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30th Jun, 2022

RSPCA voices concern about welfare of exotic pets in Coventry and Warwickshire

Laura Kearns 29th Apr, 2019 Updated: 29th Apr, 2019

THE RSPCA has voiced concern about the welfare of exotic pets in Coventry and Warwickshire.

The charity received 100 calls relating to exotic animals in the region last year, including a report of two boa constrictors found dumped in a Coventry field. The snakes were believed to be alive when they were abandoned but died in the cold.

One of the 4ft snakes was in a bin bag and a 5ft snake was lying in the grass when they were found by Inspector Helen Smith in January after being reported by a member of the public.

She said: “Both snakes were underweight so it appears they were not properly cared for. It is disgusting that someone chose to just dump their pets like and leave them to die – it is so callous.”

The animal welfare charity says many owners do not do their research before buying an exotic pet or understand the type and amount of care they need, which leads to them being neglected, dumped or escaping.

Nationally the charity rescued more than 500 snakes, 300 turtles, 145 bearded dragons, five raccoons, four marmosets and one wallaby last year.

RSPCA officer for exotics Stephanie Jayson said: “Although numbers are small compared to more common pets, we have real concerns about the welfare of reptiles and other exotic animals kept as pets in this country.

“Reptiles and other exotic pets are completely reliant on their owners to meet their welfare needs including requiring the correct levels of heat, light and humidity, plus an appropriate diet. Many of the animals we’re called to help are found straying outside, where they can very quickly suffer in the cold.

“In some cases, we believe owners take them on simply because they believe they will be easier to care for than other pets, but it is essential that people research what is required in the care of their pet. We would also urge them to ask for help if they’re struggling to meet their needs.”

Visit www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare for more information on keeping exotic pets.

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