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Urgent need for Brighton reptile rescuers
Buy this photo » Keith Simpson-Wells from the RSPCA Reptile Rescue Centre in Patcham with a Dumrils Boa
They may not be cuddly like a puppy or rabbit but charity bosses are urging people to consider adopting a reptile as a pet.
The RSPCA rescue centre in Patcham is currently caring for about 70 creatures which are all in need of a new home.
The reptiles often end up abandoned because people get them when they are fashionable without realising they often live a long time.
Reptile rescue manager Keith Simpson-Willis said: “Some of the snakes and other animals can live more than 20 years.
“People's circumstances can change over the years and that is when we get them.
“Others may have escaped, been neglected or are simply unwanted.
“It is a great shame because they do make great pets.”
The centre is busier than it has ever been and currently has a waiting list of animals to come in.
There are plans to expand it to cope with demand.
Creatures include corn snakes, geckos, Chinese water dragons, iguanas, bearded dragons and occasionally even boas and pythons.
Mr Simpson-Willis said: “The thing with reptiles is that once you have got everything set up correctly for them, then they are fairly easy to care for.
“We can help with all the preparation, such as making sure people have the right equipment.
“We can also give advice and support on the type of food they need.
“As long as people are prepared to care for the reptiles and do all the necessary research then it can be very rewarding.
“Most people tend to think of cats and dogs as needing a new home but reptiles need them just as urgently.
“We are really busy but reptiles really are a great alternative and certainly one people should think about.”
Experts also suggest reptiles as pets for families where people may be allergic to fur and feathers.
Anyone interested in adopting a reptile as a pet can visit the RSPCA centre at Patcham on Tuesdays to Sundays from 10.30am to 4pm, or call 07882 770323.
Give a Pet a Home
The Argus has relaunched our Give a Pet a Home campaign.
We are calling on readers to:
- Head down to their nearest shelter when thinking of getting a new pet.
- Make sure pets are neutered or spayed at the earliest opportunity to spare any unwanted accidents.
- Think long and hard about whether you have the time, money, health and inclination to care for a pet for its whole life.
Don’t miss The Argus over the coming days and weeks for details of more animals in need of new homes – and the pets that have found new homes thanks to The Argus.