LUBBOCK, Texas – Prairie Dogs are a local staple, some even becoming pets, but Prairie dog owners like Michele Natalino and Rob Weiner want people to realize how complex they can truly be.
“They’re incredibly intelligent but they can and do make affectionate companions,” Weiner said. Weiner currently has his own colony of prairie dogs.
The animals are often found in the wild, but can make great companions if properly cared for.
“It’s important to understand that if you do get a prairie dog, you cannot neglect them. They do require your companionship and your love and your caring and consideration,” said Weiner.
“They’re wild animals so they can bite and will bite if provoked,” said Natalino, “Some people don’t understand that when they get them as babies because they’re so cute.”
Natalino has rescued over 60 prairie dogs in the past 29 years, rehabilitating them from terrible conditions. Natalino said people take on the animals without realizing how much care they really need.
“Some were really bad, one was near death. Most of them are okay, some of them have been neglected, I just ask people to do the research,” said Natalino.