Diane Özdamar, an illustrator, photographer and graphic designer from Montreal, Quebec who says she “cannot imagine living without art in all its forms” is trying to change the negative image of rodents through a series of photographs called ‘Fancy Rats’ which she spent years developing.
“I have been taking pictures of pet rats for years hoping to break the negative image that is often associated with these lovely animals,” she says about the pictures which include both hers and friends’ pets. “As you may see, they are far from being dirty nasty little monsters! They are actually highly intelligent social beings that love interacting with each other and their favorite humans. They are very friendly, smart, playful, they love cuddles and are very clean.”
Diane explains that the little accessories seen in the photos were specially made so they wouldn’t constrain the rats: the animals were able to remove them very easily, although most didn’t bother as they were quite cool and relaxed. The Canadian photographer explains that no animals were harmed during the making of the pictures, and that includes the ladybug who flew away soon after the photo shoot.
For those who are interested in adopting pet rats, Özdamar recommends contacting a local pet shelter as there are usually many rats waiting on new owners; she also advises to adopt at least two rats of the same sex, as this species hates being without company.