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Re: Hi :) Are the herps yours or your kids'?.......M

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Posted by amyjk on February 02, 2003 at 15:28:24:

In Reply to: Re: Hi :) Are the herps yours or your kids'?.......M posted by Beejay on February 02, 2003 at 11:56:04:

:Oh, well I am the hobbyist here and the animals are actually all mine and completely my responsibility. I'm fully aware of their husbandry needs and their life expectancy and the likes...I'm very responsible with my animals. In fact, I got a 2 year old cat when I was 18 years old that I still have to this day...

:I bought an adult, normal corn snake that was big enough that my four kids could handle it (rather than trying to hold a baby corn and drop/squish/etc. it) while I held it. I have two juvenile snakes (corn, garter) and an adult regius that I don't like my kids to handle much.

:So, I got the snake and I think he's great but I'd like to exchange him or sell him at a booth at the fall herp show next November (where I also plan to be selling other herp-related items). That was my plan for this particular snake all along...but if nobody has an interest in him then I will just keep him and let him live out his life here with us. No big deal.

:I guess what I'm really looking for is some advice about how to break it to the kids that although it's "their" snake it really still is mine and my responsibility and it's my choice to sell/keep it. They're only little (ages 7, 6, 4, 2), so I'd like age-appropriate ideas on how to curb their disappointment. We will still have the other three snakes and a gecko.

:I'm the parent and I'm the snake owner, so ultimately I'm going to do what I feel is best, but ideas for words and phrases to use to help my kids understand that until they're old enough to be responsible for the pets, I still get to veto the decisions!

:As for downsizing...that's not really an issue. I'm just open to the possibility that somebody else might enjoy the snake whereas I'm impartial to whether he stays or goes at this point.

:I'm fairly new to the hobby (three years) and my passion is really for field herping and conservation projects, so our small pet collection is intended to remain a small pet collection. Breeding is not in the plans (at this stage, anyhow--maybe when the kids are older and can take on pets of their own then we can use that opportunity to do a project for school and breed the two corns).

:I hope you understand that for a lot of people, breeding, exchanging and replacing animals by purchasing and selling--well, that's what the whole herping scene is in its entirety for those people. I belong to a herp society and I go to shows and events...I don't think there is anything wrong with selling an animal to a person who is able to care for it properly...regardless of whether another animal is purchased. It's people who do not take the time to find the right venue for selling their animals and whom dispose of them recklessly or abandon them at shelters, release them into the wild or sell them to unwitting friends who are not capable of caring for such an animal...well, it's those people who need the whole "animals are a lifelong committment" speech :) Don't mean to dog you on your advice, but I guess I must have asked the question wrong because I didn't get the response I was digging for :)

:Thanks for your reply and I hope you don't hate me now! I tend to be very upfront about my views.


well, I didn't mean it to sound like I was lecturing you, I am a mother after all, anyways as far as what to say to your kids or how to break-it to them gently, I don't really know. Do they seem really attached to the snake? If they do, and they were mine, I'd have to keep said snake (and I mean, really, really attached) otherwise, I would just be honest and matter of fact with them. And assure them that you will be scrupulous as to who would be taking the snake home. Also, if it was agreed the snake was going to stay, they would have to be involved in the up keep and care taking of snake. Age appropriate of course. But thats just my opinion. My kids are 12, 6 and 3, all boys, in case you were wondering.........hope I helped in someway... :)

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