Okay, chalk this up to "News of the Weird". From the Chicago Tribune:
VP candidate's parents are professional rat killers, helped in 9/11 response
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ More than six years before Sarah Palin visited ground zero as the Republican vice presidential nominee, her parents were there as part of the response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — trapping rats.
Chuck and Sally Heath have been part-time U.S. Department of Agriculture wildlife specialists for the past 15 years, traveling throughout Alaska trapping or killing animals. They've eradicated rat infestations, shooed geese from runways and killed foxes that were keeping threatened Canada geese from nesting.
In January 2002, they went to New York City for a two-week assignment that fit their specialty. Their job was to make sure birds and rats did not disturb the debris from the collapsed World Trade Center towers that was being searched by forensic teams for human remains in Staten Island's Fresh Kills landfill.
They used snap-traps to catch mice and rats and pyrotechnics to scare off the gulls. If the birds persisted, the couple shot them as a last resort, Chuck Heath told The Associated Press on Thursday.
You just can't make up this kind of thing.
Here is supposedly a picture of Palin's parents' living room:
I can't see the stuffed trophy rats anywhere, though .... maybe they're in another room.
And just for kicks, you've gotta see this, from a Sarah Palin Tribue website:
Which is apparently something you can actually buy. Good lord.
Sorta fits, no? Starting to make sense, where she got the "let's kill animals!" thing.
UPDATE: As other commentors have pointed out, there's a lot more on Chuck Heath in Kagro X's diary here. The guy's a real piece of work. As Verstand points out below:
Running over wolves he'd already shot with his snowmobile so he could shoot them again? Forcing his daughters to get hunting permits/tags so he could kill more animals under them? Now this. He sounds like a lunatic.