Parents And Families

Explore Animal Planet’s library of pet content for cute videos, pet health articles, our dog and cat breed selectors and much more. Neither. You should call your local wildlife rehabilitation center and have one of their employees come out to take a look. Oh, come on, you say. Bunnies (or squirrels, or fawns) make great pets, right? Everybody knows someone who told stories of having one of these wild animals as a pet as a kid. But what most folks leave out of the “raising a baby squirrel” tale is the story about the day that the wild squirrel (or bunny, or bird) went a little “crazy” and had to be released back into the wild.

The recent popularity of designer” dogs, cats, micro-pigs and other pets may seem to suggest that pet keeping is no more than a fad. Indeed, it is often assumed that pets are a Western affectation, a weird relic of the working animals kept by communities of the past. Dogs may be denied entry if they look like they are sick with a communicable disease or if proof of a valid rabies vaccination is not provided. If a dog appears to be sick at the port of entry, further examination by a licensed veterinarian at the dog owner’s expense might be required. See International Travel with Your Pet for more information.

Thorpe RJ Jr., Serpell JA, Suomi S (2011). Challenges to human-animal interaction research. In McCardel P, McCune S, Griffin JA, et al, Animals in Our Lives (pp. 217-225). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. Zanesville, Ohio’s Terry Thompson made national headlines when he released a horde of wild animals that he and his wife kept on their property, and then killed himself – leaving the gruesome task of trying to control endangered Bengal tigers, monkeys, lions, wolves, baboons, and more.

The approximate lifespan of a rabbit is between six and eight years, so careful thought needs to be given before taking on these animals. It takes 30 days for the first rabies vaccination to take effect and give full protection to your dog. Dogs must also be at least 3 months old before they’re vaccinated. An unimmunized dog has either NOT been vaccinated or was first vaccinated when LESS than 3 months old or LESS than 30 days before arriving in the United States.

Given the right animal, people, and circumstances, pets can indeed serve as “therapists.” In animal-assisted therapy programs, a companion animal may visit with hospital or nursing home patients. For the program to be safe and effective, the animal must be carefully screened and the pet’s caregiver must be trained to guide the animal-human interactions. When a specific therapy is desired, a credentialed professional should monitor the program. Even in less formal animal – assisted activities, where the animal is introduced to an individual or group with no specific therapeutic goal, patients and staff often experience improved morale and communication.