This printable supports Common Core ELA Standard ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2, ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3 and ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.6

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Pets - or Threats? (Grades 11-12)

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Pets - or Threats?

Pets—or Threats?

For many families, having a pet as part of the household is as normal and traditional as having a washer and dryer or a car and a bicycle. Many young people remember with immense fondness the pleasure of growing up with dogs, cats, fish, birds, and other common domestic animals in the home. Pets frequently attain the status of an actual family member, and provide love, companionship, and affection.

What happens, however, when the concept of pets stretches beyond the customary breeds and into the less conventional types such as rattlesnakes, tigers, or even elephants?
While approximately half of the states in the U.S. ban at least some species of dangerous captive wildlife, the other half have little or no restrictions on what creatures can be brought home.

Whether or not people should be allowed to own exotic pets is a matter of opinion. Many pet owners are responsible and knowledgeable about how to care for the unique dietary, housing, and lifestyle needs of unusual animals. Also, although many of these breeds are classified as wild creatures, a number of them pose no actual threat to humans, especially if kept in the proper containers.

Sadly, there are pet owners who are only temporarily fascinated by unique animals. They lose interest or get distracted and stop taking adequate care of the creatures. They may stop feeding them the necessary diet to keep the animals satisfied. They may forget to latch a gate or lid and the animals can escape, or the owners may just decide to return them “to the wild” and let them go. Frightened, confused animals can be especially hazardous to the public, and when those animals are already dangerous, the threat is magnified. Not only are people at risk, but so is the lost pet, as many authorities will find a solution to its escape not through capture and release, but through euthanasia.
Which detail about exotic animals would people on both sides of the issue most likely agree on?
  1. These animals are a risk to the public.
  2. These animals are more exciting than traditional pets.
  3. These animals require special food, housing, and maintenance.
  4. These animals should only be owned by people with special licenses.
What is the primary complication of owning an exotic pet?
  1. Paying for one
  2. Breaking the law to own one
  3. Taking care of one so that it is safe
  4. Finding the right type of shelter for one
What sometimes happens to exotic pets who get lose and threaten the public?
  1. They are returned to the wild.
  2. They are captured and released.
  3. They are humanely killed.
  4. They are taken to local zoos.
All species of wild animals pose some type of threat to the general public.
  1. True
  2. False
               of the states in the U.S. have laws in place about what kind of animals can be owned as pets.

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