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‘My kitchen has been torn apart by foot-long rats that look like small cats’

A horrified tenant claims his kitchen has been "torn apart" by "foot-long" rats who have chewed through his furniture.

Michael Rutherford, 57, from Grimsby, Lincolnshire, says he hasn't been able to eat or sleep since the rodents first invaded his home at the start of September.

But the conditions became terribly worse yesterday morning(Wednesday, October 26), when he saw a rat which he insists resembled a "small cat" in his kitchen.

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His clothes have been ripped to shreds, and he claims each time he steps into the room he is confronted by the smell of urine, Grimsby Live reports.

Michael, who is disabled after suffering a stroke in 2019, said he was left "frightened to death" to find the deceased creature behind his washing machine and that it looked like a "small cat".

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He said: "When I got up I saw something and I just thought it was a shadow, but when I pulled the washing machine back I saw this massive rat, it was like a small cat. I shut the kitchen door and thought, 'What do I do?'.

"I managed to take two photographs of it and then rang my sister and she came all the way from Barton (around eight miles away). It frightened me to death, it was huge."

Michael, who has lived in the house for 22 years, said he contacted his housing provider, Sanctuary Housing.

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A pest control worker was subsequently sent to his property to dispose of the creature, making it the fifth time that pest control has visited since the beginning of September.

Initially, rat poison was left only in Michael's garden because he has a pet dog, but workers then scattered the poison inside his home after the situation did not improve.

The distressed tenant said he now has to tie his bathroom door to his front room door at night with a scarf to ensure his elderly dog, who is 14, cannot access anywhere in the house where the rat poison is laid.

A spokesperson for Sanctuary Housing said staff will be visiting Michael's property again in the coming days and that they remain "committed" to supporting him.

On November 10, workers are set to dismantle his kitchen, fill in any holes where the rats are coming from and put the same kitchen back together.

But Michael said the entire kitchen smells of rat urine and is "full of holes". He claims he should be fitted with a new kitchen since his current one is 32 years old.

He previously said: "That kitchen is falling to bits, it smells like rat urine and is full of holes. And November 10 is too far away. I've rung about eight times and told them I'm going to have a breakdown, that I want to move out of the property – but I've got nowhere to go. It's madness."

A spokesperson for Sanctuary Housing added: “We are in regular contact with Mr Rutherford and last month employed a pest control contractor to investigate this issue and offer him support.

“The contractor carried out a follow-up visit on Friday 21 October, will be visiting again this week and we remain committed to working with Mr Rutherford and our contractor to ensure this issue is resolved.”


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