The beauty of uniqueness: the cool pets at SPA


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Having a gerbil as a important family member can change one’s own experience about owning a pet.

As freshman Lorenzo Good throws a ball, his pet cat does something remarkable. It fetches the ball like a dog. As the cat brings the ball back, Lorenzo picks it up and throws it again. And again, the cat fetches it. “It really throws some people off,” says Good. Pets that are different or that act differently from how normal dogs and cats act is somewhat rare and are a treat to see. According to a prominent survey taken by the American Veterinary Association, there are around 80 million pets in the United States, and around 70 million of them are dogs or cats. So different pets are a rarity, especially in the United States.

“It’s been such a unique and fun experience owning a gerbil,” said Freshman Bobby Peres, who recently became a gerbil owner which is a type of small mouse. “Unique pets are a very good option and provide memories like no other pets I have ever owned” continued Peres. The gerbil’s name is Tom, and some of the best memories that Peres has with the Gerbil is hanging out with him around the house and letting him run around.

Unique pets are a very good option and provide memories like no other pets I have ever owned.”

— freshman Bobby Peres

Some pets other than cats and dogs are less work and more affordable than the mainstream pets, and still, provide the connection with owners that most want out of their pets. Peres’s gerbil can run freely around the house, with some adult supervision, or can Relax in a large pen. “I have a special connection with the gerbil, because he can run around the house, and doesn’t eat anything. He is very tame, and will play with me and my siblings,” says Peres.

Unique pets have been on the rise in the past years, with a 25% increase since 2011, according to the American Veterinary Association. This data represents the growing interest in pets like bunnies or mice, which are more convenient and affordable for many people who cannot do things such as walk a dog every day or who live in more crowded living spaces such as apartment complexes or condos.

So next time there is a decision about getting a pet, get to know some that are not cats or dogs, and at least consider an alternative option for a pet.