I ran the Charm City Reptile and Amphibian Rescue for 14 years (no longer in operation). Here is a story about one of the rescues.
We had several snakes, as we always do, in the rescue. A young boy scout named Matt called me and told me he wanted to get his badge in reptiles. In order to get that badge, he needed to take care of a snake for one month. He was probably about 12 years old at the time. That’s a pretty good age for kids to get a snake for a pet.
I thought this was a great idea. It was like foster care. Matt’s father told me that he had snakes as a kid and knew how to take care of them. The father would supervise the care of the snake, and they would pay to “rent” the snake for a month.
I was hoping Matt would really love taking care of the snake and then decide to adopt it. I asked his father to fill out the paperwork as if they were adopting the snake.
Matt and his dad came over and they chose a California kingsnake. It was an adult snake, and the whole family was excited about the snake coming to stay. We went over all of the care for the animal. They told me that they had gotten a couple books about snake care as part of the research for the badge. Yea!! They actually bought a book. And they were not even planning on keeping the snake.
They gave a donation and also donated money for some frozen mice we had.
Unfortunately, my plan didn’t work. Matt kept the snake for the month and was able to get his reptile care badge. However, he lost interest in the animal by the time the month was over.
I was glad that the people rented the snake instead of buying one. I would have ended up with the reptile either way, so at least I got a donation out of it.
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Read more by Holli Friedland.