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Dr. K Should Not Disparage Exotic Animal Owners on National Television

Updated on June 11, 2016
Melissa A Smith profile image

Melissa is an exotic pet owner, zoo attender, and plant obsessed person and doesn't think there is anything wrong with that.

Joined: 5 years agoFollowers: 239Articles: 100

“At Broward Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital, we treat your pets like the valued family members they are.”

IMPORTANT NOTE. This is NOT the exotic animal vet being discussed.
IMPORTANT NOTE. This is NOT the exotic animal vet being discussed. | Source

Have you ever taken a human family member to the local doctor, only for this physician to smile, treat you like a valued customer, then turn around and say that your family member has no business living with you on national television? I’m guessing not. But that is exactly what is occurring in the new Nat Geo Wild program, Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER, a show that features the daily life of a veterinarian that exclusively sees patients that are not dogs and cats.

Let me start this article off by making this perfectly clear.

If you are a client of Broward Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital and if you own (or support people who own) ‘non-domesticated’ species including parrots, reptiles, or anything other than typical rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs (yes, even if she owns some of these pets herself), it is imperative that you locate another vet as soon as possible, unless you have an absolute emergency and cannot find another suitable vet, but after your animal recovers, let her know why you won’t be returning for any wellness exams.

The keeping of exotic pets is controversial—in fact, it has suffered so much that now even some of the doctors that we entrust their health care to are against the practice and feel as though they must lampoon buying exotic pets to appear angelic in the face of the public.

People are, of course, entitled to their own opinions, despite the fact that it is nearly irrefutable that keeping most exotic pets doesn’t differ at all, ethically, from keeping so-called domesticated animals as long as they are receiving proper care.

This proper care does include finding a vet experienced with animals that have the unique needs of your species. However, Dr. Susan Kelleher, or Dr. K as she is called, has taken her exotic pet criticism to a new, pitiful level.

Now that she has her own TV show, she implores her viewers that while she will treat (and collect large sums of money from) her clients’ ‘exotic pets’, she does not believe her clients should own them. She does this with extravagantly failed logic which I routinely debunk in my articles, and will also do so here.

Meet Dr. K! She doesn’t approve of what you own.

I was admittedly excited about this show, missing programs like Animal Planet's Emergency Vets (featuring the clinic Alameda East that sees both domesticated and exotic pets without a single disparaging remark to my recollection) that I've grown up with, so you can imagine my disappointment with this short clip when I heard Dr.K say this:

“But I have to be honest, sometimes I say to myself…why is this animal in captivity? Y’know you just have to come to the realization…these animals are in the pet trade, period. I don’t promote that they stay in the pet trade”.

A fennec fox gets a check up

Here is what Dr.K thinks of her client, David Rodriguez, and his captive bred fennec fox:

“I kinda have some qualms about fennec foxes being pets… [edit] …they’re actually natives to the Sahara desert, so they’re a desert species. It’s not normal for them to live in Florida.”

First of all, fennec foxes are mostly kept as indoor pets, so the typical household wards off Florida’s oppressive humidity. Fennec foxes are some of the ‘easiest’ exotic pets a person can hope to own.

Second, nearly every zoo in existence maintains species not native to the climate of which they are located. Most exotic animals do completely fine, or sometimes even better, in climates they haven’t evolved in. There is literally no difference between keeping a fennec fox in Florida and keeping a Siberian husky in Florida (the fox will probably be affected less), but once again, the highly irrational ‘domestication myth’ prevents people from making the same logical conclusions we routinely do with our common domestic pets.


The narrator (not the vet) also states:

“They’re believed to be declining in the wild due to the pet trade and hunting them for their fur" if Mr. Rodriguez hasn’t been degraded enough by Dr. K. Now the typical ignorant viewer is scoffing at his decision to acquire an ‘unsuitable’ pet and put them at risk for extinction. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has this to say about the fennec fox (Vulpes zerda):

Listed as Least Concern, although there is no detailed information on its abundance, the species is relatively widespread in the sandy deserts and semi-deserts of northern Africa to northern Sinai. At present, there are no known major range-wide threats believed to be resulting in a population decline that would warrant listing in a threatened category.”


“Current statistics are not available, but the population is assumed to be adequate based on the observations that the fennec is still commonly trapped and sold commercially in northern Africa.”

This statement tells us that not only is the fennec fox wild population highly unlikely to be in trouble, but the ‘pet trade’ they are a part of mainly exists locally in their native region (“exhibition or sale to tourists”). Because fennec foxes readily breed in captivity, they are fully sustainable, even if some are removed from the wild, legally or illegally, and this is the case with the most popular exotic mammals in the pet trade.

A quick Google search for ‘fennec fox smuggling’ does not yield any relevant results, confirming my suspicion that fennecs are not popular candidates for shipment to the United States pet trade. Here, the breeding meets the demand of fennecs as pets. Therefore, buying a captive bred fennec in the United States does little or zero harm to the wild populations that are doing well anyway.

"Unnatural environments"?

“Because these exotic animals are not your typical pet all the variables must be as close to mimicking the outdoor environment because these animals are not domesticated they’re not supposed to live indoors but we force them to…”

This statement that Dr. Thielen (another vet that works under Dr.K) makes about pet reptiles is technically correct, but the rhetoric reeks of anti-exotic pet sentiment. When she states “but we force them to”, it sounds like the animal is being cruelly treated, or subjected to terrible conditions.

In reality, ball pythons are some of the easiest snakes you can own, and they can easily thrive and breed in captivity despite completely 'unnatural' conditions just like any pet rabbit. It is completely untrue that ANY animal, including dogs and cats, has evolved to live indoors with humans. This same failed logic is mirrored in Dr.K's written statement on this article:

"The message I really want to get out to people on this show is that these animals with wild instincts and wild needs are living in a relatively unnatural environment."


Am I blowing things out of proportion?

No. No. And no. If you are an exotic pet owner, you probably realize the immense pressure that special interest groups are placing upon us and our passion to live with unique animals.

It seems that ever year, another horrendously draconian ban is placed on a relatively harmless group of animals because of the successful manipulative actions these groups carry out. Every little bit of criticism aimed at exotic pet owners at this point is like whipping an exhausted, dying horse.

Exotic pet owners should certainly not tolerate any contributions to anti-exotic pet owner sentiment from the people they are employing to help them with their pets, especially if it is televised. The damage that programs like this do to pet owners is irreversible.


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    • Avid Exotic Owner 2 years ago


      As a person with five exotics, three dogs that is a client of Dr K and very familiar with her practice and her employees... Oh wow, where do I begin? Right here: SHAME ON YOU MELISSA!!

      Any of K's clients will tell you what a warm and caring doctor she is. She is in the exotic business for the love of the animal and to see to it's well being. To say the things you have said just shows how uneducated about her you are.

      And to list a whole diatribe about her from watching clips before you have actually seen an episode shows how uneducated in life you are.

      The assumptions you have made are so totally off base. Dr. K started her business to better the lives of exotics in South Florida. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a doctor knowledgeable in treating my blue tongued skinks? My son's turtle? My daughter's rabbit and python?

      The only complaint I can make about about her is that her love and attention can't go to my three Staffordshire Terriers. But I am ok with that, it only means 3 more appointments for exotic owners are open.

      Not only does she have a board in the lobby for clients looking to find new homes for pets they can no longer keep, but always has not only pictures of non native species the South Florida Wild Life Center (a division of H.S.U.S) are looking to adopt out, she is always boarding one of them, on display in the lobby, for someone to adopt.

      In Broward County, with a population of over 2 million, there is a dog/cat clinic every two miles. While I will not say they give bad care for exotics, from my experiences, I can say chances are good that it may be less than adequate.

      Thank you Dr. K for your unwavering service for all us exotic owners!

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      Avid Exotic Owner, it sounds like you didn't read my article since you discussed nothing in it. You sound thoroughly ignorant to the subject considering you told me the South Florida Wildlife Center is "a division of H.S.U.S". This group blatantly states they are against keeping exotic pets. That should bother you, if you weren't too dim to see why. Also, I've seen 4 episodes to date thanks to On Demand, I think I stated I saw them in my article that you should have read before commenting.

    • Avid Exotic Owner 2 years ago

      oh honey, I read your ignorant article. I didn't think it was necessary to go line by line and break down what you said. the few comments concerning the doctor should be more than enough.but if that is what you want, here we go.

      you say it's your refutable be keeping an exotic does not differ from keeping a domesticated pet. Now I've read your comments about five reasons for having exotics which really sounds that you might be a crazy cat lady 50 or so of them running around your house. But how can you say that keeping an exotic is the same? Is caging a bird meant to fly and be free, right? you make comments about a husky, any vet in Florida and any breeder of huskies will tell you not to have those dogs down are so blinded by your ignorance of reality, that you can't see the world around you. Do you really think that dogs and cats after thousands of years of domestic breeding can just be released into the wild? That it will know how to hunt and survive? you really should pull your head out of your rear, invest your time in finding a real job instead of blogging on the internet trying to cost other people their's.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      If you leave yet another reply not discussing this article then I will just delete your useless comments. If you want to discuss the '5 irrefutable arguments' article then post that there. But I suggest you do better than making up my position and ignoring key arguments. If you find this task too difficult you might want to pass. Since you are an "avid exotic owner" who agrees with people that you shouldn't own exotics, I'm certain you must be a confused person who can't string arguments together. Dr.Kelleher is the perfect vet for you.

    • ZookeeperByNature profile image

      ZookeeperByNature 2 years ago

      "Avid Exotic Owner," this statement alone blatantly proves your stupidity, although it's not your only dumb statement.

      "Do you really think that dogs and cats after thousands of years of domestic breeding can just be released into the wild? That it will know how to hunt and survive?"

      The fact that cats are one of the worst invasive species to exist on our planet, with dogs not too far behind, essentially means the answer to that dumb question is yes.

      The additional fact that you also mention the HSUS in a positive light, which is a prominent animal rights "animal welfare" organization, shows how either utterly ignorant you are or how you secretly back anti-animal legislation. HSUS in itself, which pretends to behave as an umbrella organization for local shelters and humane societies when they're otherwise not, sucks in funds that could otherwise actually go towards helping homeless and injured animals when they don't. The fact that my local shelter still has to run their own thrift shop while begging for both supplies and money at our local Wal-Mart proves how unhelpful the HSUS is, despite the fact that the HSUS is in possession of assets of at least "US$195 million." If that money was actually well placed like the organization claims it to be, then it would be more than enough to help every local shelter at least a little bit. However, instead, their money goes towards hiring the best lobbyists and lawyers to enact animal rights-centered legislation, including the removal and restriction of any and all "exotic" pets. The fact you so kindly point out that Dr. K supports them essentially proves the fact that she's a corrupted hypocrite that supports anti-pet mantra.

      You sure have a lot of contradicting and moronic things to say but my current headache means I can't cover them all at the moment. If you want, I can just as easily come back later and rephrase in many ways how you are a fool.

    • Denise Hemphill profile image

      Denise Hemphill 2 years ago

      I need to comment because of your telling people to take their animals anywhere but to Dr.K. Dr. K is not against having exotic animals. I've known her for 14 years and she is very supportive of her clients and patients, all of which are exotic. You're basing your opinion on what she has said on the show that rubs you the wrong way, but your conclusion you then draw about her is wrong. I have to warn you and everyone else to not refuse care from Dr. K and her staff. It is extremely hard to find exotic animal care - most vets say they do them, but it requires specialist knowledge and Dr. K is an expert. She knows these critters inside and out. She goes around the state training other vets on exotic care and surgery. She saved my rabbit's life after a dog and cat vet mutilated her. If you do care about exotics you won't go casually demanding that people not go to Dr.K because then you're dooming their animals to lesser care. She loves exotics, most of the exotics she sees are a domesticated kind like rabbits but she feels honor bound to mention that some animals that are caught in the wild to be pets may not be the best pet to have, for their own sakes.

    • Denise Hemphill profile image

      Denise Hemphill 2 years ago

      To zookeeper by nature: I used to work at the South Florida Wildlife Center doing wildlife rescues. I worked in the back taking care of the zillion exotics they have for adoption. I took care of the wild baby birds that would be released once they grew up. I cleaned the cages of exotics that were waiting to leave the hospital area for the adoption area. I took care of the barn animals, the rabbits, and other domesticated exotics. I fostered exotics during tropical storms. The SFWC (formerly Wildlife Care Center) is a boots on the ground wildlife and exotic animal crisis center, and they finally were able to be under the Humane Society which is such a boon for their mission. I use to work with an animal rights group so I'm really familiar with the hatred some animal rights people feel towards the Humane Society. I'm not going to try to change your opinion because there is no use, you will keep believing things about them that go against their animal-saving mission. Oh yeah, I use to work at my local Humane Society, too, just helping out. Just because they don't do things as pure as you want them to does not mean they are evil. They do incredible work and have saved millions of lives. I hope if you respond to this that you'll do so politely and not with raging abuse like you did to Avid Exotic Owner because I really would like to have a discussion with you, since it seems like you don't know the nature of these organizations at all. Oh and this sentence of yours did make me laugh:

      "The fact you so kindly point out that Dr. K supports them essentially proves the fact that she's a corrupted hypocrite that supports anti-pet mantra."

      This is hilarious. This is SO NOT Dr. K. What good do you think you are doing saying these things about people and organizations you have no experience with other than to read purist misinformation about them? The one thing I really noticed when I worked with the animal rights group is that most of the members really did not want to help individual animals, they were just all about the protests, the flyers, the meetings, the tabling. They took care of their own pets if they had them. But ask them to do what I did actually rescuing injured wild critters, or learn from someone like Dr. K who loves exotics and whose life is dedicated to them - asking the animal rights members to put their boots on the ground, and they suddenly got busy and didn't have time, while yelling about how we were harming animals because [fill in your own random reason why].

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      Hi Denise, not all the animals she sees are 'true' exotics. Rabbits are not least not anymore than dogs and cats. All are domesticated and native to nowhere. Her disparaging comments are directed at non-domesticated animals, animals that are not genetically different from their wild ancestors. Animals like fennec foxes, bush babies, and lemurs. Many people like Dr.K are typically against owning animals based in the order of which they are the most commonly kept, despite how they actually do in captivity. The typical order is like this: lemur > fennec fox > reptile > bird > hedgehog > rabbit

      The idea that a fennec fox is a bad pet in captivity because it is not in a desert environment is ludicrous. Her comments about exotic pet owners are very hurtful to us and are based off of rampant bad logic about how animals live. I'd be surprised if there are no exotic vets in her area, because Florida allows far more exotics than my state, and I have about 5 exotic veterinarians that have worked with zoos or wildlife within a 30-40 minute drive of me. I left a vet that exclusively sees exotics when I was disappointed with her, and found a zoo vet (only in on Saturdays, normally works with the Animal Medical Center in NYC and the Bronx Zoo) in my hometown.

      "I use to work with an animal rights group so I'm really familiar with the hatred some animal rights people feel towards the Humane Society."

      Do you mean exotic pet owners? Because if you mean animal rights people then obviously something is not right here. Either the 'Humane Society' you speak of is not the HSUS or you understanding of them is way off.

    • Avid Exotic Owner 2 years ago

      Oh you live in New York? Explains everything...

    • Avid Exotic Owner 2 years ago

      Ok. So a dose of reality for you Melissa. All pets, exotic or otherwise are just there to satisfy the owner's WANTS! Nothing more, nothing less. All of the exotics and one of the dogs in my house are rescues. Rescued because their previous owner could not properly care for them. But they were all things that I wanted. I never rescued a monkey with a chronic masterbation problem. Why? Don't want one.

      People buy what fits their wants, regardless of the animal's needs. Creating a burden on shelters and others.You spout your animal rights b.s. without thinking of how this country really works. The government is going to outlaw what it wants based on HOW MUCH MONEY IT WILL MAKE THEM! They don't give a damn if you own a fennec fox or a dog. But if they can fine you more money for the fennec, guess which one the are going to shoot down? And all of any of us' s bleeding heart crying won't sway them from the almighty dollar. And 14 year old girls wanting a kinkajou because Paris Hilton had one is just another sign of this country's problems with filling their WANTS regardless of where it leads to. If you really want to help exotics you should invest your time in training prospective exotic owners in care and handling, not in crying about how much better then other pet owners you are.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      Avid Exotic Owner, in addition to sounding like an idiot, you are pretending to be two people. I don't see the point in me continuing to allow your comments. But thanks for admitting that Dr.K hates the exotic pet trade. I would never pay this woman hundreds or thousands of dollars to contribute to the ignorance I face.

    • Avid Exotic Owner 2 years ago

      Wow do you really think I posted as someone else? If I did, it wouldn't be the pathetic attempt at spelling you see above. I didn't go through the new york school system. Oh and i have spell check. And I'm not a woman you dingbat. The only ignorance you face is in the mirror every day if you think you are even close to right about anything you have said.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      I was waiting to see if maybe you had your child make the comment or something, giving you one more chance to save yourself from humiliation. I can actually see the IP address with each comment, so I know for a fact the comments came from the same computer. You're not the first person to try this with me (many SeaWorld haters have done this to me). Some people can't handle being wrong, I guess.

      This IP address comes from the same location where Dr.K lives. I wonder...

    • Avid Exotic Owner 2 years ago

      Well maybe me and my daughter should discuss her spelling... and maybe I shouldn't leave the browser open. Doesn't change the fact that you have no grasp on reality. I sincerely hope that one day you wake up. Walking through life with the ignorance you have... well... It helps no one.

      As for being humiliated. Not at all. The vehemence in which you reply to my comments just shows that I am getting under your skin. If not you would have some intelligent replies to what I have said, not just trying to berate me for being and idiot. It's OK though, small minded people have always had a problem keeping up.

      As for Dr K living in the same town, yep she has informed me she lives in the area. A lot of exotic fans live here. It's a rural farming town close to the main city where you can have plenty of land to care for your pets. But I'm sure she is far too busy saving exotics lives, to waste her time on you.

      Melissa, please, when you get up tomorrow drink a cup of coffee and reassess your life. Maybe you can make a beneficial change before you grow into the old crone you are headed for.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      Your daughter didn't write that, you did. The other people who've done this to me have also made up that excuse. You thought you were being clever and I had a good laugh.

      One more thing, "If I did, it wouldn't be the pathetic attempt at spelling you see above. I didn't go through the new york school system.":

      "Dr. Kelleher is originally from Buffalo, NY."

      "She received her Bachelor’s degree with a dual major in Chemistry and Biology from Alfred University in 1990"

      "While in high school and college Dr. Kelleher volunteered at the Buffalo Zoo.."


    • Taken Back 2 years ago

      I don't have exotic pets, nor do I know Dr. K. I'd never seen the show until today. Dr. K may be a wonderful vet, but I was taken back by some of her comments and facial expression made behind the owner's backs. I would feel humiliated, as an owner who trusted her enough to care for my animal, to later watch on national television the vet complain about a procedure she had to do on my pet and commented that she didn't think i should have my pet. She should respect that I brought my pet to her to give it the best care and gain knowledge regarding care for my pet from her. I would be embarrassed that she made me seem like a bad person for owning an exoctic. After watching one episode I looked to see if there were any negative reviews, strictly based on the comments she made while away from the owners. Melissa is not the only one that got this impression. She may be wonderful and caring (and appeared so with certain animals), however she did not come across that way due to her comments, which I viewed as disrespectful to the owners.

    • Never again 2 years ago

      Would I use this vet. We had taken our bird who had been suffering with seizures and she said that it would be ok to let him go and they would stop after a while, because her dog had suffered them! We ended up going to someone who really knew how to treat exotics and said, anything past 3 minutes with a seizure, causes brain damage. This "vet" - is known among the south florida avian community as someone who should only be treating "pocket" pets.

    • Shaddie profile image

      Shaddie 22 months ago from Washington state

      II had no idea that this show existed, but I'm glad I know now so I can avoid it. It's sad, but unfortunately not surprising that a television show would chose a veterinarian with so-so opinions of exotics (at best) to broadcast to the world. There are few things television loves to "expose" more than the "terrible" world of exotic pet ownership. Makes me sick.

      Keep up the good Hubs.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 22 months ago from New York

      Thanks, I'm not sure if they will be re-newing it for a second season or not.

    • Mila 18 months ago

      I do not own exotic pets and this is the first time I have ever seen the show. I was in a full on marathon enjoying the show until I started hearing her disparaging comments about dogs. It was really offputting to me as a dog lover an owner that she seems so disgusted by the idea of treating dogs. Maybe I need to know more about the backstory but that was very offputting to me.

    • Becky Messick 16 months ago

      Hi, I have been with Dr K for almost 15 years. I have owned at least to date over 20 ferrets. Mind you not all at one time. During this time I have also owned ducks, turtles, cats, dogs, mice, gerbils, and frogs. We took all of our ferrets to her and watched her grow from a very tiny practice to what she has today. During that time she has been with us through the loss of our pets and helping us keep the one's we do have very healthy. I do know that if she feels that we are doing something wrong she would be very forward to us with her comments. She herself has owned dogs as well and they would be her constant companion when you would go in for visits. I for one would not want to go any where else with my ferret. As long as she has a practice I will be going to see her.

      Nat Geo Wild is doing a second run this year, as filming is underway.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 16 months ago from New York

      Becky, maybe if you owned real exotic pets you would understand things a little better.

    • Ellen 15 months ago

      Dr. Kelleher has treated our rabbits and birds for over fifteen years. She is committed to her patients and in our experience always a total professional. She is very knowledgeable and compassionate. She has taken wonderful care of our pets. I have watched most of the episodes of her show. As a biology and environmental science teacher for over twenty years, I agree with her position on some of the exotic pets she treats. For example, there was an owner with a seriously mentally unstable lynx. It kept licking itself nervously, leading to giant hairballs. This person sometimes slept in bed with the lynx. Is there any wonder the animal was unstable? How cruel to keep some of these exotic animals that have not been domesticated. These animals do not exist solely for human pleasure, and some of them are facing extinction. I applaud Dr. k for bringing this information to the public. On the other hand, it is fortunate that Dr. kelleher and her staff are there to take care of them for the owners.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 15 months ago from New York

      Your biology/science teachings do not give you any specialized insight into how exotic pets adapt to captivity, Ellen. If you want to talk about mental instability, birds are prime candidates, so funny you should mention you have them yet agree that OTHER species are not appropriate pets because they aren't 'domesticated'. Obsessive licking is most certainly found in all captive cats. Those lynx owners might not have been the greatest owners in the world, but neither are at least millions of domestic cat owners. The lynx was however surprisingly good-natured. The licking, despite resulting in a medical problem, doesn't have to mean the animal is completely miserable. Sometimes these bad habits can pop up in your 'domesticated' pets, the only difference being that the animal is being blamed as the problem rather than the environment. Obviously, these behaviors are rare or non-existent in the 'wild' because captivity allows bad habits to grow when the animal's essential needs are always taken care of.

      As usual Dr. K went in on these owners too. That is NOT professional. We need good vets to make exotic owners unafraid to seek help if they need it without being accused of being bad owners; we don't live in a perfect world.

    • Ms. A 14 months ago

      Yeah I definitely wouldn't ever want a vet to criticize the fact that I have a gaboon pit viper! Freddy is sooo friendly and good with my 5 and 9 year old kids! We take him out and handle him just like anyone else would handle their rabbit or hamster :-) the fact that they're illegal and people find them "dangerous" to own is stupid. Sure he could kill us but I mean, I think I'm responsible.. I googled info and watched documentaries for three entire weeks before buying him from a foreign salesman. I heard they live in a hot habitat naturally so I made sure to put lots and lots of sand in his habitat. He loves it! His 8 gallon tank is just like being in the wild! For any vet to voice their apprehension about my kids handling our pit viper is rude and presumptuous! After all, I know more than any professional possibly could! I think every family should own a gaboon pit viper they are so nice and only bite when they are agitated! :-) just make sure to locate a good ER with the right antivenoms and you're set!

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 14 months ago from New York

      I always know I'm right when my opponents have to resort to ludicrous fiction to make their points.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 14 months ago from New York

      Your dopey attempt at sarcasm was neither an argument nor 'rational', and me not entertaining your juvenile little attitude doesn't make me close minded. It does make you a simpleton.

    • Ms. A 14 months ago

      It wasn't a dopey attempt at sarcasm. In case you aren't informed, it is a literary device referred to as 'hyperbole'and it is used to expose the fallacies of arguments such as yours. I'm impressed you even realized that I was not serious, since my "dopey attempt at sarcasm" is so similar to your reality.

    • Ms. A 14 months ago

      Oh I should include that I find it funny you act as though you are 'choosing' not to refute me and deleting other people's posts. That's the definition of close minded. And I think you don't answer me because you have no answer. So don't flatter yourself.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 14 months ago from New York

      Creating a fake story, identity, and position is not hyperbole. An example of hyperbole would be me saying "you're dumber than a bucket of rocks". You have no argument. Your stupid comment was equivalent to speaking about Dr. K disapproving of velocirapters, Asiatic bears, and the face huggers from 'Alien' as pets. The exotic pets in question here are all reasonable, relatively easy to care for, and non-lethal. Their owners did not deserve to be criticized on TV by someone they are paying (a lot) to help them.

      Where does your simpleton 'argument', if it could be called that, come into play here? You made up a situation in which a person is incorrectly caring for a lethal exotic pet. Actual owners of venomous reptiles are often aware of the risks. You needed to prove a point by dancing around what's really going on: pet owners are being criticized by a self-righteous vet who is categorically wrong. You didn't choose to reply to my reasons why she is wrong, because you can't. You don't have the knowledge. All you can do is wave your hands in the air and try to make my arguments look bad by reminding people there are some scary animals out there, and that all exotic pets should be lumped into same category of 'freaky weird bad pet that we find offensive'.

      Your 'example' was just an attempt to fear monger ignorant people like yourself.

    • Ms. A 14 months ago

      Maybe you are unaware, but gaboon pit vipers or at least their poisonous kin are very lucrative in the exotic pet trade so no, they are not akin to the face huggers from Aliens or extinct dinosaurs. Secondly, I watched the show, and she simply states that she does not condone people keeping lynxes as pets, but that she still wants to give them the best medical care possible. Nowhere does she attempt to take the Lynx away, or promote making them illegal, she says only that she would not advise the general public to keep one. I think that's probably fair; most people don't have the resources or knowledge base to keep such pets healthy both mentally or physically. Unlike what you claim, lynxes are not easy to care for- they are like any other big cat, and treating them like a domestic cat is unfair and unhealthy.

      If she is on TV, she needs to take into account that a variety of people will be viewing, not just "professional" exotic owners such as yourself. You act so offended by her comments but they were actually aimed at making sure random people watching her show do not decide to impulsively buy a lemur. Wouldn't you agree that's a good move? After all, you wouldn't want some simpleton to give you a bad rep right? It's odd that you got so angry at her comments- perhaps she reopened a wound referring your own inadequancies? If you're such a competent owner, why do you let such people irritate you so much? Why do you allow them to get under your skin? Unless of course, they are speaking the truth and it pops your little bubble of denial. Also, you seem to enjoy calling me a simpleton when in fact, you're the one blindly promoting propaganda. Does demeaning my intelligence make you feel powerful? Do you think you can win the argument simply by calling me the grown up version of a butt face? I'm not sure why or how you could think keeping big cats or whales in captivity is okay or beneficial in any way, but I guess that just proves how ignorant you are. You claim any animal should be able to be held in captivity regardless of species, yet tell me I'm stupid and unreasonable for mentioning a gaboon pit viper. I mean, really, who are you to decide what is "reasonable." You told some other commenter that if they owned "real exotics" they'd understand, and now you're telling me my example of an exotic is unreasonable. So only the pets you own are okay? I laughed when you called her self-righteous as you are perhaps the pinacle of self righteousness and arrogance. As for your accusation that I'm attempting to fear monger other ignorant people, you literally say "meet Doctor K, she doesn't approve of your pets!" How much more fear monger-y can you get lady? youre trying to scare others away from watching precisely by making them worry that Dr. K promotes banning exotics. So that makes you a giant hypocrite.

      In short, get off your high horse and realize that not everyone is out to get you or the various wild animals you hoard in your back bedroom. It's not about you.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 14 months ago from New York

      "In short, get off your high horse and realize that not everyone is out to get you or the various wild animals you hoard in your back bedroom."

      OK, the problem here is your rampant ignorance. The reason for the -existence- of this blog is for the extremely extensive and never-ending bans against exotic pets. I even state at the end of this article the reason for my extreme reaction to Dr. K's little misguided opinions. I provide hand-typed quotes from the show. If you aren't willing to get the facts, what the heck are you doing here? You're just wasting my time. K flat out states she doesn't want exotic animals in the pet trade on TV. She is a threat to her client's livelihoods, I just thought they might want to know before they spend $3000 with her.

      "Maybe you are unaware, but gaboon pit vipers or at least their poisonous kin are very lucrative in the exotic pet trade"

      Can't you read? I said most people with venomous reptiles know the risks. No one on Dr.K did anything remotely close to your ludicrous example. That's no different from me making up an example of someone intentionally ramming a truck into preschool as an example to show why letting people drive is stupid. If K wants to educate people, she needs to stick to the facts. I don't need to hear her say the exotic pet trade is terrible. Tell us what lemurs need to thrive, not your unwanted opinion. And, this article is about season 1, the lynx is season 2. Can you come up with one valid reason to justify her comments about the fennec fox? Of course not.

      "I'm not sure why or how you could think keeping big cats or whales in captivity is okay or beneficial in any way, but I guess that just proves how ignorant you are."

      Get this, it doesn't need to be 'beneficial' it's just something I feel like doing. My freedom isn't contingent on whether or not you arbitrarily decide something must have a benefit. It really is that simple. You are still going by the 'weird pet = bad' ignorance. You'll have to explain why the heck my pets are any different from yours. My pet keeping certainly doesn't approach the damage that many cat and dog owners do to the environment and society.

      "youre trying to scare others away from watching precisely by making them worry that Dr. K promotes banning exotics."

      She does. Anyone in the 'biz' (obviously not you) knows how controversial exotic pets are. Any day now, I might read that my county or state created an ordinance that might make me have to find a new home for my animals. Maybe that needs to happen to you to make you wake up.

    • Deb Enck 14 months ago

      I read these irrefutable arguments with an eye to common sense and logic. None of which were present. While it is true we've all owned so-called "exotic" pets. There is a HUGE difference in owning as an example a White's tree frog, a fire belly toad, a Ball Python, Red Tail Boa(I've owned all of the above) as opposed to owning a Fennec fox, a Wolf, a Lynx the list goes on..All of my aforementioned animals were obtained ethically and they lived full healthy lives, when my Red Tail Boa and my Ball Python became to large they were give to a local reptile center. I was a sensible, compassionate and commons sense pet owner. My argument is I'm deeply concerned about those exotic pet owners who are suddenly overwhelmed by what they have adopted. Exotic pet owners are the reason that Florida's wildlife is critically threatened by the release of Pythons, Anacondas, Boas, Lion fish and the list goes on..I love Dr. K because I've always felt she is supportive, caring, genuine and quite aware of exotics and the issues involved. I have been watching the show for some time and my feeling is she is very supportive of anyone who is a responsible exotic pet owner. She questions as do I the ownership of things like Lynxes and obviously feral animals, there are questions on how these creatures were obtained. Dr. K is also one person who I've never heard calling for the ban on exotics. The irrefutable arguments do not hold up, it self serving and reaching to say that everyone has owned an "exotic pet." Purchasing a guinea pig from a reputable source is a far cry from purchasing a fox, Lemur, Cobra or Tiger from some very questionable source..Climb down off your soapbox Melissa Smith, your argument is full of holes and your so obviously misinformed about everything that is borders on the ridiculous. Dr. K is a gift to all the"exotics" who come into her practice. It would appear that she is just asking some real, common sense and caring questions about the animals that are coming into her practice..I applaud her and support her right to express her opinions. If the people that bring their animals to her are offended, I've never heard them express it..

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 14 months ago from New York

      "There is a HUGE difference in owning as an example a White's tree frog, a fire belly toad, a Ball Python, Red Tail Boa(I've owned all of the above) as opposed to owning a Fennec fox, a Wolf, a Lynx the list goes on.

      Purchasing a guinea pig from a reputable source is a far cry from purchasing a fox, Lemur, Cobra or Tiger from some very questionable source.."

      NO there is not. And I actually have the ability to explain why I am right, other than just saying 'no there is not a difference', which is the extent of your comment. Your comments are appalling. Reptiles have some serious issues in captivity. Even though their care is relatively straight-forward, many people do not do the minimum for them to live past a year. Guinea pigs are often placed in cages that are too small and without a companion.

      What is the difference between frogs and guinea pigs and foxes and lynxes? The difference is you don't give a crap about the former. You perceive them as 'dumb' or less capable of potentially suffering the effects of bad captivity than the other. All are formerly residents of the 'wild', even when domesticated. You cannot domesticate out of an animal the need for basic welfare, which may or may not be provided by the owner. All of these animals have brains and some level of consciousness. I'm aware of some welfarists, like Clifford Warwick, who are staunchly against keeping reptiles in captivity. They would look at YOU with the same disdain that I get for having a spotted genet. Snakes living in pull out drawers or aquariums they can't fully stretch out in, and guinea pigs locked up alone with minimal time out of the cage; There are issues with ALL of these exotic animals that are not unique from each other at all. One can only speculate without extensive research whether or not these animals are truly 'OK'. This even goes for domesticated cats. Dogs, cats, fennec foxes, budgies, pot-bellied pigs...there is NO "huge difference".

      Nice try suggesting that exotic pets come from shady dealers. You have no clue where I or the Dr.K clients' got their pets from. That's just your prejudiced view of owners who have animals you don't care to own. You should be utterly ashamed of yourself. Your damn frogs and snakes can come from shady breeders/brokers just as exotics or dogs can. There were NO tigers or cobras on the show. Stop it with the damn fiction to prove your point.

      "when my Red Tail Boa and my Ball Python became to large they were give to a local reptile center. I was a sensible, compassionate and commons sense pet owner"

      !?! You're coming on here claiming to be an ethical pet owner when you purchased animals you were not prepared to care for for their entire lives? You've got to be the biggest, silliest, saddest hypocrite to post on my pages. Good job. You've given overpopulated animals away to a rescue center and have effectively removed a spot that another desperate pet owner could have used if they needed to re-home their animals. Balls and boas are produced like crazy. I loathe it when people do what you do. You are pretty much the last person I'd expect a lecture from. A 'fellow' exotic pet owner and a bad one. Another winner in favor of Dr. K!

    • Ms. A 14 months ago

      So in short your argument comes down to, " shut up and let me do what I want to do because I like keeping cool animals and I don't want to think about the consequences." Nice job you whiny imbecile. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      Unlike what was on the show, people DO keep those types of animals and Dr. K is aware that lynxes are just the tip of the iceberg. So wake up and realize the possible dangers. Even if YOU yourself are experienced, doesn't mean everyone is. Just like I shouldn't have the control to arbitrarily decide to ban every animal, you should not be allowed to make all animals legal just because "well I can and I want to." Again Dr. K is just trying to keep random people from buying exotics on impulse. Skateboarders don't watch a skateboard video with the warning "don't try this at home" and whine about how the video is bashing all skateboard enthusiasts everywhere. there are multiple cases of exotic animals being kept in poor conditions and turning on their owners. You are not the only one concerned in this (as much as you would like to think so). Grow up.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 14 months ago from New York

      Just give up Ms. A. You don't understand anything that's being told to you and you clearly don't want to. If you don't want to stop commenting I shall help you.

    • Midwestern mom 7 months ago

      I've seen these episodes and I did not take her comments as berating her client. It seemed more like a general comment that exotics live better in their natural environments. And let's not forget that this is a TV show. Some statements may be scripted to make the ratings better. I would take the statements with a grain of salt, knowing that sometimes reality tv shows are partially scripted. Believing everything you hear on tv or read online as the absolute truth isn't realistic. TV conversations get cut, moved, placed in a different order, etc. to make a better show. My belief is, if you know a person or business because you have been there, then you have the right to comment on them or their business. If you only know what you saw on tv, online, etc, then you should keep your opinions to your self. Like my mother taught me, if you don't have anything good to say, then don't say anything at all.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 7 months ago from New York

      Even in the interviews she speaks badly of people keeping exotic pets. She must be aware of all the absurd bans that are brewing everywhere with Florida (where she resides) remaining as one of the few states that allows a reasonable number of species (with permits). It's obvious where she stands and I would be very confused as to why anyone interested in keeping real exotics would give her money.

    • Bderbes 7 months ago

      It is unbelievable to me that you continue to waste your time arguing such ignorance. I could not agree with "Ms. A" more, as she did a wonderful job addressing your pathetic arguments! That being said, I will not waste any time with the same arguments or statements (for the most part)!

      Have you taken notice to the fact that about 95% of the people who have commented here disagree with your ignorant, close minded article? And lets not even consider all the comments you delete. Do you really still think you have a valid argument? Do you think that what you are doing to Dr. K, her reputation and her business, is any different than the comments she makes about her clients and their decision to keep exotics? As it has been pointed out several times now, it seems the hypocrisy is all yours!

      I am unbelievably overwhelmed by the selfish ignorance in your statement,

      "Get this, it doesn't need to be 'beneficial' it's just something I feel like doing. My freedom isn't contingent on whether or not you arbitrarily decide something must have a benefit."

      So, let me "get this"..... to hell with whats right or fair for the animal, as long as YOU are happy right? Am I understanding you? Or are you going to back peddle and say thats not what you truly meant?

      You are the type of exotic pet owner/ advocate that rational human beings oppose of and voice their opinions about!!!

      Is there a place for exotics in captivity and in households? Absolutely! But NOT because its "what I feel like doing"!

      "Because its what I feel like doing" is what fuels the pet trade!

      What you are doing, and the points you are arguing, is just about as inhumane as someone removing you from your home, the life you are used to, the environment you thrive in, your family and friends and placing you in an underground cellar for the rest of your life, whether you like it or not, for their own benefit!

      Although I truly believe that scenario may be best for all of us, I would voice my opposition for your pitiful soul as well!

      I said I would not waste any time reciting any statements previously made, but I think this is one that needs to be driven into your thick head....

      Dr. K is not saying "all exotic pet owners should be damned to hell.... except myself" she is simply saying that, in her opinion, many exotic animals will have a better quality of life in their native habitat, NOT because it becomes "something you feel like doing"!!

      Im sure there would be some other opinionated nimwit on here claiming "Dr. K is promoting the exotic pet trade" had some, or all, of her statements been left out!

      Heres the way I see it, if her comments stopped one single person from doing a google search for a "marmoset importer" just because they thought that one they saw on the show was so cute and cuddly, and thats just what they felt like doing..... It was WELL worth it! Even if it flips your little boat!

      I cannot remember coming across such ignorance that I felt compelled to read 40+ comments and sign up for an account just so I could get all this off my chest but you were definitely successful at that. All I can do is beg that you find a different hobby! Seems you are pretty good at being WRONG so at least you do have that going for you. But please, please stop writing articles trying to convince people that we should adopt your opinions over someone like Dr. K. I would take 1000 "Dr. K minded people" over 1 of you and it doesnt appear that I am the only one that feels this way either!

      Please, Im literally begging you to forfeit your rights to post these ridiculous articles and your opinions.... please?!

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 7 months ago from New York

      "So, let me "get this"..... to hell with whats right or fair for the animal, as long as YOU are happy right?"

      The deeper issue here is that you are either in one camp or the other: Complete animal liberation where no animal products are consumed, no pets are owned, and nothing is built or used that might compromise an animal's welfare or environment, such as a car or house. The other consists of animal use where there is an attempted standard of humane treatment with the possible exception of essential things like life-saving treatment for humans.

      If you are not a follower of the former extremism, then you are simply a bigot, who feels I need to 'justify' keeping certain pets or I shouldn't do it. It wouldn't surprise me at all if you own or approve of suffering pugs and bulldogs while I have to show not just adequate welfare but BENEFIT for the animals I'm keeping. I'm essentially told by people who enjoy eating burgers, exotic pet keeping needs justification before it can be approved by them. Unlike many zoos I'm unafraid to benefit myself with animal use in some unpopular way without trying to claim I'm 'conserving the species' and other BS. I look at exotic pet keeping through a non-bigotry lens without the loaded question of it being inherently cruel. I'm never going to respond to any questions that suggest I need to 'compensate' for what I'm doing as long as dog and cat owners don't have to. That is just a loaded question where I would be admitting keeping pets is wrong. This might be hard for you to understand.

      You have the audacity to present your rant as a plead for me to retract my valid arguments? I'll comply to your request when the U.S. places a Federal ban on states restricting completely harmless species as pets (i.e. never).

      You're lucky that I don't delete your comment and write "Dr. K Continues to Disparage Clients Part 2, Redux".

    • Watching it now... 6 months ago

      To be honest, I don't own exotic pets. I own three cats and a Corgi. My Corgi Luna loves watching this show, and we are watching the Gloves Off! episodes right now. I think that her and her staff are the type of people that I would take my animals to if I could. That being said, her "disparaging" comments aren't that. These animals shouldn't be in captivity. I am in whole agreement that most of these owners do anything and everything for their pets, and are fabulous at it. And Dr. K SAYS that. After watching her show, I've learned about the massive needs of these pets, and know that I myself would not be a good owner for them. As for the woman with the lynx. I watched that entire episode more than once. Having a big cat living in your home is DANGEROUS. My 10 pound domestic short hair can bite hard enough to cause me pain and draw blood. Her canines are almost half an inch long. I can't even imagine what type of damage could be done by that cat. But notice I said "in your home". If it had an outdoor enclosure, then by all means, enjoy your pet. Her job as a veterinarian is to do the best for these animals. She has a platform to prevent inexperienced owners from getting these animals and potentially hurting them, and she is using it. I respect her for that. She's doing her job. You're being ridiculous, and to be totally honest, it sounds as if you have nothing better to do than criticize a woman and those who work with her. It sounds as though you need a hobby. Or a profession. You can come back at me with all the negativity in the world, and act as childish as you want, and delete this because it goes against your stupidity, but seriously. Go get a job, take up knitting, play with your pets. But just get off the computer. It'll do us all a favor.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 6 months ago from New York

      Hey "Watching it now...", I have no doubt you probably aren't resourceful enough to handle an exotic pet, and barely a cat, that doesn't mean no one else should. Your comment is about as moronic as coming down on someone for saying horses can be pets, although it might be OK if you keep the horses outside, and then to tell them to get a hobby and job for writing about horses. It is always recommended to have an outdoor enclosure for "big" (actually medium) sized cats. Your opinion is worthless.

    • GinaR 6 months ago

      One of your first reasons for an exotic pet owner not doing business with Dr K-" have you ever taken a family member to a local physician who smiles and treats you like a valued customer & then turn around & then turn around & say your family member has no business living with you on national tv"? If one of my parents had Alzheimer's disease & I took them to a local Dr& he or she explained that it might be better for my parent to be placed in a care facility better equipped to give my parent the best living conditions possible would I write a blog telling other people in a similar situation " it's imperative you locate another Dr ASAP" No I wouldn't. Would I continue using the Dr after I listened to their reasons for telling me this? Yes I would, if like Dr I they were basing their guidance on their experiences, & their obvious compassion for the welfare of my parent.

      You use the word "logic". "Dr K's comments are based on rampant bad logic about how animals live." Dr K has taken exotic pet criticism to a pitiful new level, she does so with " extravagantly failed logic". Oh let's not forget the " failed logic " you say was Dr K's written comment on this article". I will take Dr K & others like her, i e someone not just sitting at a computer. The people who do the work required to care for these animals when the people with the "passion" to live with them can no longer do so. You say you did a " quick Google search on fennic foxes". And I'm suupposed to take you seriously in your pro exotic pet ownership rants? No thanks. When Dr K commented that Florida climate isn't the best for fennic foxes you said most stay kept indoors!"How do you know? You've done the research necessary to make that statement? And according to you it's ok for people to profit from the pet trade, no matter what the circumstances, but you comment more than once on Dr K " collecting large sums of $" from her clients. If she didn't care about the welfare of the animals she treats she would not give her opinions on exotic pet ownership & the pet trade & encourage people to own these pets to as you say to fulfill your "passion" to do so. That has to be the kind of vet you've found to care for your pets- only in it for the money otherwise the last of your many ignorant quotes "exotic pet owners should certainly not tolerate any contributions to anti exotic pet owner sentiment from people they employ to help with pets especially if televised". Maybe if you got the education Dr K did, done the volunteer work & the many years in private practice she's done to base her opinions on exotic pet ownership you too could be on TV & be watched by millions, instead of your " soapboxie" blog that I won't waste my time reading again.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 6 months ago from New York

      "Maybe if you got the education Dr K did, done the volunteer work & the many years in private practice she's done to base her opinions on exotic pet ownership you too could be on TV & be watched by millions,"

      Oh look, more incoherently-structured garble from another 'buddy' of Dr.K. I highly doubt any amount of volunteer work would shrivel my brain to point of me suggesting that an animal from the desert should not live outside of it. Anyone saying that should remember where domesticated cats and hamsters originate.

    • KK 6 months ago

      You have absolutely no right to write half of what you say in this article, you can tell you have no idea what you are talking about. FUCK the owners. Monkeys and lynx did not ask to be taken from their homes and it is PROVEN that they ABSOLUTELY DO NOT thrive in captivity, therefore THEY SHOULD NOT BE PETS. they deserve to live free. And no that is not the same as owning a cat or dog you idiot, those are domesticated animals that could not live on their own. Exotic animals are NOT cats and dogs and I don't give a rats as if it hurts your feelings to hear that your pet would be happier in the wild, you should have known that if you did the research you had to have done to own the animal in the first place. She should DEFINITLY say those things on tv so that other prospective buyers think twice about taking these beautiful animals from their homes and families. If you really think that a humans feelings matter more than these animals LIVES than basically fuck you.

      People think "oh, it's cute I have to buy one" not thinking twice about what the animal may want. If you truly love animals than admire them from afar, don't steal them from their homes. You should be ashamed of yourself for writing this.

    • Hudahek Izzy 6 months ago

      I don't like exotic pets for the same reason I don't like the breeding industry. It's catering to fashion and finance while countless unwanted conventional pets cannot find homes. Sorry if that comes off as naive but if we are claiming to love the animals we take in as pets we really don't have to add to the pet pool while SPCAs struggle to keep from euthanizing so many animals.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 6 months ago from New York

      You've obviously never read any of my rebuttals to all your typical ignorant arguments.

    • Dr Greg Dickens profile image

      Dr Greg Dickens 5 months ago

      Hello all reading, my name is Greg Dickens, I'm a wildlife and exotic animal veterinarian from the UK. I have worked in zoos in the UK and US, exotic practice in the UK and wildlife parks in central and southern Africa.

      To add information to the above thread, I'd like to make four points:

      1, WILD-TYPE or EXOTIC ANIMALS IN CAPTIVITY SUFFER. - Whether humans can or cannot provide a suitable habitat for non-domesticated species is not the point: 99% of the time, we don't. Therefore, having not been bred to deal with this, the animals suffer. I have not seen a single exotic/wild-type animal in captivity that is not suffering in some way due to its captivity.

      2. EVEN IF WE CANNOT RECOGNISE IT AS SUFFERING - IT IS THERE - Humans are built to be able to spot unhappiness in humans, dogs and maybe monkeys. We are literally incapable of easily spotting suffering in other groups of animals.

      3. THIS IS NOT IN DISPUTE. - The keeping of these wild animals is becoming illegal in many other countries. This is partially from a human safety point of view, but mostly from an animal welfare point of view. The unavoidable increased suffering of non-domesticated animals is recognised by behavioural studies and cortisol readings, and is being translated into law.

      4 - IT IS UP TO YOU - Whether you think your enjoyment or status of having a non-domesticated species pet is worth this increased suffering is up to you. And Ms. Melissa A Smith would appear to suggest that it is completely acceptable to her.

      I encourage readers to make up their own minds.

      Dr Greg Dickens MA VetMB (CANTAB) MRCVS

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 5 months ago from New York

      Dr. Dickens: I feel sorry for all of your clients whom you most likely ripped off with your pseudo-scientific generalizations. First, you fail to even specify which 'exotic' animals you are referring to, always a tell-tale sign of zealot. As a veterinarian, exotic animals always pertain to animals that aren't dogs and cats. Do your ramblings include bunnies, hamsters, and guinea pigs? Many cortisol and behavioral studies have been done but we haven't scratched the surface for you to purport all non-dogs and cats suffer. We do not fully understand if the 'suffering' suggested by elevated cortisol is like that of unbearable torture or on the level of a stressful day at the office. If it is so difficult to recognize suffering how exactly are you able to mind-read every animal you've seen in your practice? Most 'wild type' animals will NOT breed or survive very long if kept under an unacceptable amount of stress. I think every zoo should reject your simple-minded services. Unfortunately there are many vets like you running rampant; some people excel at taking tests but fail at basic critical thinking. Thank you for the heads up so I can avoid your name like the plague if you're ever in my neck of the woods.

    • ManNewt 5 months ago

      Well Mr. Dickens, I have a question. What if suffering is an illusion made by the human mind, to delude themselves causing them to act "compassionate" resulting the expansion of ego that is somehow related with the endocrine system? You might think that every animal in captivity is suffering just so you can tend your ego non-stop as you act like some sort of saint for animals.

    • Mark Timblin 5 months ago

      People are gonna hate no matter what. While I have no exotic pets I have seen enough in my 60 years on this earth to know that while I would like to have a small reptile or something, I in good faith know I cannot. As a disabled vet a 100% disabled vet at that, its hard enough caring for our 2 dogs and 2 cats.

      Personally while I don't approve of owning some exotic pets, like lions,tigers, any other big cat, any of the monkeys, chimps,etc. They belong in the wild, not in a cage in someone's home, or to have free run of an owners home. Snake, especially the constrictors, they should not be, they are not a native species, send them back to where they belong or put them down, one or the other. There have been too many kids and even some adults killed or permanently maimed by these large unnatural predators. If you wanna label me a hater, fine by me, I'm ok with some species of exotics, but others should not even be here period. If that makes me a hater is what it is. Enjoy life for it is far far too short.

    • 5 months ago

      You are not a very professional arguing with other.

    • Scott Roche 4 months ago

      Mr. Timblin, thank you for your service to our country. I too am a veteran and it's folks like you and I that have fought for the rights of others, including the right to be ignorant. Unfortunately the creator of this thread only knows what they see on TV. Nowhere in anything the thread creator has written has that person stated that they had taken an exotic pet to Dr. Kelleher. What the creator of this thread doesn't understand is that of the hundreds of species of exotic animals most owners learn by doing and for myself, I've learned the hard way and I must say I am more than glad that Dr. K. was blunt with me. I wish I would have discovered her at the beginning. I currently have to golden conures, what I believe to the most difficult of birds to have. Both were born with defects and I didn't know that until it was too late and I fell in love with them. I have no children and these two birds are my children. Not unlike a parent with a human child and yes I have towed with a few, doctors some times have to be brutally honest in order to treat those under their care. So my comment to the creator of this thread. Back off. She has taken the time and commitment to educate me on the care of my exotic pets. My pets are thriving. I am a much better pet owner for it. Where your anger should be directed is to the morons in the pet trade that are only in it for the sale and do not educate the potential pet owner of the tasking that they are about to under take. AND just for the record Dr. Kelleher performed life saving surgery on one of my birds to correct a birth defect and on the other when it was attached by a feral (abandoned) pussy cat. Dr. K is quite correct there are some of US who shouldn't own an exotic pet and if we must have an exotic pet at least not be allowed to have one until WE are educated first.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 3 months ago from New York

      Scott Roche: Dr. K is a bird owner herself. There's nothing wrong with educating owners but did she tell you your birds don't belong in captivity? Probably not. I will not be backing off so you can have a seat.

    • Me 3 months ago

      I suppose it comes down to responsible pet ownership whatever the animal may be. There wouldn't be a huge python issue in Florida killing so many birds if pet owners were responsible. My MD tells me things I need to here too.

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