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ENGL 110 Grossmont College A Wild or Beastly Idea Essay

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Source: ("Owning Wild Animals: Stats on Exotic Pets (Infographic).")
Grossmont College
English 110
Dec. 8 2013
A Wild or Beastly Idea: Should Ownership of Exotic Pets be Allowed?
As one dealer of exotic animals put it, “If it walks, crawls, slithers or flies, chances are we
have it." The previous quote exemplifies humans love for pet companionship. Though what defines the
perfect pet? Traditionally individuals prefer four legged companions such as cats and dogs. Though in
today’s current society people don’t want ordinary, but instead crave a pet that is unusual and unique.
This has caused the popularity of exotic pet ownership to increase. Although responsible exotic pet
owners exist, private possession of non-native species should not be permitted because it creates
risks to the animal’s welfare, public safety, and environment.
A major setback involved with exotic pets is that they pose public safety risks, and are
ridden with disease. Each year animals who are privately possessed can cause serious injuries or
even death to humans. They pose risks to the neighborhood, community, and even their owners.
There have been accounts of exotic animals that escaped, attacked humans
and innocent animals. A majority of non-native species are territorial and
need social interaction. Though sadly many are isolated and lack enough
space to roam freely. For instance, consider the abc news article in which
parents in Grain Valley, Mo, where charged with jeopardizing their infant’s
welfare after their pet ferret devoured 7 of the child’s fingers. ("Ferret
Attacks Infant: Are Exotic Animals Safe Pets?".) Statistical data provided
by Live science displays that 75 deaths have been attributed to exotic pets

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from (1990-2011).
In attrition exotic species can contract dangerous diseases. Probably 90% of all reptiles
carry and shed salmonella in their feces (“Dangers of Keeping Exotic Pets”). The most common
carriers of the bacteria are iguanas, snakes, lizards, and turtles. People can contract a salmonella
infection if they put their unwashed hands in their mouth, or eat after handling a reptile. Several
symptoms that result from infection include severe diarrhea (with or without blood), nausea,
fever, cramps, vomiting, or even death. It is difficult to determine which reptiles carry the
microbe because; they do not constantly shed the bacteria and show no symptoms. Due to the
dangers that result from salmonella, it is illegal to sale turtles with shells less than 10 centimeters
(4 inches). The reason is because parents are more likely to allow children to play with little
turtles because they seem harmless. Therefore, there is a greater possibility that the child will
place a small turtle in their mouth, as opposed to a larger one.
Similarly another disease that can be acquired from an exotic species is Monkey pox. The
disease is carried by rodents and results in symptoms such as, high fevers, and rashes. In 2003,
two U.S. agencies restricted Prairie Dogs to be sold after dozens of individuals acquired Monkey
Pox. (“Wild Pets”) Recently though one of the agencies lifted the restriction because the threat of
Monkey Pox appears to be over. Though, the agency still restricts the sale of the African rodents
blamed for infecting Prairie Dogs. That is way common non-native species such as ferrets are
illegal in particular states and cities. Dr. Jones W. Carpenter an exotic animal veterinarian
mentioned that people can obtain diseases even from domesticated animals. Carpenter advises
individuals to “know what they are getting into, before purchasing an exotic animal, because the
majority of people don’t.” ("Wild Pets.")

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Grossmont College English 110 Dec. 8 2013 A Wild or Beastly Idea: Should Ownership of Exotic Pets be Allowed? As one dealer of exotic animals put it, “If it walks, crawls, slithers or flies, chances are we have it." The previous quote exemplifies humans love for pet companionship. Though what defines the perfect pet? Traditionally individuals prefer four legged companions such as cats and dogs. Though in today’s current society people don’t want ordinary, but instead crave a pet that is unusual and unique. This has caused the popularity of exotic pet ownership to increase. Although responsible exotic pet owners exist, private possession of non-native species should not be permitted because it creates risks to the animal’s welfare, public safety, and environment. A major setback involved with exotic pets is that they pose public safety risks, and are ridden with disease. Each year animals who are privately possessed can cause serious injuries or even death to humans. They pose risks to the neighborhood, community, and even their owners. There have been accounts of exotic animals that escaped, attacked humans and innocent animals. A majority of non-native species are territ ...
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