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Inside The Vigilante Group Of New Yorkers Who Hunt Rats At Night (HBO)

Rats aren’t only a part of New York City’s underground — they’re an inseparable part of its pop culture. There’s Master Splinter from the Ninja Turtles, Pizza Rat, and even Cannibal Rat. But for every celebrity rat, there’s another 250,000 to 2 million anonymous rodents living in the city — and the city health department is fighting to bring down.

The battle can be deadly. Last year, three people in a Bronx city block contracted leptospirosis through rat urine. Only two survived.

To combat the problem, Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a $32 million initiative to rid New York of its signature rodents, concentrating on hyper-infested areas that the city describes as “rat reservoirs.”

Multiple city agencies are currently focusing their efforts around public housing buildings, where they plan to replace dirt basement floors, block passageways and amp up trapping, baiting and poisoning efforts.They also apply dry ice to the rats’ burrow systems, effectively suffocating them as the carbon dioxide gets released while the ice melts.

But if all else fails, a small group of dedicated rat hunters are ready to step in.

When dusk settles, Richard Reynolds and his vigilante rat hunters known as “The Ryders Alley Trencher-Fed Society” — or R.A.T.S for short — roam lower Manhattan’s streets and dumpsters, keeping their dogs’ instincts sharp and the hunting tradition alive.

In the three decades Richard has been hunting rats with his dogs, he says he must have killed thousands of rats. But he doesn’t really keep track.

A hunter through and through, he only counts the ones that get away.

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49 thoughts on “Inside The Vigilante Group Of New Yorkers Who Hunt Rats At Night (HBO)

  1. When dusk settles, Richard Reynolds and his vigilante rat hunters known as “The Ryders Alley Trencher-Fed Society” — or R.A.T.S for short — roam lower Manhattan’s streets and dumpster.
    WATCH NEXT: This Is What An Ivory Bust Looks Like In NYC – http://bit.ly/2uKZI8K

  2. lol there's just nothing a rat can do facing a dog, the dogs are way faster, they can't really hide the dogs will sniff them out, and all it takes is one quick chomp for the dogs to snap the spine of a rat, even if it plays dead the dog will still give it a chomp looking for a squeak, then you add a pack of dogs and some human brain power to the mix and the rats are just so fucked. The rats only real survival strategy is to have so many offspring to the point where their predators don't have enough stomach capacity to eat all of them (even then the dogs will still kill them just for the fun of it, the dogs aren't killing them because they're hungry they just like killing rats) sucks to be a rat, eating garbage and hiding in sewers because everything can and will kill you on sight, the only thing rats are good at is making babies and teaching turtles how to be ninja's

  3. Cry havoc! And let slip the dogs of war!

    Sorry. Had to. Honestly, it looks like a great deal of fun among friends and their pups. Besides, you can't usually bring your little friend to the nightclub with you, and this is certainly cheaper and more healthy than getting drunk and puking in the alleyway on your way home.

  4. I'd suggest they be careful. With the corrupt, socialist government of New York violating the constitution more and more every day I assure you they will outlaw airguns soon. I mean, they've outlawed large cokes, cigarettes and thinking so I'm sure airguns aren't far behind.

  5. I have fobia on rats I don’t know why I’m watching this 😨😨😰😰I would never go to New York ever it’s hard to watch this most off the video I was closing my eyes and not touching the phone 😰😰😰😰😖😖

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