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  1. #31
    Registered User hihit's Avatar
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    Re: Why do some people return their ball pythons?

    Quote Originally Posted by TofuTofuTofu View Post
    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.
    Thanks for the advice! I probably won't be in university-owned student housing, more likely just a regular apartment in the area. In any case I'm definitely going to ask about the details of the pet policy for the places I'm looking at. Most of them only explain about cats and dogs on their websites--which I'm happy when they allow cats lol, but it's not helpful information for non-cat/dog pets.
    Everyone's weird in their own stupid way.

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    TofuTofuTofu (05-13-2021)

  3. #32
    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
    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.
    I don't want to give too many details about my exact situation because it's kinda private info, but I do feel confident enough in my overall life/financial stability that I think I could care for pets. I'm currently living in an apartment at my (undergraduate) university, will be moving back in with my parents in a few days after I graduate, then moving in August to an apartment near my new (graduate) university. I'm not getting any more pets until all that moving is done (transporting my plants and fish from NY to FL is already gonna be enough of an ordeal), but after that, I should be living in the same spot for at least 5 years.

    For the record, I study mathematics (I'm not planning on being a teacher lol, yes I get asked that a lot), which I think is decently employable. I'm going to try to pick up a few other employable skills as well, such as programming in Python--pun very much intended.
    Everyone's weird in their own stupid way.

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    TofuTofuTofu (05-13-2021)

  5. #33
    Registered User hihit's Avatar
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    Re: Why do some people return their ball pythons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post

    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.
    Luckily, I have enough money to be able to afford my own (within a reasonably low price range) single-bedroom apartment. After living with roommates these past 4 years, I've thoroughly decided against having other people in my home, pet considerations aside. Most of my roommates weren't terrible, I'm just a hermit lol.
    Everyone's weird in their own stupid way.

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    Bogertophis (05-13-2021)

  7. #34
    Registered User hihit's Avatar
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    Re: Why do some people return their ball pythons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin View Post
    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.
    Very thorough response. Thank you for this.
    Everyone's weird in their own stupid way.

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    Caitlin (05-15-2021),Hugsplox (05-14-2021)

  9. #35
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    Re: Why do some people return their ball pythons?

    It's funny, in so many ways, my ball python is the easiest pet I've had:
    • Once I got his enclosure well-balanced when it came to temp and humidity, that requires very little adjusting.
    • Eats once every 10-14 days, and I got him from a reptile shelter when he was 8, so they'd already established that he was a great eater which makes him super easy.
    • Regular water top-ups and washing out his water dish.
    • I usually take him out once a week or so and let him run free for a couple of hours in a bedroom I have that's secure with no holes in the walls or anything (to let him at least sort-of utilize natural behaviours like stretching out, exploring etc).
    • Otherwise...he spends most of his day hiding in his rock.



    But in some ways, he's been extremely challenging. This has mainly had to do with my lifestyle, admittedly, but there are things I definitely found more difficult:
    • Very, very few places I've lived have allowed reptiles. In fact, every apartment I've rented/owned since I got him (4 places) have has strata/rental agreements that allowed "cats, dogs and caged mammals" but do not allow reptiles as pets. My assumption is that this is because people are terrified of snakes ending up in their walls. I've simply done what most people do and ignored the rental/strata rules, then hidden my snake's existence from landlords/building managers, but this certainly carries a lot of risks in itself so it needs to be considered carefully. Finding housing in my province is a massive challenge for renters, and for buyers too, and the proportion of "no pets allowed" rentals has soared in the last ten years, so it's rarely an option to "just find a pet-friendly place." Often there are so few affordable housing options here that it's between having pets and being homeless for many, unfortunately.
    • Moving, if you do it often, becomes a big headache. Because of my schooling the past four years, I've needed to do a lot of moving from town to town. My husband's work kept him about a 14-hour drive away from me for the duration of my schooling, so whenever we had a month-long break off school in the summers, I'd drive the 14 hours and stay there for the month. This means I've had to move my poor snake more times than I can count. Moving a 40-gallon terrarium on my own is not possible, so every single move or visit home meant rallying a friend of mine to come help me load the heavy glass tank down the apartment stairs and into my car. It's been frankly a bit ridiculous. But I realize that almost no one moves as often as I've had to the last few years, so this is a unique complaint that most people don't have to deal with.
    • If you go on vacation or on a trip, or are in the process of renovating/moving, finding a friend willing to look after your snake (meaning put their hands into a snake enclosure to change their water) can be very difficult, as the prevalence of fear of snakes is enormous. Finding a friend willing to thaw a frozen dead mouse and feed it to your snake is even harder lol So if you don't have friends nearby who are cool with being up-close with snakes, and you don't live in a city large enough to have a store/breeder/something that boards snakes, anticipate that finding help might be a struggle.




    I'm so happy I got my BP, and I love the guy to bits, but I find it's never the day-to-day care that presents me with challenges, it's always the logistical things! For someone with stable housing, who doesn't plan to move much and who has people/boarders willing to help you look after the guy if you need them to, none of this will be a big stressor. But it's an important consideration when taking on any pet, especially something considered to be "exotic" like reptiles!

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    GoingPostal (05-19-2021)

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