Many people are casual pet owners. They have the obligatory golden retriever or a goldfish or betta on a desk somewhere in an attempt to brighten their lives or teach their kids responsibility.
There are others, though, who seem to live for animals. Once you go above two dogs, a cat and a fish, you are an “animal” family, and definitely in it for the long haul.
This can backfire, of course, especially if the owners aren’t diligent to keep their population from spiraling out of control. That’s how we get animal hoarders whose animals starve, live in horrible conditions and need rescuing.
If you have the means, passion and space, though, why wouldn’t you take in a ton of animals? That’s what Adri Rachelle has done, and that’s why her household includes around 90 critters at any given time.
The 31-year-old dog walker from Atlanta, Georgia, says her parents instilled a love of animals in her from a young age.
“My dad would go out every year to count endangered species like bald eagles, frogs and snakes,” she said, according to Good News Network. “My mom was constantly taking in stray animals like baby birds, kittens and dogs. We raised chickens, rabbits and ducks. Growing up, I probably had about 20 animals, I’ve always been that way.”
“I’ve always loved animals,” she said. “I don’t think anyone is surprised that I’m living like this. When I was a kid, my room was full of stuffed animals because I couldn’t get the real ones.”
But now, Rachelle’s rooms are full of the real deal. She has made sure to include animal-friendly furniture, too. Her bed is 10 feet wide and includes a little platform on the end in case not everyone can fit on the bed.
The branches behind the bed are for her birds to perch on, and sometimes they even spend the night there, too. Her indoor critters include an assortment of pigs, dogs, parrots, rodents, cats, reptiles and others.
“Without fail, the pigs will join me in bed and usually dogs and cats will come in, too,” she said. “I have set up tree branches in the headboard so the birds can sleep near me too. I’ve taken naps with my rats before as well.”
The animals haven’t just taken over the house, they’re outside, too. The barn houses at least mules, horses, goats, chickens and peacocks.
“They do all have names and 80 percent of them are named after Lord of the Rings,” Rachelle said. “I’m a little obsessed with the books and the films. Technically we haven’t run out of Lord of the Rings names, but I really have to search for them now.”
As you can imagine, she spends a lot of money on food. Much of her time is spent checking on, caring for and feeding her extensive menagerie, but she’s gotten it down to a science.
“I like to make sure everyone is settled in and then I’ll feed the dogs their breakfast and I’ll feed myself if I’m lucky. I give the rest of the animals breakfast around 10, fresh fruits and vegetables, hay and pellets for the horses, and all the pigs get bananas.”
“I can go through and spot clean all the cages and enclosures in half an hour. I just put on a podcast and do it.”
The farmhouse has been specifically remodeled to house the miniature zoo, and there are cameras installed so she can check on her crew while she’s out. All but five of her critters are rescues and some of them were in pretty bad shape when she first got them.
She posts updates often and it’s easy to see her pets are well cared for, happy, healthy and content. Not everyone can take on this many critters without trading in their sanity, but if you can, this is the way to do it.
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