Pet Trade Information and Activism
In the United States, the retail trade in live reptiles, amphibians, and related products is worth a minimum of two billion dollars annually.
- Joseph Franke MS and Teresa Telecky PhD. in, Reptiles as Pets: An Examination of the Trade in Live Reptiles in the United States. HSUS, 2001.
Contempt for animal life leads to contempt for human life.
- Edward Abbey
Things You Can Do...
You Shouldn't Do
Some Articles I've
Settles Suit Alleging Abuse, Overcharging
Check your own state's penal code to see if reptiles are covered. If you find the provisions on a website (try your state's website, www.state.xx.us where xx = your state's two letter abbreviation, then look for the penal code or other online listing of state codes). If you find it, send me a link and I will add it to the list.
State Animal Welfare Provisions (Including Reptiles)
States Banning Animal Prizes
Email list to discuss animal prizes: CarnivalIguana
States Requiring Stores Distribute Pet Care Information
Effect of Herp Pets
on the Conservation and Environment
note to the few good pet stores...
If you don't believe it, take a day and make in cognito visits to other pet stores in your county. Make like you are the typical customer who knows nothing about reptiles or other animals other than the fact that you want to get one. Look carefully at the animal's setups. Listen carefully to the information imparted. Use the Evaluating Pet Stores form to help keep track of the things to look for.
The way to stop me and so many others to stop being so critically vocal about the bad pet store conditions is not to complain to us about the terrible things we say. If you want to see change, get out there and start to demand change within your own industry. Demand better accountability and application of due process in the state humane officers who only see violations if they are being done to dogs and cats or whatever their animal of preference is, ignoring all the rest.
If change is going to happen in a way that is least punitive to the good stores and the industry as a whole, it is going to have to come from within the industry itself. Otherwise, change will be imposed by those who have no understanding of your industry and you will surely not fare as well.
note to the many bad pet stores
The pet trade exploits animals by selling them inappropriately, humans buy what they are misled into thinking is appropriate, and the poor shnook of a rescuer is left holding the bag (or crate or feces-soaked cardboard box) and, all too often, a hefty vet bill, all from cleaning up someone else's mess. Rescuing Reptiles from Pet Stores is not about how to rescue pet store reptiles: it is about why you should not.
My stance isn't too far away from Animal Ark's revised policy on taking in unwanted reptiles. We think that this is something that all rescues and herp societies need to start thinking seriously about. After all, if you aren't out there helping to solve the problem, you are part of the problem.
So, where's a good
place to get herp pets?
Some societies put on annual expos or bazaars, inviting only captive breeders to show and sell. Patronize expos that both feature captive bred animals AND whose producers make sure that only healthy animals are visible and on sale. Use the resources both online and offline to learn about and check out more distant breeders to maximize your chances of obtaining healthy, captive bred animals.
You're either part of the solution, or part of the problem. Which do you want to be?
Need to update a veterinary or herp society/rescue listing?
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