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Missoula non-profit devoted to caring for, rehabilitating exotic pets

exotic animal
exotic animal
Posted at 2:19 PM, Jan 10, 2023

MISSOULA - A young Missoula couple who are devoted to the care and rehabilitation of exotic pets is ready for the next step in their efforts to save animals.

Zootown Exotic's Rescue is now a nonprofit and we wanted to learn more about the kind of animals they save and why.

The animals include a hairless Guinea pig, a tiny Dungeness crab found in some oysters delivered to a Missoula grocery store, a tortoise found on Highway 93 near Arlee and a bearded dragon rescued from a classroom.

exotic animal
Zootown Exotic's Rescue is now a nonprofit in Missoula devoted to the care and rehabilitation of exotic pets.

Most of the creatures at Zootown Exotic's Rescue were rescued or relinquished from homes around the state. They are now in the loving care of Wyatt Wildey and Kadie Lourien.

"They're coming in having more abuse situations. So, we get more animals from a bad situation than a good one,” Wildey told MTN News. “I’d say most calls a day are people looking to drop off an animal, maybe adopt an animal or just look around.”

Zootown Exotic's Rescue — which has been around for three years — is ready for a bigger facility to house more exotic household pets to rehabilitate and educate would-be owners these animals require commitment.

Turtle
Most of the creatures at Zootown Exotic's Rescue were rescued or relinquished from homes around Montana.

“Instead of getting your kid a bearded dragon, maybe — and we always joke about this — we say get a pet rock. Teach them to care for a rock first because that rock does not need a $100 light bulb,” Lourien said.

Lourien says the demand for a facility like Zootown Exotic's Rescue is greater than you might think, "on Craigslist there was always a lot of animals just either free or very low fee and we thought clearly there’s a need here."

She knows the name, age, personality and back story of each of the animals at Zootown Exotic's Rescue.

Every animal that walks through this door becomes part of our family. When you get to that level with these animals, and you’re nursing them back to help you become very close to them and that’s when their personality starts to come out, when they’re back in good health and that’s when you really get to meet them.” - Kadie Lourien, Zootown Exotic's Rescue

Wildey and Lourien have been holding fundraisers and taking some of their animals to events around town to show them off but mostly to educate people.

Some of the creatures will outlive their owners so it's a commitment to own an exotic animal.

Some of the animals at Zootown Exotic's Rescue will be adopted but only to the right home.

“We have a very rigorous adoption application. I mean it in the nicest way. It's rigorous but it’s for all the right reasons, Wildey said.

Click here to learn more about Zootown Exotic's Rescue.