Film Ratatouille blamed for unwanted rats

A county animal charity has blamed a children's film for a big rise in the number of unwanted rats.

Northamptonshire Animals Need Nurturing and Adoption (NANNA) has received 40 abandoned rats since Christmas. The charity believes a Disney film is, in part, to blame for the increase in unwanted rodents.

Ratatouille, a Pixar animation film which was released in the UK before Christmas, tells the story of Rmy, a rat in France, who dreams of becoming a gourmet chef.

Petrina Alderman, a spokeswoman for the charity, said: "We've got 18 rats in at the moment, which is quite a lot.

"I think this is partly down to the film. The thing is, children go to the cinema and there's a cute rat talking and they then want one. We've all experienced that."

The charity has been helped to cope with the influx of animals by a 3,000 cheque from The University of Northampton, which had made NANNA its charity for 2007.

The money, which was raised through a host of fund-raising activities, will be used to replace two outdoor pens.

Ms Alderman said: "It's fantastic, we're over the moon. We not only got 3,000 but some fantastic volunteers."

The charity is also holding a sponsored dog walk at Sywell Country Park on February 3. For more information visit click here