Reptile & Amphibian Abuse: Examples, Laws & How You Can Help

bronxzoofrank

New Member
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270
Location
NY
Hi All,

Have you observed herp abuse, or do you suspect that it is occurring in a store, food market, private collection or elsewhere? It can be difficult to know for sure, and even harder to decide what to do about it. The following article may be of some help, and I’ll do my best to advise those who post questions and concerns.

Unfortunately, animal abuse is a serious and surprisingly common problem in the USA. The applicable laws vary from state to state, and it can be difficult to determine which agency is responsible for enforcement. Regulatory agencies are often under-funded, so many rely upon citizen complaints. It is important, therefore, that concerned people learn how to proceed when they suspect that animal abuse is taking place. This is especially true where reptiles and amphibians are concerned, as they draw less interest than mammals, and mistreatment is difficult to detect by the inexperienced. Please be sure to post your own observations below, and let me know if you need help in deciding how to report a problem.
Read article here http://bitly.com/Um17Fx
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Thanks, Frank
My Bio, with photos of animals I’ve been lucky enough to work with That Pet Place welcomes Zoologist/Herpetologist Frank Indiviglio to That Reptile Blog | That Reptile Blog That Reptile Blog
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Embrace Calamity

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1,564
Location
Pennsylvania
Thanks. Good read. Recently there was something like this at my university. A student ordered a bunch of baby red-eared sliders that showed up in poor shape (missing body parts and probably vitamin/calcium deficiencies). She proceeded to give them nothing but a tub of stagnant water and a low-wattage black light. Not surprisingly, most of them died. They were for an Animal Behaviour project so were being kept in the Biology department at the university, but no one knew, noticed, or cared that they were receiving very poor care. I complained to the professor and I acquired the last two (one didn't make it), but that's as far as it went. Very frustrating.

~Maggot
 

bronxzoofrank

New Member
Messages
270
Location
NY
Thanks. Good read. Recently there was something like this at my university. A student ordered a bunch of baby red-eared sliders that showed up in poor shape (missing body parts and probably vitamin/calcium deficiencies). She proceeded to give them nothing but a tub of stagnant water and a low-wattage black light. Not surprisingly, most of them died. They were for an Animal Behaviour project so were being kept in the Biology department at the university, but no one knew, noticed, or cared that they were receiving very poor care. I complained to the professor and I acquired the last two (one didn't make it), but that's as far as it went. Very frustrating.

~Maggot
Thanks very much...odd in a university, as mgt is usually very concerned about public opinion problems/neg publicity that could arise were the situation made public. Going over professor's head, if appropriate for your situation, would likely be useful; human resource depts tend to have a good deal of influence these days, or could at least advise you on how to proceed.

best, Frank
 

Embrace Calamity

New Member
Messages
1,564
Location
Pennsylvania
Thanks very much...odd in a university, as mgt is usually very concerned about public opinion problems/neg publicity that could arise were the situation made public. Going over professor's head, if appropriate for your situation, would likely be useful; human resource depts tend to have a good deal of influence these days, or could at least advise you on how to proceed.

best, Frank
It's a very small university in a rural area very unconcerned with animal welfare. I talked to the girl who had them, and apparently she had others in another room who survived. She argued that the reason the ones in the one room died is because people were (allegedly) touching the tarantulas in the room and then touching the turtles. Apparently that's more likely than the lack of filter, clean water, basking spot, UVB light, supplements, or heater being what killed them. But given that the ones in the other room allegedly survived, I don't think anyone would take it seriously if I complained.

~Maggot
 

bronxzoofrank

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Messages
270
Location
NY
I see...interesting to hear, thank you; that student could make quite a name for herself if she identifies a tarantula-to-turtle-via-touch pathogen!

Best regards, frank
 

Embrace Calamity

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1,564
Location
Pennsylvania
I see...interesting to hear, thank you; that student could make quite a name for herself if she identifies a tarantula-to-turtle-via-touch pathogen!

Best regards, frank
I know, right? It sounded like BS to me, but I'm not educated enough to say for certain. I'm not sure why the ones in the other room would have survived though.

~Maggot
 

bronxzoofrank

New Member
Messages
270
Location
NY
Hi,

Yes...don;t give it a second thought. Survival likely had to do with individual resilience, or perhaps an unnoticed difference in temp, etc; some sliders are amazing, growing well on poor diets, w/o UVB., etc. They are established in 25 countries outside of the USA, some habitats are at the extreme end of what could possibly be adapted to. You might enjoy this article. Best, Frank
 

bronxzoofrank

New Member
Messages
270
Location
NY
Hi,

Yes...don;t give it a second thought. Survival likely had to do with individual resilience, or perhaps an unnoticed difference in temp, etc; some sliders are amazing, growing well on poor diets, w/o UVB., etc. They are established in 25 countries outside of the USA, some habitats are at the extreme end of what could possibly be adapted to. You might enjoy this article. Best, Frank
 

Embrace Calamity

New Member
Messages
1,564
Location
Pennsylvania
Hi,

Yes...don;t give it a second thought. Survival likely had to do with individual resilience, or perhaps an unnoticed difference in temp, etc; some sliders are amazing, growing well on poor diets, w/o UVB., etc. They are established in 25 countries outside of the USA, some habitats are at the extreme end of what could possibly be adapted to. You might enjoy this article. Best, Frank
Good read. Thanks! :)

~Maggot
 

cassicat4

Member
Messages
151
Location
Alberta, Canada
This is a serious problem up in Canada too, although (at least where I'm from) no one seems to know what to do other than contact the SPCA or Animal Control which effectively do very little (as evidenced by some of the "rescues" and "zoos" that are allowed to continue operating) as many are not well-versed in reptiles to begin with.

Do you have any suggestions of where to look or who to contact for Canadians? I don't mind doing the research, I'm just not sure what direction to take i.e. whose/what department's responsibility it is to tend to these matters.

Interesting article for sure, thanks for sharing.
 

bronxzoofrank

New Member
Messages
270
Location
NY
This is a serious problem up in Canada too, although (at least where I'm from) no one seems to know what to do other than contact the SPCA or Animal Control which effectively do very little (as evidenced by some of the "rescues" and "zoos" that are allowed to continue operating) as many are not well-versed in reptiles to begin with.


Do you have any suggestions of where to look or who to contact for Canadians? I don't mind doing the research, I'm just not sure what direction to take i.e. whose/what department's responsibility it is to tend to these matters.

Interesting article for sure, thanks for sharing.

Thanks for the kind words, Cassi,

Unfortunately, I haven't had any related experiences in Canada. A major zoo might be able to direct you. Or you might try contacting a local herpetological society, as most will have members with similar concerns. Here is a list of some located in Canada: If this doesn't help, let me know and I'll try to contact colleagues at a zoo near you.

Please keep me posted, good luck, Frank
 

CPS

New Member
Messages
70
Location
Utica, NY, USA
Thanks; I am going to post this to someone who recently asked about pet store reptile neglect in AL in the legislation forum.
 

Ghostoftangerine17

ヒョウモントカゲモドキ
Messages
335
Location
Tokyo, Japan
In Japan they sell so many turtles that are just 1" or 2" in diameter (and sometimes even give them away to kids at festivals) and I'm very sure that many of them grow up and get discarded in some inhumane way :(

They're so cute (understatement), but they grow to be pretty big and I'm sure that most people here are not equipped to handle a large turtle in their home...
 

bronxzoofrank

New Member
Messages
270
Location
NY
In Japan they sell so many turtles that are just 1" or 2" in diameter (and sometimes even give them away to kids at festivals) and I'm very sure that many of them grow up and get discarded in some inhumane way :(

They're so cute (understatement), but they grow to be pretty big and I'm sure that most people here are not equipped to handle a large turtle in their home...
Hi,
Thanks for your interest; they are often released when they grow to large; sliders have established populations all over Japan (as are American bullfrogs and, in a few places, raccoons), where they out-compete native turtles; I've seen them in Kyoto temple ponds, among other places. They are now found in at least 25 countries outside of their native range. You might enjoy this article Typical and Atypical Habitats of the Red-Eared Slider - Field Observations That Reptile Blog I'm interested to hear about any introduced species you have seen in Japan...I hope to return soon to do some field work on giant salamanders.

Best regards, Frank
 
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