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Urge Dog-Training Center to Cancel Cruel Rat-Hunting Event ! PLEASE TAKE ACTION ! !

Animals  (tags: animals, AnimalWelfare, cruelty, environment, protection, suffering )

- 1927 days ago -
Barn hunting is a new "sport," apparently developed to give dogs the chance to "hunt" rats. During Barn Hunt events, live rats are forced inside small tubes, which are then hidden amongst bales of straw. Dogs are encouraged to seek out the tubes by scent

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Cher C (1426)
Friday March 15, 2013, 10:17 am

The Columbia Canine Sports Center, a training facility for dogs, is scheduled to host several "Barn Hunt" events this year. Barn hunting is a new "sport," apparently developed to give dogs the chance to "hunt" rats. During Barn Hunt events, live rats are forced inside small tubes, which are then hidden amongst bales of straw. Dogs are encouraged to seek out the tubes by scent.

Rats are highly sentient and intelligent animals who excel at learning and understanding concepts. They are extremely loyal and social, become attached to each other, and love their own families. While Barn Hunt proprietors claim that these animals are not physically harmed during these events, rats are extremely sensitive to noise, vibrations, sudden movements, and the sound and smell of dogs whom rats naturally view as predators. Imagine being confined to a small space without any means of escape, subjected to frightening noises and sensations, and placed in close quarters with giant predators. No doubt that this is a terrifying experience for the rats!

Please contact the Columbia Canine Sports Center and urge them to cancel Barn Hunt events. Remind management that there are plenty of activities that do not cause extreme stress to other animals.

Please send polite comments to:

Virginia Huxley, Owner
Columbia Canine Sports Center


Angelika R (143)
Friday March 15, 2013, 11:36 am
Rat hunting at your Training Center

Dear Ms. Huxley,

I read about your training center and this absolutely inappropriate method of training dogs.
I am asking that you please stop abusing rats by frightening and traumatizing them, leaving no space to escape or move. If you argue this is not causing any physical harm to the rats I disagree with this. Like humans, rats will experience this as terrifying and suffer just like we would.
Please choose another way of sports activity to train dogs from the wide range that exists.

Thank you very much.


Ruth C (87)
Friday March 15, 2013, 11:41 am
I wish people would just let animals be animals and live in peace!!

Mandi T (367)
Friday March 15, 2013, 11:58 am
I don't believe in this type of training for dogs. It's noto appropriate.

Amy E (66)
Friday March 15, 2013, 12:59 pm
Email sent!

naomi cohen (55)
Friday March 15, 2013, 1:13 pm
this is so abusive and cruel. imagine being trapped, nowhere to go, and a vicious animal is hungry. signed. thank you, cher.

Carol H (229)
Friday March 15, 2013, 1:22 pm
action to be taken, thanks Cher

Beth M (138)
Friday March 15, 2013, 1:50 pm

Julie E (405)
Friday March 15, 2013, 1:50 pm
E-mail sent! Thank you Angelika :)

Angelika R (143)
Friday March 15, 2013, 1:59 pm
lol Julie-I just copied the email I have sent -but guess the lady will not mind getting 2 or more of the kind ^^ ;-)

Angelika R (143)
Friday March 15, 2013, 2:24 pm
This is what you will most likely receive if you've sent your letter:


I am not going to get into an argument with you but I would like to share a few truths. First, you are absolutely correct that rats are very sensitive creatures - they are also incredibly smart and know when they are safe and secure. I have worked with rats for many decades and respect them fully. First of all, please understand that the rats in the correct containers (the tubes described in barn hunt, for example) can not be picked up by the dogs or broken into. No dog's tooth, for example, can enter their space yet they have bedding and lots of ventilation. Our rats have been known to preen or go to sleep while the terriers are raising all sorts of a ruckus - not behaviors associated with undo stress. Further, in barn hunt most of the dogs are silent - that makes sense because were the rats actually loose and able to run, undue noise would tell them the idiot dog was coming. Instead you see hunting stealth and having the rats in a container allows their live scent to be emanated without being made vulnerable. Lastly, I have acted as a rat handler in the barn hunt situation and switched the rats out between a series of runs. You do not find signs of stress - they allow handling to transfer to their crate for rest, food & water; there are no signs of excess wetting or diarrhea for example or refusal to move back into a tube.

Finally, finding rat urine is not the point as the dog must distinguish between a tube containing soiled bedding and one with the live animal just as a cadaver dog distinguishes between a live and dead human and between a dead human and the remains of another species.

In fairness, there are sports that permit killing of the rats at the end of the day - Barnhunt does not allow or condone this behavior and I, personally, would not act as a judge for such an activity. I appreciate your concern and willingness to express an opinion, but please do not dismiss the activity out of hand.

I understand that the call to alert about the barnhunt sport came from PETA - Obviously you are an intellegent, concerned individual so I urge you to learn more about how your good sentiments are being manipulated. One source of alternative, but caring, information can be found at


Virginia H. Huxley PhD

Angelika R (143)
Friday March 15, 2013, 2:32 pm
I emailed back to thank her for her information, much appreciated. The info she points at is not new to me and has been posted here on C2 as well. But if it were not for such action alerts we would not hear what this reply tells us. I am satisfied with this answer.

Thomas P (280)
Friday March 15, 2013, 2:40 pm
Noted and emailed Ms. Huxley...thanks Cher

. (0)
Friday March 15, 2013, 2:45 pm

Connie O (44)
Friday March 15, 2013, 3:00 pm
I am glad the rats are not physically harmed, but I still think the fear factor for them must be pretty high.

Ruth M (235)
Friday March 15, 2013, 4:04 pm
Noted & email sent

Natalie V (27)
Friday March 15, 2013, 4:11 pm
noted / sent

Past Member (0)
Friday March 15, 2013, 4:56 pm
Noted only after reading Angelikas post

Animae C (514)
Friday March 15, 2013, 8:35 pm
Email sent to Virginia Huxley but after reading the response Angelika received... dunno.

James Merit (144)
Friday March 15, 2013, 8:52 pm
Thank you Angelikas for info and Cher for post.

Friday March 15, 2013, 11:08 pm
Noted. Thanks Angelika for the info. Thanks Cher

Marie W (67)
Friday March 15, 2013, 11:14 pm

Danuta W (1250)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 3:07 am

Past Member (0)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 3:49 am
Why should the dogs be trained in this way?

Kelly D (46)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 4:58 am

Anna Undebeck (256)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 4:58 am
Noted and sent email. Thanks Cher!

Past Member (0)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 5:19 am
Mrs. Huxley, these brutal and inhuman methods they still agree in the 21st century? This reminds me of ancient Rome: lions face a man who has no chance. He died shredded, crushed bones. I frissone when I think about it, as if I were in the position of the rat. I ask you to think about what an animal feels in this cruel situation and abandon the practice worthy of another age. I pray you, Madam, accept my best regards

Ilona a (51)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 6:45 am
noted, thanks

Harshita Sharma (137)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 7:44 am

Sandi C (98)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 7:57 am

PlsNoMessage se (588)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 9:34 am

Ann P (17)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 9:56 am
Signed. L♡ve ☮ Peace.

Reem K (4)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 10:13 am

End CrueltyDeb Williams-Shepard (154)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 10:14 am
Noted/Email sent ... I urge a better, non-lethal method of dog training other then using live animals, such as rats.

Elizabeth M (65)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 10:42 am
Noted and polite email sent.
Thank you for posting the reply you received Angelika.

Valerie H (133)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 12:09 pm
Thank you signed...along with other PETA petitions.

Leslene Dunn (84)
Monday March 18, 2013, 12:36 am
Noted and signed - why don't they use all the wicked humans instead of rats - God know there are enough of them, this whole earth is plagued by them.

Laura T (105)
Sunday July 27, 2014, 4:27 pm
omg I just heard about this.
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