Vincent the Therapy Rat
February 2018 - October 2020
Xavier's Brother
Therapy Rat, Read With Me
Therapy Career: 97 hours, 947 people visited, traveled 2464 miles for events

Vincent was adopted with his brother Xavier in early 2018 by Abby Chesnut and trained for therapy work. This was Abby’s second therapy rat and he was perfect for this work thanks to his laid-back personality and his love of people. Abby and Vincent became certified near the end of the year and began visiting college students for finals week to aid in destressing. Eventually, Abby started a reading program where elementary kids would sit and read to him to increase their reading confidence. Vincent loved visiting others and especially getting treats from his admirers. Many loved seeing him in his basket ready for the next adventure. Vincent retired in late 2019 with 97 hours of volunteer work under his belt, approximately 1000 people visited, and over 2.5k miles were driven for therapy events. Sadly, Vincent was helped over the rainbow bridge in October 2020 due to cancer, but he was such a loved boy. He inspired and educated so many— from adults who wanted to start working with a therapy rat, to kids learning that rats aren’t actually all that bad. Vincent’s smile will continue to live in our hearts and memories.

Blog Post Features:

Spring 2018: Nominations & Road Trips

We have had a very productive Spring! Get comfortable because this is going to be a long post...Read More

Summer 2018: Training, Evaluation, Cake, & Blessings

This summer has been great! Training a therapy rat in the hot months definitely has its drawbacks, but we made it. Time for cooler weather and rat burritos!...Read More

Books, Balloons, & Birthdays

Vincent's career is going very well! While these blog posts are more on the seasonal side, you can always follow us on your favorite social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr) to keep up to date on our adventures...Read More

Rats Make Me Boggle

I came up with the t-shirt design and my sister Lily Chesnut designed the adorable Vincent face in the middle. Go give her Facebook some love!...Read More

Summer 2019: Rainbows, Reading, & Rescue

This summer has been CRAZY! From going on TV, radio, being featured in newspapers, magazines, and online articles, to finishing up our Reading Rats program, and even rescuing a pet rat in distress!...Read More

Fall 2019: Berry, Blessings, & Dallas, De-Stressings

It's been almost two years since I updated our blog since life has gotten so busy. I finally got a break so it is time for a proper update!...Read More

2020: Cancer & Causes, Passings & Pride

2020 was really something! For most of all of 2020, I was working part-time and then full-time so we were less involved with things, but here is everything that happened in the world of Healing Whiskers during 2020...Read More

Spring & Summer 2021: Summer Reading & Second Chances

With 2020 behind us, let's get into 2021...I started working full-time in 2021 so I wasn't able to do much in the early months, but let's see what we have accomplished so far...Read More

Awards, Press, and Mentions:

Nose-to-Nose Best Beyond Paws Pet Blog Finalist - BlogPaws
April 18-20, 2018

"What's Up in West Georgia" with Healing Whiskers on WGMI 1440 AM Bremen, GA
April 10, 2018

Q&A with Abby Chesnut of Healing Whiskers - It's a Rat's World Magazine
October 2018

Read With The Rat To Be At Library On Dec. 7 and Dec 21.- The Summerville News
November 29, 2018

The Dog in The Dentist Chair: And other true stories of animals who help, comfort, and love kids
January 24, 2019
The Dog in the Dentist Chair by Peggy Frezon

Healing Whiskers on The Dee Armstrong Show - WLTZ Columbus, GA
April 6th, 2018

"More Than Dogs" Pet Partners Interactions Magazine Spring 2019
April 14, 2019

"Blind Cats, Loving Llamas, and Happy Horses Prove Any Animal with a Heart Can Be a Therapy Pet" People Pets
April 30, 2019

"What's Up in West Georgia" with Healing Whiskers on WGMI 1440 AM Bremen, GA
May 1, 2019

"Inforum brings adults from seven counties" Rome News-Tribune
May 8th, 2019

Healing Whiskers on The Dee Armstrong Show - WLTZ Columbus, GA
May 10, 2019

Healing Whiskers on the 6 o'Clock News - WLTZ Columbus, GA
May 10, 2019

"Vincent the therapy rat travels to schools and libraries to help children learn to read"
May 21, 2019

"A Small Bundle of Love" Featured Teams
September 2019
A Small Bundle of Love Pet Partners

Vincent Painting - The Illustrated Rat a.k.a. Drusilla Kehl
October 2020

Heroes of Our Hearts Tribute Fund - Second Chance Heroes
October 2020

I Never Expected... - PBS American Portrait Submission
December 4, 2020

#157 and #276 - One Year of Rats Project - Kellomatic5000

Tails and Tales Adult Reading Program - Sara Hightower Regional Library System
March 2021

Tails and Tales Kids Virtual Summer Reading Program - Sara Hightower Regional Library System
June 2021