A pet rabbit jumps over an obstacle during a rabbit track and field competition on the sidelines of a hunting exhibition in Kromeriz, about 60 km east of Prague, April 1, 2017. Getty Images

As people have started adopting more unusual and exotic pets other than cats or dogs, illegal pet or wildlife trade has been on the rise. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website, illegal wildlife trade is "estimated to be a multibillion-dollar business involving the unlawful harvest of and trade in live animals and plants or parts and products derived from them. Wildlife is traded as skins, leather goods or souvenirs; as food or traditional medicine; as pets, and in many other forms."

According to National Geographic, the main entry points for smuggled for animals in the United States are mainly cities along the border including Texas, California, San Diego, Arizona, among others.

Alejandra Goyenechea, a senior international counsel for Defenders of Wildlife, a wildlife conservation organization in Washington, D.C., and a co-author of a comprehensive report about illegal wildlife trade published in 2016 in fact sheet by the organization, said the findings of the report presented "just the tip of the iceberg. We cannot imagine how much more is happening that we haven’t caught." A 2016 report from the organization discovered "nearly 50,000 illegal shipments of wildlife and wildlife products seized at ports of entry from 2005 through 2014, more than a quarter originated in Latin America."

The current administration under President Donald Trump has promised to halt illegal immigration from Mexico, however, concerns have been raised regarding what will be done to stop the inflow of illicit wildlife and its illegal trade. This kind of trade harms the wild population and leads to an increasing number of endangered species and pushes them more towards extinction. It is also unsustainable as it hampers a country's natural resources and local communities that reside in the country, which could instead benefit from tourism or legal trade.

Read: Which US State Has The Healthiest Pets? Where Your State Ranks For Pet And Human Health, According To Study

Everyone loves to have a pet. However, when you think of a pet, a dog or a cat is what comes to your mind inevitably. But you can have other friendly animals as your pets too. Some non-traditional pets are at times friendlier than a cat or a dog. From hedgehogs to bunnies and many other critters, they can make great pets and can be suitable for your family.

Here’s a list of various types of pets gathered from Buzzfeed and Vet Street, that might just be the perfect match for you and your family.


Children tend to love bunnies as they are usually friendly, adorable and cuddly. Most of the times they bond with their owners and learn to recognize their voice. Rabbits are extremely suitable if you live in an apartment building as they make little or no noise as compared to dogs or cats. You have to commit to a long time pet as rabbits mostly live for 8 to 12 years or even more sometimes. Bunnies must be taken outside to be exposed to sunlight every day, even though they tend to be clean and trainable indoors. They might have distinct personalities, so in order to know them and keep them healthy, you have to spend time with your new pet after you bring them home.

Read: Is Having Too Many Pets Illegal? 57 Animals Living In 'Inhumane Conditions' Die In Florida House Fire


Chinchillas are commonly bred as pets and are quite popular among rodent pets. These adorable fur balls are unique and could be a perfect pet for your family. However, you have to be ready before you get one home. They tend to be very active and need a lot of space to play. If you have a busy schedule and cannot dedicate enough time for your pet, you can consider having another chinchilla, so the two get each other's company.


Hedgehogs are obviously not an ideal pet for everyone, however, if you are ready to spend quality time, he will hopefully respond to your presence and voice. They are prickly and so you have to be careful when you pick them up. Hedgehogs are night owls, thus they are not suitable for light sleepers. You must also be careful with hedgehogs as they carry some diseases such as the Salmonella bacteria in their stool. They respond to their owners with squeals, snorts, and snuffling sounds.

Hedgehogs can be great pets if the owner is ready to spend quality time with them. In this photo, a pet groomer holds a hedgehog in Languidic, near Lorient, western of France, May 16, 2017. Getty Images


If you want a low-maintenance pet, then hamsters are ideal for you. It is extremely easy to care for hamsters. All they require is a large enough enclosure to play around and regular interaction with their owners.


Birds like parrots, canaries, and finches are considered to be great pets. They are sometimes messy as they shed a lot of feathers and drop a lot of their food around. If you are highly committed to spending time with your pets then birds can be one of the best companions and live for almost a dozen years. They require a lot of care and interaction and they can also be extremely loud, especially when they are eating.

Parakeet | Representational Image Getty Images