QUEENS — A pack of "vigilante" dogs who work across the city hunting and killing vermin were invited to Queens earlier this month to help sniff out local rats.
Councilman Eric Ulrich invited The Ryder's Alley Trencher-fed Society, or R.A.T.S, to Centreville, where a construction project has brought more rats and possums out of hiding, the councilman's office said.
R.A.T.S has been around for nearly 25 years and is made up of Border Terriers, Fox Terriers, Dachshunds and other dogs that have a natural ability and proper training to sniff out rodents, according to their Facebook page.
They never accept money for their rat catching, but do accept coffee and water, the dogs' owners wrote.
"Most of the dogs have day jobs as well, being show champions, agility competitors or loyal house pets," the page says. "But on weekend nights both man and beast become rat catchers."
Ulrich's office joined the rat hunters in Centreville on Aug. 4, where the dogs sniffed out a handful of vermin, including a possum.
"When my office got wind of the pesky rat problem in Centreville, we needed to take a different approach, and inviting the R.A.T.S. team seemed like a fun idea," the councilman said in a press release.
The dogs — Tanner, Merlin, Rommel, Marcus, Paco, JayJay, Lacey, Mighty, Gracie, Moz, Jiggy and Daisy — each received a "vigilante award" that included dog bones and beef jerky.
The humans, including R.A.T.S founder Richard Reynolds, received City Council citations.