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Jefferson Parish family's large rodent pet is local celebrity

The 2-year-old nutria, Neuty, goes to work with the Lacoste family at Dennis' Seafood in Metairie.

METAIRIE, La. — Nutrias can get a bad rap because they're known as the rodents that destroy our marshes, but one Bucktown family says the nutria they rescued has grown into a 'spoiled rotten' local celebrity.

The 2-year-old nutria, Neuty, goes to work with the Lacoste family at Dennis' Seafood in Metairie.

He's got a pretty easy gig. Dylan Lacoste feeds him fruits, veggies and crawfish throughout the day.

“He eats healthier than me," Dylan Lacoste said.

Sometimes, Neuty gets vanilla wafers and other treats.

“He’s good. He really is good. He’s just like a dog," Lacoste said.

However, Neuty does not obey commands like a dog.

“He has his own little routine though," Lacoste said.

After work, Neuty returns to Bucktown.

“He swims for about two hours in our saltwater swimming pool at my mom’s house. Then, he gets out, dries himself off and waits by the back door to be let inside," Lacoste said.

Even during severe weather, you'll find Neuty in the pool.

Neuty's life was not always this splendid. In fact, it started rather tragic.

The Lacoste family found Neuty on Christmas Eve 2020.

“I was coming back from work one day down West Esplanade he was just on the side of the road and there was a bunch of cars stopped," Lacoste said.

Some of Neuty's siblings didn't make it. He was only a few days old at the time, Lacoste said.

“You have to give them pet milk for like 10 to 11 weeks. So, we did that with him. My dad said he wasn’t going to live, and I said watch. He’s going to live," Lacoste said.

The nutria has come a long way. Lacoste said Neuty is potty-trained and weighs 22 pounds.

Neuty even has a TikTok account.

Lacoste said Nutrias can make great pets, if you get them when they're young.

“If you get them when they’re a little bigger they’ll be really mean and vicious," Lacoste said.

Neuty isn't vicious. He's part of the Lacoste family.

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