Finding a Pet Skunk
Don Johnston / All Canada Photos / Getty Images
If you have decided a pet skunk would be a good fit as a pet, the trickiest part may actually be finding a skunk. While sites featuring skunk breeders are few and far between on the internet, it is still possible to use the internet as a tool for finding a pet skunk.
You should first check the legality of skunks in your area before going to the trouble of locating a breeder. Be sure you can find a vet that will vaccinate your skunk and treat it if it becomes ill. Acquiring a skunk if they are illegal in your area can lead to serious consequences, and even if it is just for vaccinations, your skunk will need veterinary care, and you will be stuck if you can’t find anyone to treat your pet when needed.
You might also want to consider taking in a homeless skunk from a shelter or rescue. Sometimes you might have to work a little harder to gain the trust of a skunk that ends up at a rescue due to neglect, but giving such a skunk a second chance at a happy home is a wonderful gift to the skunk.
Perhaps the best way to find a skunk for adoption through a rescue association or a skunk breeder is to network with other skunk owners and ask for their recommendations. There are several email lists/groups that make this possible online. The Owners of Pet Skunks site maintains a list of such groups and would be a good place to begin the search.
Watch Now: What to Know Before Adopting a Pet Skunk
Skunk breeders can sometimes be found locally, although you may need to go a little farther away to find a good reputable breeder of pet skunks. You can check your local paper or even an agriculture-based newspaper in your area. Occasionally, depending on where you live, skunks can be found in pet stores. A breeder who breeds skunks as pets is the best choice, as long as the skunks are raised under good conditions and socialized well as kits. In many cases, the selling of skunks for pets is just a sideline for fur farms. This may be your only option, and you simply need to be educated and aware and evaluate any breeder or pet store by several criteria.
When looking for a breeder, some patience is required. Skunks are seasonal breeders, and kits are usually only available in June or July. Many breeders have a waiting list and you may need to contact them a year or more ahead of time to get a kit.
When you are choosing a breeder, the best option is to visit the breeder in person, as this is the best way to get a sense of how the breeder raises their animals. The skunks should be kept in clean conditions, which you should be able to assess by observation and odor. Do not be concerned if you are not allowed to see the breeding animals, as many conscientious breeders will not allow visitors access to breeding animals. Ask to see the breeder’s documentation (licensing, inspection reports). Ask if there have been any disease outbreaks, especially distemper.
How to Choose Your Skunk
Once you are satisfied with the facilities, carefully observe some skunks. They should be bright, alert, and curious, with a full shiny coat. They should be in good body condition, neither thin nor obese. They should be curious about visitors but not overly agitated. They should also have clean eyes, ears, nose and rear end, and no signs of lameness or other problems. Try to handle some kits to see how they interact with you.
The best sign of a good breeder is one who is sure they are selling you a pet for which you are prepared. While you may feel you are being grilled, a breeder that asks potential owners lots of questions is one who is concerned that their animals are going to good homes. If a breeder can’t answer all your questions about what skunks are like and how to care for them properly, be wary. Research care well in advance so you can tell if a breeder is giving sound advice or not.
If you are some distance from a breeder, they may be willing to ship a kit to you. This is the least desirable option since shipping can be stressful.
If you are looking for a skunk, be prepared and most importantly be patient so you can be sure you are getting the pet that is perfect for you.If you want a pet skunk, the trickiest part will be finding one. Learn how to find a pet skunk breeder.
Hooked: Now Mersey drug dealers are lacing skunk weed with heroin
Experts say many of youngsters ‘don’t know what they’re smoking’
- 07:03, 23 FEB 2014
- Updated 12:15, 25 FEB 2014
Drug dealers are hooking cannabis users to their ‘products’ by lacing them with highly addictive heroin, diazepam and methadone.
And now cannabis has overtaken alcohol as the drug that is gripping hold of teens and putting their mental health at risk, a Sunday ECHO investigation reveals.
Now the rising use of super strength cannabis, commonly known as skunk, is causing unknown damage, experts fear.
Specialist Dr Faizal Mohammed, clinical director for Mersey Care NHS Trust’s addiction service, says most young people turning to addiction services for help now come to them for cannabis problems rather than alcohol – so much so that they had to adapt what they do to help them.
And we have spoken to one recovered addict, who is still close to the drugs scene on Merseyside, who revealed how the hard drugs are sprayed onto cannabis leaves to create a ‘hit’ that users will become desperate to repeat.
He told us the kids taking the drugs ‘wouldn’t even know what they were smoking.’
Dr Mohammed told the Sunday ECHO: “We are increasingly seeing more patients report to us with cannabis. If you look at national trends, the numbers of people with crack cocaine and heroin there has been a decline, for cannabis there has been an increase.”
He said figures suggest in the 16 to 24 age group, cannabis is the most commonly used drug rather than alcohol, saying: “Those people coming to our services for treatment in that age group, 60% are coming for cannabis and related issues, 40% are coming for alcohol. Cannabis seems to be the main drug.
“About one in ten experience unpleasant effects of cannabis when using it. If someone takes a large amount of cannabis they could end up with racing heart, paranoia – where they think someone is following them, hallucinations, seeing, hearing things. I would say the increase in numbers coming to us has happened in the last two to three years.”
And he added that “skunk” – man manufactured using artificial intensive growth methods such as hydroponics – was causing the biggest worry among health professionals.
He said this breed of cannabis contains more Tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) – the mind altering ingredient that gives cannabis its potency. But little is known of how damaging it is.
Dr Mohammed, who has been a consultant in Liverpool for five years, said: “10 years ago most of the cannabis that was used had a small amount of THC, skunk has more THC – the harmful element.
“There is a clear association between cannabis and psychosis (abnormal condition of the mind), maybe a causal link. Whether it can cause psychosis is not entirely clear, but there is some link with depression and anxiety.
“Those who are vulnerable or have a family history of mental illness are vulnerable and that group should be careful using any amount of cannabis.”
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) , which was launched on Merseyside in 2000, is also worried about the growth of skunk cannabis. They run a helpline open 5pm-midnight, seven days a week, every day of the year, where men can talk to someone on a whole range of issues from suicide, substance misuse, depression, illness, bereavement and more.
Simon Howes, Merseyside CALMzone Co-ordinator, said: ” When we talk to people who use a lot of cannabis or skunk, the general themes are that it’s not the quality it was, it causes more side affects and they feel it is having a negative effect either on their mood now or they have noticed it having an effect on their mental health in later life.
“Each person’s experiences can be different, but from our experience people may be experiencing increased anxiety, depression, difficulty managing anger, paranoia, panic attacks or difficulty with their short term memory. Often callers have used cannabis to try and manage their stress or cope with the difficulties they are facing in life, but it may actually end up adding to their problems and making it harder to cope.”
David’s warning after 20 years of drugs hell
A victim of laced cannabis has revealed how he spend 20 years fighting a desperate drug habit.
David, who has now managed to get clean, warns that diazepam and methadone can be sprayed on to cannabis with users absolutely clueless as to what they are smoking.
The 32-year-old, who did not want to be identified, said: “These kids of the new generation are in an even worse place than we were. Now they spray it with methadone, diazepam. They put fibreglass, sand and saw dust in to weight it. The diazepam gives you a buzz but when you stop taking it, you get mad panic attacks and it’s a scary place to be.
“They’ll put heroin in it which shows how determined they are to keep people on the end of the line.
Far from being a ‘soft’ drug, David calls cannabis “psychosis in a cigarette”.
He said: “ If you had 1,000 criminals, 850 would say cannabis is where it all started, especially in this city. Cannabis is everywhere. To look at cannabis as harmless is delusional. Certain parts of this city are run by drugs. No matter where you go, you can get it. Ask kids on the corners, they’ll know where – one of them might even be selling it.”
David went from cannabis use at 13 to heroin, crack and cocaine in later years, but he counts cannabis as being the most dangerous.
“The most violent drug is crack but the most dangerous is cannabis, because you’ve still got an alertness and as soon as you run out of it, you think in your head ‘I’ll do anything to get it’.”
David was convicted for a number of crimes all committed as a result of needing a cannabis high. One of the worst, he said, was breaking into a home shared by nurses.
Ashamed, he said: “I knew it was wrong at the time, these are people who heal the sick, but I wanted money for cannabis.”
His life was turned around by Mersey Care NHS Trust who has been helping him overcome addiction, he urges others to get help.
Where to go to get help
Mersey Care has an ‘open door’ policy to help people get drug and alcohol treatment. Anyone can contact or walk into its Drug and Alcohol Recovery Team at 3 to 5 Rodney Street in Liverpool city centre, or the Brook Place community drugs team in Tuebrook, where they will be seen by a drugs worker that day and supported into a treatment plan. The service also takes referrals from GPs and other health and social care professionals. Call 0151 234 5800 for more about the service or contact the CALM helpline: 0800 58 58 58.
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