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  1. #21
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    Re: Why do some people return their ball pythons?

    Quote Originally Posted by hihit View Post
    I've been doing tons and tons of research on ball pythons lately and although I've never owned one, I am very convinced that I want one, that I can handle the care requirements, that a ball python would make a good pet for me, etc. etc.

    However, I of course keep hearing stories of people who receive their first ball python only to return it shortly after. I don't want to be one of those people. I would feel very guilty if I had to give up an animal for any reason. I know someone who had to give up a recently-adopted cat and it was super rough on her. I think the cat-human bond is typically stronger than the bp-human bond, but I still imagine myself being heartbroken in that type of situation.

    So...what are the reasons some newbies give up their ball pythons? One story I hear pretty often is that they didn't do their research on how to care for the animal, and then they got overwhelmed when they couldn't care for the animal properly. I've also heard of people who thought the snake was aggressive/bad-tempered when really the poor thing was just stressed due to some husbandry issue. But I've done my research, and having done so much research, I doubt my husbandry will be too far off when the time comes--and I've also heard stories of people who did their research beforehand, did everything correctly, yet simply decided that keeping a ball python wasn't right for them after they got one. I guess I'm wondering what about having a ball python wasn't right for them? And how do I know if I'll turn out to be one of those people?
    The same reason(s) why anyone gives up a dog, cat, bunny, pet rat, hamster, and I keep or kept all of these plus reptiles. In the rescue world, it's not uncommon to find surrendered or abandoned dogs due to age, illness or behavior issues (Usually for the puppies growing out of the cute stage). Cats are surrendered because mainly of litterbox issues like peeing on furniture, which can be treated medically (ie urinary disease) or addressing the behavior/stress from the environment. Hamsters are given up usually due to lack of the child's interest and the parent don't want to clean the cage anymore. Bunnies are dumped in parks because they chew, can get aggressive during puberty stage (That's why neutering/spaying is so important for buns), poops a lot.

    In light of all the above, the most common reason that encompasses them all including pet reptiles is life changes, like moving. Some people are forced to give up their pets, while others really don't want to put in the effort to find a pet friendly place to live.

    So if you really want to know to prevent what can potentially happen to you, it is to find a permanent, long term place to live where you won't be harassed or forced to give up your pet(s). Being a homeowner helps greatly but not everyone can find affordable housing nowadays, it should be a goal to strive for. Settle down with a job or career that does more than living from paycheck to paycheck. That means finishing school (if you haven't), learn how to budget for personal and pet emergencies, and stay focused on your goals.

    Pets of all species are not a right to own. If you can't take care of yourself, don't get one. Ball pythons or not. And specifically for ball pythons, if you are not willing to feed it live (if you have to) or do the work, don't bother. I don't recommend anyone who is a stressful worrier to get one. Go for something more relaxing to care for, like a rat snake. Keep in mind, just because you can have one doesn't mean you should. Take care of yourself first, and the rest will happen when it's time.
    Last edited by Cheesenugget; 05-12-2021 at 12:25 AM.

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  3. #22
    Registered User hihit's Avatar
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    Re: Why do some people return their ball pythons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesenugget View Post

    In light of all the above, the most common reason that encompasses them all including pet reptiles is life changes, like moving. Some people are forced to give up their pets, while others really don't want to put in the effort to find a pet friendly place to live.

    So if you really want to know to prevent what can potentially happen to you, it is to find a permanent, long term place to live where you won't be harassed or forced to give up your pet(s). Being a homeowner helps greatly but not everyone can find affordable housing nowadays, it should be a goal to strive for. Settle down with a job or career that does more than living from paycheck to paycheck. That means finishing school (if you haven't), learn how to budget for personal and pet emergencies, and stay focused on your goals.
    Owning a home isn't possible for me just yet (I'll still be in school for approximately 5 more years because I'm going for a graduate degree), but apartments that aren't pet-friendly are definitely out of the question for me. Even if I don't get a ball python, I already have a fish tank that I love, plus I don't see myself going too long without finding a cat... I've always lived with some type of animal and it would feel incredibly weird not to.
    Everyone's weird in their own stupid way.

  4. #23
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    I love ball pythons, but when I was initially researching snakes, what discouraged me from getting a ball python was that they may have eating issues. I knew that would stress me out, and I wasn't willing to feed live, so I ruled them out pretty quickly (despite seeing like, the most gorgeous, lovely ones at expos). But again, lots of them do fine... I just didn't want to deal with that element. There is a big variety in the rat snake/corn snake group that are good, too. My fiance's Japanese rat snake is like, the ideal beginner snake (eats perfectly, friendly, knows the difference between my hand and food), although I did see another on here (a female Japanese rat snake) where she was aggressive. A lot just depends on the individual, I guess, like with any other animal.

    I volunteer for a rabbit rescue, and I think people give up pets basically because they did not think ahead. Because it is socially acceptable to treat animals as objects (as opposed to like, children, who rarely are abandoned), people have more freedom to just dump them. Also, because they are sold in a store, as objects, they inherently get designated as that, in the minds of the dumb people who buy them. In addition, people just don't know anything about animals in general, and think they could live on their own in the wild. My iguana was dumped outside in Wisconsin (fortunately in August) and my rabbit (who is big and white and would be immediately eaten by an eagle) was found as a stray. Honestly, people are just irresponsible and ignorant. However, I can tell just because you are here asking, and are able to form full sentences, that you are not like that, lol.

    So, I know above I said I had ruled out bps because of the eating thing, but I think you could go a long way to mitigate this by finding a breeder (or a rescue) and asking whether it is eating frozen-thawed or live. Rescues near me often have normals and some morphs as well, and you could get the instant gratification of getting a non-tiny baby snake, too, who is already an established eater (if the rescue is responsible and not putting one up for adoption too soon).
    ----------
    Animals in my house:

    1.0 Green Iguana
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    1.0 Japanese Rat Snake
    ? Panda King Isopod Colony
    7 Blue Death-Feigning Beetles

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  6. #24
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    Re: Why do some people return their ball pythons?

    Quote Originally Posted by hihit View Post
    Owning a home isn't possible for me just yet (I'll still be in school for approximately 5 more years because I'm going for a graduate degree), but apartments that aren't pet-friendly are definitely out of the question for me. Even if I don't get a ball python, I already have a fish tank that I love, plus I don't see myself going too long without finding a cat... I've always lived with some type of animal and it would feel incredibly weird not to.
    Student housing can be tricky, but I don't think it will be impossible, because many designate any pets in a container (like your fish) as the same, and they wouldn't care. When I looked for apartments with my adult iguana, there was only one place I can remember that said heck no (the quote was something like "everyone thinks their pets are wonderful" when I told her that he cannot destroy stuff), but the other 10 or so places I applied to didn't care. This was also because I think they thought he was small, and in an enclosure--not a free-roaming adult. But, my apartment landlords loved him once I moved in. "I am moving and can't take him with" is such a common excuse that rescues hear, and I am convinced these are people who just don't try, and use moving as an excuse. As long as you down have a literal tiger as a pet, or maybe a crocodile, I am optimistic for you, just based on my own experience. I am unsure how strict your student housing would be, though.

    Also, since you're moving to Gainseville, check out Hernando Reptile Rescue if you want to consider adoption. They would be about 2 hours south of you, but they usually have a few ball pythons for adoption.
    ----------
    Animals in my house:

    1.0 Green Iguana
    1.0 New Zealand Rabbit
    1.0 Japanese Rat Snake
    ? Panda King Isopod Colony
    7 Blue Death-Feigning Beetles

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  8. #25
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    Re: Why do some people return their ball pythons?

    Quote Originally Posted by hihit View Post
    Owning a home isn't possible for me just yet (I'll still be in school for approximately 5 more years because I'm going for a graduate degree), but apartments that aren't pet-friendly are definitely out of the question for me. Even if I don't get a ball python, I already have a fish tank that I love, plus I don't see myself going too long without finding a cat... I've always lived with some type of animal and it would feel incredibly weird not to.
    Good for you. All you have to do is get to the finish line. I'm not sure if you are currently living at home with your parents. Living on your own is going to be drastically different. After you graduate, you will need to secure a job that can cover all your expenses including monthly student loans, plus extra for yourself and pet expenses. Not knowing what you are majoring in, it's going to be tough out there. Work experience + degree will give you a better chance in the job market. If you have to rely on your parents to help you financially, then you are not in a good place to take care of anything else at that time.

    Cats are great companions, I'm a crazy cat lady so yeah lol. However, lots of people are starting to understand that caring for a cat can be just as expensive as a dog. For example, like I previously mentioned, cats #1 health concern is urinary disease. Male cats can get obstructed and can't pee which is fatal if not treated asap. So like all pets, make sure you live somewhere not too far from a vet and an emergency clinic. Urinary obstruction can costs hundreds to thousands of dollars to treat, not including the possibility of surgery to help him pee better. I once spent over $2k on a male cat because he was blocked, twice. And urinary obstruction can happen suddenly and several more times for the rest of the cat's life.
    Female cats don't get this due to their anatomy but they do get UTI's. Some don't have causes that can be explained. Antibiotics and pain relief are not cheap. Cats overall get very stressed out if they are moved too much. They don't like changes, some don't tolerate well at all with changes, and this stress can be so bad that their bladder become inflamed, infected and peeing issues start to come up. That is why finding a place where you and your cat can settle down is important, not just for you but also for your cat's health.

    Lastly, cats don't drink enough water which contribute to their urinary problems. They get their hydration from the food they eat, so feeding a canned diet (70% water) vs kibble (10% water) is important, and not the cheap corn-made brand too because these are obligate carnivores. The better the quality of canned food you can get, the better it is for your cat's health but it will costs more. For example, I feed my 3 cats Wellness canned food plus a little kibble on the side. It costs me more to feed the cats than 2 large dogs.

    I get it though, having a pet companion can bring you so much joy. But remember this, you can always get a cat, dog, etc. They will always be available in the shelter so there is no rush. The worst thing you can do is to adopt a cat, finding out later that you have to move and your new roommate or family is allergic to cats, and you will end up heartbroken. Finish school, start your life, get your budget together, move out and then see how you feel about all this later.

    P.S. on the topic of ball pythons, finding a place to live close to or accessible to a reptile vet is a must before getting any reptiles.

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  10. #26
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    Re: Why do some people return their ball pythons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesenugget View Post
    In light of all the above, the most common reason that encompasses them all including pet reptiles is life changes, like moving. Some people are forced to give up their pets, while others really don't want to put in the effort to find a pet friendly place to live.
    Or worse, renters try to sneak their pets into the rental unit and then hide them from the landlord. That's a good way to end up with an eviction on your credit report, which will make it harder to find a future rental, if you don't find a safe place for that pet to go within a few business days. That's how I ended up with one of my retics.

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  12. #27
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    Why do some people return their ball pythons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Hi, Nice avatar,

    I think the main reason is poor research or bad advice to get a quick sale, leading to the new buyer not providing the right environment so the snake wont feed or has problems that overwhelm the new keeper..
    ^ THIS^

    Some pet stores still just sell the snake and tank / RUB plus a heat mat but no thermostat !!

    Plus they sell those useless 5 stick on plastic dial thermometers ( normally ExoTerra ones)



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Zincubus; 05-12-2021 at 11:03 AM.




  13. #28
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    Re: Why do some people return their ball pythons?

    Quote Originally Posted by hihit View Post
    Owning a home isn't possible for me just yet (I'll still be in school for approximately 5 more years because I'm going for a graduate degree), but apartments that aren't pet-friendly are definitely out of the question for me. Even if I don't get a ball python, I already have a fish tank that I love, plus I don't see myself going too long without finding a cat... I've always lived with some type of animal and it would feel incredibly weird not to.
    It's heart-breaking to have a pet you have to give up because you're renting/leasing. More & more rentals are saying "no" to pets not because they hate animals but because of inconsiderate previous owners causing damage. The more responsible you appear & sound, the better your chances. Pet snakes seem perfect since they don't make noise, chew, or dig up the carpet.

    The problem for landlords with pet snakes is that they scare other tenants (or the landlord themselves), not that they cause literal damage. And they can escape & cause the building to be unrentable until found, so you can't blame landlords entirely- they have a point. Another problem with reptiles is the increased risk of fire that insurance companies object to- the lights & heat are not always set up safely, so the companies give the landlords no choice. Some even object to fish tanks, because they can leak & cause serious damage. And cats are great at spreading fleas in apartments, making the whole building need to be fumigated- been there, seen it, wasn't my cat but a neighbor's. And they fumigated without warning, & I was in class, so my pet hamster died as a result.

    And college room-mates can be a different sort of nightmare- even IF pets are allowed, many ppl fear snakes, & sometimes they do get loose. You might have a good room-mate for a while, but then they're gone & you need to find another. Please try to think of all this before getting a pet- I KNOW how hard it is not to have a pet for a while, believe me- I'm the same way. But think twice while you'll have to be renting or sharing a place to live.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-12-2021 at 11:07 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  15. #29
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    I'm an admin on a large Facebook group dedicated to Ball Pythons, and without going into rant mode I'll just say it can be a pretty rough world out there for a pet snake.

    Surrendering/rehoming/giving up Ball Pythons is sickeningly common. So much so that two big reptile rescues that I know of are now refusing to accept any more surrendered BPs because they are just flooded with them.

    These are the most common reasons I see for getting rid of Ball Pythons. There are others, but these crop up most frequently. As in daily. But I promised I wouldn't rant:

    Purchased for kid. Kid loses interest.
    Purchased for kid. Snake is fearful/defensive. Family decides it's 'mean'.
    Kid buys snake. Parent hates/is terrified of snake.
    Purchased because so many recommend them as a great beginner pet. Snake spends the majority of its time in its hide and only comes out late at night. Family decides that's no fun.
    Purchased because so many recommend them as a great beginner pet. Snake refuses to eat. Family decides that there's no solution and/or that recommended husbandry adjustments are too expensive.
    Purchased because so many recommend them as a great beginner pet. Buys 'kit' recommended by pet shop. Learns that 'kit' is mostly useless, virtually everything in it needs to be dumped, and there's lots of new stuff they need to buy. Decides it's all too expensive/too much trouble.
    College student purchases. Can't afford to keep it properly.
    Student moves and can't have reptiles in new place and/or new roommates hate snake.
    Renter purchases snake before checking lease requirements and either discovers that pets are prohibited, and/or their landlord objects to a reptile pet, and/or tries to hide snake from landlord.
    Snake gets a respiratory infection, scale rot, or suffers a burn due to bad husbandry. Owner decides veterinary care is too expensive.
    Keeper develops relationship with new significant other who hates snakes.
    Significant family disruption (divorce, death in family, etc.) with nobody available who's willing to care for snake.
    Snake owner caves in to one of the current problems in the Ball Python world: "There are so many beautiful morphs, and I can keep these snakes in racks, so I want all of them!". Snake owner buys many snakes in a short period of time, becomes overwhelmed and gets rid of snakes.

    All through undergrad and grad school I had snakes and other pets, so I know it's possible to make it work as a student. But I also know that it was often wickedly difficult and that when I was living on a student budget I sometimes had to make some very tough choices in order to provide good care for my animals. I'm nobody special but at the same time, it requires a particular sort of person and unwavering dedication to handle some of the challenges of keeping pets in the years before you can have your own home.
    1.0 Jungle Carpet Python 'Ziggy'
    0.1 Brazilian Rainbow Boa 'Mara'
    1.1 Tarahumara Mountain Boas 'Paco' and 'Frida'
    1.0 Dumeril's Boa 'Gyre'
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    0.4 Oregon Red-spotted Garters
    1.0 Ball Python (BEL) 'Sugar'
    1.0 Gray-banded Kingsnake 'Nacho'
    1.0 Green Tree Python (Aru) 'Jade'

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  17. #30
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    Re: Why do some people return their ball pythons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin View Post
    ...Surrendering/rehoming/giving up Ball Pythons is sickeningly common. So much so that two big reptile rescues that I know of are now refusing to accept any more surrendered BPs because they are just flooded with them...
    Sounds very similar to what happened with green iguanas that pet stores used to love selling to unsuspecting pet buyers.

    BTW, that was a perfect (& rantless ) post on this topic- it should probably be required reading in its entirety for everyone considering a new BP.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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