Sometimes when I’m browsing the local reptile classifieds, I get a little depressed (or I want to take them all, depending on the day). Some are sick, some have obviously poor husbandry, many are the result of a saturated market, and most are unwanted. If I browse long enough, I start to loathe humanity.
Running ReptiFiles makes loathing humanity less than the best mindset to have, so I play a little game instead.
I look for the most ridiculous excuses for rehoming reptiles and jot them down. And by this point I think I’ve collected enough to share. Some are fairly common and simply worth recording as part of the list, while others…
Well, you get the idea.
So let’s get started, shall we?
“Not sure why my ball python isn’t eating, so I’d rather sell it to someone else than pay for a vet trip.”
If your reptile is sick and you can’t afford treatment, contact a local reptile rescue for surrender. Don’t try to profit off your own laziness.
“Got it for the kids but they lost interest.”
If I had a nickel for every time I saw this one… You know your kids. They can barely sit through a movie. You get halfway through a sentence and they’re already three rooms away. What convinced you that they’d be able to stay interested in a pet?
“I sleep with my window open and now that it’s not summer I’m worried that my snake will get too cold.”
So rather than using a few neurons to figure out a way to keep your snake warm, you’re just getting rid of it?
“Lost interest and I want to put a different reptile in the tank.”
You lose your reptile privileges.
“Selling because we don’t have the time.”
In other words: “I lost interest/am lazy/don’t care enough about this living thing in my home.”
“I just don’t have time to play with it/give it the attention that it needs.”
It’s not a puppy. It’s doesn’t need attention outside of a clean enclosure and food every once in a while. Is that too difficult for you?
Congratulations…? I feel like there are better ways to make this announcement.
“I don’t want him anymore.”
Well at least you’re honest.
“My girl/boyfriend hates snakes, so it has to go.”
Sounds like you need a new significant other, not a new pet.
“Can’t find food for it, so it hasn’t eaten in a while.”
There’s this really neat thing called the Internet. Check it out sometime.
“I’m a bad snake mom.”
“Ball python got too big for my apartment.”
How does a ball python get “too big” for an apartment??
“My gecko dropped its tail and now it’s ugly and freaks me out.”
People like you freak me out. If your dog/cat lost its leg in a car accident, would you abandon it, too?
“Had it for many years, but am getting a new pet and would like to give it another home.”
…And you can’t have two pets at the same time?
*Posts pictures from the most recent reptile expo* “I don’t know how to take care of it…”
Then why did you buy it in the first place??
“Just in time for Christmas!”
Repeat after me: Pets are not Christmas presents!
And for the crown jewel…
“Up for grabs is this asexual slithery constriction rope (referring to a ball python). I know that there are people out there that love these legless lizards that are direct descendants of Lucifer himself. I, however, am not one of these people. I prefer warm blooded creatures with fur that are capable of giving, receiving, and appreciating love and affection. Needless to say, I am not capable of giving this tempter of Eve a good home.”
There are no words….
Some of you might be thinking, “What’s the big deal? Life happens. They’re just animals.”
When you buy a reptile, it becomes entirely dependent on you for warmth, food, health, and comfort. In its native habitat, it has the resources to take care of itself. In captivity, you become responsible for fulfilling those needs, making sure that it lives a healthy, comfortable life in your care. In my idea of a perfect world, everyone who buys a pet would have to sign a contract detailing these responsibilities, and if they wanted to sell that animal, they would have to present their case before a designated judiciary council. …Of course, I understand that’s rather unrealistic, it would probably cause more problems than it would solve…
But my point is, if you sell your reptile, maybe it will go to a home that cares for it better than you can. But can you guarantee that? Can you look that animal in the eye and assure it that its next home will not be a death sentence?
Yes, life happens. Sometimes you need to get rid of a reptile, and I discussed these reasons in When is it Time to Rehome a Reptile? On the bright side, selling your reptile is infinitely preferable to releasing it into the wild. But getting rid of this living thing simply because it has become inconvenient is irresponsible and inexcusable.
If you find yourself struggling with your reptile, get help. Find a local herpetological society. Join an online forum or species-specific Facebook group. Talk to the reptile’s breeder. Reach out to a reptile personality on Instagram or YouTube. They will most likely be more than willing to help you find a solution — after all, we reptile people are a community. We can help!
What is the most ridiculous excuse for selling a reptile you’ve ever seen?
Tell us in the comments!
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