Strangest Pet Owners In The World
Here are some of the craziest pets with even stranger owners!Animals
We all love pets. In fact, countless studies have suggested that the company of a furry friend might even be beneficial to our mental health. However, some pets out there are a little strange, and their owners have gone way beyond what can be considered a normal relationship with their animal friends.
Let's explore some crazy pets with even stranger owners, including a chicken raised for meat that’s now convinced he’s a dog, a woman with 28,000 cats, and a handful of pet owners who refuse to say goodbye to their dearly departed fur babies.
Chicken Raised For Meat Is Convinced He's A Dog
It was a dark, tragic day, back in 2017, when Mary Bowman’s much beloved pet chicken Julian passed away. While some folks would merely see the passing of a chicken as a free dinner opportunity, Mary was heartbroken. In time, though, her heart would mend, and in October 2017, she decided to adopt a new chicken. After all, it’s what Julian would’ve wanted.
It was then that she became aware of Boo. The chicken, like many, was destined to be slaughtered but had luckily been rescued from that fate by members of a Facebook group called Vegans with chickens. It was through the Facebook page that Mary became aware of the chicken, who was now up for adoption, and since Boo looked just like her late Julian, Mary believed it was fate that had brought them together.
Because Boo was raised on a farm for meat, he was grossly overfed, meaning that at just 6 weeks old, the age when chickens are typically slaughtered, he weighed almost 15 lbs. For comparison, the average healthy and naturally-fed chicken weighs only 6.5 lbs.
As a result of Boo’s obesity, he suffered from heart troubles and a lack of blood oxygen. However, once he settled into his new home and healthier diet with Mary, over time, the once-neglected chicken ended up with a clean bill of health and became a domesticated pet.
Strangely, he even developed behaviors we’d typically attribute to dogs. From having a free run of the house and eating out of a dog’s bowl, to even going on walks and family outings, Boo essentially became Mary’s pet chicken pooch. So much so that he can even play fetch, just check out this clip from Boo’s own Instagram:
So perhaps he hasn’t quite got the "fetch" part of it down yet, but given time, he’ll be in the park catching frisbees with all the other dogs. But playing games aside, according to Mary, Boo is so much more than just a chicken or even a dog for that matter. Boo is a genius! From being a virtuoso on the old ebony and ivories to his secretary work. Not to mention being a fashion icon, what with his own ultra-chic poop bag!
So, it’s pretty clear this chicken’s got more to him than we usually assume for a bird of his kind. But are we underestimating chickens in general? Boo is often likened to a dog in his behavior, and it might surprise you to learn that multiple studies have found that the intelligence of chickens and dogs is actually roughly on par.
Of course, there’s little research or evidence to prove whether it’s possible for a chicken to actually believe it’s a dog or even another species. However, research conducted by the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has strongly suggested that they’re capable of empathy.
Therefore, it’s technically possible that a chicken might observe, empathize, and tune into a dog’s emotional reactions and behaviors. With this clever behavioral mirroring, the two species can certainly coexist and get on with one another very well! The point is, chickens and dogs can be friends, and are a lot more similar than we often give them credit for.
But Boo’s owner Mary isn’t the only proud chicken mom out there whose bird has a certain canine flair. Movie star, Jennifer Garner, also has a few poultry pals that she treats like pet dogs. Just check out this Instagram post where she and her pet chicken, hilarious named Regina George, can be seen heading out for a walk.
Dog Owner Has Pet Chihuahua Stuffed
Let's explore some pets whose owners are the most unusual part of the partnership. With 95% of US pet owners reporting to feel their pet is part of the family, it can be tough when they pass away. However, some people take their pet grief to a whole other level.
In 2008, UK couple, Kimmy and Stuart Walker Harris brought home a little puppy Chihuahua, named Fifi. Small, she might’ve been, but of all the family’s dogs, Fifi apparently had the biggest personality so much so that Kimmy claims Fifi was the best dog ever. However, in 2021 at age 13, Fifi passed away.
So, instead of any usual pet owner, Kimmy didn't bury Fifi and took the dead body to the taxidermist and had her stuffed. Just moments after Fifi’s final breath, she was hurled into Kimmy’s freezer to preserve her good looks. She was then skinned, stretched, and stuffed, creating what Kimmy now calls the new Fifi.
Nowadays, taking pride of place in the couple’s bedroom, the new Fifi perches on a chair, like she once did only now, dead. But that doesn’t matter to Kimmy, as she explains she just likes ‘seeing and stroking her’, even admitting to saying ‘morning, Fifi’ every morning, while petting the stuffed pooch.
Humphrey the Hippo
It was a stormy day in South Africa in 2005 when a baby hippo got caught in a flood. Being just 5 months old, it must’ve been distressing, considering that hippos typically live under the protection of their mothers until around 7 to 8 years old.
However, the lost hippo was about to cross paths with 40-year-old Marius Els, who would take in and care for the animal. Marius called him Humphrey, and before long, Humphrey and Marius would become what Marius likened to father and son.
It turned out that having a pet hippo wasn’t ideal. Being one of the most aggressive animals on the planet, Humphrey’s hippo instincts meant he would often charge at people who dared go near Marius’ farm. Not only that, but he would sometimes break out of his enclosure, wander to a nearby golf course, and then aggressively chase down the golfers.
It sounds like a bit of fun and games, but the shocking truth is that hippos kill around 500 people in Africa every year, so the pet was a genuine public hazard. But that didn’t bother Marius. After all, Humphrey would never hurt him or would he? But on one fatal November day in 2011, everything changed.
Humphrey, out of nowhere, turned on Marius, sending his own father on the one-way train to Heaven, leaving his remains submerged in the very same river that Marius rescued Humphrey from just 6 years earlier. It’s sad, but this could’ve been avoided had he not befriended a 1.2-ton deadly beast.
Woman Marries Her Dog
Ever since being a little girl, UK resident Amanda Rodgers had dreamed of having the perfect wedding. But even with a short-lived marriage during her 20s, Amanda never managed to find her Mr. Right. So, feeling dismayed with human love, she turned her gaze to the canine world.
She fell in love with Sheba, her pet Jack Russell Terrier. And according to Amanda, it was a no-brainer. After all, Sheba made her laugh and would comfort her when she was feeling low. She had everything you could want in a life partner.
You’re probably wondering how one might go about proposing to a dog, and well, it’s easy. Amanda simply got down on one knee and popped the question. And it was obviously a "yes" when Sheba wagged her tail. Whether we can consider that consent is open to debate, but regardless, Amanda and Sheba married in 2014.
Unofficially brought together in holy matrimony in Croatia, they were joined by 200 guests. Amanda described it as a wonderful moment, while surprisingly, Sheba is yet to comment on the marriage.
Lisa Murray-Lang And Spud, The Hamster
Here's a story of love and loss, experienced by Lisa Murray Lang from the UK. It was 2019 when Lisa brought home her pet hamster, Spud, for the first time. Given the pandemic that began unfolding toward the end of 2019, much of Spud’s little life was spent in during lockdown.
While it’s not exactly uncommon for hamsters to live their lives without exploring much further beyond their owner’s house, Lisa felt guilty knowing Spud had never seen the world. So, she began crafting replicas of famous landmarks, such as London, Paris, Hogwarts, and Hawaii (his favorite one) to name a few, showing Spud the world from the comfort of home.
But by March 2022, Spud kicked the bucket at just 3 years old, roughly the average life expectancy for a hamster. Lisa was devastated. Even claiming that Spud gave her a reason to get out of bed. She knew in her heart that there was only one thing to do: Hawaii. With Spud now turned to ash, Lisa took a $4,000 trip to Hawaii, where Spud’s essence was scattered into the Hawaiian breeze.
Man Makes Gourmet Meals For His Puppy
These days, people can get carried away when it comes to pampering their pooches. From grooming to garments, dogs have never been so domesticated. However, the next pet owner takes it to another level.
In 2021, Canadian chef, Sean MacDonald, got a beautiful Labrador puppy, which he named Hazelnut. With a passion for cooking and a love for Hazelnut, Sean got thinking, "why not combine the two?" But instead of cooking Hazelnut, he cooked 5-star meals for Hazelnut. And just take a look at Hazelnut tucking into, braised beef and bone marrow.
With a taste for the finer things, Hazelnut routinely dines on dishes such as lobster bisque, king crab, carbonara, and charcuterie boards, to name a few. When asked, Sean cited Hazelnut’s most luxurious meal as beef with foie gras, bone marrow, truffle, and lobster.
Does this mean there’s a dog out there who literally eats better every day than most of us ever have? Hazelnut has even chowed down on octopus!
Rodent Mad Woman Owns 50 Rats
For most of us, finding a rat in our house would cause utter panic and chaos. And while it’s not unheard of for people to have pet rats, one woman has taken that to the extreme, commanding an army of 50 rats!
In 2018, 51-year-old Californian, Michele Raybon, got herself 4 pet rats. 2 naked rats, Chuck and Elvis, plus 2 hooded rats, Lucy and Ethel. But for Michele, 4 rats just didn’t hit the spot. Over the next 4 years, she would acquire 46 more rats, which she allows to scurry around her and her house.
It’s the stuff of nightmares for many, but according to Michele, her quote unquote ‘babies’ can do no wrong. She testifies that they’re personable creatures who are ‘mostly’ friendly. And while they’re generally known for living in sewers and trash cans, Michele says the idea of rats being dirty and diseased is just an inaccurate stigma.
And, sure, these little guys can be pretty cute on occasion, but is that really an excuse to live with 50 of them, Michele?
The Woman Who Lives With 1,000 Cats
In 1992, 73-year-old Lynea Lattanzio’s father asked her to help him find a new pet cat. Unfortunately, Lynea couldn’t find him a pet cat but she did find him 15 kittens. Ever since then, she hasn’t been able to curb her passion for feline friends.
So much so, that in 2016 it was reported she was sharing her home with around 1,100 cats. But don’t worry, she isn’t your classic throwing cats while incoherently screaming type cat lady. She runs a sanctuary for feral and abandoned kitties.
‘The Cat House on the Kings’, found on King’s River Road in Parlier, California is Lynea’s 12-acre cat sanctuary where she and her 1,100 cats live. Or at least Lynea used to, having been forced to vacate the overcrowded main house and set up camp in a mobile home.
But as crazy as a thousand cats may sound, Lynea’s constantly finding her feline residents new homes with loving families, so it’s actually estimated that in her whole career, she’s had around 28,000 cats total!
But all this kitty care comes at a hefty cost. Roughly $1.6 million a year, taking into account staff, food, litter, maintenance, and medical fees. In fact, Lynea even trained as a vet to keep costs down, but that’s not a scratch on the whole expense, which is just barely able to be funded by donations and sponsorships. However, saving yourself over a million dollars a year by not being surrounded by over 1,000 cats doesn’t appeal to some folks.
Jabba The Toad Living In Woman's Shoes
This is the story of Jabba the Toad, once upon a time, in 2019, a woman named Sita Hood found a little green visitor on her porch, an amphibian kind. Sita was keen to accommodate her little toad guest, so she offered him a shoe to live in. Not only that, but she gave him a name too, he was now Jabba the Toad.
Jabba was very pleased with his shoe house, so much so, that every day Jabba would go about his life and then retreat back to the warm, cozy, and presumably slightly stinky comfort of Sita’s shoe. But as summer came to an end, Jabba departed into the nearby woods for hibernation.
It was a long and lonely winter for Sita. But, as so often is the case, true love prevailed, and the following spring Jabba returned to Sita’s shoe! It was then that Sita made the shoe Jabba’s official summer home, with a bold sign warning all to not disturb his majesty.
Unfortunately, there’s been no public update as to whether Jabba returned for a third summer. But, Sita said that regardless of whether he returned again, she was grateful for Jabba’s friendship.
They Turned Their Dead Pets' Coats Into Sweaters
In 2008, Beth and Brian Willis, a retired couple from the UK, made headlines after doing something pretty peculiar with their dearly departed dogs. Turned out, they’d made them into sweaters. That's right, what was once a Swedish Lapphund named Penny and a White Samoyed named Kara, were both immortalized in sweater form.
As insane as that might sound, rest assured that Beth and Brian weren’t exactly wearing their pet’s skin. What they’d actually done was collect the molted fur from their dogs and when they eventually passed, had it spun into yarn, which was used to knit their woolly sweaters.
Still, it’s a bit weird! Nevertheless, they’re smitten with their sweaters, claiming they’re "extremely warm and pretty much waterproof". If you get caught in the rain with one of these on, just give yourself a quick shake and you’re good to go!
Chicken Named Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga! The popstar, movie star, fashion icon! Those are all accurate but the Lady Gaga that we are about to discuss is a chicken and not the popstar that we know of. The chicken named Lady Gaga doesn't just look like a pop star, but a fuchsia pink chicken belonging to Sharon Folkes.
A big fan of the real Gaga, Sharon named her chick Lady Gaga and dresses her in equally eccentric outfits which she occasionally matches with. It’s not just her name and appearance that pays homage to the star, but according to Sharon, the little clucker even has a diva attitude to match.
Much like the star, Lady Gaga turns heads everywhere she goes with her posse. Understandably, seeing someone walking a chicken would already grab your attention, let alone a chicken wearing a dress. But that’s just the life of a star. From photoshoots to attending events, such as Manhattan’s Annual Blessings of the Animals, where pet owners come together to celebrate their animal pals, Lady Gaga is one busy chick.
He Got Matching Neuter Tattoos With His Dog
Oftentimes, rescue animals don’t have the best start in life and when Texas man, Chris Mendiola, rescued his dog named Bear in 2010, he noticed something shocking. Bear had a tattoo. Disgusted that anyone could do such a thing, Chris decided to make a statement he got a matching tattoo.
But what exactly was the tattoo? It wasn’t your classic rose or heart kind of tattoo. Instead, it was a male symbol with a cross through it. Or, as people were quick to point out to Chris, a medical symbol indicating that Bear had been neutered.
In the US some vets and shelters will tattoo dogs that have had the snip, so they know they’re not a threat of becoming a multiple-time baby daddy around their local area. To Chris’ surprise, his grand gesture, which was intended to be heartfelt, sent him viral for all the wrong reasons. Still, Chris maintains that his tattoo is but a sign of love for Bear, and that he has no regrets.
Horse Plays Dead Every Time Someone Tries To Ride Him
You might have heard the phrase "to work like a horse" and that’s because, generally, horses are hard workers. Yet one horse in Korea doesn’t exactly have the greatest work ethic. Its name is Jingang. The horse who refuses to work, ride, and well, do anything. In fact, this horse is so lazy that if anyone tries to ride him, he’ll simply drop to the floor and play dead.
And he does a very convincing job. With his eyes closed, mouth ajar, and contorted arms and legs, this pony puts on a truly Oscar-winning worthy performance. After lying there for a moment or two, he’ll then wait until the coast is clear and then stand back up. But, should anyone approach again, he’ll reassume the deathbed performance.
While the collapsing to the floor is certainly unique, it’s said that horses might refuse to ride for a multitude of reasons, the 4 main ones cited as either pain, misunderstanding, fear, or, as is likely the case with Jingang, disrespect, challenging the authority of the perceived leader of the social hierarchy.
Molly, The Rare Hermaphrodite Dog
In today’s day and age, everyone should feel free to be and express who they truly are, no matter what race, gender, or sexuality. In fact, things have gotten so progressive that even a dog had gender reassignment surgery!
In 2015, Frank and Mary Finely, a couple from Scotland, bought a female Jack Russell named Molly. However, over time, they noticed Molly wasn’t behaving all too ladylike. In what they described as "increasingly male behaviors", Molly would do innately masculine canine behaviors such as sometimes lifting her leg to pee.
It sounds minor, but the Finely family wondered if there might be a medical issue or discomfort causing the behaviors, so they took Molly to the vet. An examination would reveal that Molly was actually intersex. That is, she exhibited both male and female privates.
In Molly’s case, she had, for want of a better word, normal female external bits, but a pair of male genitals, hiding on the inside. This is extremely rare, with only 15 other recorded cases of a similar situation on record. Still, the vet went ahead and removed Molly’s male parts, affirming that doing so would prevent it from developing into a potentially painful condition as she got older. Regardless, it’s said that she’s now happy, fit, and healthy!
I hope you were amazed at the strangest pet owners in the world! Thanks for reading.