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How to address improper husbandry?

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  • How to address improper husbandry?

    Today I made a trip to a local reptile centre and found several problems with their husbandry. They were cohabing corn snakes, ball pythons, bearded dragons, frill-neck lizards, cuban knight anoles, possibly panther chameleons (although I couldn't tell, as their enclosure light was off, apparently broken!) and crested geckos. Several of these animals seemed to be in male/female pairs despite no apparent resources for offspring, laying, etc. There was no way to tell the humidity or temperatures in the enclosures as they did not seem to have hygro/thermometres, but the crested geckos at least did not appear to have high enough humidity. The smaller lizards such as the crested geckos and a tokay gecko did not have any hides at all, and one of the crested geckos had several layers of stuck shed building up on its feet. I would like to bring this up with the centre, however I have quite bad social anxiety and was not able to talk to them in person, and so I plan to write them an email or contact them elsewhere. My question is - how do I raise my concerns in a way that doesn't offend or seem to demonise them? My goal is not to annoy them, it is to have them change their care of their animals - so how should I best phrase this email? Many thanks for reading!

  • #2
    You would be more likely to be successful if you spoke with the owner or manager, in person. An email will almost certainly be ignored.
    However you go about it, start be briefly introducing yourself, and explaining why you are qualified to advise on herp husbandry. Tactfully explain what you feel is wrong, and what the potential consequences are.
    I had these conversations with pet stores on a regular basis, when I was young and idealistic. The response from the pet store managers was nearly always to become defensive and argumentative. I don't mean to suggest that your efforts will necessarily be futile, but you should prepare yourself for that possibility.


    • #3
      I am also not good with speaking in person (tend to forget what I intend to say) while an email might get ignored, a letter to the store, carefully outlining your concerns in a polite, non-accusatory way, might prompt a response, and hopefully some changes. It never hurts to try! Thank you for standing up for the animals that have no voice. They need people like you!
      TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
      Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0


      • #4
        Thank you both very much! I will try writing a letter, but I suppose I won't get too down about it if my efforts are futile.