OCHS finds fur-ever homes for non-traditional pets

Prissy the pig is one of the many exotic animals that has been cared for at the Oktibbeha County Humane Society. (Courtesy photo)
Staff Writer

The Oktibbeha County Humane Society not only finds loving homes for dogs and cats, they also provide care for non-traditional pets, ranging from ferrets to pigs.

OCHS Shelter Manager Christy Wells said OCHS has recently been a temporary home to a pigeon, duck and pig named Prissy.

"We get pigs, and a lot of time we get guinea pigs," Wells said. "At the beginning of this year or the end of last year, we ended up with a ton of rabbits."

Wells said the shelter has also taken in goats, ferrets and, the most exotic animal, a sugar glider.

"We transported him to a rescue that was able to handle his specific needs," she said. "They have really strict diets."

Depending on the needs of the animals, some remain at the shelter and some are moved to other facilities for better care.

Wells said last year, the shelter had enough rabbits and cats in their care to transport them to another shelter in their van.

"It was the cutest transport ever," she said. "We had six rabbits and a bunch of kitties. We've been able to move them that way, but we also have had community members that have been interested in them. They do take a while to get adopted."

Wells said when adopting exotic animals, people need to be aware of their specific needs.

"For rabbits, you need to make sure you know how to handle it properly, and if it needs medical attention you need to know of a vet that treats exotics," she said. "With any small mammal in general, people tend to underestimate how often you have to
clean them."

Wells said when rabbits are at the shelter, they are usually kept in the front so they are more visible to visitors, and it is a quieter location to reduce their stress.

Along with exotic pets, Wells said the shelter also sees wild animals from time to time.

"People will also bring in injured birds sometimes, and we work with wildlife rehabbers in the area to get them placed so they can get the care that they need," she said.

The pigeon that recently came into the shelter's care came from a local wildlife rehabilitation center, Wells said, and the duck went to the rehab center. Both animals were adopted.

"We knew of someone who was interested in taking the pigeon who had other birds and could care for it," she said.

The adoption process for exotic animals is the same as the process for adopting a dog or a cat, but prices vary depending on the species of the animal and what supplies are included.

For more information about adoptable pets at OCHS, call (662) 338-9093 or visit ochsms.org