Reptile rescue expert's warning over exotic pet ownership

Reptile rescue expert's warning over exotic pet ownership

EXOTIC PET: A snake at the reptile day in Darlington

Reptile show at Longfield School to raise awareness of the work of the North East Reptile Rescue service. Amber Whitworth, aged seven (from Cleveleys, near Blackpool). (9121550)

Reptile show at Longfield School to raise awareness of the work of the North East Reptile Rescue service. The judging table. Jasmine Glendenning, aged eight, of Easington with her lizard, Albie. (9121552)

(9121554)

First published in News
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THE founder of a reptile rescue charity has urged people to be certain of their commitment before adopting an exotic animal as a pet.

Joe Griffin, of Hartlepool-based North-East Reptile Rescue (NERR), was speaking at a reptile show in Darlington.

A long-time reptile enthusiast, Mr Griffin set up NERR eight years ago, after friends and acquaintances began dumping their unwanted pets at his door.

A not-for-profit organisation, NERR is currently going through the process of becoming a charity.

Currently run from the homes of its volunteers and staff, Mr Griffin hopes to set up the organisation in its own premises, but a lack of funding has so far prevented this.

He said: "What funds we do manage to raise goes straight back into the animals, for food, vets' bills and other expenses."

NERR's main aim is to re-home animals, but Mr Griffin said this is not always easy.

He said: "The list of reasons for people not wanting their exotic animal any longer is as long as your arm - economic reasons, a change in family circumstances or they simply did not realise how big a commitment it was.

"My biggest piece of advice to anyone thinking of getting an exotic animal as a pet would be to do your research.

"Then, when you think you've exhausted all your options, do some more research.

"Most exotic animals will live a lot longer than your average cat or do.

"When people buy an exotic animal, there is a lot of years they have to spend looking after it."

Although no animals were on sale at Sunday's (August 10) event, at Longfield School, there were plenty on display, including snakes from The Reptile Room, in Lancashire.

Other attractions included talks by reptile experts and the chance for potential pet owners to learn more about owning an exotic animal.

For more details, visit ihs-web.org.uk or nerr.co.uk

Comments (3)

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9:09pm Sun 10 Aug 14

LUSTARD says...

should be banned from sale in this country, must have a word with our mp on that, would save these people having to do all that fundraising for new buildings, cars , vans, travelling expenses , dining out while rescuing these animals from cornwall, the lakes , and other exotic places. and probably preventing the same people from gaining meaningfull employment.
should be banned from sale in this country, must have a word with our mp on that, would save these people having to do all that fundraising for new buildings, cars , vans, travelling expenses , dining out while rescuing these animals from cornwall, the lakes , and other exotic places. and probably preventing the same people from gaining meaningfull employment. LUSTARD
  • Score: -76

9:32pm Sun 10 Aug 14

Brian Agar says...

The NERR, Mr Griffin and his team of volunteers do a great job of rescuing and rehoming exotic pets that need a second chance of finding a good home. It's very narrow minded and thoughtless to say that these animals should be banned from sale in this country - what about cats and dogs that are abandoned or need new homes? Should they also be banned from sale? Far more dogs and cats end up in rescue centers than reptiles do so I'd guess that's a bigger problem. You should also realise that Mr Griffin and his volunteers do have jobs and the rescue is run in their free time, often at their own expense so perhaps, Lustard, you should consider the full facts before making assumptions. Small, volunteer-run organisations such as the NERR deserve much more support and donations to be able to offer support to pets and owners who, often for reasons beyond their control, need vetinary treatment and rehoming.
The NERR, Mr Griffin and his team of volunteers do a great job of rescuing and rehoming exotic pets that need a second chance of finding a good home. It's very narrow minded and thoughtless to say that these animals should be banned from sale in this country - what about cats and dogs that are abandoned or need new homes? Should they also be banned from sale? Far more dogs and cats end up in rescue centers than reptiles do so I'd guess that's a bigger problem. You should also realise that Mr Griffin and his volunteers do have jobs and the rescue is run in their free time, often at their own expense so perhaps, Lustard, you should consider the full facts before making assumptions. Small, volunteer-run organisations such as the NERR deserve much more support and donations to be able to offer support to pets and owners who, often for reasons beyond their control, need vetinary treatment and rehoming. Brian Agar
  • Score: 72

11:44pm Sun 10 Aug 14

joe griff says...

LUSTARD, plain and simple you are what as known as an internet troll who is deluding themselves as to what an animal rescue is or does. All the trustees of the rescue have normal meaningful employment.

"dining out while rescuing these animals from cornwall, the lakes , and other exotic places" the only we come to dining out is Mcdonalds and as for exotic places ha ha ha. We have a set catchment area which definetly does not include Cornwall.

" fundraising for new buildings, cars , vans" Did you not read the article at all. Any fundraising we do goes into the rescue to pay for food, equipment, electric and vets bills but if there where a individual or even a company that would donate enough money for our own building we would not turn it down, that would save us giving up a very large proportion of our homes to animals that others have gave up on.

"should be banned from sale in this country, must have a word with our mp on that" Why should they be banned from sale in this country, would that not be taking away peoples freedom to choose to have whatever pet they want. Would you in the same breath tell all the cat and dog owners in the UK that they have no right to any pets. I doubt any MP would take you seriously especialy in this current economic climate when reptiles are the biggest growing sector of the pet industry amassing to millions of revenue per year. A calculation done by the pet trade in 2011 there was approx 8 million reptiles kept as pets in the Uk with the majority of people keeping them being responsible caring owners.

Just because it is reptiles that the rescue deals with does not make it any less a legit and reputable rescue as say a orginisation that takes in dogs or cats. People should understand that reptiles can be mistreated, neglected and abandoned just the same as more common pets and are an animal that deserves to be treated with respect just the same.
LUSTARD, plain and simple you are what as known as an internet troll who is deluding themselves as to what an animal rescue is or does. All the trustees of the rescue have normal meaningful employment. "dining out while rescuing these animals from cornwall, the lakes , and other exotic places" the only we come to dining out is Mcdonalds and as for exotic places ha ha ha. We have a set catchment area which definetly does not include Cornwall. " fundraising for new buildings, cars , vans" Did you not read the article at all. Any fundraising we do goes into the rescue to pay for food, equipment, electric and vets bills but if there where a individual or even a company that would donate enough money for our own building we would not turn it down, that would save us giving up a very large proportion of our homes to animals that others have gave up on. "should be banned from sale in this country, must have a word with our mp on that" Why should they be banned from sale in this country, would that not be taking away peoples freedom to choose to have whatever pet they want. Would you in the same breath tell all the cat and dog owners in the UK that they have no right to any pets. I doubt any MP would take you seriously especialy in this current economic climate when reptiles are the biggest growing sector of the pet industry amassing to millions of revenue per year. A calculation done by the pet trade in 2011 there was approx 8 million reptiles kept as pets in the Uk with the majority of people keeping them being responsible caring owners. Just because it is reptiles that the rescue deals with does not make it any less a legit and reputable rescue as say a orginisation that takes in dogs or cats. People should understand that reptiles can be mistreated, neglected and abandoned just the same as more common pets and are an animal that deserves to be treated with respect just the same. joe griff
  • Score: 66

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