Purchasing exotic animals dangerous, inhumane

Extoic animals are some of the world’s most sought out pets by animal lovers and non-animal lovers alike.

But many people don’t realize the danger they bring by taking them home. It is not just dangerous for people, but also for the animals. Extoic animals are normally wild animals and aren’t meant to live in domestic homes. Exotic animals do not make good companions. They require special care, housing, diet, and maintenance that the average person cannot provide.

Unlike cats, dogs and other domesticated animals that had wildness bred out of them, wild animals aren’t suited to life as pets. Although cute as babies, wild animals quickly become too difficult for most people to care for. When that happens, both the animal and owner are at risk.

Whether the animals are caught in the wild or bred in captivity, few people can provide the care they require. As a result, wild animals often suffer from malnutrition or live in inhumane conditions. People who adopt exotic animals often attempt to change the nature of the animal, rather than the nature of the care provided. People use confinement in small, barren enclosures, chaining, or even painful mutilations, such as declawing and tooth removal, to change the nature of these animals.wolf

A variety of sources provide millions of animals for the exotic pet trade. Animals are typically captured from their native habitat and transported to various countries to be sold as pets. Backyard breeders also supply exotic animals.

It is far too easy to buy an exotic pet. More than 1,000 Internet sites offer to sell, give care advice, and provide chat rooms where buyers and sellers can haggle over a price. The sellers of these animals typically make no mention of the state or local laws regulating private possession of exotics, or of the dangers, difficulties, physical and physiological needs of the animals they peddle. The suffering of the animals in the hands of unqualified and hapless buyers appears to be of no concern in the lucrative exotic pet trade.

A few years ago, when the movie “Twilight” was popular, there was a rise in demand for wolfdogs. Wolfdogs are a cross between wild wolves and large-breed dogs. Breeders were selling these dogs for high profit, while telling people that they were family pets and would cause no problems. This is far from the truth. Even though wolfdogs are not wild animals, they are not domestic animals either.

This resulted in many people giving up these wolfdogs. Unfortunately, animal shelters will not take wolfdogs because they are considered a dangerous breed. So when they arrive, the shelters put them down. On the other hand, people will also try to release them into the wild. While wolfdogs are not domestic, they don’t how to survive in the wild. There are few places around the country that can take in wolfdogs. Anyone breeding or adopting these animals are sentencing them to death.

Besides the many stories of people mauled or killed by wild pets, wild animals also pose many health risks to people and domestic pets. In 2003, prairie dogs sold as pets made people sick with monkeypox. The Centers for Disease Control see so many cases of salmonella from pet amphibians and reptiles that they recommend that no one with children younger than age 5 own these pets. Other diseases animals can transfer to people, called zoonotic diseases, include rabies, raccoon roundworm and herpes B virus.

Not only is it dangerous to humans, but it is cruel and inhumane to try to make extoic animals into house pets. By adopting these extoic animals, they are sentencing them to death.

Author: Autumn Bippert

Editor-in-Chief of the Plainsman Press, this is my second semester as Editor-in-Chief. I am a Sophomore Photojournalism student at SPC, from the Austin area.

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