BILLINGS – While it may be tempting to give or receive an exotic creature for Christmas, many pets given as gifts will join the more than 6 million pets that get sent back to shelters every year by Jan., according to the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Leslie Knickerbocker, who works at Exotic Pets on Grand Ave., says people just need to know what they’re getting into before taking on a specialty animal. You have to think about the environment the pet needs, what kind of food it eats and how long the animal lives, among other things.
You might be thinking, just how common is it for someone to own an exotic pet? According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the answer is roughly one in ten American households is home to an exotic animal.
Before making the very important decision to become a pet owner, Knickerbocker says the number one thing to do is research.
“Knowing what you want, even if its not an exotic animal, just a cat or dog… people come in and they don’t even know what they want,” Knickerbocker said. “Every dog gets a different size, a different hairstyle, exercise requirements, so just making sure it fits your family.”