Welcome to the RFL

The RFL is a small club of made up of enthusiastic fanciers of the domestic fancy rat. We are breeders, showers, and pet owners dedicated to furthering the knowledge of these wonderful animals, learning more, and showing safely and ethically in the Great Lakes area.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to promote ethical and responsible ownership, care, breeding and showing of fancy rats, encouraging our members to excel to the highest possible standards. We encourage fanciers to take an active role in encouraging ethical ownership, educating the public about the merits of rats as pets, and having an open and honest dialogue with other rat fanciers in order to improve the rat fancy as a whole.


The Rat Fanciers of the Lakes and the North Illinois Rat Organization originally joined together to form URSA: United Rat Standards Affiliation. In this multi-club affiliation, members of both clubs attended shows hosted by both clubs, exhibited their rats, gained points and titles, and shared in fellowship in the greater region. Working closely with NIRO, we originated a set of standards which all members use to exhibit their rats. The North American Rat Registry (NARR) recognizes and records our titles.

Though NIRO has dissolved as a club, URSA still exists and RFL will continue to hold bi-annual shows under its aegis.

Pet Rat Support

Because all of our members love and cherish the rat first and foremost because it is a wonderful pet, intelligent, affectionate, and deserving of respect, we attract and support members whose only role in the rat fancy is that of pet ownership. We offer pet-only classes in shows as well as allowing non-breeding animals to be shown in conformation, and photo shows. Additionally, our Facebook Page and articles are a great source of information for any rat owner!

Breeder Support

Because we are, first and foremost, a fancier's club with a strong emphasis on ethical, knowledgeable and responsible breeding, we offer a strong knowledge base and support system for breeders. We offer hosted articles, the Fancy Rat Wiki, and breeders with years of experience on our Board of Directors.
-- Encourage the adoption of a specific and recognized type and standard of rat to breed toward,

-- Encourage responsible placement of young rats with conscientious adopters and the use of adoption contracts,

-- Urge our judges to judge to a high standard of merit and raise the bar every year,

-- Support all affiliated shows with our time, energy, and help, and encourage all of our members to do the same,

-- Hold strongly the priority of safety first in all matters of showing, with stringent pre-show isolation rules, observing good husbandry, and closely following all rules for showing and handling rats at any get-together where they are present.

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Page last updated: September 23, 2012