Dog owners in New York are gathering to control the rat population in the city by using their pets to hunt the rodents.
The Ryders Alley Trencher-fed Society (RATS) group hunts down rats in the dark alleys of Manhattan and other boroughs and say the nuisance rat population is taking a hit.
After the dogs make a kill with a bite or a shake, they take the rats to their owners, who throw the night's kill into a rubbish bin.
While the pet owners may see it as a way to keep their dogs in top form, PETA spokesman Martin Mersereau calls the quests "a twisted blood sport masquerading as rodent control."
But Richard Reynolds, who is considered RATS organiser told Associated Press that "there are lots of worse things that people do to rats," noting that poisons can sicken the animals for hours.
There is no official estimate of how many rats roam the streets, basements, parks and subways of New York.
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