STEELTON, Pa. (WHTM) – Steelton Police are investigating the dumping of a large number of rats.

Police say the incident was reported on Oct. 6 on the 800 block of North Front Street. Officers found individuals collecting the rats and it’s not known at this time where the rats came from.

Volunteers heard about the rats and came to offer their support. “They need help. They need homes. They need people willing to take them. They are defenseless. They don’t have shelter or food,” said Bethany Pascoe, a volunteer.

Pascoe has spent a few days collecting the rats, but says they are not quite what you would expect.

“These guys are super friendly.  A normal rat, a sewer rat that you would see, would not approach you. They would not come anywhere near you,” Pascoe added.

The volunteers believe these rats deserve a second chance. “These are the most intelligent, loveable creatures you could find and of course when somebody hears rat it’s an instant ‘Oh my god,’ but they are precious,” said Lisa Guyer, another volunteer.

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Steelton Police and the Harrisburg Humane Society are investigating the incident, trying to pin down where these rats were and who dumped them.  According to police, there are many rats near a homeless encampment in Harrisburg.

Anyone with information on where the rats came from can report anonymously by calling 717-939-9841 or by emailing Officer Monroy at amonroy@steeltonpa.com.