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Old 06-28-04, 06:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Throwing away herps?

I have been working at a pet store for about a year now. About once a month or so somebody will bring in a herp that the don't want any more, or found, or whatever and ask me to take it. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't, but lately things are getting rediculous. in the last four days I've had three new adoptions.

1: A full grown prehensile tailed skink that was found in a dumpster and appearently very healthy. Vet said it was healthy other than some over grown nails that I will be slowly trimming.

2: A female adult veiled chameleon found in the middle of a major road. She had a suspiciously swollen leg, but got a couple shots and is improving on the antibiotics. Looks very healthy otherwise.

3. An adult female (normal) leopard gecko. Her owner didn't want her any more. She seems fine and is in quarantine.

What is going on? How can people throw these animals away? Or lose them? They aren't fast! I just don't understand. I will be bringing them to the BC show this weekend if you want to check them out.
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Old 06-28-04, 06:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Luckly the veiled cham was found before it came face to face with a car. Surprised about the prehensile tailed skink being found in a dumpster, they're not exactly the cheapest of the skinks.

Just shows the irresponsibility of people and how people don't understand the full time commitment it takes to own a reptile.
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Old 06-28-04, 06:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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a lot of people aren't true hobbyists.. they get an animal without knowing a thing about and because it looks "cool" and they care for it for about a month or two, get tired of it, and just let it loose.. others just buy them without being financially ready to care for it, usually it's the first one though.. kinda like a kid who wants a toy real bad, gets it, plays with it for a week and forgets about it..
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Old 06-28-04, 06:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by da_illest
a lot of people aren't true hobbyists.. they get an animal without knowing a thing about and because it looks "cool" and they care for it for about a month or two, get tired of it, and just let it loose.. others just buy them without being financially ready to care for it, usually it's the first one though.. kinda like a kid who wants a toy real bad, gets it, plays with it for a week and forgets about it..
Couldn't have said it better myself. hit the nail right on the head with this post.
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Old 06-28-04, 06:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I wish that that would happen more around here... (not the neglect, but the free reptiles!!!) I missed out on the only reptile here in a long time at the PETCO adoptions. Apparently someone brought in an adult Mexican Black Kingsnake!!!

I agree that I don't understand why people don't want these animals anymore, but if they don't, why can't I find out and get them instead of someone else!?!?

I guess that I am glad though that not many need to find adoption homes around here.
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Old 06-28-04, 06:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This is the same as all the cats, dogs, rabbits, etc. that end up in the SPCA/humane societies every day. Now that more people keep herps, more are going to end up in shelters. Just think, for every 1 you find, 10 are probably outright killed and another 90 are probably just left to die.
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Old 06-28-04, 06:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by spidergecko
This is the same as all the cats, dogs, rabbits, etc. that end up in the SPCA/humane societies every day. Now that more people keep herps, more are going to end up in shelters. Just think, for every 1 you find, 10 are probably outright killed and another 90 are probably just left to die.
A Scary and troublesom thought, but it's true.
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Old 06-28-04, 07:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What is going on?
The novelty of impulse buying is warring off.
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Old 06-28-04, 08:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You think...id say its going up and people are making many purchases they have no idea anything about them.
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Old 06-28-04, 08:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Once they find out the cost of keep these thigns and dont want it anymore, every week feeding them crikets is expensive. But they should have thougth about this before

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Old 06-28-04, 09:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Please keep in mind that prehensile tailed skinks and chameleons are CITES Appendix II species, so you can't just bring them across the border to a show in BC.

We've certainly taken in lots of unwanted animals ourselves. It is certainly a frustration. I often wonder how to strike a balance between berating the person for abrogating their responsibility to their pet and praising them for being responsible enough to call us instead of just dumping it in the park...

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Old 06-28-04, 09:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Sorry, what I meant was the novelty of "their" ( the people who bought the animals in question) has worn off. I didn't mean impulse buying as a whole has worn off. If anything it's getting worse because more and more people are getting exposed to herps now then ever before.
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Old 06-28-04, 09:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Its good and bad...some people such as myself started getting into herps just about a year and a half ago...around when they began to almost be mainstream. My friend bought one for no reason and neglected it A LOT until i had to step in and take it.

So theirs people who come into the hobby and help it grow..and then theirs the people who come in and make us all look bad by throwing away pets. Its pretty bad, imo, that people have no feelings for something as precious as a life!
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Old 06-28-04, 11:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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In my opinion, the reason this seems to happen especially in this way, is because unfortunately most people don't give reptiles the same care as other mainstream pets like cats and dogs.

Also, new reptile owners that buy on impulse often get dissapointed that their new pet isn't cuddly and doesn't interact much. You can't train it to do any cute tricks and it won't come to you if you call its name. These animals just don't show emotions and that is a big let down to newbies. They often think "I'll care for mine so well and handle it often and it'll become tame, want to be with me, etc..

Once the novelty of having an exotic pet has worn off and that the emotional bond never materialized, they lose interest and care for the animal tapers off often to the point of neglect. Then they just get rid of it...

On the vet care aspect, many don't accord their reptile pets the same medical care as their fuzzy companions. Why? I suspect that the lack of an emotional bond is the big factor. When something's not right with your pooch or kitty, it shows it and because this is a pet that your emotionally attached to, can't bear to see in pain or sick.

On the other hand, reptiles don't have that mutual emotional relationship, it's one way and only for some. Not all keepers truly love their reptile pets, for some it's show or coolness and God knows whatever reason. Also reptiles don't express health problems in the same way; they don't wimper, give you puppy eyes, limp on one leg, etc. A keeper has to keep an eye on different aspects to ensure good health.

At my vets clinic, I am one of only a handful of owners that he has seen in the past couple years. He was more than shocked to see me come in with a dozen herps for a basic checkup and fecals! Never happened before. I see him because although he doesn't treat many reptiles, he is one of the only ones in town that does and he is quite good. If he's not sure about something he will research and confer with other vets to be sure he takes the right course of action. He has also had a few herps as pets too so I know he loves them, a big plus for me.

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Old 06-29-04, 09:44 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Surprised about the prehensile tailed skink being found in a dumpster, they're not exactly the cheapest of the skinks.
More often than we would think, it isn't the actual owner tossing the animal out. There were several times we had people drop off animals on my old works doorstep saying they didn't want an animal anymore, when in fact it wasn't theirs - it belonged to a roomate that was on vacation or in jail, or whoever else under whatever circumstance, which we would find out at later dates. For this reason we quickly formed the rule that we accepted no outside animals.

It shouldn't always be assumed it is the irresponsible owner, but taken in to consideration there are a lot of ignorant or vengeful people in the world, some of which happen to share in these people's lives.
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