, a city official whispers in their ear about a rat problem area and R.A.T.S. shows up to get the job done.

“We have a policy, any time we get a call or an email or anything, we at least go check it out,” Reynolds said. They’re willing to make house calls, and typically make it out as a group about once a week.

R.A.T.S. has been around for more than 25 years, but rat hunting for terriers and dachshunds, which make up the group, is nothing new.

Historically, these canines were bred to sniff out rats and eradicate them. Even Teddy Roosevelt’s terrier, Scamp, used to hunt rats in the White House cellars and lower floors, as mentioned in “Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children.”

By going out into the vermin-infested alleys and garbage heaps of New York, the owners enable their dogs to fulfill what they were born to do. It’s less about killing rats and more about their dogs’ delight.

“They think hunting is just fabulous,” Dr. Trudy Kawami, who started taking her wire-haired dachshunds to Prospect Park 30 years ago to sniff out rodents with the group, told The Post.