Preventing Tiger Kings: What about the Dangers of Exotic Pets?

If a property manager is tired of talking trash about noise complaints, they’re likely to move on to their next favorite subject of renter problems. Pets have always been a top concern. They scratch, they smell, they make a lot of noise and more. They can make you a lot of money, but they can also cause a lot of damage – and you’re probably just thinking about cats and dogs!

We’ve gathered a good share of information on with your friendly cats and dogs, but there are a lot of pets out there. If recent binging fests of Tiger King taught us anything, they taught us that when it comes to pets, there’s no limit to what people will do.

If a property manager is tired of talking trash about noise complaints, they’re likely to move on to their next favorite subject of renter problems. Pets have always been a top concern. They scratch, they smell, they make a lot of noise and more. They can make you a lot of money, but they can also cause a lot of damage – and you’re probably just thinking about cats and dogs!

We’ve gathered a good share of information on how to deal with your friendly cats and dogs, but there are a lot of pets out there. If recent binging fests of Tiger King taught us anything, they taught us that when it comes to pets, there’s no limit to what people will do.

Enough with the Monkey Business

The most famous case of exotic pets going wild is the case of Travis the Chimpanzee. While typically friendly in demeanor, Travis was a good boy right up until he nearly killed a woman and his human mom back in 2010. The massive trauma – which resulted in incredible damage such as loss of hands, jaw, nose, eyes, and mid-face structure – eventually resulted in a $50 million lawsuit and a $4 million settlement, after the chimp’s owner died.

The drama was truly worthy of Joe Exotic himself.

There’s a certain liability rental property owners and managers have to deal with. If a resident’s chimp rips someone’s face off and starts eating right in front of their live victim while on the property, someone’s going to end up suing the owner. We can all be thankful that it isn’t likely to happen. A chimpanzee like Travis can cost $60,000.

Weirdly enough, a tiger cub costs less than a chimp, coming in at around $2,500. Other cats of the exotic nature can cost less, even $900, but the other costs make it add up. Ignoring the space requirements (legal and otherwise) just having a big cat means you need to have a big car, like a sturdy, wide van so you can take it to the vet, something that can handle a twelve-foot long cat that can literally eat a horse.

You need upkeep on all permits if you want to get an animal like this. It’s pretty likely that your renter living Rent Day to Rent Day isn’t going to be throwing dollar bills to get a Next Level Exotic Pet. They are just too expensive.

Snakes, bearded dragons, and other pets are not.

Enough with the Monkey Business

The most famous case of exotic pets going wild is the case of Travis the Chimpanzee. While typically friendly in demeanor, Travis was a good boy right up until he nearly killed a woman and his human mom back in 2010. The massive trauma – which resulted in incredible damage such as loss of hands, jaw, nose, eyes, and mid-face structure – eventually resulted in a $50 million lawsuit and a $4 million settlement, after the chimp’s owner died.

The drama was truly worthy of Joe Exotic himself.

There’s a certain liability rental property owners and managers have to deal with. If a resident’s chimp rips someone’s face off and starts eating right in front of their live victim while on the property, someone’s going to end up suing the owner. We can all be thankful that it isn’t likely to happen. A chimpanzee like Travis can cost $60,000.

Weirdly enough, a tiger cub costs less than a chimp, coming in at around $2,500. Other cats of the exotic nature can cost less, even $900, but the other costs make it add up. Ignoring the space requirements (legal and otherwise) just having a big cat means you need to have a big car, like a sturdy, wide van so you can take it to the vet, something that can handle a twelve-foot long cat that can literally eat a horse. You need upkeep on all permits if you want to get an animal like this. It’s pretty likely that your resident living Rent Day to Rent Day isn’t going to be throwing dollar bills to get a Next Level Exotic Pet. They are just too expensive.

Snakes, bearded dragons, and other pets are not.

Crickets, Mice, and Everything Nice

Sure, a bearded dragon doesn’t sound too bad. Supposedly, they’re the most affectionate of scaly pets! How they rate affection is unknown, but who doesn’t want to own something called a dragon? So, they’re not fluffy. What’s the big deal?

Bearded dragons eat crickets. Live crickets. You can bet your renter isn’t going to the local pet store and saying ‘One cricket, please! Just the one.’

Since Jeff Bezos is about to become the world’s first trillionaire, you can instead bet your bottom dollar that your tenant is going on Amazon, where a box of 500 live crickets costs about twenty-five bucks plus shipping. They show up in a box. How they take care of 500 crickets and a dragon is up to them, but if that box tips over, there’s a chance you could have an infestation problem.

If your resident has a snake, however, you may be in more luck. UPS strictly prohibits shipping of live animals, and that includes ‘feeder mice.’ There are some ways to have live mice delivered, however it seems to be recommended for people to have frozen mice shipped. The second recommendation is breeding their own mice.

Less than two months after birth, a mouse has reached reproductive maturity. Within three weeks, they can give birth to five or six babies, and they can do this around ten times a year. If your resident is planning on breeding mice to keep their snake fed, it is possible for the feeder mice to become a building problem.

Crickets, Mice, and Everything Nice

Sure, a bearded dragon doesn’t sound too bad. Supposedly, they’re the most affectionate of scaly pets! How they rate affection is unknown, but who doesn’t want to own something called a dragon? So, they’re not fluffy. What’s the big deal?

Bearded dragons eat crickets. Live crickets. You can bet your resident isn’t going to the local pet store and saying ‘One cricket, please! Just the one.’

Since Jeff Bezos is about to become the world’s first trillionaire, you can instead bet your bottom dollar that your tenant is going on Amazon, where a box of 500 live crickets costs about twenty-five bucks plus shipping. They show up in a box. How they take care of 500 crickets and a dragon is up to them, but if that box tips over, there’s a chance you could have an infestation problem.

If your resident has a snake, however, you may be in more luck. UPS strictly prohibits shipping of live animals, and that includes ‘feeder mice.’ There are some ways to have live mice delivered, however it seems to be recommended for people to have frozen mice shipped. The second recommendation is breeding their own mice.

Less than two months after birth, a mouse has reached reproductive maturity. Within three weeks, they can give birth to five or six babies, and they can do this around ten times a year. If your resident is planning on breeding mice to keep their snake fed, it is possible for the feeder mice to become a building problem.

Addendums are your Friend

How do you prevent someone from taking it upon themselves to be the next Joe Exotic? You can’t control their fashion choices, but you have every right to make sure your property is safe and safe for the  other residents within it. You don’t want a tiger to bite someone’s arm off, and you don’t want a monkey attacking someone’s face. On a far more likely level, you don’t want to have to tent your property or specific units because the crickets and mice have gotten out of control.

Ask a lawyer how to build your policies. Just as there may be exotic pet laws in your area, there may be specifics on the breeding of mice. A lawyer in your area will also know how to conduct an addendum that can protect your property from potential infestations due to the feeding of exotic snakes or lizards (or dragons). Have them double check any pet policy you have that may leave out a growing concern. Make sure your rental application asks about all pets – beyond the standard cats and dogs. From there, you may feel more comfortable knowing you have more coverage after seeing too many pets go wild.

Do you have an Let us know in the comments below!

Addendums are your Friend

How do you prevent someone from taking it upon themselves to be the next Joe Exotic? You can’t control their fashion choices, but you have every right to make sure your property is safe and safe for the other residents within in it. You don’t want a tiger to bite someone’s arm off, and you don’t want a monkey attacking someone’s face. On a far more likely level, you don’t want to have to tent your property or specific units because the crickets and mice have gotten out of control.

Ask a lawyer how to build your policies. Just as there may be exotic pet laws in your area, there may be specifics on the breeding of mice. A lawyer in your area will also know how to conduct an addendum that can protect your property from potential infestations due to the feeding of exotic snakes or lizards (or dragons). Have them double check any pet policy you have that may leave out a growing concern. Make sure your rental application asks about all pets – beyond the standard cats and dogs. From there, you may feel more comfortable knowing you have more coverage after seeing too many pets go wild.

Do you have an Let us know in the comments below!

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Nicole Seidner

Cole Seidner is a copywriter here at the CIC Blog. She holds a degree in Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design with a focus in creative nonfiction. Her free time is spent taking pictures of her dogs or reading deep dive analysis on movies that she hasn’t seen.

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