Reptiles aren't everybody's favourite pet. They aren't cuddly, often aren't cute, and they have specialized care needs. But, they do feel pain, do suffer, and they are most definitely a part of the Ottawa Humane Society's animal welfare mandate— and we take our mandate very seriously. We investigate the abuse and neglect of reptiles. Since 2009, we have been empowered to inspect pet stores, and the reptiles present are a part of this inspection. We remove them if they are in distress, and we care for them in our shelter when we need to. We don't adopt them out, however. Their care is relatively complex, and they are often subject to impulse purchase, often driven by the trendiness of various species. We rely mainly on partners to place the very few that come into our care.
Most, if not all, of the work of the OHS is done in partnership. Our greatest partnership is the one with our community. We rely on our community for a great many things, one of which is to be our eyes and ears. We rely on reports from our community from those who have witnessed cruelty and neglect of any species. With reptiles, we receive very few complaints. In fact, all of last year, we received only two reports concerning reptiles. One was withdrawn as the store immediately resolved the issue.
It seems that there are issues with the care of reptiles in our community. We take this very seriously, and we ask that those with knowledge and evidence of their neglect step forward, partner with us, and help end it.