The Main Stream

Dec 9, 2010 8:19 AM

Humane Society sees more unusual animals and "pocket pets"

TUCSON - This month, several small animals have found their way to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona and they are not all kittens or puppies. Birds, rabbits, and guinea pigs are just some of the animals on the list.

"You never know what you are going to get," Public Relations Coordinator for the Humane Society of Southern Arizona said.

The smaller, furrier animals are called "pocket pets," because they are small enough to fit in a pocket.

"We've had at any given point, several smaller non traditional pets in our care this month, from goats and chickens, and ferrets, to rabbits and rats and birds," Gromley said.

A two-year-old parrot named Harley was brought in recently. He could out-live some of us.

"Parrots are intriguing, wonderful animals but they come with a variety of difficulties people don't anticipate," Gromley said. "They have long life expectancy, they can live to be over 80."

Some bunnies may have been given as gifts during Easter and have since grown into adult rabbits.

"When they think about bringing home a pocket pet, like a rabbit or a guinea pig or anything like that, they are just as much work as a dog or cat and when you do bring home a pet like that, you need to be aware that it's going to be a responsibility for the whole family." Gromley said.

Dropped off at the shelter because they were unwanted, could not be cared for, or were found on the street as strays, many of these animals are often overlooked.

Most visitors flock to the dog adoption room first.

Stephen Hackenbracht came to the Humane Society hoping to adopt a Jack Russell terrier.

"They are fun to have and they make good companions, they are more of a main stream pet," Hackenbracht said.

Though "pocket pets" and unusual animals are a little out of the ordinary, Gromley says they still make for good pets.

"They've got great individual personalities, just like a dog or a cat, and they've got so much love to give and they need a home just as much as any other animal," Gromley said.

If you are interested in adopting one of these animals, visit the Humane Society of Southern Arizona at 3450 North Kelvin Boulevard.

You can also call the HSSA at 520-327-6088 or visit their website.

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