5 unusual pets at Gwinnett Animal Shelter and how they got there

There’s more than just dogs and cats at the Gwinnett Animal Shelter. The county shelter takes in all kinds of stray or unwanted domesticated animals in hopes of finding them the perfect home, even if the pet is particularly odd.

The shelter has taken in dozens of non-traditional pets in the past year, including three horses, two goats and a sheep.

Though the shelter is offering discounted cat and dog adoptions all month, some of the weirder pets have no adoption fees. Taking an unusual new friend home may help alleviate the burden on the shelter, which is at full capacity and needs to free up space.

Here are five of the oddest creatures living at the shelter and ready for adoption today:

1. A tropical “Oscar Fish

Credit: Gwinnett Animal Shelter

Credit: Gwinnett Animal Shelter

This fish is a survivor. While Gwinnett County officials were conducting an eviction, they found this tropical fish in a murky tank. He was laying on his side, motionless. Shelter workers didn’t think he had been fed in days.

“With a lot of TLC, we were able to revive it,” said Doug Nurse, a shelter spokesman.

This fish is the only one that’s been at the shelter in the past year. There’s already been a hold placed on him for adoption.

2. Chuck, a 1-year-old rooster.

This handsome young cock was found during a “routine patrol” by Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement on June 6. He is almost done with the required 21-day hold for roosters, which are considered livestock under a Gwinnett County ordinance. After June 27, you can take Chuck home for free and get rid of your alarm clock for good.

3 and 4. Two Vietnamese potbellied pigs

Credit: Gwinnett Animal Shelter

Credit: Gwinnett Animal Shelter

The shelter has two Vietnaese potbellied pigs, both of which were found wandering around the county. The larger pig, weighing in at 100 pounds, was found in a Lawrenceville man's backyard. Cindy Wiemann, the shelter's assistant manager, describes her as "a hundred pounds of oinky love." Her age is not known, but Nurse said she is "domesticated and very affectionate."

The second pig, which weighs less than the 100-pounder, was found in a Buford man's backyard. Animal Welfare workers couldn't find her owner, so she was brought to the shelter, where she's waiting for a new home.

Potbellied pigs are bought as pets when they are babies, but some people learn they cannot handle a fully-grown hog in their home. The two pigs at the shelter have no adoption fees and are “very smart and love attention,” Nurse said.

5. A 3-year-old white ferret

Credit: Gwinnett Animal Shelter

Credit: Gwinnett Animal Shelter

This ferret ended up looking for a new home after a little girl brought him home to her mother. The girl had gotten it from a friend. The girl’s mother didn’t want to keep him in the house, so he found a temporary home at the shelter. Luckily for him, the man who put a hold on the Oscar fish told shelter workers he’s also interested in the ferret.

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