The Greater Moncton SPCA is overrun with rats.

Not the kind that scurry through city streets looking for garbage.

The animal shelter has cages and cages of domesticated rats, ready for adoption.

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Dave Rogers, Executive Director of the Greater Moncton SPCA holding one of the many rats that will take part in the rat-a-thon. (Kate Letterick/CBC News )

A pet owner surrendered a large group of rats, and about half of them were pregnant, said Dave Rogers, executive director of the shelter.

"We now have in the vicinity of 25 rats that are looking for homes," Rogers said. "There's some little rats who are newborn from the last few months and then there's some older rats."

In an effort to find the rats new homes, the SPCA is trying something new: a "rat-a-thon".

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There are no puppies available for adoption so the rat cages are taking up the space. (Kate Letterick/CBC News )

Roger said it's common to take cats and dogs to a pet store for an "adopt-a-thon".

So that's what the SPCA will be doing — with rats — on Sunday afternoon at PetSmart in Moncton.

Rogers admitted that rats are not an easy sell.

"Well, as you're aware, rats are not kittens, they're not little bundles of fur and purr," he said. "You have to be a person who particularly likes rodents, maybe somebody who's had gerbils or hamsters and, you know, moves up to a rat." Rogers said.

"I'd like to see them all find homes, but I'm shooting for 50 percent. If we can get 12, 14 rats adopted that'll be a great day for us."

Right now, there are no puppies for adoption, so the rat cages are taking up that space, as well as some of the room where the rabbits are kept.

Rogers said rats require food, an enclosure and shavings. They are curious and enjoy a little attention from humans, he said.

Rogers hopes people will drop in to the rat-a-thon.

"We're going to go ahead and try it and if it works, well, then maybe we'll do it again." Rogers said.

The adoption fee for a rat is $10.