Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Austin Reptile Expo

Saturday my wife and I spent a couple of hours at the Austin Reptile Expo at the Dell Diamond United Heritage Center in Round Rock. If you've never been to a reptile show you should take a trip out and try it. This is where to find top notch breeders who can answer your questions and help you decide which reptile pet is right for you. And if you're not ready to buy, just enjoy the eye candy. I guarantee there will be animals there that will blow your mind; things you will never see in a pet store.
My favorites this weekend were some of the sweet Honduran milks from Don Shores and, of course, the absolutely stunning pythons and boas produced by Bob Clark. These are two great guys to talk to and deal in some of the most spectacular snakes you will ever see. 
Our time was cut short this weekend, as we had to pick up my brother and cousin from the airport, but I'll bring you more pics and news from the next show. If you're in the Austin area, check out this expo some time. If you're somewhere else, click here to find a show near you.

Friday, January 8, 2010

How Do You Keep a Snake?

Part 4: Water Bowl

Your snake should have clean, fresh water to drink and soak in at all times. This is pretty simple, but I've learned a few things when it comes to snakes and their water bowls. First, I've tried a number of different types of bowls and some work better than others. I've tried everything from simple plastic butter tubs to the fancy fake rock pools that they sell at pet stores. For a while, I used ceramic dog bowls.
As my collection grew, I determined that I needed something that was inexpensive, easy to clean, hard for the snakes to tip over (which they will do!) and available in a variety of sizes. I finally settled on Van Ness crock-type bowls. You can order them from the Bean Farm or other online sources, but I've found that the prices at Wal-Mart were just fine.
Sometimes a snake will insist on tipping over the water bowl or repeatedly defecating in it or even pushing it's bedding into the bowl. For these stubborn snakes, I like to use a small plastic container, such as an empty butter tub, dip container, sour cream container, etc. I cut a hole in the lid about twice as big around as the snake's body, snap it onto the container and fill the container about half way with water. The snakes can easily drink from this setup, but they almost never spill or mess up their water when the lid is on. Another advantage: they're free.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Humane Society of the United States

Those commercials sure do tug at the heartstrings, don't they? You've seen them, right? Those commercials with all the sad-faced puppies and the voice over calling for you to send money to the Humane Society of the United States to help rescue all those little homeless dogs and cats. Guess what: that's not the main agenda of HSUS. They are an animal rights extremist group. In fact, they are the same group that is lobbying to pass s373 and other bills to hurt and effectively kill the pet reptile trade.

I've known about this for some time now, but I never thought it would be investigated and make news. I never thought that local animal shelters would speak up. Take a look and decide for yourself if HSUS is really the best way to donate to help animal shelters.

If you love animals, consider donating to your local humane society directly rather than to HSUS!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Kill s373!

If you have any interest in reptiles at all, please help USARK (the United States Association of Reptile Keepers) stop s373, a.k.a. the Python Ban, by participating in this grass roots letter writing campaign. A similar campaign last year  generated 50,000 letters, resulting in a similar bill, HR669 being killed. Visit the link below to find out more.