Read these 3 Adoption Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Reptile tips and hundreds of other topics.
A surprising number of reptile pets are given up for adoption by owners who can no longer care for them. Typical reasons are that the animal has grown too big or too aggressive, or the owner is moving or otherwise changing their living situation.
You can increase your chances of not being responsible for an animal's suffering by researching the pets you buy before you buy them. Don't get that cute little Burmese python unless you are prepared to house and feed it when it is an 18 or 20 foot long adult. If you do find yourself in the sad situation of having to give an animal up, you should put together a care package for its new owner that will help them do their best for the animal. Print out a care sheet from the appropriate Links section here, and consider sending along things like a cage, a supply of food and any supplements or vitamins the animal needs.
Most zoos will turn down common reptiles that are put up for adoption. They do not want your iguana or your large python. Your best chance is to find a new owner who will take your animal, and that means being prepared to make the animal part of an attractive package with care information and supplies.
Did you know that you can save a lot of money (and maybe an animal's life) by adopting an unwanted or homeless reptile instead of buying one at the pet store? There are a number of good Internet resources that can help you list yourself as a qualified "parent" who is willing to take on the care of a snake or lizard that the original owner needs to give away. Look under the Links section - Adoption - for these online resources.
You can also give out a flyer giving your information and qualifications at local zoos, pet stores and animal shelters. While reptiles are not the most common pet to be given up for adoption, plenty of people do try to give their unwanted snake or lizard to these kinds of places, and they just can't handle them all. But if you're already in line as a community resource, you might just get some good referrals.
Before adopting any animal, be sure that you understand its care and housing requirements and are prepared to give it a quality home.
When you take that new bundle of joy into your home, be aware that you might be bringing in something else that is not wanted - parasites or disease. It is wise to quarantine or isolate your new reptile pet from the rest of your reptile collection until you have had a chance to make sure that it is healthy. A veterinary checkup can speed along the process.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|