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Skunk lovers from across the country gather in North Ridgeville to celebrate their unusual pets

A thousand skunk enthusiasts gathered in North Ridgeville Saturday to celebrate their unusual...
A thousand skunk enthusiasts gathered in North Ridgeville Saturday to celebrate their unusual pets.(WOIO)
Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 7:03 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A thousand skunk lovers from as far away as Florida and California gathered in North Ridgeville Saturday to celebrate their nontraditional pets.

These are not the malodorous visitors you may have seen scuttling behind your trash cans late at night.

The skunks at Skunkfest are domesticated animals bred to be pets.

Their scent sacs have been removed.

“People say, why would you want a skunk?” said Renee Pearlstein, who attended the event. “Why would you want a cat, dog, ferret? That’s why I want a skunk.”

Some can be more than companion animals.

Derryk Paramoure, who attended the event with his pet skunk, said Mr. Stinky Noodle is a service animal that can alert him when he is about to have a seizure.

“The night I came home with him, I went into a grand mal seizure,” said Paramoure. “He pulled me out of the seizure within the first 24 hours that I had him.”

Attendees explained that all skunks have different personalities and that owning one is like living with a cross between a ferret and a curious toddler.

Skunks aren’t for everyone, but many at Skunkfest can’t imagine sharing their lives it any other animal.

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