A LOCAL female in County Durham is, single-handedly, biting into a community’s rat infestation by hunting them… all by herself!
Her master, Adrian Oliver, is on a mission to rid a housing estate, near Gilesgate, of its long-standing rodent problem, by employing his nippy terrier, Tara.
The sight of rats has left parents fearing for their children’s safety, yet Tara, who looks like a teddy, has actually snared over 600 in the past year, and she once killed 42 in a day.
But 33-year-old Adrian believes Durham County Council should sort out the infestation problem and not rely on his dog.
The father-of-two said: “I am scared to let my little girl play outside because I am worried that a rat will jump on her.
“They are everywhere… in bins, cars, sheds. And they even burrow underneath people’s houses and chew through the foundations.”
He added: “But for Tara, they would, literally, be breeding like rats. We would be over-run with them, and they’d start to infect people and cause illness. But this could be avoided if the council took charge.”
Adrian and Tara work as a team, his pet pouncing after Adrian has used a machine to smoke the rats out of their hiding places.
In the past, he said, the council charged locals £40 for rat poison to be spread in the area. But this technique failed when the rats became immune to the toxin.
He believes the council should now be paying him and Tara for their exterminating services, because the rat population would, otherwise, be rife.
Adrian added: “It is disgusting. It is a really, really bad problem in this area now, and has been for the last few years.
“She may look cute and cuddly, but Tara has killed over 600 rats, some almost as big as she is.
“People have been turning to me to get Tara to sort out their rat problem. I’ve even had people wanting to buy her off me for hundreds, but I’m not interested.
“She is the best ratter in the business, yet she’s the softest dog when she is in the house with the kids. As soon as she gets outside, though, she can’t wait to get hold of those rats.”
Joanne Waller, head of Environment, Health and Consumer Protection at Durham County Council said: “We take all reports of rat infestations seriously, and, although we do not believe there is a persistent problem in this area, we would be happy to investigate should we receive further information.”
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