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Alberta's rat-free status currently has a blemish on it after the discovery of three pet rodents in Calgary.

Bill Bruce with the city's bylaw department says the rats were found at two different homes.

He says the residents could be facing charges and a fine of up to $5,000 a rat.

Mr. Bruce says some people new to Alberta don't realize it's a rat-free province and that the law applies to pets as well.

Such offenders may get off with a warning.

Mr. Bruce added that the province's rat patrol is very aggressive and quickly deals with any rodents that are found.