Add ‘Rat Hunting’ To List Of Things To Do With Your Dog — Only In NYC

Only in New York City. Today’s Wall Street Journal has a must-read profile of NYC owner-dog dynamic duo – and avid rat hunters – Elias Schewel and his mixed breed dog, “Sundrop.” Mr. Schewel is part of a group called the Ryders Alley Trencher-Fed Society (yes, R.A.T.S.), according to the profile.

“The alley,” the WSJ explains in a remarkable parenthetical, “is a favorite rat-filled area, and ‘trencher fed’ is a hunting term used for hounds that are cared for individually and brought together as a pack on hunting days.”

With NYC’s massive budget cuts to almost every program, including the Sanitation Department’s rat reduction program,  NYC’s rat sightings have been on the uptick since the first phase of its reopening, according to 311 data. For “Sundrop” and Mr. Schewel, the cityscape has never looked better.

“A favorite destination is the Lower East Side. The hunters meet there with their dogs, and go from trash pile to trash pile,” according to the Journal.

“Now working alone, [Schewel] has been hunting more frequently, gathering up Sundrop’s kills to drop off in front of Gracie Mansion, the New York City mayor’s residence, in what he describes as his own form of protest against police brutality,” the profile continues.

Really worth reading in full. TCR recommends this profile highly.