For many, a cat or dog won’t do

Los Angeles Times - - THE PETS ISSUE - Home@latimes.com By Michael Dar­ling

Per­haps you ap­pre­ci­ate the af­fec­tion that peo­ple have for their cats and dogs, but you yearn for a pet of a slightly more ex­otic na­ture. A bearded dragon, per­haps, or a white-faced pied cock­atiel?

Be­fore you pull out your wal­let, you might want to con­sider that many an­i­mals are out­lawed as pets in Cal­i­for­nia. Fer­rets, for ex­am­ple, have been illegal in the state since 1933. Other mam­mals that are illegal to keep as pets? Rac­coons, chip­munks, squir­rels, ger­bils, hedge­hogs, capy­baras and African lions.

Dr. Olivia Petritz, who works at L.A.’s Ac­cess Spe­cialty An­i­mal Hos­pi­tals and spe­cial­izes in ex­otic pets, em­pha­sizes re­search for those in the mar­ket for an ex­otic (and cau­tions against us­ing “Dr. Google” as your only source). Once you do your home­work, you’ll need re­sources for where to buy and where to find vet­eri­nary ser­vices:

SHOPS

Omar’s Ex­otic Birds: The store has a large se­lec­tion of trop­i­cal birds, bird toys and food. In ad­di­tion, it of­fers Camp Omar’s, a board­ing pro­gram for when you have to travel and you just can’t take your bird along for the ride. 3301 Wil­shire Blvd., Santa Mon­ica. (310) 571-2473, omar­sex­oticbirds.com. Other Omar’s lo­ca­tions: 23507 El Toro Road, Lake For­est, (949) 472-3962; 903 E. Im­pe­rial High­way, Brea, (714) 572-8353; 6155 Bal­boa Ave., San Diego, (858) 569-5202. Rosie Bunny Bean: This High­land Park pet sup­ply shop spe­cial­izes in food, spe­cially made toys and other good­ies for dogs, cats, chick­ens and, of course, rab­bits. 1309 N. Ave. 51, High­land Park, (323) 2744469, rosiebun­ny­bean.com. Canoga Dis­count Birds: All birds in this San Fer­nando Val­ley shop were raised on-site. The shop of­fers board­ing and groom­ing on Fri­days and Satur­days. 21731 Sher­man Way, Canoga Park, (818) 883-3007, canogadis­count­birds.com. Bur­bank Scales ‘N’ Tails: This pet shop spe­cial­izes in all things cold­blooded. Rab­bits and mice are also avail­able for sale. 1701 W. Mag­no­lia Blvd., Bur­bank, (818) 8426496.

VET­ERI­NAR­I­ANS

Dr. Chris Cauble’s mo­bile vet ser­vice works with all kinds of an­i­mals, in­clud­ing rab­bits, ro­dents, pigs, rep­tiles and farm an­i­mals. (818) 242-5576, pets­doc .com. Ac­cess Spe­cialty An­i­mal Hos­pi­tals: Open 24/7 for emer­gen­cies and spe­cialty an­i­mal care. 20051 Ven­tura Blvd., Wood­land Hills, (818) 887-2262; 9599 Jef­fer­son Blvd., West L.A., (310) 558-6100, ac­cess an­i­mal­hos­pi­tals.com. Westch­ester Vet­eri­nary Cen­ter: In ad­di­tion to ser­vices at the bricks-and-mor­tar hos­pi­tal, Westch­ester of­fers house calls for check­ups and medic­i­nal needs. 8911 S. Sepul­veda Blvd., West L.A., (310) 654-4444, westch­ester­vet.com. VCA Wil­shire An­i­mal Hos­pi­tal: Ser­vices for do­mes­tic an­i­mals and ex­otics. 2421 Wil­shire Blvd., Santa Mon­ica, (310) 828-4587, vc­a­hospi tals.com/wil­shire. Ex­otic An­i­mal Care Cen­ter: This Pasadena fa­cil­ity fo­cuses on ex­otic mam­mals, rep­tiles birds, and ag­ing and par­a­lyzed rab­bits. 2121 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 4051777, ex­ot­i­can­i­mal­care­cen­ter.com.

OTHER RE­SOURCES

Los An­ge­les Rab­bit Foun­da­tion: This or­ga­ni­za­tion’s web­site is full of use­ful in­for­ma­tion on where to get sup­plies for your pet rab­bit and where to get it spayed or neutered. The foun­da­tion also or­ga­nizes weekly rab­bit adop­tions and care ses­sions at Cen­tinela Feed & Pet Sup­plies stores. www.larab­bits .org. West Los An­ge­les Bird Club: The club’s web­site in­cludes in­for­ma­tion on adop­tions, vet­eri­nary ser­vices, bird­ing, meet­ings, and lost and found birds. west­labird club.com/home.html.

Glenn Koenig Los An­ge­les Times

Mel Mel­con Los An­ge­les Times

Ken Hively Los An­ge­les Times

Steven Senne As­so­ci­ated Press

POP­U­LAR ex­otic pets in­clude bearded dragon lizards, top. Fer­rets, mid­dle left, are illegal in Cal­i­for­nia. Kather­ine Emer­son was al­lowed to keep Neil, a pot-bel­lied pig, af­ter the city of Sierra Madre de­clared him a pig in 2013, not a hog, which the city out­laws. Tom Whar­ton, of War­wick, R.I., and Toot­sie, his cock­a­too, were kicked out of two camp­sites af­ter com­plaints.

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