If you thought the kids in the new movie, Hotel for Dogs, loved animals, you haven't heard of Mark Amey and Siouxsie Gillet, a couple who is truly crazy about animals - and we are not talking about normal pets like dogs and cats either!
The couple who live in Bovington, Hertfordshire converted their three-bedroom home into a private zoo and started taking in any and all unwanted animals.
Now, nine years later, their 100-animal strong collection includes three dogs, 30 meerakats, tons of birds, a few pythons, turtles, a crocodile, pigs, fish, a couple of tarantulas........you get the picture.
Each species of animal has its own secure area either in the house or the large garden. The meerakats live in a conservatory, while the venomous snakes and scorpions live in a securely locked room. 'Kid Croc' calls the shed his home. The only place that does not house animals is their bedroom - though the three dogs are allowed in there.
Despite the fact that Max is a qualified zoologist and Siouxsie a herpetologist , they are not immune to the dangers and get bitten quite regularly, especially by the pythons and rattlesnakes. Besides that, housing so many animals is very hard and expensive work.
The couple says they work almost 24/7 and have not taken a single day off in the last four years, including Christmas. They start working at 5.00am and are normally not done with the animal chores until 6.30 at night. Then they start to work on the administrative stuff and off to bed until it all begins again, the next day.
As for as the costs - the electricity alone sets them back about $1,000 USD each month, while the food adds up to another $600.
The couple do sell some of their pets from their exotic animal pet shop, but interested buyers are vetted very rigorously to ensure they know what they are getting into. Some of their exotic pets have also had an opportunity to star alongside Dan Radcliffe in the Harry Potter movies as well as Daniel Craig in the James Bond thriller - Casino Royale.
While it is very hard, both agree that they love what they do and declare that no unwanted animal will ever be turned away from their home. What an amazing couple!
Source: watfordobserver.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk