Melissa Kaplan's
Herp Care Collection
Last updated January 1, 2014

Banning Pets

Just to clarify...

Melissa Kaplan


Things I'd like to ban:

The pet trade's sale of animals whose natural history and captive care we know too little about for them to have a prayer of being cared for properly by the vast majority of people who buy them.

People who buy or otherwise acquire animals, but refuse to provide the housing, equipment and space the pets require, or provide the food they need, as often and in the quantities they need, even when they are fully informed as to what they need to do to care for and feed the pets properly.

People who refuse to take their pets to an appropriate vet, because the vet is too far away, or they don't have transport, or they don't want to spend the money, or they don't have the time, or their spouse or partner doesn't want them to, and why should they spend more on a vet than the animal cost to begin with?

Parents who let their kids have pets, but then refuse to accept primary responsibility for the pets, ranging from overseeing daily care and feeding, to getting the pets to the appropriate vets for routine checks and when sick or injured.

State humane officers who permit their personal bias against certain species affect their enforcement of existing animal welfare laws.

Breeders and other sellers who knowingly sell sick animals, or animals known to have or reasonably expected to have, infectious diseases that will spread through pet stores and pet owners' own animals. Recent in the news was monkeypox, but predating that is the still ongoing problem of reptile breeders breeding and selling boids infected with IBD, bearded dragon breeders selling lizards infected with adenovirus or yellow fungus. There are similar diseases being spread throughout the pet communities by breeders of other species, more intent on their own profit margin than healthy animals--and humans.

Rarely does a day go by that I do not get an email, phone call, or see a post that falls into one of the above categories.

Rarely a month goes by that I don't encounter someone who, tired of their pet, or unwilling to spend the money and/or time necessary to keep that pet properly, decide to dump it outside some where.

Rarely a month goes by where someone doesn't try to guilt me into taking their sick animal off their hands: "If you don't take it or give me the name of someone who will treat my animal for free, I'll kill it/let it die/turn it loose."

Rarely a week goes by that I don't hear from someone who writes, "I've read everything at your site but didn't see what I'm looking for, so can you tell me everything I need to know about how to care for my iguana?"

Rarely a week goes by that I don't get pretty disgusted at what too many humans do to too many animals, people who feel that it is their right to treat animals any way they want, and sell any animal to the anyone willing to pay the price.

So, yeah, there are days when a ban on trade in animals, especially the international trade, sounds real good.

But, it ain't gonna happen, not to a lucrative multi-billion dollar industry. So, I crab and moan, but keep being proactive, trying to educate people to the realities of the pet trade, and help in some small way by providing information on the proper selection and care of at least some of the species represented in the trade.

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