A Providence man who abandoned nearly 300 rats on the side of a road has been ordered to pay $1,000 restitution and perform 50 hours of community service.

Toby Duffany pleaded no contest on Wednesday to animal abandonment.

Authorities say the 22-year-old Duffany left 280 rats crammed into aquariums and cages by the side of a Foster road last month. By the time they were discovered Dec. 30, the animals had been there several days, 72 were dead and the survivors had resorted to cannibalism.

The living rats were euthanized by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Duffany said in court he got rid of the rats because they could not live in his apartment with his new baby.

An RISPCA official tells The Providence Journal the punishment was disappointing.