When the big Westminster Dog Show gets underway next Monday, three new breeds will be vying for the judges' attention. One of them: Rat Terriers.
They will no doubt enchant the TV audience, but a rescue group says stop and think before you rush right out and get one.
Janet Skinner of Palm Harbor is fostering "Wyatt" for New Rattitude Rat Terrier Rescue. He's four years old and 24 pounds of pure energy who likes nothing better than chasing a tennis ball.
Skinner says it's an active breed, and that's something you need to know before you buy or adopt.
"They do like to be kept busy. Rat Terriers are going to need somebody to take them for a walk, to play with them. If they're left alone all the time, they're gonna get bored and they're gonna get in trouble. They're terriers," she says.
New Rattitude has pages of dogs like Wyatt that need homes for a myriad of reasons. Skinner says with the breed being showcased at Westminster, they worry that people will make a snap decision and more of them will end up in rescue.
"We want to make sure people are doing their homework before they get a dog. Don't just run out the next morning to your local pet store or jump online and google Rat Terrier and make a decision that may be a little bit hasty," Skinner said.
As for Wyatt, Skinner says he gets along with all three of her dogs. He doesn't mind cats, and he's smart.
A dog trainer, Skinner is teaching him obedience, and he's even starting to learn agility. She says they are highly trainable.
"They're extremely intelligent and because they do love their people and they do want to please, it makes them very, very easy to train. This dog could be trained to do anything."
To find out more about Wyatt and New Rattitude:
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
Didn't find what you were looking for?