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Massachusetts woman overwhelmed by 71 rats hands them to shelter

BOSTON (Reuters) - A Massachusetts woman who bought two rats to save them from being fed to snakes ended up handing over 71 rodents to a Boston animal shelter on Friday after uncontrolled breeding left her with dozens more rats than she bargained for.

The woman from Cape Cod surrendered the 71 rats to the MSPCA-Angell Adoption Center in Boston where they are now undergoing veterinary exams, the center said.

The woman intended to do a good deed -- she purchased the pair from a pet store to save them from a fate of snake food, it said.

The animal center said the rats are young and appear to be in good condition. It expects to put them up for adoption after determining they are free from disease.

The rats will join 94 hamsters already looking for homes after being surrendered to another branch of the animal rescue group less than a week ago, the MSPCA said on its website.

(Reporting By Lauren Keiper; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)