Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Sugar Gliders as Pets

What You Need to Know Before Getting Pet Sugar Gliders

About.com: Sugar gliders have become a popular exotic pet. They are small and relatively easy to care for, and have a cute if not unusual appearance. As with any other exotic pet, a potential owner should be aware of their care requirements and personality before acquiring a sugar glider. Sugar gliders are illegal in some places so you will need to check the laws where your live (see "How to Find Out if a Pet is Legal Where You Live").

Natural History
Sugar Gliders are marsupials; that is their young start life off in a pouch (like a kangaroo). They originally hail from Australia, Indonesia and New Guinea, and live in forests. Their name is derived from their diet (in part they feed on nectar and the sap of eucalyptus), and from the flap of skin they have between their wrists and ankles that allows them to glide between trees. They are omnivorous, meaning they will eat plant material and meat – food in the wild include nectar, fruit, insects and even small birds or rodents. They live in social family units in the wild, a trait which makes them inclined to bond well with their human family. However, if they are deprived of social interaction they will not thrive (in fact they can become depressed to the point where they may die).

Sugar gliders make endearing, playful, and entertaining pets. As mentioned above they are very social, and ideally they should be kept in pairs or groups, and in any case they should have a good deal of social interaction with their owners. They are fairly clean and do not have complex housing requirements. In addition, they tend to be fairly healthy (although it may be difficult to find an experienced vet to treat them) and can live to be 12-14 years in captivity. They do need a good amount of interaction (even if it is just riding around in a pocket all day), and aren’t great housetraining candidates. Their nails are sharp and will scratch if they need to dig in while climbing or landing on you (keep them well trimmed). They also have sharp teeth and though not aggressive, will bite if they feel threatened or frightened. If not acquired tame and used to being handled, it may take a great deal of time and patience to get them to the point where they are cuddly.

Sugar Gliders do have fairly strict dietary requirements. The ideal diet for sugar glider is still a widely debated topic among keepers. For some recommended diets, see "Feeding Sugar Gliders" for more information on diets and the diet options that are recommended by others. A potential problem in sugar gliders is paralysis stemming from an imbalance of calcium to phosphorus in the diet (i.e. too low in calcium and/or high in phosphorus). This disease (called nutritional osteodystrophy) can be prevented by proper diet and vitamin/mineral supplements.

As for housing, a cage of 24 by 24 inches, by 36 inches high is a good minimum size for a pair. This is a minimum, though – bigger is better and for sugar gliders the height is more valuable than floor space. The cage wire should be no more than 1/2 inch wide, and horizontal cage bars allow climbing. The interior of the cage should provide lots of interest with toys, and exercise wheel, nest box and/or glider pouch. Branches, ropes and ladders provide lots of opportunity for climbing and exercise. For more details on cages and accessories for sugar gliders, see "Housing Sugar Gliders."

If a sugar glider is not tame when acquired, time, patience, and gentle frequent training sessions will eventually allow bonding of the glider to its owner. Gliders adore being near their owners, inside a shirt (hint wear two shirts and let the glider hang out between them, or else their claws will tickle or scratch!) or in a pocket. They will be lovely companions, who view you as an equal. Sugar gliders do not respond at all to punishment or domination, so treat them with respect, gentleness and understanding, and you will be rewarded with a devoted companion!

More Information

  • Glider Basics – basic facts about sugar gliders.
  • Feeding Sugar Gliders – feeding recommendations from an exotic pet veterinarian and an Australian zoo, along with some other resources.
  • Housing Sugar Gliders – More detailed information on the type of cage and accessories needed for sugar gliders.
  • Photo Gallery – Photos of sugar gliders submitted by visitors to this site.
  • Sugar Glider Names – Glider names submitted by visitors.

October 6, 2012 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, pet fun, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Wild Animals | , , , , | Leave a comment

Rhode Island’s New Reptile Laws Take Effect

Providence, Rhode Island (April 7th, 2010)

Wide-ranging new laws governing the importation and possession of exotic animals will take effect on April 15th 2010.

Rhode Island's New Reptile Laws Take Effect

The new laws define all animals as one of three categories: Domestic Animals, Exempt Exotic Animals and Exotic Animals. Only animals classified as Exotic Animals, which includes any animal not on either of the other lists, will require a permit. Under the new laws, a Domestic Animal is any animal that has been bred to a degree that makes it distinguishable from wild individuals of their species.

An Exotic Animal is defined as “any vertebrate or invertebrate other than those defined as domestic animals, native wildlife, or exempt exotic animals under this regulation”. Any animals imported or possessed that does not fall under the Domestic Animal or Exempt Exotic Animals lists and does not have a permit can be confiscated. Permits will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will require that the animal is in a position where it can not escape.

Any amphibian that is “kept, housed or maintained” outdoors will require a permit. Indoor amphibians will no longer require a permit, as in an earlier draft, but all retail amphibian vendors must provide written notification to purchasers of the permit requirement and keep a sales log that includes the name and address of the buyer, and details of the species purchased. All species of turtles can be kept without a permit except endangered species, the red-eared slider turtle, the Argentina or Chaco tortoise; gopher tortoise and pancake tortoises.

All venomous snakes require a permit, except for boa and python species other than the emerald tree boa, green tree python, African rock python, reticulated python and all species of anaconda. Permits are also not required for some species of snake in the families Uropeltidae, Xenopeltidae, Typhlopidae, Leptotyphlopidae, Anomalepidae and Colubridae. Most species of lizard require that the owner has a permit, except for some species of skink, girdle-tailed lizards, geckos, iguanis lizards, agamid lizards and night lizards.

This news story is independently sourced and PetPeoplesPlace.com

Posted:  Just One More Pet

April 8, 2010 Posted by | animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, responsible pet ownership, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pet Skunks Under the Christmas Tree

Exotic pets need to be wrapped during Christmas

After all our holidays with pet skunks, I’m tempted to tuck my exotic pets into stockings on the hearth to keep them out of mischief.

The most precious Christmas gift for me would be a dearheart little pet skunk with a red bow, snuggled into a soft Christmas stocking, tucked beneath the tree.

May she be asleep, please.

Nothing is sweet as a descented skunk, smelling like a powder puff, curled into a Christmas stocking. In a perfect world from now on, all my sweet domestic skunks would be carefully hung from the hearth with their square haunches filling stockings. I would take pictures of worried, wrinkled faces. What desaced, that’s what my skunks do when they don’t like what’s happening to them.

Yes, indeed, after the last Christmases with pet skunks in the house, I’m tempted to leave all of them hanging out of temptation until the holiday passes. That would keep them from mischief, though I have proven quite naive.

Gifts? Grab ‘em, bro!

Two seasons hence, I realized skunks really dig Christmas presents. They maul them. Hands onto paper like a furious digging-for-crickets spree. When it happened to me, I really was clueless. Now you have a clue.

Jumping the gifts was Jeronimo’s idea. The years before, when Sequoia was an only skunk, he didn’t dig the gifts. Sequoia is a shy, unassuming little skunk. Well, maybe not so much.

I was blissfully unaware of their new motivation as I wrapped gifts in the living room, boxes piled prettily under the tree, those ready for ribbons and cards around me.

An au natural shakeable tree.
Natural shakable tree.

Sequoia and Jeronimo woke up at their first witching hour of eight o’clock. Skipped in to check out the forest scene. The Christmas tree stood in a wire-covered old washtub to deter short-legged creatures from midnight swims.

Sequoia and Jeronimo are acutely excited about the tree in the big house. Their waking moments are spent nosing around the long-needle evergreen. On the night of the gifts, their night prowl was rewarded with wrapping paper, tissue, ribbons, bows, boxes everywhere.

But, no, they didn’t throw themselves into the paper or loose ribbons like a cat. No.

Sequoia and Jeronimo pounced the wrapped presents. For once, sharing. Gleeful comrades. They dug those presents – literally dug with determination and long skunk claws, enhanced by brotherly snarling and squealing.

While I was shoving wrapped presents on the hearth where the skunks should have been, the brothers dove onto the next gifts. Fortunately, they started butt-shoving each other out of the way. Fortunately, Jeronimo’s best defense is sitting on Sequoia’s head, making his furious older brother squeal like a steaming teapot. They could try this in football, no?

I should have known better

Each night since the tree moved into the big house, I heard Sequoia squealing his fury when his baby brother was butt-shoving and sitting on him. Every morning I found that the skunks, seemingly assisted by cats, managed to remove a dried flower, pinecone, or the end of a low bough. Once they had their prize, they would dig it to dust in the rug.

Did I think cats?

Two nights before Christmas when relatives were expected, I hung a few tiny popcorn balls by leather strips from higher branches. Next morn, plastic wrap was on the floor. Not one popcorn ball on the tree. Perhaps a skunk was the culprit, no? But they had to have assistance to get that off a high branch.

The popcorn balls were so desirable Jeronimo roused several times next day to skip to the tree. He would toddle around and around. Nothing found, he would skip back to his den behind my bedroom dresser.

That evening he skipped into the living room at witching hour, Sequoia dancing along and trying to push Jeronimo out of the way. No avail. They nosed around the tree, more intent than ever. But I am not that stupid. No popcorn balls were hung.

Exasperated and scowling, Jeronimo, who is an extremely long skunk, stood on his short hind legs beneath the tree. He balanced with his tail. Wrapped his front legs and hands around a branch, shaking the tree furiously. Square little Sequoia sat square on his haunches, expectant.

Shaking the tree must have been how they felled the popcorn balls. That night they got nothing. So they shoved off to the dog food bowl.


One morning I awoke to find an alarming smatter of regurgitation resembling shiny red shards of glass.

I search for my skunks. Who else?

Throughout the house I found five more piles that looked like one of the skunks had regurgitated vital organs. I yelled for someone, phone to tell the vet we have an emergency.

Then I found chewed plastic wrap. Realized the pooh-butts discovered candy canes. My daughter left her bookbag on the floor and the culprits dug through canvas.

Much better for them

Sequoia opening seeds gift
Sequoia opening seeds gift

Treats on Christmas morning are sugarless. Peanuts, cashews, hulled sunflower seeds in festive paper. The only chance they have to dig gifts now are their own.

The tree is now a compromise. A ‘nature tree’ decorated with pinecones, dried flowers, feathers. Bird decorations, skunk slippers, plush skunk toys running through the branches.

Yes, a Christmas tree of compromise made to be mauled and gleefully shaken. Everything is wire-tied on, non-edible, and skunk-proof.

My favorite winter evening is when we are all cuddled under blankets on the sofa, tiny white Christmas lights glowing throughout the room, daughters telling stories of their day. Sequoia snuggles against my shoulder, hibernating where he likes best. Jeronimo is reclined on his back in the crook of someone’s arm, stubby legs poking up as he intently studies the tree with his sly grin.

The Christmas tree is safe momentarily. Gifts are stacked on the hearth, entertainment center, lamp tables, hutch, blanket chest, dining table…. ah, yes, just where they belong when skunks are in the house.

Skunk Medicine: There’s a Skunk in the House! and Other Tail-Raising Stories

‘Striped Christmas’ original short story title in skunk memoir book.

Skunk excerpts at ESSA Books in novel A Breath Floats By …..enjoy!

SKUNK TIP FOR THE DAY?  Read the story LOL because there are stacks!

Source: Essa Books

Posted:  Just One More Pet

December 27, 2009 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal behavior, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets, Uncategorized, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Adopt Just One More Pet and Save a Life!! – Sharing a Great Pet Adoption Pet Story!!

dalmation, parrot and other pets

Sharing a Great Pet Adoption Pet Story!!

Our friends, Al and Andrea, in Corpus Christi moved there with 3 cats.  Over the past five years, one… Maggie, has passed on and gone to kitty heaven.  But during that time, they have  rescued a black pug that had some health issues, a Black Ker (maybe) out of a litter of abandoned puppies and an orphaned Chihuahua.  This was quite a feat for my friend, Andrea, who was basically afraid ‘or at least leery’ of dogs  before they adopted their first one, Buddy, at Al’s urging. Then ‘she’ adopted the next two, Beau and Princess.

Then about 10-days ago they ran across, almost over, a kitten.  The Calico kitty who looks like one of their older cats, Peaches, was running across the highway when they found her.   They did more than their due diligence to find the kitten’s owners but she is now one of the family and has been named Kit Kat… along with Peaches and Bart makes three.

3 kitties and 3 doggies… a nice family now that the kids are grown!

If you are an animal lover 4 to 6 pets, throw in a bird, fish or pocket pet, perhaps making even 7 or 8 are a fun and manageable number for a couple or a responsible family teaching their kids the values and joy of taking care of another living creature and overall responsibility (under supervision). If you aren’t, it probably seems like a nightmare… but then you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog.

Adopt Just One More Pet and Save a Life!!

Posted:  Just One More Pet

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Toddler dies, python found coiled around her

The snakes are not native to Florida, but many people keep them as pets

python OXFORD, Fla. – A 2-year-old girl apparently was strangled Wednesday by her family’s 12-foot-long pet Burmese python, officials said.

Shaunia Hare was already dead when paramedics arrived at about 10 a.m., Lt. Bobby Caruthers of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said.

Charles Jason Darnell, the snake’s owner and the boyfriend of Shaunia’s mother, said he discovered the snake missing from its aquarium and went to the girl’s room, where he found it on the girl and bite marks on her head, Caruthers said.

Darnell, 32, said he stabbed the snake until he was able to pry the child away, and then called 911.

Authorities remained outside the small, tan home, bordered by cow pastures Wednesday afternoon, awaiting a search warrant to remove the snake from the home. It was unclear if it was still alive.

Darnell did not have a permit for the snake, which would be a second-degree misdemeanor, said Joy Hill, a spokeswoman with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He has not been charged, but Caruthers said investigators were looking into whether there was child neglect or if any other laws were broken.

NBC affiliate WESH reported that Darnell told deputies he left the snake in an aquarium in a bag when the family went to sleep.

The python was one of two snakes in the home — the other is a 6-foot-long boa constrictor. Both snakes are alive, Carruthers said.

Two other children also lived there, WESH reported.

The Humane Society of the United States said including Wednesday’s death, at least 12 people have been killed in the U.S. by pet pythons since 1980, including five children.

Pythons are not native to Florida, but some residents keep them as pets, especially Burmese pythons, which can grow to more than 15 feet and weigh more than 150 pounds.

When the snakes become too large, some owners release them into the Everglades and other wild areas, Florida officials say.

The fast-growing population of snakes has been invading southern Florida’s ecosystem since 1992, when scientists speculate a bevy of Burmese pythons was released into the wild after Hurricane Andrew shattered many pet shop terrariums.

Scientists don’t have an accurate estimate of how many pythons are in Florida, butBurmese_Python estimates range from thousands to hundreds of thousands.

This is just another example of the epidemic of the  loss of personal responsibility and the loss of common sense that has swept the United States.  These situations come from a lack of thinking things through, a loss of self-responsibility for our actions and a lack of concern for others… people and animals.  Was this the snake’s fault??  Heck no!  It was the owner’s fault – the parents’ fault.

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July 2, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chimp Owners Struggle To Say Goodbye

Primate Sanctuaries Fill Up As Caretakers Rethink Decision To Keep Wild Animals At Home

“Jody” is a chimpanzee who was used for breeding and biomedical research at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest in Cle Elum, Wash.  (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(AP)  Russ Cochran fondly recalls the fun he had with his chimpanzee when the animal was younger, taking him for rides in the car and to his cabin on the river. Boaters would stop to see Sammy, who would jump in canoes and help himself to food and drinks from the cooler. 

“That would be the price of admission for him,” Cochran says. “He would drink beer if you let him. He liked beer.” 

Now Sammy is a powerful 19-year-old with strength many times that of a human. He recently got into a vicious fight with Cochran’s younger chimp, Buckwheat. That fight and news accounts of a savage chimpanzee attack in Connecticut that nearly killed a woman this year convinced Cochran that he didn’t want to have two male chimps – the new pet, Buckwheat, had to go. 

But finding a new home for Buckwheat and other unwanted chimps isn’t easy. Animal experts say dozens of chimp owners in the U.S. are actively trying to find new homes for their chimps, who are more dangerous than adorable when they reach maturity. 

The nation’s sanctuaries are full with more than 600 chimpanzees, according to April Truitt, who runs the Primate Rescue Center in Kentucky. 

“There needs to be a place for these animals,” said Cochran, who lives in West Plains, Mo. “I don’t think people should have chimps as pets. I say that having had three of them.” 

Some sanctuaries say they have received more calls since a 14-year-old chimp named Travis suddenly attacked Stamford, Conn., resident Charla Nash. She lost her eyesight, hands, nose, lips and eyelids in the attack and is now at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic in critical but stable condition. Travis, who starred in commercials when he was young, was kept as a pet and weighed 200 pounds when he attacked Nash on Feb. 16. He was shot and killed by police. 

There are about 235 known, privately owned chimps in the United States, according to Truitt, who did a census in 2003 and has continued to closely monitor the number. Owners of about 70 chimps would give them up if they could find a good home for them, Truitt said. She says she has gotten more calls from owners looking to give up their chimps since the Connecticut attack. 

Seven sanctuaries issued a statement last month saying they need more funding so they can offer a safe place to private owners who want to give up their chimps. They also called for states to ban the private ownership of chimpanzees and for the entertainment industry to stop portraying them as “cute hairy little people.” 

“We cannot take in these individuals without a significant contribution to their lifetime care, so tragedies like the one in Connecticut will likely keep happening,” the sanctuaries said. “In substandard facilities, they pose a significant public safety danger.” 

One owner who spoke on condition of anonymity because she feared her neighbors’ reactions said she has been trying for years to find a facility for her two chimps. 

“Travis was chimp 9/11,” she said. “We have no life. We basically take care of them 24/7.” 

The Connecticut attack was the latest in a series of incidents in recent years involving chimps escaping and biting people. In 2005, two chimps in California nearly killed a man, chewing off his nose, testicles and foot and biting off chunks of his buttocks and legs before they were shot to death.

This spring in Missouri, authorities responded to a call to help capture an angry chimp running loose on a state highway. When officers arrived, the chimp opened the patrol car door and grabbed the leg of a deputy, who fatally shot it, police said. 

Chimps can live 60 years and cost about $15,000 per year to care for, according to sanctuaries. Zoos are normally not able to accept hand-reared chimps because of difficulty integrating them. 

Experts blame a handful of breeders and the entertainment industry for contributing to the problem. 

Travis starred in TV commercials for Old Navy and Coca-Cola when he was younger. At his Connecticut home, he watched television, ate at the table, drank wine from a stemmed glass, brushed his teeth and was toilet trained, according to a police report filed when he escaped in 2003.

Legislation has been proposed in Congress to ban the transport of monkeys and apes across state lines for the purpose of selling them as pets. The importation of primates for the pet trade has been outlawed since 1975, but bill sponsor Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., has said 30 states allow the keeping of the animals as pets and it is easy to purchase a primate from exotic animal dealers or over the Internet. 

“When you’re holding a 2-month-old baby chimp in your arms and feeding him out of a bottle, it’s a very special thing,” Cochran says. “You think at the time it will be all worth it.” 

Cochran, who spent about $25,000 for cages in his home, said one facility in Florida wanted $200,000 to care for his chimp. Cochran wound up finding a place in Texas that took Buckwheat for $10,000. 

The first six or seven years were wonderful, Cochran says. 

“Then puberty starts,” he says. “When the hormones start to fly, it makes them unpredictable.” 

Sammy bit off the tip of Cochran’s little finger when the animal was 9, Cochran said. 

Cochran says he no longer thinks it was worth it to own the chimps. 

“On a retirement income, it’s an expensive hobby” says Cochran.

May 15, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, responsible pet ownership, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment