It's not cool to abandon an animal that you have cared for in your home as a pet. It is not humane. It is in some cases, against the law, I think. And if it isn't, it should be.
When I was a kid my siblings and I gave homes to a wide variety of abandoned animals. Including the usual dogs and cats we also had snakes, ducks, hamsters, gerbils, chameleon's and goldfish.
Each and every one was left by the side of the street, thrown off the back of a pick-up (!), given up at the end of a school year or handed to us in a shoebox by a parent who was not thrilled by their kid's birthday party treat bag. DO NOT EVER give someone a rodent or goldfish as a treat unless you ask parental permission first. If you do, you will never receive a positive RSVP to an invite again.
In the past many animals have been abandoned at Brooksvale Park where I am employed as a Nature Educator. Kittens, domestic rabbits and domesticated rats have been the most recent orphans. In each case, none of them are native to the park and it's environs.
Kittens dropped at the park do not become barn cats to keep mice populations in check as many humans think. They become feral cats, mating with your cat who got out of the house "just for a minute", finding homes under your shed or in your garage and spraying to mark their territory and many times, they become a meal for a coyote or fox.
Domestic rabbits do not hop off into the brush to join a warren of rabbits living in the forest. If they even make it out of the field they were left in and do not become an owl or a hawk's dessert at dusk, they have never been taught by a mother how to forage for food or hide from predators. With no natural camoflage (native bunnies are mostly shades of brown), a white bunny looks pretty much like a marshmallow sitting atop a chocolate cake! Contrary to popular opinion we cannot adopt the bunnies you no longer want, we only have so many condos in our Rabbitat and rarely a vacancy!
Rats? Well, they are rats. Some people like them for pets, others for research. Not wanting to get into a debate about this species I'll just say though Stuart Little, Mousehunt and Ratatouille were really cute movies, no one really wanted one to be crawling up their leg in the parking lot! We did not appreciate the feed it was stealing from our barn either!
If you have an animal that you find you can no longer care for, PLEASE call your local Animal Control officer or go to the State of CT DEEP website for a listing of those who can adopt them or find them homes.
To reassure you, we found homes for all the above abandoned animals, even the rat!