Every time I mention the number of animals I have, peoples' faces light up in wonder. I commonly hear, “How do you have that many cats and dogs?” This is followed by a long explanation that dogs and cats are not the only types of animals I have.
I have 12 animals; four sugar gliders, one hedgehog, three cats and three dogs.
All but one of those animals are rescues. I rescued my sugar gliders and hedgehog from places that were not equipped to take care of them.
Exotic animals are a lot of work, but they are worth it.
Many people think that if an animal can’t cuddle then there is no point in having them. People commonly ask me what I do with a hedgehog or sugar gliders?
When I hear that question I can’t help but be confused. What do you mean what do I do with them? What do you do with a cat or dog?
I don’t rescue these animals for my benefit.
Of course, I wanted them and had a desire to get one, but the driving force behind it is that I wanted to save them. I rescue these animals because they are in situations they do not deserve to be in.
I love each of my animals with all of my heart. I love them like family members, and if there comes a time that I can’t take care of them to the best of my ability, then I will rehome them to a place that I feel can.
There is nothing wrong with owning exotic animals if they are given the proper love and care with plenty of space to be an animal.
People shouldn’t buy animals frivolously, though. They are a ton of work. Every animal is but especially exotic animals because they require special care that is not always easy to find.
So much goes into taking care of exotic animals. They require large cages that take up lots of space that many people don’t have to give up, and they have schedules.
If you spend enough time bonding with a sugar glider they will accept you into their colony. This means that if they look around at night and for some reason feel there is danger, they will bark until you wake up and go to check on them.
Just because they don’t cuddle with you or lick you, doesn’t mean they don’t care for you in the same way that a dog or cat does. They deserve the same love and attention...even if it does take a little more work.
Exotic animals aren’t the right fit for everyone. It is good that the purchase is regulated or else more of them would end up in homes that are not beneficial to them.
My heart hurts every time I see someone reprimanding someone for owning an exotic animal that is well taken care of.
There are definitely exotic animals, such as tigers, that should not be domesticated. The main reason for this is that we cannot physically provide all of their needs to them, especially in an everyday home.
Domestic animals are not the only pets we can have, though, and that should be recognized and respected.