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RE: views on rescues

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Posted by: Katrina at Sun Mar 19 17:43:53 2006  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Katrina ]  

OK, I can't answer for everyone, but here's my take on it, and I've been doing turtle and tortoise adoptions for seven years.

1) I do ship, if the animal is healthy enough and the right adopter come along, but I can see why someone wouldn't. It takes a lot of effort to ship, if done properly. I pack an animal well, and drive it to the DHL office myself. That takes at least two hours for me to pack and ship off the turtle. I've seen how at least one business ships it's turtles, and I guarantee you that I spend more time and money on packing my animals properly, and thus my animals are more likely to arrive safe and sound, and that's time and money I'm not making up in "profit" as a business would. I ask adopters to pay the cost of shipping, but that only covers the actual price of the DHL shipment, not the packing materials, gas, and time.

Also, you have to review the legalities of shipping the species to another state. Is it even legal for me to ship a certain species to a certain state? I don't want to find myself facing federal Lacy Act violations for helping an animal find a new home. So that's something else that takes time, finding out the regulations in another state. And let's not forget that shipping is not a 100% safety guarantee. Accidents do happen with shipping. Also, I WILL NOT ship in the dead of winter or middle of summer. I don't care if some businesses and breeders are shipping then, I just won't do it, because the safety of the animal comes first.

2) "when i buy a snake or reptile from a breeder, he doesnt charge me for the food and vet visits the animal had previously." Oh yes, he does. What do you think the cost of an animal from a breeder is? He's trying to make a profit, even if it's just enough to pay for his hobby if he's not a business, so therefore you ARE paying for everything that goes into caring for and selling the animals, plus enough for him to turn a profit, if he's a business, which means you're paying for the him to make a living, too. Maybe most of his snakes haven't been to a vet, but at least the founding breeding stock probably did get a vet check, as least for deworming. One chameleon breeder I know imports some of his breeding stock, and spends a pretty penny with Dr. Stahl to get them healthy enough to breed. In some cases that includes expensive blood tests and culturing to determine what bacteria or viruses the new animals might have, so that he doesn't mix asymptomatic (appears healthy but is carrying a contagious disease) animals with his already established breeding stock. So, even though YOUR purchase hasn't been to the vet, I guarantee part of the price you're paying is to keep the breeding stock healthy. Let's not forget the time and money spent with heating, housing, feeding and advertising, and maybe transporting if you're buying the animal at a show. You're paying for all of that when you buy an animal from a dealer or breeder, otherwise he wouldn't make a profit (or at least pay for his hobby) and wouldn't be able to stay in business (or keep his wife off his back about the cost of his hobby).

Now, with a rescue, you're usually talking about a "home-based" rescue where a person is doing adoption out of his home and out of his own pocket. That means the extra $ for the heating bill, the food bill, and, yes, often a vet bill. That's extra space needed in the home, and extra time out of the day to care for unwanted pets. Maybe extra arguments with the spouse about how much time and money one is spending "on the animals". I have a spare bedroom in my apartment just so I can do rescue. I'd be paying $300 less a month in rent if I weren't doing rescue, and probably $20-$30 less a month in electricity. I've never taken the time to calculate the food bill, but I spend at least $20 a month on produce, and probably $10 a month on commercial food, insects, and frozen pinkies. So, at least $4000 a year, and we haven't even gotten to the vet bills. All out of MY pocket for doing a community service. I typically don't charge a fee for most of my adoptees, but even if I did, I could not make $4000 in adoption fees to even break even. Let's say I placed 45 animals that directly came through my hands last year. Even if I asked a $20 fee for each of those animals (and we all know I couldn't ask $20 for a re-homed slider or box turtle with MBD), that would only be $900. Doing "home-based" rescue usually means that you are going to be spending a goodly amount of your own income on helping animals that need a second chance. It's hard for me to understand why anyone would complain about an adoption fee, when *I'm* the one having the argument with my husband about how much time I'm spending with the animals even while I'm taking a tortoise from someone that didn't do their homework before they purchased an emaciated, imported, parasite-ridden tortoise from a dealer at a reptile show. I could easily have a second part time job and still have more time with my husband than I do now while doing adoptions.

Some people also have the belief that people care more for an animal if they had to pay for it, which is why some rescues will charge $5 or $10 for a slider, just to make sure someone is going to value that animal.

3) As for contracts, I suppose the rescue would have to know the adopter violated the contract and have proof. Then there might be a lawyer involved, and that would take money to hire a lawyer. Don't forget that in CA there was a case of two people who WERE send to prison for adopting animals under false pretenses. They were USDA Class B dealers who were selling adopted dogs to laboratories, and once the public found out what was happening, they found themselves in front of a judge and jury.


Posted by: pythonis at Sun Mar 19 03:43:01 2006

i will just rundown the list...

1. why dont rescue shelters ship? i thought they wanted the animals adopted.

2. why are there fees? the rescue shelter didnt pay anything for them, so why should I? perhaps taking "contributions" would be a better idea. after all, you should be happy that someone else wants to care for the animal. when i buy a snake or reptile from a breeder, he doesnt charge me for the food and vet visits the animal had previously.

3. are people who adopt the animals legally held to the contract? i saw a female blood on ksnake a few weeks ago that was given to the first person to come get it (fee was $100) then that same person put an ad up in the classifieds for the snake at a price of $600. whats up with that? I thought adoptions couldnt be sold.

Im sure there are more questions/points Im wanting to make but its late.


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