Reptile Rescue: What to Do When You Need to Rehome a Reptile or Amphibian
It’s always upsetting to come to the realization that a beloved pet needs to be rehomed. There are many reasons for this, from losing a home or job to ill health or other hardship. Sometimes, the pet-to-people match isn’t always a great success.
Finding a new home for a dog or cat is one thing, but things can get a little tricky when you need to rehome a reptile or amphibian. Since the team at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital wants all of our pet companions to have the safest, best options for their adoptions, we want to shed some light on what to consider when rehoming these amazing exotics.
Things to Consider When You Must Rehome a Reptile, Amphibian, or Exotic
Because these special pet companions have equally specialized needs, they aren’t as easily adopted out to any pet owner. Their care and husbandry need to be well understood for a pet owner to be a responsible owner. Because of this, there are fewer rescue groups devoted to lizard or amphibian rescue.
If you need to rehome your pet, there are some choices and considerations in finding them an exceptional new family. We offer the following suggestions:
1. Call the local Humane Society or SPCA. They can direct you to a good reptile/amphibian group that can assist. Some of these rescues and shelters do house certain types of exotics, but usually just small mammals and rodents. Your local animal shelter is generally aware of places you can take your pet to be cared for until they are adopted out.
2. International reptile and amphibian groups can also help. There are a number of worldwide exotic pet groups that are informative about specific species. They have numbers for state-wide rescue groups and individuals who rehabilitate and care for orphaned and adoptable small pet companions.
3. Use social media groups. Facebook and other social media groups have dedicated pet owner pages and groups. Look for one that is geared around your specific species you want to rehome. Discuss with the possible owners as to their experience with your pet species and get a gauge on how comfortable they are and how much experience they have.
4. Be careful with Craigslist. Craigslist is a free and easy way to promote your adoptable pet but it’s important to be aware of scams and unethical trading. Always meet with potential pet parents and ask questions that will illustrate their knowledge of your species of pet. Never exchange money or addresses before knowing who the person is.
5. Ask your veterinarian. If you cannot adequately care for your pet or circumstances have arisen that make it impossible to keep them, contact us. We can discuss with you some options for your unique pet, including ways you might be able to continue housing them and keep them in your loving family.
A Final Note on Rehoming
Each year, hundreds of thousands of exotic animals end up being dumped or abandoned in waterways, backyards, alleys, and natural areas. While these exotic species were once wild, they are not adapted to our environment. This can be especially cruel since many of these exotics will be lost to starvation, predation, disease, and other threats.
The most loving choice is to pass on a pet to a knowledgeable and responsible home when you cannot care for them. If you would like more information on ways to rehome a reptile or exotic, please contact us.