Q: Why is there no address and phone number listed to contact you?
A: VA Reptile Rescue, Inc. is a home-based rescue. That means it is in our home. We are not a shelter open for browsing or drop-ins. We work full-time jobs outside of the rescue, so we are not here all the time. We do not disclose our physical location until an appointment has been set for either picking up an animal or dropping it off. As for the phone number, we used to have one specifically for the rescue, but found that some people were rude and did not read the specified hours for phone calls, and we had a number of cases of people calling at 12-4am. This was very disruptive and after 13 years, I removed the phone number from this site.
Q:I applied for an animal, but I never heard back from you. Why not?
A: VA Reptile Rescue gets a LOT of applications for most animals. Because this is not our full-time jobs (well, it is, but it’s not the one that pays the bills), we have very limited time. If we spent that time personally answering every e-mail, we’d never have time to clean or feed the animals. We’ve chosen the animal care over a personal response. We hope to someday have enough staff that it is possible to reply to each applicant – but right now, we don’t. We appreciate your understanding that we don’t mean to be rude, we just don’t have the time to do it!
Q: If I didn’t get to adopt the animal I was applying for, does that mean I was denied?
A: NO, not necessarily. While some applications are simply denied, most are just not the best application at that time for that animal. These applications are put in a file for future animals that come in. If you change your contact info, but still want to be considered, please notify us so we will be able to let you know when another animal comes in that you may be approved for.
Q: Where do the animals come from that end up at VARR?
A: The vast majority are owner surrenders; this means the owners gave up the animals willingly due to changes in life circumstances. A few animals come in that were strays, and a few have come in because of being seized by law enforcement.
Q: Why do owners surrender their animals to VARR?
A: Lots of reasons. The most common reasons are: they were moving; a parent or spouse doesn’t like reptiles; the animal got too large/aggressive to handle; child grew up and left the animal with parents; child got bored with it; new children in family; new job demands; etc. Most surrenders fall into those categories.
Q: Do these animals need special/unusual care after adoption?
A: Not usually. Most animals that are available for adoption are already healthy enough to adopt. Some may be thin, but otherwise healthy and ready to be placed into a new home. Any time an animal needs special care, it will be clearly posted and understood by all involved.
Q: I have a reptile I need to rehome. Can I bring it to you?
A: Please see our surrender page for information on surrendering a reptile to VARR.
Q: Why do you charge an adoption fee?
A: VA Reptile Rescue, Inc. is not funded by any source other than donations and adoption fees. Therefore, in order to have funds available for vet care, etc., adoption fees are vital.
Q: Will you ship animals?
A: Yes, we will ship to approved applicants at their expense.
Q: I’d like to come visit and see the animals before I apply to adopt. Is this OK?
A: We are not open to “browsing”, nor are we a pet store. Animals are usually shown on the website. All adoptions are done via application. Therefore, an applicant must be extended an invitation to come visit.
Q: I can’t find directions to VA Reptile Rescue – why?
A: VA Reptile Rescue is operated from our home. Therefore, we are not a business, and are not “open” for “browsing”. We do not want people dropping off animals on our doorstep, nor do we wish to have thieves decide to visit us. For that reason, directions are available only to those who make an appointment with us for a specific reason.
Q: Why can’t I sell or give away an animal I’ve adopted. After all, it’s mine now, right?
A: NO. The adoption contract is not a sale contract. Ownership of the animal remains with VA Reptile Rescue – we are simply granting you physical custody of the animal, with the understanding that you are responsible for its needs. In the event you cannot take care of it any longer, it comes back to us so we can find it another home. This is intended to keep dealers and compulsive animal traders (yes, those folks do exist!) from acquiring “cheap” animals from us that they don’t intend to keep.
Q: How are the animals housed at VARR??
A: We use mostly professional reptile cages, including Vision, Neodesha, and Boaphile Plastics cages. We use glass squariums rarely, and only when appropriate. To see photos of our setups, take a look at the about us page.
Q: I’d like to donate to VARR. Can I get a tax-deduction for it?
A: No. We are not a 501c3 organization. This does not mean that we aren’t a legitimate rescue, it means only that we have chosen not to apply for tax exemption. We did this mainly because of the stringent rules on record-keeping and what we can and cannot do if we become tax-exempt.
Q: I’d like to donated equipment or cages to VARR. Do you want them?
A: Maybe. We don’t use glass aquariums, but we do offer them for sale at very low prices to those who need/want them. This is one way we can fundraise for the rescue. Other cages may or may not be accepted, depending on size and type. Contact us to see if it is something we can take. Either way, we appreciate that you thought of us for your donation.
Q: I’d like to start a reptile rescue in my area. Can you help me get started?
A: Yes! See my page on starting a new reptile rescue. Good luck!