FRUITPORT TWP., Mich. - The rat infestation problem in and around a Fruitport Township home isn't getting any better.
In fact, the township supervisor tells FOX 17 that there are probably more than 1,000 domesticated rats still inside the home and they're still breeding, at about the rate of 100 new rats per day.
The homeowner would not talk to FOX 17 on camera, but they said they set up large barrels to try and live-trap the remaining rats. The traps had plank walkways leading to peanut butter and food and water inside the barrels. We looked in one barrel and it had about a dozen rats trapped. Some looked to be wet and others appeared dead.
Fruitport Township Police say animal control officers or firefighters go to the house daily to feed the animals. They say animal control has not killed any rats and individual rescuers come by periodically to take some rats to shelters and homes; but time is running out.
The township supervisor said they have given the homeowner until the end of this week to "make a significant reduction" in the animals. Otherwise, they will have to order an extermination and charge the homeowner an estimated $30,000 through a tax lien.
Fruitport Township Police is handling this investigation, which has not advanced to the Muskegon County Prosecutor's office. Investigators said they have not had reports of domesticated rats spreading throughout the area. However, several neighbors said they have found one or a few domesticated rats on their property. In Muskegon Township there was one report of 25 domesticated rats dumped with food along the roadside.
Rescuers are urged to come and pick up the domesticated rats. Christine Lea Bishop, who lived in the home and ran an animal rescue there until she had to move out tells us that Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary recently took her remaining rabbits. More than 1,000 animals lived in the home, until the township deemed the structure to be unfit for human habitation.