LODI, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Gloria Kim takes her fluffy pet, Seven, for a walk on a leash every day — to the wide-eyed bewilderment of those around her, because Seven is not a normal pet.
He’s a pet skunk who lives with Kim and her kids and has become a part of the family, CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reports.READ MORE: 3 Arrested, 1 Suspect Still Wanted For Drive-By Shooting That Injured 4 In Yonkers
“It’s like I’m a parent, because I have to take care of him,” Kim’s daughter, Bella Tsang, says.
Why do they have a pet skunk?
“Because it’s unique,” Kim says.
Kim says she just had to have one after seeing an albino skunk at a pet store. She says it was love at first sight.READ MORE: Campaign 2021: Polls Open For Early Voting In New York City Primaries; First With Ranked Choice Voting
“Beautiful hair. Temperament is very beautiful. He’s so cute, he’s like a little baby,” she says.
So she put in an order for one at an exotic pet store. The manager tells CBS2 it is legal to have a skunk as a pet in New Jersey.
“You have to get a permit from Fish Game and Wildlife. It’s $12 a year,” store manager Megan Zayatz says.
We know what you’re all thinking… What about the smell? Kim says Seven’s scent glands have been surgically removed so there’s no need to make a big stink.
“They don’t shed. They use a litter box or a wee wee pad,” she says.MORE NEWS: Biden And G-7 Partners Launch Infrastructure Initiative For Developing Countries
As for the neighbors and the gawkers, Kim says she’s used to getting some funny looks and having people take pictures, but most are cool with the skunk next door who’s made himself right at home.