Dog on the rat track, keeping province rat free

BROOKS — Saskatchewan might be having a bit of a rat infestation problem but a Jack Russell terrier in southeastern Alberta did its part to keep the province rat free last week.

BROOKS — Saskatchewan might be having a bit of a rat infestation problem but a Jack Russell terrier in southeastern Alberta did its part to keep the province rat free last week.

After seeing one of the dreaded rodents disembark from a transport truck on Aug. 20 in Brooks, Eric and Ida Musgrove put their dog Roxy on its trail.

After a short altercation, the rat was dispatched by theterrier, which has been bred for such tasks.

However, containing and destroying rats in the Brooks area is something Todd Green, fieldman for Newell County, said is serious business.

“As long as we are always vigilant and watching for them we can generally take care of (the rats) before they become an infestation,” Green said.

According to media reports, Swift Current in Saskatchewan has been experiencing increased attention due to growing rat infestation problem which has lead to more concern by Alberta farmers and ranchers who haven’t seen a major rat problem in 50 years.

Cypress County assistant fieldman Geoff Brotherton said Alberta continues to be rat free despite the growing concern in Saskatchewan.

Brotherton said his range of responsibilities include looking for rats coming into the province stretches from the U.S. border north nearly 200 kilometres along Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary.

“But if I get a call that someone has seen a rat, it’s not, ‘well, I’ll get to it tomorrow,’ ” he said. “It’s drop what I’m doing and go.”

He added that even though the calls he has received so far have turned out to be muskrats or even gophers, all reports get checked out.

Rob Pulyk, inspector with Alberta Agriculture’s “Rat Patrol” program, said Albertans take pride in being rat free and always cooperate in reporting the rodents.

The program, which was begun more than 50 years ago, specializes in eradicating rats within provincial boundaries.

“We have a heightened awareness of (rats) and (the program) has worked so well for us,” he said.

“When there is a situation elsewhere, Albertans take notice and it brings the program to the forefront and people are pretty comfortable that the program is working well.”

As for “Rat Killer” Roxy, Newell County rewarded her efforts with a bag of doggie treats.

Just Posted

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

Red Deer fire station up for sale

Home sweet home at Fire Station 4

Most surveyed Innisfail residents give urban chickens the thumbs up

Town of Innisfail will discuss whether to allow backyard chickens on Monday

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Sky’s the limit as Calgary opens testing area for drones and new technologies

CALGARY — The sky’s the limit as the city of Calgary opens… Continue reading

Hi Mickey, ‘Bye Mickey: 6 Disney parks on 2 coasts in 1 day

ORLANDO, Fla. — Heather and Clark Ensminger breathed sighs of relief when… Continue reading

Court weighs ‘Apprentice’ hopeful’s suit versus Trump

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s lawyers hope to persuade an appeals… Continue reading

StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine

SAN FRANCISCO — StarKist Co. agreed to plead guilty to a felony… Continue reading

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation slowed more than expected in… Continue reading

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

CALGARY — A jury has convicted a Calgary couple in the death… Continue reading

Most Read