Ireland’s only exotic animal shelter said they are struggling to cope amid overcrowding at the sanctuary and huge waiting lists.
The National Exotic Animal Shelter (NEAS),located in Co Meath, hosts unwanted animals such as bearded dragons, turtles, raccoons, pythons, caimans, pot-bellied pigs, cockatoos, monkeys and emus.
Manager of NEAS, Kevin Cunningham told The Irish Mirror that the waiting list for abandoned exotics is growing daily.
He believes that Irish people need to put more thought into their decision when choosing to home an atypical animal.
He said: “It’s important people find out exactly what’s involved with taking on an exotic, and don’t just take the word of the person who’s selling the animal to you.
“They tend to take a lot more work than cats and dogs, and it can be very hard to get veterinary treatment if they get sick.
“Also, animals like turtles live for a very long time. So if a child of eight or nine gets given a turtle, their parents should be aware that the animal will still be around when that child is older and heading off to college.”
Mr Cunningham added that there is no paperwork required for petshop owners to bring such exotic animals into Ireland, and that they can do so legally. Tighter control at the boarders is one recommendation of his.
NEAS are constantly seeking assistance by adoption or donation.
You can donate 2euro to NEAS by texting FLICKA to 50300. Full information can be found on the santuary’s website www.neas.ie
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