Hero RATS are My Heroes

My Certificate from Hero Rats

My Certificate from Hero Rats

Those of you who played #RodentJeopardy with me on twitter probably remember that while the main purpose of the game was to have fun, it was also to benifit my new favorite charity, HeroRATS. HeroRATS is an amazing organization. They train rats to find landmines in Africa and to search through samples faster than a human can blink an eye in order to detect tuberculosis. I’ll be honest with you, they make me proud to be a rodent.


Here’s a copy of the email they sent to my owner when she made the donation:

Dear Melanie,

I was so suprised to see your creative idea – Rodent Jeopardy – and your wonderful contribution to our team!  I’m writing to thank you for your donation and dedication to our HeroRAT’s work.  Please see the attached certificate we completed in Caplin’s name! We are deeply honored by your interest and support and want to ensure you it will go to good use.

Currently in Mozambique we are one year ahead of schedule on our task to clear the entire Gaza province by 2014.  We have already made major impacts on neighboring villages by opening up farmland, roads, and the land needed for electricity to reach a village of 10,000 Mozambicans.

Here in Tanzania we are working to address the deadliest of diseases. Tuberculosis takes more lives than any other and particularly those of women and people living with HIV.  What’s worse, it kills at a young age, at the height of people’s productivity and family responsibilities.  The work of our HeroRATs has increased detection rates at four hospitals in Tanzania by 31% and our rats can process 40 samples in four minutes – the same number a technician can do in an entire day!

We do hope you will stay in touch!  We always want to hear from you and are happy to answer any questions you might have.  If you’d like monthly updates on our progress and all the exciting advances happening at APOPO, please feel free to sign up for our e-newsletter at  If you have any questions, you can always reach me at

When we first began this project, people laughed at our ‘unique technology’.  Now that we have proven our HeroRATS’ incredible abilities and shown the world what they can do, we enjoy that people laugh along with us!

Thanks again for your support and please say hi to Caplin for us!

Best wishes,

Kara Schnoes on behalf of the HeroRATS team

A Hero Rat at work

A Hero Rat at work

They really sound like nice people and they do such great work. And not just for humans! They are also helping to give rats and rodents in general a better public image. So if you have any spare change this holiday season and you’re looking for a good cause, look no further! Be a hero and donate to HeroRATS!

3 comments to Hero RATS are My Heroes

  • Christie

    Thanks so much for bringing Hero Rats to my attention. It is a great charity for humanitarians who also happen to have a soft spot for rodents

  • so this can be what will become of darwanism
    (Approved: 2010/07/19)

  • Zaphod

    I have a bit of a problem with involving rats. Rats are highly intelligent – Gambian giant rats, even more so – and have been shown to be capable of metacognition, and that’s just under current testing. Is it just to use creatures who are, by many definitions, at the top of the evolutionary chain, for such a task? To clean up after stupid human problems? It isn’t their problem, and they’re progressing. Use your own damn kids to look for mines. It’s not our concern.

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