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OH Press: Store seeks help in rescuing injured and sick reptiles

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Posted by: W von Papinešu at Fri Nov 25 20:46:18 2005  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papinešu ]  

MARIETTA TIMES (Ohio) 25 November 05 Store seeks help in rescuing injured and sick reptiles (Dave Payne Sr.)
Not long after The Pampered Reptile pet shop opened on Maple Street in Marietta a few weeks ago, a few wayward reptiles found a safe place to stay.
The business is raising money to build enclosures for two of the reptiles it took in recently, a 20-pound iguana with a tail like a bullwhip and a 12-foot, 125-pound albino python.
"Don't get me wrong," said shop owner Rich Hudson. "We're for-profit. I don't want to give people the wrong impression. We're not running a reptile rescue, but we had to do something for these creatures."
The large iguana was one of three found abandoned beside a Parkersburg dumpster earlier this month in 40-degree weather. An area pet store worker found the iguanas and contacted Hudson, who agreed to take them.
The largest of the three iguanas had scars from an improperly placed heating lamp and scoliosis from poor nutrition.
"We've been working a lot with him, and he's turning out to be such a sweet iguana, but the first day, he was whipping his tail all over the place," Hudson said.
The large iguana has not been named, but a smaller iguana has been christened "Rosemary's Baby." She is severely stressed and is quite a handful. Each handling seems to bring new scratches, but Hudson doesn't mind.
As Hudson handled the large male iguana for a few minutes late last week, a claw dug deep into his hand, while others scratched his arms and neck. The iguana was trying to go back into its cage and meant no harm.
Most of the scratches on Hudson's arms are from Rosemary's Baby, which is still in a foul mood from her experience.
Shortly after the iguanas arrived, Hudson also found himself taking in a 12-foot albino Burmese python named Stella. Unlike the iguanas, the snake came from a caring home. The owner, however, was no longer able to care for the snake or house it properly.
The snake has had its share of problems, most recently when it swallowed a heating pad that was plugged in. The owner had guinea pigs who were injured by a dog and used the heating pad to warm the guinea pigs as they recovered.
"She called and said it had swallowed the heating pad and the cord was sticking out," Hudson said.
Hudson and the owner tried to find a veterinarian who could remove the heating pad. They were able to find someone who could treat it at an animal hospital in Columbus, but the snake regurgitated the heating pad on its own.
The owner realized she wasn't able to care for the snake and Hudson agreed to take it in.
Hudson plans to build two structures for the creatures, one 8-feet long by 4-feet wide and 8-feet tall for the iguana and one the same length and width, but 4 feet high for the snake. Donations are accepted with the goal of raising $750.
"We are looking to the community for the support. We have a collection can here at the store, and there is an account set up at Peoples Bank," said Logan Schwendeman, an employee at the store.
Hudson plans to use the large iguana and snake as educational tools. He hopes to take the animals to schools to educate children on the responsibilities of owning such pets.
Any area groups or merchants willing to help with the effort encouraged to contact the store.
Store seeks help in rescuing injured and sick reptiles


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