Unreal Estate: News You Won't Believe


Each week, AOL Real Estate probes the corners of the Web to bring you offbeat dispatches from the world of real estate. This week it's critters galore, with stories about pet skunks, mistreated monkeys, and community crackdowns on dog poop.

One skunk we could understand -- maybe. But 15? One couple has a soft spot for the striped critters, running a defacto rehabilitation center for neglected pet skunks in their Florida home. Currently they're fostering more than a dozen. Lucky for the neighbors, these skunks don't spray: They were "descented" at an early age. For a look at the skunks performing cute antics, check out the video at msnbc.com.

Not all alternative pets have it so lucky. The Huffington Post reports that a suburban Chicago woman is facing legal action for mistreating her two Capuchin monkeys, which she kept in birdcages without food or water. She is charged with multiple counts of neglect and two counts of "possession of a dangerous animal."

And now for something completely different: Management of an apartment building in the Village of Abacoa, Fla., is taking a radical approach to tackling felonious feces by requiring dog owners to have their pet's "genetic footprint" recorded, reports the Sun Sentinel. When superintendents spot poop in banned areas, they identify the canine culprit through its genetic signature and force the owner to pay a hefty fine. In a growing countrywide crackdown on dog poop, this is the latest instance of property managers using this method to track down violators.

Hopefully, that sort of hard-line enforcement doesn't lead any tenants to lose it on their property managers. After all, incidents like that can turn fatal for real estate professionals, according to numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, violence was the leading cause of death for real estate professionals in 2009. Inman News reports that 24 of 52 workplace deaths were attributed to "assaults or violent acts" and the deaths included assaults by others, self-inflicted injury,and attacks by animals. On another morbid note, our friends at Curbed spotted a floor stain on one listing photo which looks just like a dead body. The Raleigh, N.C. listing describes the house as an "investor's dream" which "needs major work." We agree more with the second assertion.

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