This week Animal Welfare partnered with Arrowhead Reptile Rescue to destigmatize the idea that reptiles can’t make good pets and to clear up misconceptions on how to take care of them. Arrowhead gave a very informative presentation on the common issues that arise with owning a reptile.
Arrowhead says the best way to take care of a reptile is to do good research on the pet’s specific needs. Oftentimes, they have many pet surrenders that come with issues due to improper care. One example is the blue tongued skink. Arrowhead said that many of the skinks come in with no toes because of improper humidity conditions while the animal was molting. A lot of the reptiles also come with improper bone growth which can lead to crooked jaws, crooked tails or misshapen spines. This issue is a result of improper or no light source for the Reptile because without light the reptile's body can’t process the vitamins necessary for bone growth.
Arrowhead also listed off some reptiles that make good pets and are easier to take care of. Some examples are the corn snake, the bearded dragon, and a leopard gecko. These options are great for beginners but still require research as you should research the needs of any pet you adopt. Some reptiles also have a really long lifespan and grow to very big sizes, so you should research those aspects before adopting.
Arrowhead also gave advice on what to do if you see an injured reptile. If you see one, it's okay to touch it briefly to put it in a box, but don’t try to rehabilitate it yourself as sometimes issues are time sensitive and you may not be able to offer the proper care. instead, call your nearest rescue for them to pick up the reptile or bring the animal into the rescue yourself. If you call the rescue hours after seeing the injured reptile, chances are it’ll be gone when the rescue gets there, act quickly if you see one.
Animal Welfare educates and provides students with opportunities to become active citizens through animal rights' activities and events.