sSNAKESs : Reptile Forum

Go Back   sSNAKESs : Reptile Forum > Community Forums > General Discussion


Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-31-03, 11:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
Snakey Acres's Avatar
Join Date: Nov-2002
Location: Calmar alberta
Posts: 54
Reptile rescue story in Edmonton sun

Here's a story that the Edmonton sun ran today about thr reptile rescue work my wife and I do.The only error was about the Ball python kept in the green house ,It was in the summer not winter.

Giving creatures comfort
Couple helps to rescue unwanted exotic animals


When a snake needs a new, loving owner to wrap itself around, hope slithers in the form of Michele and Neil Weldon.

But salvation isn't reserved just for snakes. This couple are devoted to the rescue, rehabilitation and quest to find adoptive homes for unwanted reptiles and amphibians; some have the potential to be dangerous.

In the past four years, the duo has saved more than 200 exotic creatures, including turtles and iguanas, from a death sentence.

"There's lots of rescue agencies for dogs and cats, all the cute cuddly things. Nobody seems to love the ugly, scaly ones," explains Neil, who works as a cabinetmaker in addition to his volunteer efforts.

Unusual critters are a passion for the pair, who own more than 80 mammals and reptiles - including 30 snakes - in their Calmar-area home.

"I love them. I don't have human children. Reptiles are easy to take care of, except for iguanas," says Michele. "They're our friends."

The couple's most notable acquisition is Isabeau, a 170-pound (77-kg), Burmese python.

"She gives great hugs," enthuses Michele, who works as an animal health technologist for Lynnwood Veterinary Hospital and is known as the "snake lady."

That said Isabeau, who requires a permit, is not a pet for the untrained. She is kept in a double-locked private room. And when there is a need to enter her room, two people must be in attendance for safety reasons.

Operating their rescue mission under the Edmonton Reptile and Amphibian Society, about 30% of the creatures that come to them are neglected. There are many poignant stories involving the abandoned or unwanted creatures they've aided:

- A man kept a ball python in a backyard greenhouse for the winter with no heat two years ago. It stopped eating. At rescue, it had a severe respiratory infection that couldn't be treated. It was euthanized.

- Two months after moving into a house, "rocks" started moving in a couple's backyard pond last year. Two abandoned water turtles, who would have soon frozen, were saved.

- A snake got loose from its cage. The owner moved out without telling anyone. The black Mexican king snake worked its way into a heat register, suffering burns and back injury, before being found two years ago. It lived.

- Last year a bearded dragon was found dumped near the railway tracks at 127 Street and 127 Avenue It has a new home.

- A 4 1/2-foot (1.35-m)-long adult iguana was found in a tree last year. Highly aggressive, he kept trying to attack Michele when she fed him. She had to put him down.

Reptiles are most often given up or abandoned because an owner moves or wasn't prepared for its size or care.

"They get them when they're little and cute. When the snake gets to eight feet or maybe the iguana gets aggressive, it's easier to dump them," says Neil.

These days the most common unwanted reptile is an iguana. They need massive cages. Males can become territorial and aggressive, requiring knowledgeable care.

The city pound and Edmonton Humane Society contact the couple when they retrieve reptiles. People also phone the society to unload a critter.

The Weldons have an impressive track record for successfully finding new homes for these creatures.

Just one of more than 200 reptiles adopted has been returned to them. The couple rejects half the people applying for adoption over doubts they can properly care for these pets.

"We're pretty cautious about where we place them. There's not much sense taking them out of the pan and putting them into the fire," says Neil.

Their efforts are time-consuming and costly. Between the two of them, several hours are spent daily caring for the pets, searching for new homes and manning the phone of the society. They spend hundreds of dollars of their own money each month on medication and feed.

Currently, they have nine reptiles needing a new home.

The couple also take in unwanted spiders and stick bugs.

They're trying to recoup some money by charging a nominal adoption fee. It varies depending on the animal, but is a bargain, with a large boa constrictor costing $30.

As if they're not busy enough, the couple also rehabilitate orphaned and injured small birds and wild mammals.
If I have to explain you wouldn't understand.
Snakey Acres is offline  
Login to remove ads
Old 10-31-03, 11:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
Dani33's Avatar
Join Date: Oct-2003
Location: Southern Ontario
Age: 38
Posts: 1,268
Awesome! Thank god that there are people like you. I can't imagine all that you have sacrificed for the responsibility of running an operation like that! Great article! I'm sure that you'll be getting more calls because of the article. Good luck with your future endeavors.
Dani33 is offline  
Old 11-01-03, 12:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
Veteran Member
gonesnakee's Avatar
Join Date: Oct-2002
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Age: 49
Posts: 4,098
Mark's GONE SNAKEE! working with select Colubrids (Corns, GB Kings, EIs) and Woma Pythons
All stock parasite free and established on F/T prey. No PMs please email at
gonesnakee is offline  
Old 11-01-03, 01:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
Slannesh's Avatar
Join Date: Oct-2003
Location: Edmonton Alberta
Age: 42
Posts: 706
Send a message via MSN to Slannesh
I saw you both at the last ERAS meeting, (I was the new guy in the offensively orange hoodie) and you'd mentioned your rescue work. I'm sure it takes a tonne of time and patience to deal with a lot of the rescues you see, not to mention having to occasionally make hard choices when faced with extremely malnourished, sick and neglected animals.

I will be putting my name in to help out with local adoptions once my set up is a little better and I get around to getting my membership in I'm sure i'll see you both at the meeting later this month.

I'm not afraid of the Dark, I'm afraid of what's IN the Dark. ~Anonymous~
Ball Python, Leopard Geckos, Bearded Dragon, Crested Geckos, Corn snakes a Dumeril's Boa and African Dwarf Frogs so far.
Slannesh is offline  
Old 11-01-03, 01:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
ohh_kristina's Avatar
Join Date: Jun-2003
Location: Kissimmee
Age: 30
Posts: 1,241
It's amazing that you do this. We need more people rescuing unwanted animals. Props to you and your wife for doing those animals a favor like that.
ohh_kristina is offline  
Login to remove ads
Old 11-01-03, 02:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug-2003
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Age: 31
Posts: 248
Send a message via MSN to DarkHunter
Very nice article!! I can't imagine how much work that must be....Im guessing you dont sleep! Great to hear things like this!!
DarkHunter is offline  
Old 11-01-03, 07:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
NewLineReptile's Avatar
Join Date: Mar-2003
Location: Kingston Ontario
Age: 38
Posts: 1,808
Send a message via MSN to NewLineReptile
Glad to hear this kind of stuff

Specializing in Large Pythons
Home of the "GIANTS"
NewLineReptile is offline  
Old 11-01-03, 09:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
Lisa's Avatar
Join Date: Jun-2002
Location: Trenton
Posts: 6,075
Send a message via ICQ to Lisa Send a message via MSN to Lisa Send a message via Yahoo to Lisa
Great artical, and it didn't make it out that all reptile owners were bad and evil.
Neo-Slither (Snake fanatic mailing list) http://<br />

May you live in interesting times.
Lisa is offline  
Old 11-01-03, 08:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
ChristinaM's Avatar
Join Date: Jun-2003
Location: Southwestern ONT. Canada
Age: 39
Posts: 1,537
Send a message via ICQ to ChristinaM
Thank you. If it weren't for people like you, my iggy (Larry, rescued female) would not have come into my life. It takes alot to do what you do....and I could blabber on and on, but I think you both know.

bottom line is....

Thank you
Never argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level then beat you with stupidity
ChristinaM is offline  
Old 11-01-03, 08:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
vanderkm's Avatar
Join Date: Mar-2002
Location: Regina, SK
Posts: 2,714
Great publicity Neil - congrats - nice to see more news about what you and Michele do with the club for rescue.

One of the good news stories - here is a photo of Noodle - the mexican black kingsnake mentioned in the article - aside from the permanent kink in his back and some weird shaped ribs that you can see just under his nose - he is in great shape and happy to have a permanent home,

mary v.
vanderkm is offline  
Login to remove ads
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin®
©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2002-13, Hobby Solutions Inc.


SEO by vBSEO 3.1.0