Dogs, cats, hamsters, goldfish. Ho hum. Everybody has those same, boring kinds of pets. You want something just a little bit different. But what, exactly? Something exotic? Something unusual? Something ... dangerous? We don't recommend living with a kangaroo or a pack of wolves, but we've put together a list of 12 relatively easy to obtain and easy to care for pets that are just off the beaten path. They may challenge you with their slightly unusual needs (and in certain circumstances, they might not even be legal), but if you want something unique, these animals all are potentially good choices.
Skunks are known chiefly for one thing — they stink. Or rather, they spray a stink on you as a defense mechanism if they feel threatened. That's why when we see a skunk shamble by, we give it a wide berth. But even while avoiding contact, we think, "Dang, that little fella sure is cute. I wish I could scoop him up and give him a hug and a pet."
Some people stop wishing and turn that fantasy into reality. Skunks are, in fact, often kept as pets, and they can make great companions. Of course, there are a lot of caveats involved. As you might imagine, skunk owners usually remove a pet skunk's scent glands at a young age to prevent it from stinking. However, many argue that this practice is unnecessarily cruel to the animals — plus, it is illegal in England. Furthermore, merely owning a pet skunk at all is illegal in most US states, so as always, research your local laws before pulling the trigger. But, assuming you're legally in the clear and have no moral objections to scent-gland removal (or you're just prepared to deal with the smell), an affectionate skunk may prove to be your ideal alternative pet, you animal-loving iconoclast, you.
Image via Flickr