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Persuasive Speech On Keeping Exotic Animals As House Pets

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General Purpose: To Persuade

Specific Purpose: I would like the audience to understand and discourage exotic animals as house pets.

Central Idea: Exotic animals should not be kept as pets.

Claim: More and more people every day would rather have an exotic pet than a domestic animal.



How many of you have ever said you wanted a pet monkey when you were at the zoo last time? Or imagined how neat it would be to have a tiger sleep at the foot of your bed instead of just a dog? That all sounds wonderful at first but how many people do you know that have ever had an exotic pet and not regretted it immediately? It's not really as great as you think TRUST ME!! According to the Human Society of the United States in one of their recent surveys, "90% of exotic pets die within the first year and 90% of the remainder die in the second year. That means that only 1% lives past the age of two." (HSUS)


I. Every year wild animals seriously hurt or kill people, usually their owners or family members. Big cats have killed many children and even grown men, not to mention the dogs people think their cougar will be friends with, they never survive. Monkeys are always the pet people wish they could have. Why wouldn't you though? The producers of the TV show "Friends" made Marcel, Ross's pet capuchin look wonderful. They didn't show you his bad days. Or even the personality of an adult capuchin, Marcel was just a baby! They can never be trained, tamed, or basically domesticated like people think. Take Louie for example, a Black-capped capuchin born in August of 2004. He was bought by a family in Chicago when he was just a baby. Within months he had bitten their daughter several times severely, but when he finally bit a child outside the family, his life was in danger. Louie's mom found herself in court fighting against the parents of the child who demanded that his head be sent off for rabies testing. After pleading with the family and astronomical court costs Louie was able to live but his family was court ordered to send him to a licensed sanctuary. Louie was no longer welcome in Cook County, Illinois. She chose to send him to Peace River Refuge and Ranch here in Zolfo Springs (owned by my mom). Louie now lives with seven other capuchins just like him and has no direct human contact and ability to hurt anyone. Wild animals also carry many parasites and diseases that are transmissible to humans including rabies, tuberculosis, ringworm, and hepatitis, especially the primates.

II. Another typical problem people have is animals escaping. Who hasn't had their cat scoot out the door or their snake get out of the aquarium at least once. If that were a lynx someone could get seriously hurt, especially the neighbor's outside dog or if that snake was a venomous snake now loose in your house you would be in trouble. Even a small animal being released into the wrong environment could hurt the ecosystem because they are most likely not native to the area.

III. The Wildcat Sanctuary noted in one of their recent newsletters that "All across America, wildcats are being sold as pets or exhibits in roadside zoos. The motive for these breeders is profit." (Wildcat Sanctuary) White tigers can be sold for as much as $50,000. The most popular big cat kept as a pet is the Lynx, a 50 pound cat in the bobcat family. They can be bought for anywhere from $800 - $1200. Primates are the other major victim of the pet trade. In most states an individual can legally buy a primate for $5000 - $35000. The International Primate Protection League works tirelessly to make individuals aware of the problem these poor animals are facing. IPPL stated that, "Owners usually get rid of monkeys when they are 4 to 8 years old." About the time they reach maturity." This is a major problem facing monkeys. The few existing sanctuaries are crowded, yet they are offered more and more monkeys. Very few former "owners" who have bought baby primates provide donations for lifetime care



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