STEELTON, Pa. (WHTM) — More than a week since hundreds, if not thousands of domesticated rats were apparently dumped in Steelton and Harrisburg, and there are still a lot more rats than there are answers about this bizarre mystery.

abc27 has reached out to the Steelton Borough and police department several times and have not received an updated response. Still, volunteers continue working to round up and find homes for these rats.

“They have no shelter, they have no food source, no water source,” one volunteer Bethany Pascoe said.

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For almost a week, Pascoe has been collecting rats in Steelton.

“I’m starting to lose count,” she said, adding she and fellow volunteers have collected over 100 rats.

Pascoe said she heard about the large number dumped around the borough on Facebook first.

“One of my friends actually messaged me because she knows I do dog rescue and rescue other animals, so she asked if I’d be willing to help,” she said.

Now, Pascoe is housing about 50 rats herself. Others are going to foster homes or rescues, and some are at the Humane Society of Harrisburg area.

Humane society marketing director Amanda Brunish said they have accepted about a dozen. She said the rats appear to be domesticated, which raises concerns over how long they can survive outside.

“No animal that has been living in a home knows how to survive on their own. There’s of course some natural instincts that all animals and creatures have but it’s not sustainable,” she said.

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The good news is Brunish says these rats will be adoptable soon.

“They are very social creatures, they love people, they love being with other domesticated rats,” she said.

First, the humane society is performing medical and behavioral checks. Pascoe is doing the same with the rats she has collected.

However, the issue is not over. Pascoe said she knows there are still rats out there and is continuing to try and collect them. She is asking people to avoid the areas where the rats are.

“As it’s happening, [the rats] are starting to get more and more scared because more people are coming over and just wrecking the habitat, which is making [the rats] move and disperse into other locations,” she said.

Plus, a lot of the females she has collected are pregnant or have already given birth.

“In the process of me…running one or two other errands, one of the rats we caught the day before wound up having babies,” Pascoe said.

For people who want to help, Brunish and Pascoe said one of the big needs is supplies like rat bedding and rat food. Pascoe has set up and Amazon wish list and is accepting donations through PayPal at

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The top priority is still finding as many rats as possible a permanent home.

“The entire situation is really sad because they’re not being contained, they’re spreading,” Pascoe said.

There is still a lot of information abc27 is working to find, including where these rats came from, who might have dumped them and the number of rats dumped. abc27 will continue to follow up with Steelton police for more updates on their investigation.