You don't think you'll have to deal with big birds with broken wings? Tigers shot in the face but not killed? Lions or bears that have been kept as "look-at-these" animals but are now starving, worminfested and very sick? If you truly think that, you have no idea what you're betting into.
I really don't think you understand the implications... You can't just turn away animals that are too sick / too big / too aggressive handle, and only keep the good, sellable animals. It doesn't work that way, if they were worth selling, why would the owner GIVE it to you? People very, very rarely give away healthy, mid-to-high end animals. If you have no vet around, how are you going to the meds you need? How are you going to determine if a snake has IBD or a blood infection due to mites?
If you can't control a baby iguana, and have very little time to take care of your herps, this is really too big an operation for you to just decide to undertake. You need to devote ALL your time to this, all your money, you'd need to construct a few buildings devoted to the animals you're going to get (how the heck do you quarantine a few 25ft retics in a house?), you'll spend a fortune on meds (and since you have no access to a decent vet - you'll likely end up precribing the wrong meds and killing the animal.)
Opening a shelter is a good idea, but only when you're properly prepared and funded. You need lots of experience working with everything from birds of prey, to venomous snakes, to giant snakes, to lions and tigers, IGUANAS!, and who knows what else? And as stated before, you can't just say "Hey, a perfect ball python, I'll keep that. Ooh, sorry, we don't accept iguanas or burms, you'll have to bring them elsewhere."
And yes, federal laws DO apply, even if you live outside city limits and own the land. If I got a piece of land outside city limits would it be legal for me to do drugs there?
If you want to begin starting thing, you need to get into contact with game and wildlife officials and any other possibly implicated authorities, you need to look into laws and bylaws (really look into them - don't just ASSUME you can keep anything you want anywhere you want), get the proper training and experience (which will take you a few years - plenty of time to save all the $ you need), find a GOOD volonteer (you won't be able to afford to pay them) staff with lots of experiece, build some decent facilities, find a good vet... when you've done all that, you can get started. That's when you'll really mke a difference for all the neglected herps and other animals out there.
Last edited by Zoe; 05-23-03 at 08:33 AM..