When is it Time to Rehome a Reptile?

You make a commitment to each animal (reptile, mammal, bird, whatever) you take under your care. It’s not fair to bounce an animal from home to home, possibly placing it in a situation where it won’t be well cared for. That kind of instability is stressful and even detrimental to the animal’s health.

But today we’re addressing a different, and harder, subject: knowing when to let go.

When it comes to reptile keeping—animals in general, actually—I take my role seriously. Like, “In sickness and in health…until death do you part” kind of serious. That being said, one must be able to recognize when the time has come to break that vow.

Inconvenience” is not such a time.

Neither is “loss of interest.”

Nor is “lack of time.”

So, when is it appropriate to rehome a reptile?

  • Inability to provide proper care — When you can’t continue giving the reptile care necessary for it to thrive, whether due to injury or serious financial difficulty.
  • Animal welfare — This is related to the previous point. If your lifestyle is such that it causes unnecessary stress for your reptile, and change is impossible, it is better to find more compatible humans.
  • Human safety — If the reptile poses real danger to the humans in your home, and precautionary measures aren’t working, humans must take priority.
  • Moving to another state — Each state has its own policies about which exotic animals are permitted as pets. If you are moving to a state where your reptile is not allowed, it is better to find it a new home than get in trouble with the law.

Rehome a reptile like this Dumeril's boaHubby and I are in the process of rehoming Strider. I just put the ad up on KSL. After a couple months of alarming behavior, it has become clear that for whatever reason, Strider does not like my husband.

We have done everything within reason to give Strider the best care possible. Appropriate feeding, appropriate environment, regular handling, etc. So with heavy heart we’re looking for an experienced snake keeper who will care for Strider well, with the knowledge to help him get over whatever psychological issues he’s developed while with us.