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  1. #1
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    What are the pros and cons of rehoming and rescue herps

    I have got one snake from a rescue center and have considered it since. The post below made me think, is it always wise and is there things to look out for?

    Quote Originally Posted by nikkubus View Post
    This sort of nonsense and ludicrous rehoming fees are why I won't even try adopting anymore. I highly doubt they have it housed in anything better. I commend your patience. The poor animal is not to blame for their ignorance.
    I did look but could not find a similar thread. Any advice?

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    I've had some great experiences with rescues for cats and rats, but with reptiles it's always been a mess. I think the same quality I have experienced with mammals could exist for reptiles, it's just not as easy since it's a smaller market.

    Pros:
    You are giving a quality home to an animal in need
    You aren't supporting mill type breeders and big box stores
    Easier to get an adult animal that sometimes is easier to handle
    Usually animals come already checked up by a vet
    Cost of animals (sometimes)

    Cons:
    Less selection
    Sometimes adult animals have habits or fear that is hard to break, some of which are not readily apparent
    No lineage info whatsoever most of the time so you could be in for serious heritable disease
    Loads of paperwork and requirements, some of which are unreasonable
    Cost of animals (sometimes)

    You are going to have to check out what is available in your area. There may be a really great reptile rescue or general rescue with reptiles, there may not be.
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

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  4. #3
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    The rescues I have taken in didn't come from a 501c3 reptile rescue, they were from word of mouth via friends, neighbors, or coworkers who know that I keep snakes, and who knew someone who knew someone who needed to rehome a snake. Reasons for rehoming included "it's sick/injured and I can't afford the vet", "my landlord found it and if it's not gone by tomorrow he's starting eviction proceedings" (this was a retic... ), and "it belonged to my ex girlfriend and she's been sentenced to prison for a year and I don't want her snake".

    Pros: You're providing a better home for these animals than where they are now, and if the critter is healthy then you're picking up a nice one at no cost.

    Cons: Vet bills, some are too far gone/sick to save by the time you get them.

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  6. #4
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    I'll "second" bcr229's post, as I've never had an opportunity to take in snakes from a 501c3 either- only from others who no longer wanted them for a whole variety of reasons-from "it's mean & hates us" to "we got it for our son but he lost interest", yada yada yada. Oh, & my favorite one: "my wife (or gf) said either the rattlesnake goes or I go" after realizing how lucky they were that it didn't get loose after the earthquake they just had- or maybe after it DID get loose... It's a mixed bag, some animals may be sick, but many respond wonderfully well to just basic good care, & the "mean ones" never really are, just misunderstood. So to me it feels really good to help such animals get out of bad situations, & I've had far more good experiences than bad with rescues.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  8. #5
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    I adopted all my dogs, cats and bunnies primarily from my local county shelter and they are either on the euthanasia list or would most certainly die from illness or put to sleep for a treatable illness. The pet rats are rescues. I had also adopted my first bearded dragon from the local herp society/reptile rescue.

    My first beardie was gravely ill upon adoption. Due to lack of experience (she was my first reptile), and lack of medical literature online, I thought she was just entering brumation due to her lethargy. It wasn't until I took her to the vet for a check up did I realize she was sick, so sick that the vet immediately rushed her in the back for examination. After x-rays, ultrasound, bloodtest and other fees, I racked up close to about $400-600 in vet bills, I couldn't save her. Fungus was found by the specialist lab who was gravely concerned of her health. She had yellow fungus, something even the vet wasn't familiar with, especially there were no visible lesions on her body. Yellow fungus is fatal and treatment is very costly, time consuming, bad side effects with a low success rate and high remission rate. The vet performed a free necropsy on her after she was put to sleep. We also found out that she was eggbound for weeks, if not months, to the point the eggs bursts and infected her uterus. These problems would have existed and been treated by a vet if the herp society had noticed she was ill or taken her to the vet.

    While the adoption fee was waived, the mental and financial costs of taking in someone else's burden (either from a rescue or personal keeping) has left me so angry and distrustful of others that I never adopt another reptile again. Reptiles are experts in hiding symptoms of illnesses. And finding the correct vet to treat what is usually a long, expensive treatment, is not what most people want to do. Reptiles recover slowly, they don't react to antibiotics the same way mammals do, and for some people it's more appealing to sell the problem than to fix it.

    That is not to say all my adoptions of my cats and dogs went without any issues. My oldest dog had a ACL tear within 3 months after adoption which cost about $3k to get the surgery to fix. My other dog swallowed a toy whole which was a $200 after hours emergency by inducing her to vomit. But you can usually tell if you are adopting a sick dog or cat. The symptoms are less obvious for reptiles.

    You can also find problems if you purchase from a breeder, but that risk is drastically reduced when buying from a reputable breeder. A breeder who can answer your questions, make sure the hatchlings are fed several meals before being sold, etc. Since I lost my first beardie, my 2nd beardie was a purchase from a reputable breeder but he sadly passed away earlier this year due to cancer. The rest of my collection are also purchased from breeders and they are doing well. If you plan to adopt, be prepared to take on whatever good and bad that comes your way. Do not pass your problem(s) to the next person if you change your mind.
    Last edited by Cheesenugget; 06-06-2021 at 12:25 AM.

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  10. #6
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    Cheesenugget, what a horrible experience you had, trying to save that poor bearded dragon. I was only thinking about snakes when I responded to this thread, but all my dogs have always been rescues, nearly all from shelters, & I once took in a very sick bearded dragon (6 mos. old but totally constipated, unable to eat, starved with very skinny legs & a bloated body-) happily I got him through it all, & healthy again. He was dumped on me- I had no experience with beardies at all, just knew he needed help, & what a cutie he turned out to be. It's awfully hard to say no...
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  11. #7
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    Re: What are the pros and cons of rehoming and rescue herps

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Cheesenugget, what a horrible experience you had, trying to save that poor bearded dragon. I was only thinking about snakes when I responded to this thread, but all my dogs have always been rescues, nearly all from shelters, & I once took in a very sick bearded dragon (6 mos. old but totally constipated, unable to eat, starved with very skinny legs & a bloated body-) happily I got him through it all, & healthy again. He was dumped on me- I had no experience with beardies at all, just knew he needed help, & what a cutie he turned out to be. It's awfully hard to say no...
    Yea that experience left me jaded, especially that girl I got the lizard from is the head reptile keeper at a local zoo. I think she knew something was wrong with her but either didn't want to or couldn't afford to take her to the vet for treatment. At the same time, I wasn't too surprised by this. Even in dog/cat rescues, I personally had seen adoptions go through that shouldn't been, ie aggressive dogs with bite history, just because the rescue want to pass the problem to the next person.

    I want to highlight that reptile rescues can work for the right people. If you have experience rehabbing reptiles, or experience in knowing what to look signs of illnesses, and have the funds and access to a reptile vet, then it will work. If you barely can get by financially, or finding a vet is problematic, then don't do it.

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  13. #8
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    Re: What are the pros and cons of rehoming and rescue herps

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesenugget View Post
    Yea that experience left me jaded, especially that girl I got the lizard from is the head reptile keeper at a local zoo. I think she knew something was wrong with her but either didn't want to or couldn't afford to take her to the vet for treatment. At the same time, I wasn't too surprised by this. Even in dog/cat rescues, I personally had seen adoptions go through that shouldn't been, ie aggressive dogs with bite history, just because the rescue want to pass the problem to the next person.

    I want to highlight that reptile rescues can work for the right people. If you have experience rehabbing reptiles, or experience in knowing what to look signs of illnesses, and have the funds and access to a reptile vet, then it will work. If you barely can get by financially, or finding a vet is problematic, then don't do it.
    What a Terrible experience! Sorry you had to go through that.

    I'll add so far I have not experienced anything that bad. I did have a mite scare, a regurgitating episode so far. Both were quickly corrected by the very helpful people of this forum.

    I have Deepwood a local exotic vet close by, and if needed Stahl Exotic animal vet (seems highly recommended) is 30 minutes or so away, So that's a convenience a lot of people don't have.

    I have put back $2500.00 to tap into if needed for vet fees, food, enclosures ect if needed. Then can build it back up as it is used.

    I recognize that the snakes don't actually appreciate me taking them in, but like to do my small part at giving them a better life.

  14. #9
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    Re: What are the pros and cons of rehoming and rescue herps

    I did word of mouth rescues as well for a brief time. Not with snakes, but I have taken rehomed bearded dragons and different types of geckos from people who were giving them up for various reasons. The biggest expenses were some of them needed to see a vet right away for different issues and enclosures of course. I typically fostered them until I found someone interested who was able to show me they could take care of them. I just asked that people have an adult enclosure or show proof of purchase of one before I'd allow them to take an animal from me.

    Unfortunately I had to get out of doing this a couple of years ago because I had a terrible experience with a young lady who gave me a female beardie with MBD, who was severely underweight. I nursed her back the best I could, unfortunately MBD is what it is and all you can really do is prevent it getting worse, but once she had some weight on her she was much better. The issue is the previous owner after getting a friendly update photo from me, demanded the animal back now that she was better. After that whole situation I said no more.

    The big "pro" in my book was being able to take these animals from sub-standard and sometimes outright dangerous situations and give them a better life. The cons was dealing with the individuals who had put them in that situation to begin with. You get to skip over that con if you go to a legit reptile rescue, and I recommend giving it a try, but I'll also echo those who have mentioned sometime silly requirements that they put on people looking to adopt.

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  16. #10
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    I've had a mixed bag with taking in animals someone was giving up directly. Sometimes it really is just as simple as they have some life tragedy and can't keep it, but it can be sick animals a lot too. You just have to go in prepared for the worst both emotionally and financially. It is something I don't recommend for people just scraping by (I don't recommend buying animals this way either, but for adopting even more the case). A vet emergency fund is a must, quarantine is a must. My male crestie, my hognose, and one of my male bp's all came to me this way and none of them had any super serious problems, but I did deal with mites. In the past there has been countless reptiles I took in just long enough to get healthy and find them a permanent home, and never was it disclosed they were sick before but a lot of the times they were. So many surgery and medication bills, but it's so hard to say no if I'm in a position to help them. I've even taken sick or special needs animals from pet stores (not purchased them, but the employees knew me and knew they wouldn't sell and offered them to me). I tend to get all sorts of people offering me animals any time I post in CL offering f/t partial bags for sizes I don't need much of or pet-sitting. These days as tight as I am on space, I tend to ask around and facilitate them finding a home rather than taking them in, but I know I'll be right back to it when we move to a bigger place
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

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