When it comes to adopting pets from a rescue, dogs and cats seem to always take top billing. But there are also rescues dedicated to caring for and rehoming small pets! At our National Adoption Weekends sometimes you’ll find rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, turtles and reptiles looking for their Forever Homes. We spoke with Marc from Little RES Q about their rescue and why adoption is worth a serious look when it comes to adopting smaller pets too.
Please tell us a little about the rescue you represent
The Little RES Q is Ontario’s first charitable animal shelter that specializes in red eared sliders (turtles), one of the world’s most abandoned pets. I started the rescue nearly a decade ago with one tank in a Toronto apartment and since then, we’ve grown exponentially until we finally moved into our first brick and mortar facility in Georgina. During that time, over 2,000 abandoned turtles, lizards and snakes found their way through the rescue and into forever homes.
What kind of pets do you rehome?
We started out as a dedicated turtle rescue, but expanded to cover other common and legal to keep pets such as bearded dragons, geckos, ball pythons, corn snakes and similar scaly pets.
What is the advantages of adopting a turtle, snake or reptile?
Reptiles for the most part, don’t need the constant interaction and care that cats and dogs do, and live longer on average. Turtles for instance could be a lifelong pet, with a lifespan of nearly 50 years. Most commonly kept species don’t require a lot of space and can be housed in glass tanks from 40-120 gallons. As long as their basic needs are met, they’re happy.
What is the one thing you wished everyone knew about adopting turtles, snake or reptiles?
Plan for the long term and do your research before you purchase or adopt a reptile. Many species have very specific care requirements and may not handle stress very well. Don’t buy a baby turtle for a small child and not expect to care for it decades later. Like I said before, sliders are some of the most abandoned pets in the world, even more than cats and dogs!
As a participant in National Adoption weekend, what does it mean to you guys to get to educate Pet Valu customers?
It means a great deal to us to educate both adults and kids about the proper care of pet reptiles. We help people shed their fears and misunderstandings of these majestic creatures. Reptiles are not cold, slimy and uncaring, and many actually appreciate being handled and pet.