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Helping each other.

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Whether you are just considering your first exotic pet or kept reptiles for decades, research is your greatest weapon. In our modern society, nearly anything you might want to know is a simple internet search away. Most of us in this community are more than willing to offer advice and aid simply to improve the welfare of animals. Every single one of us needs some assistance at some point. That is one of the basic principles this group is building around.
If your snake is acting strangely, ask others for advice. The more accurate a description you can give us, the better we can do to help. Clear photos or better yet video can sometimes be crucial in determining what’s going on. While a few individuals might act condescending, the majority of us will go out of our way to help these creatures we love so much. Maybe someone else is going through the same problems.
Maybe your unsure exactly how to care for your pet. Somebody with experience will openly give you the advice you need. Each species has it’s own specific needs so finding someone with knowledge of your particular animal would be the best source. With very few exceptions, most of us will proudly admit what we have in our collections.
If you are in a situation where you are struggling to meet your animals immediate needs, several of us across the state will step up to help you through your crisis. If your situation is something more permanent, we can help you re-home your pet and get it in a better place. Sometimes, surrendering an animal, although a hard choice, is the best thing you can do for a beloved pet. We all hit hard spots, and surrender is far less shameful than continued neglect.
On the other foot, if you’re approached by somebody looking to surrender an animal, think of the animal first. Name calling and finger-pointing won’t get the animal the help it needs. CHET won’t stand for a public “calling out” of somebody who realizes they can no longer maintain adequate care for their pets. As long as the animal is rescued, our goal has been met.
If you’re aware of anybody who needs to surrender an animal, or an entire collection, please consider the owners feelings. A calm courteous discussion about what the animal needs will be much more effective than kicking in the door and trying to confiscate anything. Making these conversations public knowledge will only lead to hurt feelings and bruised egos, which makes the situation worse now and in the future.
If our community is going to thrive, not merely survive, we have to be willing to help one another any way we can. Letting animals suffer rather than ask for help will make our future harder. If the media discovers somebody allowing animals to suffer needlessly, it will hurt all of us. One crazy hoarder will grab more media attention, and remain in the public mind longer, than hundreds of responsible keepers caring for their pets properly.
I, personally, know of several individuals who got in over there heads and had to ask for help. Somebody who realizes there animals would be better off with other keepers deserves our support and encouragement rather than our scorn and trash talking. With the proper education and understanding, someone who messed up can come back to be a decent herper.
None of us know what the future holds and could easily end up on either side of this situation. Please remember that we are a community not a group of individuals. If we can’t help one another, how can we expect support from outside.
Until next time, Happy Herping.
Mike



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