At Reptilia’s Reptile Adoptions and Rescure Center, we understand that countless circumstances may occur in someone’s life that makes it so they can no longer keep their pet. Most of the animals in our display and outreach programs are previous pets, and we also established an Adoption Program in 2017 that helps rehome pets to well prepared forever homes.
They may not be as commonplace as a cat or dog, but reptiles are becoming more and more popular pets in our communities. Unlike our more typical furry companions, reptiles have not been domesticated and seem more ‘wild’.
It’s also a little scary to think of your neighbor having a giant python or crocodile in their basement, but just like tigers and wolves aren’t typically appropriate household pets, some species of reptiles aren’t appropriate in most people’s care either, yet there are certain species that make good choices for many people, provided they are ready for the commitment the responsibility of owning a pet dictates.
- Understanding that living animals that we have in our care are valuable beings deserving respect and dignity at all times
- Selecting an appropriate pet for the individual’s lifestyle, capabilities, and finances
- The intention of maintaining that animal for its entire natural lifespan, and the responsibility of finding a suitable replacement home if circumstances cannot allow that
- Comprehensive understanding of the correct care for the species before obtaining the animal
- Being committed to responsible breeding practices – namely, avoidance of breeding overrepresented species or breeding just for the sake of it. Avoidance of unethical breeding practices such as hybridization, inbreeding, breeding traits that harm the health or wellbeing of the species
- Understanding that we should strive for more than the minimum – providing large, varied spaces, comprehensive diets, choices and enrichment
- Understanding that no animal is a ‘disposable’ pet and need to have access to veterinary care in times of injury or illness
- Captive born and bred – never removed from the wild
- Is legal to own in your area of residence
- Has relatively easy care requirements that are simple to provide for at home
- Has a calm and friendly disposition
- Is small enough to live a fulfilled life in its enclosure
- Hypoallergenic – Lack allergens to be allergic to!
- Low Maintenance – When set up efficiently, have low daily care requirements
- Resilient – When their needs are meet properly, very few health problems
- Small – Most common reptile pets can happily fit in an enclosure kept in a bedroom or living room
- Educational! – Teach their owners empathy and responsibility
Common, Potentially Solvable Reasons for Rescue
Other than a couple rare species such as crocodilians and the monkey-tailed skink (Corucia zebrata), reptiles are either asocial (don’t form social bonds and are indifferent to others) or antisocial (defend territory, fight or eat others). Reptiles in the home are typically happiest on their own, where they have ample space, and access to their basking light and hiding spaces free of competition.
You should not surrender your pet if you are afraid they are lonely alone at home, they are not!
Fortunately reptiles do not get upset if we don’t spend time with them on a regular basis such as most mammals and birds.
Fortunately, most reptiles can be left home alone for a long weekend, especially if you use a timer and mister to automate your lights turning on and off and watering needs, but if you go on longer trips, many places, Reptilia included, offer boarding services for pet reptiles! Our Reptile Care Specialists will provide expert care to your animals while you are away. Please always call in advance to ensure we are all ready before you arrive!
Most common reptile species can come with you over the border! Reptilia is happy to discuss whether paperwork is required and how you fly or drive your pet across borders!
Make sure to discuss your specific situation with your new landlord. Many landlords who do not like dogs or cats in home are fine with legally owned reptiles that are contained in enclosures (therefore unable to damage the home) and that do not make any disruptive noises. However, some people are scared of reptiles and may not want them in the house for that reason! If that is the case, Reptilia will happily provide a letter about the safety of a particular reptile pet!
Fears of reptiles are normal and typically unwarranted. Reptilia is happy to answer the questions of a friend or family member and address any concerns they may have.
Give Reptilia a call! We are happy to discuss any risks and dangers having a pet reptile in the house could pose so you can make a decision whether or not rehoming is necessary.
Although we wish we could help every animal in need, we cannot. Our first responsibility is to the animals currently in our care, and if we take too many, that limits the space and resources for what we already have. Many reptiles are incredibly long lived, so space for species such as turtles is often very rare.
Our collection manager considers a great variety of factors when deciding whether a new animal is able to enter the collection, such as its suitability to be housed with other animals and the types of habitats we have available.
Zoos and rescues often have little space, and it can be a daunting task to try and find a good home for a loved pet. Place ads on classified sites such as kijiji and reptile classified groups on Facebook with information about the animals and pictures. You are likely to get quite a few inquires about adopting your pet. Come up with some questions and have a bit of a conversation with the prospective adopter to make sure you feel good about your pet’s new home.