For the past three years, photographer Areca Roe has been scouring Instagram pages and various zoos across her hometown of Minnesota for unusual pets to feature in ‘Housebroken’, a series of strangely humorous yet adorable photographs.
A parrot perched on a driving wheel and a chinchilla chilling on top of a desk are just some of the bizarre combinations of animals and their environments in ‘Housebroken’. It’s odd relationships such as these however that interest Roe.“What does the owner find so alluring about a snake, despite the fact that it does not return the owner’s affection in a way we could recognize?” she asks. The images call into question the relationship between the domestic and the wild, and more notably the power dynamic between “pet” and “owner”. While dog may be man’s best friend, it’s much more unusual to find a ferret or a pot-bellied pig being cited as one of life’s greatest companions. The series explores these more unconventional pets and how they communicate with their surroundings and their owners. One might assume, given the subject, that these animals would look odd and out of place in their homes, but the opposite is actually true: the quail’s feathers blend in with the floor upon which it stands and the tarantulas orange markings mimic the orange patterned tablecloth, suggesting that perhaps these animals are more at home than we may think.