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

Herp Adoption Contract

©1995 Melissa Kaplan


This contract is made between Reptile and Environmental Education (RepEnvirEd) and the Adopter of record,

(Print full name)


1.      RepEnvirEd agrees to give the Adopter title to, possession and control of the following animal for so long as the Adopter complies with the terms of this contract:

Type of animal:

  • Lizard
  • Snake
  • Turtle/Tortoise
  • Amphibian

    Species: _________________________________

    Sex (if known): M F

    Age (if known): _________________________


2.      In return, as Adopter, I agree to the following:

    A.     To take the animal to an experienced reptile and amphibian veterinarian within 5 days for a general physical examination. I understand that, unless otherwise specified in paragraph 4 below, this animal is in good general health at the time of adoption. I further understand that the stress that may occur as a result of the animal being moved from RepEnvirEd to its new location may cause stress-related illness or injury. If the animal does require medical treatment or medications, I will be fully responsible for these expenses, and will assure that such care as is needed is provided to the animal.

    B.     To follow the rules and regulations promulgated by the city and county in which this animal will be housed, and that if permits or other permissions are required, I will obtain them and will be responsible for any expenses incurred in relation to the permit process. If the animal is seized due to failure of Adopter to acquire the requisite permits, custody and ownership shall revert to RepEnvirEd.

    C.      To furnish the appropriate housing, food, water, light, heat, humidity, exercise and medical care to provide for this animal in a devoted and humane manner. To assure proper care, I have or will immediately purchase or otherwise acquire a book or other information to learn how to properly care for this animal. I further understand that if the animal I am adopting will be large when full grown, I will have to move this animal into housing large enough to properly accommodate the growing animal and its changing needs.

    D.      I specifically agree to keep this animal primarily as a household animal and to keep it within my control at all times. I understand that many snakes and lizards are able to escape from their housing; I will take particular care when housing such animals to ensure the enclosures are escape-proof and that, in the case of giant snakes and lizards, the room in which they are housed is secured against possible escape.

    E.      I specifically agree, except as otherwise provided for in Paragraph 3, that this animal will not be used for research or utilitarian or other purposes not consistent with maintaining this animal as a household animal.

    F.      To keep the animal for at least one year from the date of this contract. During that time, the animal cannot be sold, traded, destroyed (except in cases of extreme medical conditions), abandoned or otherwise disposed of.

    G.      To return the animal to RepEnvirEd if, as Adopter, I no longer desire or am otherwise unable to keep the animal, and to not sell, trade, give away or abandon the animal. If the animal is lost, I shall notify RepEnvirEd expeditiously and make every effort to recover it. If the animal dies, RepEnvirEd is to be notified, and the body is to be frozen until such time as it can be delivered to or picked up by RepEnvirEd.

    H.      To allow RepEnvirEd at any time within the following one year from the date of this contract to investigate the premises where the animal is kept and to reclaim the animal if, in the judgment of the investigator, the animal is not being adequately cared for, if the Adopter has not complied with any provision of this contract, or if the Adopter has misrepresented any fact to RepEnvirEd. In the event that the Adopter fails or refuses to return such animal upon demand, the Adopter hereby agrees to pay reasonable attorney's fees in the event an attorney in consulted or if suit is brought for the return of the animal.

    I.      To truthfully and completely answer any follow-up questionnaire which RepEnvirEd may send the Adopter regarding the animal.

3.      In the event this animal is adopted by a school, nature center, science center or other educational institution, the adopting entity agrees to abide by the terms of this contract with the following modifications:

    A.      The animal may be used for educational purposes, with education defined as presenting the animal alive and in good health to teach the students or other general public about the field of herpetology, conservation, environmental education and natural history. This animal is not to be used for medical or scientific experimentation nor for dissection, even if such endeavors are otherwise considered to be educational in nature.

    B.      If this animal is kept in an educational facility, proper care must be taken to provide for the animal's needs during weekends, holidays and vacations. The animal is to be cared for only by a responsible individual who is experienced or otherwise knowledgeable in the needs of the animal(s) referenced in paragraph 2.c above. The animal is not to be sent home with a child or student unless the parent or guardian of said child or student understands the demands and needs that must be provided for, and if the adopting entity visits the child's or student's home during the course of the weekend, holiday or vacation to assure that the animal is being cared for properly. Failure to do so may constitute animal abuse, and will result in the reclamation of the animal by RepEnvirEd.

    C.      If the adopting entity at any time in the future no longer wishes to keep the animal, it shall be returned to RepEnvirEd. If the animal is lost, the adopting entity shall notify RepEnvirEd expeditiously and shall make every effort to recover it. This animal is not to be traded, sold, released into the wild or given away.

4.      To the best of RepEnvirEd's knowledge, the physical condition of this animal at the time of adoption is:




    The adopter understands that the specified condition(s) exist, and agree to be fully and financially responsible for the extra care and treatment, including veterinary and related expenses, this condition may now, and in the future, require.

5.      The Adopter agrees to be solely and personally responsible for this animal and to indemnify and hold harmless RepEnvirEd and its agents from any and all claims of liability for the conduct or condition of this animal after the date of this adoption. Adopter further agrees that this indemnification and release of liability shall apply to all known, unknown and unanticipated damages resulting from this adoption, or the ownership or control of this animal.

6.      I understand that the animal I am adopting may be classified as Threatened by the Endangered Species Act of the State of California, and/or the United States, and/or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and that permits or other documentation may be required to prove legal ownership or possession. I understand that certain other city, county, state or federal permits or licensing may be required and that I am fully responsible for researching and acquiring same. I further understand that failure on my part to secure such permits or documentation may result in the seizure of this animal by local, state or federal agencies.

RepEnvirEd Signature: ________________________________ Date: __________________

Adopter Signature: ___________________________________ Date: __________________

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