Exotic pet owners


Rhett Karches

Sophomore Rhett Karches’ bearded dragon, Apallo, touches a rock. Photo by Rhett Karches.

Jorden Hopp, Social Media Editor

Dogs, cats, goldfish and betta fish have nearly always been given the title of common household pets. Though they may be the most well known, it does not go to show that there can’t be all different types of animals in a home. Pets that are out of the ordinary hardly get enough recognition. From tortoises to bearded dragons to chameleons, exotic pets have found a home with these Carlsbad pet owners. 

These unique pets spark certain joy with their owners by doing things that a customary house- pet wouldn’t do. Senior Isabella Fontyn finds it amusing to watch her panther chameleon, Norman, change colors. 

Senior Isabella Fontyn’s panther chameleon is named Norman. (Isabella Fontyn)

“One thing I love about owning him is watching his color change when he gets dark while basking to bright and colorful while he’s eating,” Fontyn said. 

While some owners find it unique that their pet is able to change to vibrant colors, others find their pet’s personality more interesting. Sophomore Rhett Karches’ pet bearded dragon, Apallo, does something out of the ordinary. 

“Something unique is he licks everything around him for some reason,” Karches said. 

A pet’s personality is truly one of a kind — the little things they do, like licking everything around them like Apallo, makes them who they are. Freshman Maya Carranza owns a Russian tortoise named Clyde. She finds him different from other pets due to a common characteristic of tortoises — his long life. 

“He’s different from other pets because he lives a lot longer,” Carranza said.

Though these pets have many amazing characteristics that make them different from others, the owners have to face difficult tasks to make sure that their pets receive the proper care. 

“The thing that’s difficult is cleaning his cage and feeding him,” Karches said. 

Not only do the animals require a lot of attention and upkeep, but all the things that go into owning an exotic pet can get expensive. 

Freshman Maya Carranza’s Russian tortoise is named Clyde. (Maya Carranza)

“They also can get quite costly with the enclosure and the chameleon itself, plus all the variety of foods and supplements you have to buy on top of that,” Fontyn said. 

Even with all the upkeep with the animals, it is all worth it for the owners because they still cherish their pets and love owning them. All of the good things about their animals outweigh the bad. They even appreciate the small rewards like watching their pets at their happiest moments and knowing they are great owners, especially considering the amount of patience it takes to own a tortoise, chameleon or bearded dragon. 

“One of my favorite things is that he likes to run around and eat flowers outside,” Carranza said.