What constitutes a reptile rescue?
I have lost count of the number of adverts I've seen recently with the advertiser describing themselves as a "reptile rescue" my names blah blah and I have many years experience with reptiles and I'd like to offer any of your unwanted reptiles a loving forever home.
While I have no doubt that there are some reptile rescuers/rescue organisations doing amazing work out there, such as the RSPCA reptile rescue in Brighton and many others, who are dedicated to providing a safety net for unwanted reptiles, I have become rather cynical regarding the true motivation of some of these "selfless" charitable individual/s who seem to be offering forever homes one week, but shortly afterwards advertising the same animals for sale, and not for a nominal rehoming fee either, but for full price. These individuals often have classified adds running selling reptiles while they offering to take more in.
For a start, how can anyone advertise forever homes to an unlimited number of unwanted reptiles? I couldn't and I have about 50 spare vivariums in my lock up, but I don't have the space or money to accommodate a limitless incoming supply of unwanted animals that I can look after until their dying day.
So, who are these philanthropic reptile lovers who have warehouse sized reptile rooms that can accommodate these unwanted reptiles, who have such an unlimited supply of space and money to spend on electricity and food for these poor unfortunate creatures? So much space and money in fact that they actually have to advertise for more unwanted animals?
It would seem to me that some of these individuals may not be being completely truthful when they say they can offer these animals experienced forever homes, I mean, it is simply not possible to do it. So are these people just taking reptiles in for free and flogging them off at a profit? And if they are, are they not misleading people by offering forever homes, when they are not in a position to offer one themselves, or guarantee where they'll actually end up.
Should some of these people not be saying, 'Bring me your reptiles for free and I will move them on to someone for a price'
Is this not nearer the truth for some of these "rescuers" and therefore should the
authorities not be looking into the nature of their activities?
Would their adverts be seen as illegal deception in the eyes of the law?
Are they in fact an actual business, declaring their full tax liabilities?
If they are not being completely truthful regarding the nature of their activities, how do we know they are capable of looking after exotic animals anyway?
Hats of to the true reptile rescuers, they have my full support. The other type who are lying about the true nature of their activities are starting to annoy me.
So, how do we distinguish the good guys from the bad guys?
I know people that rehome or facilite the rehoming of unwanted reptiles, they manage to do this without advertising themselves as rescues.
People that openly claim to be reptile rescues are generally chancers who flip animals a few weeks/months down the line. It seems the claims of being a reptile rescue helps part people with things perhaps. I'm not saying it's the case with everyone but when you dig a little deeper things aren't always what they seem.
I remember one person a little while ago who was asking for donations for equipment and offering forever homes for turtles claiming to be a rescue on one popular sale site and then one other popular sale site was selling the equipment as starter kits with turtles. Woefully poor starter kits at that.
I'm quite sure if I dug around a little there are quite a few people operating exactly like that.
If I see an advert that offers forever homes for unwanted reptiles I generally ignore it.
I do know what you mean, easy money perhaps but From personal experience I have been in contact with two locally- I'd like to name them but I havent asked so I won't both are excellent- I have a boa I wanted to rehome, he couldnt take it but would ask on his list of people- I said he could charge them or me a fee for doing so but wouldnt- so he was doing that for the snake's benefit and rejected the offer of any money- both rescues have been helpful and honest. I think you need to be careful but you can get an idea of the rescue by looking at the pictures of how they keep their animals, with these two I have been overjoyed by the effort they put in to their enclosures, the vetting process they ask of you and the standard and cleanliness of their reptile rooms. : victory:
I am happy to offer a forever home to the following species:
Snakes: Boelens Pythons, Green Tree Pythons and selected Royal Pythons.
Lizards: Sungazer Lizards, Armadillo Lizards, Chinese Crocodile Lizards, Rhino Iguanas and Day Geckos.
Chelonia: Egyptian Tortoises, Pancake Tortoises and Alligator Snapping Turtles.
I will also consider some amphibian species too.
I am also happy to accept any donations of brand new equipment to help with this noble work!!
For everything else please contact the SSPCA (if you are in Scotland) or the RSPCA - thanks muchly!!
The two people that I dealt with had no luck at such animals- they took in anything regardless of it's rarity or commonness on the market- countless normal bearded dragons, a royal I saw there that had been kept in a viv with the heat mat covering entire floor-no stat- so it's stomach was charred black or an iguana with mbd and one leg missing from being kept with siblings or another normal royal kept in a rub with ammonia burns from it's own faeces it had to lie in. They took in everything and I felt it was for the animals good. I was happy to know and deal with them. :2thumb:
I am in the process of making my rescue into a charity. I have not once asked for money or anything to take in mistreated or unwanted reptiles.
I have never rehomed one either.
I have a Sumatran water monitor who bit his own tail off because his owner trapped him in the door to control him. I did have an adult green iguana who sadly was euthanised due to a tumour in his throat, who I nursed from a skeleton and knocking on deaths door. I recently took in a albino corn snake who was abandoned in an empty house for over 12 weeks. He is 5ft long but so skinny he looks like a shoe lace. I have a 7ft female salmon boa who is covered in scars. Where her previous owner used to stick cigarettes on her. How can I turn my back on these. When it's the uneducated and stupid humans doing it. Each one will live it's days out with me. I opened a shop to educate the public, I sell fun stuff to do with reptiles. And I share there stories. Not everyone is after a quick buck. I'd go without before they would.
I was corresponding with someone who had an injured commonly found animal they knew they could no longer keep or afford- The rspca reptile rescue could not take it unless they had it treated first which they couldn't,
I have also known private reptile rescues take in such cases and treat them out of their own pocket- no hesitation and no questions asked.
you actually need to be taking donations of over £5000 to be able to register as a charity.
Legally speaking, Rescues don't exist. There is no framework, no registration of facilities or anything like that. and as you need £5000 to be a charity per year (which most rescues wont get) then you can't be registered that way either. so in essence, its extremely difficult to decide which are legitimate organisations and which are chancers. Word of mouth and reputation will be the best decider
Yes I am aware and I have proof of this as I also have the financial matters all logged and submitted with my trustees and all the other jargon you need. Gov.co.uk have all my paper work. Fundraising is the fun part as well as having a business that runs along side it.
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