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Posted by slitherduo on April 21, 2003 at 23:36:39:
In Reply to: A ? about breeding burms and why everyone is so >>>>more posted by highlander1 on April 20, 2003 at 15:45:20:
Having read this entire thread I figured I'd just post up here and handle it all, or at least try. The problem with abandoned reptiles is really just the same old pet problem. How many dogs/cats are abandoned each year? And yet, how many more are born each year? While I don't have the numbers to back it up, I suspect that the overpopulation of dogs/cats is a far greater problem than that of reptiles.
Having said that, I think that one of the best things we as herpers can do to try and avoid abandoned herps is to support breeders who do care, and do everything we can to get herps out of the local pet stores that don't give a damn. For instance, we have a chain known as Pet Warehouse here in Southwest Missouri. They will sell any animal to anyone at anytime. I've seen green anacondas, more baby burms than you can imagine, and caimans for sale there. Most (99%) of their staff has no clue about how to care for any reptile. This past weekend, while buying feeders for a couple of my smaller snakes, the lady pointed out a Kenyan Sand Boa and said he was just starting to "peel". I wanted to unload on her for being stupid, but I know it isn't her fault. It's the company's fault for not caring enough to hire people, or train people, so that they will know what they're talking about.
When people can walk into places like that and pay the money and walk out without a clue, it only makes the problem worse. I actually heard a sales girl at one of the stores tell a customer that his adult ball python should be eating adult rabbits. I nearly started a riot over that one. By the time I was finished, he was educated on the proper size rat to feed, how often to feed, temps/humidity etc., and I was probably close to being thrown out of the store for telling him and everyone who would listen that they needed to ignore everything they heard about snakes there.
Enough ranting....but here's the point. Breeders who know their animals and care will not add as much to the problem as the more common places people find these snakes, such as Pet Warehouse, or other pet stores. If we campaign against the idiots and promote the real experts, we might find the problems of abandoned reptiles shrinking at long last.