Reptile refuges are real rarity

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1999:
Tens of thousands of former pet reptiles are abandoned each year in the U.S. and Canada–and ANIMAL PEOPLE files indicate the numbers are rapidly rising. Yet the number of sanctuaries able to give reptiles quality care can just about be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Apart from the Rainforest Reptile Refuge, ANIMAL PEOPLE has identified only two other sanctuaries which either specialize in reptiles or have reptile experts on staff: Wildlife Waystation, of Angeles National Forest, California, which mainly handles mammals and birds but also has a reptile house; and Star Inc., of Culver City, California, whose storefront facilities reportedly resemble Rainforest Reptile Refuge. A few others focus on mammals and birds but also keep some reptiles, notably Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation and Primarily Primates, both near San Antonio, Texas.

Otherwise, herpetological rescue is left to individual members of local herpetological societies. Rescue networks are
usually not in close touch with animal control agencies and humane societies. The public tends to be unaware of them. One can hardly criticize individual rescuers for lying low, as more reptiles are dumped than any one person could handle, and thefts of reptiles are increasingly common, due to a misplaced belief that they can be sold for big money. In truth, only the healthiest reptiles of the rarest species have resale value. For most legal dealers, the money is not in the animals but in the paraphernalia needed to keep them.

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