Pets with a capital P-U


December 10, 2013

From the To Each Their Own Dept., file this under “One Person’s Pest is Another’s Pet.”

Deborah Cipriani owns the only rescue center for skunks in the United States in her home in North Ridgeville, Ohio. More than 50 rescued skunks live as pets in Deborah Cipriani’s suburban abode, nicknamed Skunk Haven.

“They’ve all got different personalities,” she says. “But, no matter what, we treat them all like family.”

And her black and white “family” lives the good life, enjoying rides in a baby carriage, a wide variety of food and their annual moment in the sun: an event called Skunk Fest, featuring a skunk beauty pageant. Skunk Haven has become a domestic skunk rescue facility that provides homes for unwanted skunks in much the same way the APL finds homes for dogs and cats.

“We usually have 20 or so skunks on hand,” Cipriani says. “We get them from all over and adopt them out or foster them to people all over the country.”

For anyone concerned about the stink emitted by something called Skunk Fest, Cipriani says Skunk Fest skunks are descented.

“But even skunks in the wild only spray if they feel threatened. If you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you. They would rather just go on their way.”


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