When we set out to start a reptile rescue, we discovered that there are many different aspects that go into it, far more than any of us had ever expected. We have always been engaged in rescuing and rehabilitating animals we had found, or had brought to us from a young age. These actions stemmed from helping any and all sick or mistreated animals we could find, and now to saving, caring for and re-homing exotic pets. Our organization has come together with a purpose of making positive impacts in society and our local community, promoting and educating individuals about the commitments of keeping healthy and happy animals as well as rescuing and re-homing these beautiful creatures. Scales&Tails Herp Helper is hoping to expand to most of northern Massachusetts, and southern New Hampshire, traveling and educating kids and adults and promoting exotic pets’ conservation and well-being.
While “rescuing” animals in harm’s way, we try to make hard transitions easier for the prior owners and keep good relationships with our future clients. We take steps to keep in contact with past owners and give updates to them on their past animals if they would like, as giving up a pet is never easy. Check-ins are done every once in a while as well, to see how our adoptees are doing and if there is any assistance needed.
Plans for the Future
In an effort to educate the community, we have begun securing table space at reptile shows. This will help to teach the community about our exotic pets and how to care for them, as well as information about these animals’ backgrounds. Reptile shows can also be helpful in marketing our adoptees and showing their amazing qualities! Hopefully showing our full-grown lizards and snakes can help people to make educated decisions instead of impulse buys at a local pet store or reptile expo.
As our ambitions have been growing, and we have been becoming more immersed in this hobby-based organization, we have begun to look towards our future. We have been taking steps to become better known to the community by posting ads on-line, and creating fan pages on popular networking sites. We slowly have been taking in mistreated and uncared for reptiles and other exotic pets, putting forth a strong effort to nurse them to health and find them loving forever homes.
Recently one of our most rewarding rescues has been a group of three geckos. One of the rescues was a Blizzard Blast morph female Leopard gecko, which is a joy to work with and handle. The other two are a male Asian House gecko and also a fairly sick Tokay gecko with Metabolic Bone Disease and respiratory issues. These issues seem to stem from malnourishment and the home she was kept in. Many people don’t realize the effect heavy smoking has on their animals, as her entire enclosure reeked of cigarettes for days after being cleaned multiple times. This has affected her breathing substantially. All too often there are reptiles seen that suffer from adverse effects from their previous owners.
Since we have never worked with Tokays, this has been quite an experience for us. Her rehabilitation and care have been a very valuable and fulfilling experience. When we started with her, she was not eating or moving. When approached, she became completely overwhelmed, more than what is typical for the Tokays we had read about and seen. Since being in our care over the past month her colors have become much more vibrant, she has become more active and should soon be ready to be re-homed, to a knowledgeable and caring owner who can meet her needs.
Reptile Rescue and Public Opinion
In our view, most reptiles from the smallest gecko to the largest Green Anaconda are categorized as a threat to the general public and feared by society, because of the few “owners” that make impulse buys without prior research or experience. This can cause a multitude of problems in our communities. Take Florida’s everglades for example becoming overrun with large pythons, or Cape Coral Florida where the Nile monitor had been released into the wild by its owners and its population is now running rampant. There are ways to control these things but once the local ecosystem is being threatened it ruins things for owners all over the nation. The inability to care for these modern day dinosaurs has caused the need for rescues and humane societies to step in or form and try to help clean up the mess. As an up and coming rescue, we have been trying to face as many issues as possible to help spread our name in the exotic pet community and gain as much knowledge of these issues as possible.
Hopefully, as we grow, promote and share our love for these beautiful and misunderstood creatures we will be able to change a few minds and make positive differences in people’s and our animals’ lives alike. The goal of any rescue should always have the animals well-being in mind but strive to make positive impacts in society and their local communities for the betterment of the community and animals. On the other hand, there is always going to be room here for our special guests to be cared for and placed with new forever homes that are responsible and knowledgeable.