A new kind of therapy pet: a support skunk

MEDFORD, Ore — We hear about all sorts of therapy and support animals nowadays, but have you ever hear of a support skunk? One Medford family has just that, and they say the idea is nothing to turn up your nose to.

“She means everything to me,”

Minnie Monster isn’t just a pet skunk, she’s a support skunk, but she didn’t start out that way.

“Originally when I got her, it was more for me,” Monster’s owner, Tom Jackson said.

Jackson quickly realized monster had sniffed out a much stronger bond with his oldest son, Connors. Connors has high functioning autism and it affects how he handles his emotions. But, Monster changed all of that.

“He very quickly became attached to Monster and less angry,” Jackson said. “The things he won’t talk to me about I can catch him talking to monster about.”

After watching that, Jackson says it just made sense to get Monster certified as a support animal.

“I believe therapy pets or at least the terminology is overused,” Jackson said. “But when you truly find that pet that truly is a therapy pet it’s obvious and we really did.”

You don’t have to worry about monster stinking up the joint, she’s been de-scented as is Oregon law in order to keep a skunk as a house pet.

“You cannot buy or sell a skunk within the state of Oregon you have to get it from outside the state of Oregon you have to get it from a registered breeder,” Jackson said. “They have to be tattooed or be microchipped and she’s microchipped you have to have a vet and in some places in Oregon that’s very hard.”

But all the hoops they’ve jumped through to get their little monster, have been worth it.

“I mean she’s the best pet I ever had,” Tom’s son, Connors said.

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