Brad, your intentions are nobble but I don't believe you have 1/2 the idea of what you're getting into. It's nice that your buddies say they're going to help you now, but really all you have to count on is yourself.
As for the legal aspect of things, just because your family is "half the law around there" doesn't mean you can go around breaking the law and regulations as you see fit.
What are you going to do when you're up to you're eyeballs with unwanted iguanas, crocadiles or unfriendly constrictors, some of them vicious, some of them suffering nasty medical problems, all of them needing a vast amount of space and vet care? You can't release these animals back into the wild, even if they're native species to your area. You don't know what the animals have been in contact with or what they may be carrying. You could end up wiping out native colonies doing that.
Caring for your single king snake, iguana (that you don't have alot of time for) and a small lizard isn't all that expencive. How ever when you have 20 iguanas, a couple large constrictors and other large meat eating lizards you will need alot more food. Where are you going to get the funds for feeding all the problems dropped at your door? And yes they are problems because if they weren't then they wouldn't be given to you free of charge.
Where is the money to pay for the food for the crocadiles and adult rock pythons going to come from. Don't think you will have to deal with those? Guess again, people think they're all cute when they're babies but when they realize they need a full sized room with a bath tub to house it and a colony of goats to feed it it all of a sudden the croc doesn't look so cute.
Many people running rescues are working fulltime jobs to pay for the rescue. You're 15 and still in highscool (at least I hope you're in highschool). Having the rescue fee paid for by an adopting family won't begin to cover the costs of food, caging, ligting, vets and transportation. Yes you're going to have to pay for transporting an animal when you pick them up, and people won't pay you to pick up an animal either, they'll just kill the animal or set it free in the wild. How are you going to pick up these animals? Will your mommy drive you 2 hours to pick up a spitting cobra? Are you even set up for handling hots? Have you ever had to deal with a snake that has no anitvenom available? Will your parrents health insurance cover you if you have venomous snakes? will their house insurance cover you?
Also some of these animals you can't give away, never mind charge the costs of food and vet fees. Why would they want to pay all that for a broken iguana when they can buy a healthy baby at the petstore for a fraction of the cost?
At a local rescue they have 7 Iguana's that need homes. This is on top of the 35 that have already been adopted in recent history.
Have you ever handled an adult crocadile or rock python? How about an angry adult that needs medical attention. What are you going to do? Handle them like you see The Crocadile Hunter on tv? Steve's been handling these animals since before you've been born and he still manages to take bites and have other things go wrong. This is with a TRAINED STAFF OF PROFESSIONALS.
Running a rescue isn't something to take lightly. I considered doing it but realised it was far more then I was capable of, and it won't be the great source of free herps you think it will be. There is alot more involved then just hanging out your shingle and saying "Anyone got any snakes they don't want?".
I just noticed another thing. The only way to contact you is via email. Some times you don't even have the time to pick up the animal from the time you know about it. List a phone number and address so people can call or bring over their abbandoned herps.
Last edited by Lisa; 05-23-03 at 08:28 AM..