Mystery over dead rats being left in garden

The latest rat discovered in Shirley's garden.
The latest rat discovered in Shirley's garden.

A woman is looking to solve the mystery over dead rats and food items which appear to have been left in her garden, including one rodent which had been shot.

Shirley Watters has found six dead rats in the last two years in her garden in Burntisland, prompting a number of calls to environmental health.

Shirley covered the latest rat up with a bucket until the authorities came to take it away.

Shirley covered the latest rat up with a bucket until the authorities came to take it away.

The dead rats occasionally appear in the otherwise well-kept garden, along with food items which have been thrown there, such as boiled potatoes, and cooked rice.

The most recent rat appeared on Friday, lying in the middle of her lawn.

“I find it really upsetting,” she said. “It’s a dirty thing to do. It’s clearly deliberate.

“I think it’s a low-down thing to do to anybody.

“It’s disgusting to put that in someone’s garden.”

She has lived at the property in Burntisland for eight years, but the rats have only been appearing for the last two.

After checking with neighbours to see if they had similar problems, her garden appears to be the only one which has been targeted.

Shirley (59) says the worst incident came at the end of February this year, where she found a rat on her lawn with a hole in it.

“When I found the one in February, I couldn’t talk to anyone.

“I cried all day. I couldn’t do anything, it was just so upsetting.

“I thought it had a hole where someone had lifted it with a stick, but when the man came out he said right away ‘that’s been shot’.

“One night I looked out and there are cooked potatoes lying out on my grass.

“I’ve also had rice thrown there as well. Once I found one of those fat balls for birds lying there.

“I know it’s not mine as I don’t put anything out for the birds.”

Shirley says the food is often left there after she does work in the garden or paints a fence, and attracts birds which leave a great deal of mess.

“It does hurt, but the rats is just the bottom of the pile.

“It’s thoroughly disgusting. I’ve just had enough. What a dirty rotten thing to do.”

Shirley has also spoken to the police about the rats and food items which are being left out, and an officer suggested installing CCTV in order to catch the culprit.

However the price was quoted at as high as £600. Shirley is hoping that something good can come out of highlighting the issue.

She added: “I’m hoping this will end. I’m hoping that this will shame them into stopping.”

A spokesman for Fife Council confirmed that environmental health officers had taken away six dead rats in the last two years, and added that at least one of them has been shot.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Officers have attended an address in Burntisland after environmental and antisocial behaviour complaints were received.

Advice was provided on a number of matters with further contact to be made by local officers on some issues, and details have also been passed to the council on matters under their remit.”